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TWRP now available for Xperia XZ, Xperia X Performance, and Galaxy J3

TWRP is by far the most popular custom recovery, and for good reason. Backing up your device, flashing ROMs, managing files in a pinch, and more are all possible through a customizable GUI. Now TWRP is expanding its reach to three more devices - the Sony Xperia XZ, Sony Xperia X Performance, and Samsung Galaxy J3 2016 Qualcomm (SM-J320YZ).

Considering the XZ was only released a week ago, this is pretty fast work from the TWRP maintainers. The other devices are a bit older, with the Xperia X Performance released in June of this year and the Galaxy J3 in January.

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The fingerprint sensor on Sony's Xperia XZ and X Compact can be enabled by a firmware flash

After having a Nexus 6P, I think I'd find it pretty difficult to go back to not having a fingerprint sensor. It's just such a convenient way to quickly and easily unlock my phone. The Sony Xperia XZ and X Compact (this year's model) both have fingerprint sensors, but weirdly on the US editions (and possibly others from around the world), they are disabled via software. Xperiablog has found that by flashing the UK firmware, the sensor can be enabled.

xperia-xz-fingerprint-usa_1-315x560 xperia-xz-fingerprint-usa_2-315x560

Left: US firmware - 1304-9206. Right: UK firmware - 1305-2216.

A thread on XDA details the process - in essence, download and install Xperiafirm, Xperia Companion (from Sony), and Flashtool.

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Sony's Xperia XZ is now officially available in the US for a whopping $700

Sony Mobile, despite its lackluster presence here for the past few years, is gradually re-entering the US market. The Japanese company's latest flagship, the Xperia XZ, went up for pre-order a little over a week ago, and it's now available for purchase. Unfortunately, at $700, I don't see the XZ helping Sony's dwindling smartphone business much.

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Xperia X Compact now available on Amazon, unlocked for $499

One week ago, the Xperia X Compact became available for pre-order on Amazon for $499 with a $50 credit. Today, as expected, it is officially available for sale on the site (we have yet to locate other sites currently selling it).

The X Compact, the smaller version of Sony's latest smartphone offerings, features a 4.6" 720p screen with a Snapdragon 650 CPU. The phone also has 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage with microSD expansion, USB Type-C with Qualcomm Quick Charging 3.0, and a 23MP rear camera. Keep in mind that the X Compact does include Android 6.0 Marshmallow at launch, but you can easily unlock the bootloader through Sony's Open Device Program.

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Sony Xperia XZ pre-orders go live, available on October 2

It is no secret that Sony is not the largest smartphone player in the U.S. While the phones (and tablets) are typically pretty good, they are not too commonplace here. Regardless, some of us still get excited when Sony announces new devices. That excitement is easily doubled whenever those make it to the States.

The Xperia XZ was announced at IFA back at the beginning of this month with U.S. availability. You can now pre-order it from Amazon for $699 in blue, silver, and black (though, at the time of this writing, the black was showing at $717.59 for me). The official date has been given as October 2, where you should also be able to purchase this phone at Best Buy (and "other participating retailers").

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[Deal Alert] Best Buy offers the Xperia X for $430 ($120 off) and Xperia X Performance for $585 ($115 off)

The Xperia X line is decent, but considerably behind competitors from Samsung and LG this year, with prices that border on the astronomical for their features. So what happens when you price your flagship phones too high and nobody buys them? Discounts, baby. Best Buy is already offering the mid-range Xperia X and flagship Xperia X Performance for considerably less than retail, and as unlocked GSM phones, too - no carrier shenanigans to be seen.

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Xperia C5 and C5 Ultra receive update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow

The Xperia C5 Ultra launched last year with Android Lollipop, as in 5.0. An over-the-air update to Android 5.1 arrived this past January. Eight months later, Sony is pushing the device up to Marshmallow.

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The unlocked Xperia X Compact is available for pre-order on Amazon for $500, plus a $50 credit

Customers who want a solid phone with good specs and a screen size under five inches have been having a hard time of it for the last few years. Sony seems like the only manufacturer that will give them the time of day, and their phones aren't always easy to find in any given market. Those in the US who've been salivating over the Xperia X Compact, the company's latest bantamweight heavy-hitter, can now put down some money to get an American unlocked model.

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Sony's selfie-centric Xperia C4 and C4 Dual smartphones receive Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Sony isn't known for getting Android updates out especially quickly, and the fact that Android 6.0 Marshmallow is only arriving now (a month after Nougat's official release) for the Xperia C4 and Xperia C4 Dual is proof of that. Then again, this is a last-generation, mid-range phone with an unconventional MediaTek chipset, so we'll cut Sony some slack for this one.

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Xperia X Compact added to Sony's Open Device Program

The newest little phone from Sony has been made more developer-friendly today. The Xperia X Compact has joined the Sony Open Device program, allowing the more technically inclined out there to build stock Android from AOSP for the phone. Sony has made the necessary code available for both Nougat and Marshmallow builds on the X Compact.

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