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Five months later, Alcatel Idol 4S US pre-orders start on 7/15 ($349 until August 3rd, $399 after)

Alcatel announced the Idol 4S at MWC in February. Today, it announced the phone would ship in the US. In August. That's over five months after the phone was announced, near as makes no difference to half a year. It will go on sale for pre-order on July 15th for $349, and will later see its price increase to $399 on August 3rd when the phone begins shipping. Alcatel will also offer financing for "as low as" $37 a month, though they fail to address how long that financing term is, which is sort of important.

The Idol 4S is one of two Idol devices Alcatel announced at MWC.

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ZTE's Axon 7 goes up for pre-order promising great specs and better audio for $400

ZTE knows it's not the brand most associated with quality smartphones, but the company is working to change that. Recent Axon devices have been very compelling devices for the price. The Axon 7 is ZTE's effort to take things to the next level.

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Google Keyboard v5.1 (originally bundled with N preview) is rolling out in the Play Store [APK Download] [Update: Changelog]

Google gave us a little sneak preview of Google Keyboard v5.1 in the Android N dev preview back in May. You could sideload that APK on other versions of Android to get the new themes, but now the final build appears to be hitting the Play Store. As with all Google releases, this one is staged. We've got the new version available for sideloading, though.

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Incremental Nexus OTA update ZIPs with July's security patches are available for download

The latest factory images and OTA ZIPs bringing July's security patches to Nexus devices are ready for download. Thing is, those files are beefy, and they can take a while to download. Want to take a quicker route? Try downloading an incremental OTA ZIP instead.

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[Deal Alert] The AT&T BlackBerry Priv is down to $300 with free shipping on DailySteals

There's been no shortage of sales on the various models of BlackBerry Priv in the last few months, which is perhaps not the best sign for the company's first-ever Android-powered flagship. But it's great news for bargain hunters, and today DailySteals has the AT&T version of the QWERTY slider on sale for just $299.99, well under half of the retail price. The deal is available for another two days according to the site. Shipping is free.

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Samsung sends out invite for August 2nd event in NYC for the Note7 reveal

Samsung has just sent out the invitation for its Note7 launch event in New York City on August 2nd. The sixth-generation Note device has been leaked extensively at this point, though I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung has managed to keep a piece or two of information from us about the device at this point. If you want to know what the Note7 will look like, we can show you, because Evan Blass leaked it - in excruciatingly high resolution.

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NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet meets Android 6.0 Professional Audio requirements following Software Upgrade 4.2

The NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet provides one of the best Android gaming experiences you can currently have, and right now an update is rolling out to the device. Following this latest release, the slate now meets Android 6.0 Professional Audio requirements.

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BLU Energy XL review: Huge screen, epic battery life, and a reasonable price

BLU released a new phone a few days back called the BLU Energy XL and they sent me one to take a look at. The XL in the title is there for good reason; everything about this phone is massive. It has a huge 6" HD screen, 64GB of on-board storage, and mammoth 5,020 mAh battery. The only thing that isn't enormous about this behemoth is the price, which is a very reasonable $300.

Sound pretty good on paper, right? Let's see how good it is in practice.

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[Deal Alert] Nextbit Robin on sale for $239 for Amazon Prime Day [Update: Still live after Prime Day]

The Nextbit Robin is a fine phone with a neat design. The original $399 was a little high, though. Even the new $299 price direct from Nextbit can be pushing it when there are so many great budget phones. If you're an Amazon Prime subscriber, this phone is on mega-discount today. You can get the Robin for a mere $239.

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Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview 2 is out (NVD83H), makes some significant changes

The Android Wear 2.0 Preview milestone 2 build has been released today for the Huawei Watch and LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition. You can get the builds for your flashing pleasure here. What's new? I'll let the official Android Developers Blog take it away from here.

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