Android Police

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Sony Xperia XZ3 review: After years of mediocrity, Sony is finally ready to compete

For several years now, Sony fans and critics have been calling for the Japanese company to move away from its boxy, dated hardware design language and join its rivals in releasing a modern Android smartphone. When the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact arrived at MWC 2018 in February, we hailed them as a small step in the right direction. Curved glass and greatly reduced bezels around an 18:9 screen combined with high-end internals and a relatively stock treatment of Android — a recipe that was also followed for the overpriced XZ2 Premium that came in the summer.

It’s somewhat surprising that we’re talking about another flagship Sony phone so soon, yet the Xperia XZ3 stole the show at IFA 2018 and goes on sale at the beginning of October, just six months after the XZ2 was released and three months after the XZ2 Premium.

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Android 9 Pie will soon offer a way to see which apps have notifications blocked

Every year, a new version of Android is released, and every year, lots of improvements are made. That's a given, but sometimes useful features fall by the wayside as well. In Android 8.0 Oreo, you can easily see a list of the apps for which you have blocked notifications. In Android 9 Pie, that list has vanished.

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Dragalia Lost by Nintendo is available for Android

Back in August Nintendo announced that Dragalia Lost would launch on Android on September 27th. Well, today is the day, and Nintendo has indeed delivered. So if you have been hankering for a new gacha RPG with pleasant chibi graphics, and some of the best music found on Android, then you're going to want to check this out. Not everything is perfect, but there is still enough to like here to give it a shot.

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[Update: New source] LG V40 ThinQ design made official ahead of October 3 unveiling

In a curious move, possibly to put an end to any further leaks, LG has released a video and blog post detailing the design of the LG V40 ThinQ. It's due to be announced in full on October 3, but now we have official confirmation of the design (at least from the rear) and some of the specs.

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Google Phone v24 beta includes first pieces of Dark Mode [APK Teardown]

As many people had hoped, Google has been progressively adding dark modes to some of its core apps. Last month, there was even a teaser added to the Play Store changelog for the Google Phone app that promised to give users a choice between the all white look that has become so common, or a dark look that promises to be easier to the eyes, especially at night. The latest version is out, but unfortunately, this update won't be the one to enable dark mode. However, with a bit of tinkering, it's possible to see what the new theme looks like in its current state.

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Facebook's promised Messenger redesign is starting to roll out to some users

During its F8 2018 conference in May, Facebook previewed a major redesign to Messenger that it had teased earlier in the year, saying it would simplify the experience, remove some of the unnecessary interface elements, and put emphasis on the features most users want to get to quickly. Oh, and it should have a dark mode too. While the company said the new look would come soon, it took a bit over four months for us to see the first sign of it.

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[Deal Alert] Today only: 15% off coupon for eBay

It’s becoming something of a monthly habit for eBay to release site-wide coupons. This month is no different with a one-day, 15% off code valid on almost all products. When checking out, simply use the promo code PICKSOON before 6pm PST today, September 27. This discount is fairly standard for the company, although we occasionally see 20% off site-wide and even $25 off entire purchases.

These coupons are much preferable to eBay’s “select item” deals, which limit the item choice to a company-curated selection. They make today a great time to pick up a phone upgrade or new tablet. For example, this already good deal on the Samsung Galaxy Note9 dual-SIM Exynos edition can be dropped down even further, to almost $700.

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Amazon Music Unlimited now available in Canada

Amazon Music Unlimited is now available in Canada. Yesterday, the e-commerce giant announced details of the expansion which includes a 90-day trial (4-month trial for residents of Quebec). The launch of the service also brings Alexa to the app (iOS and Android) and Echo smart speakers. Pricing for the service is a bit cluttered due to the different plan options and Prime status of the customer so let’s break it down: 

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[Update: Charcoal color] Google Home Hub smart display leaked ahead of October event, no camera in sight

Google announced Assistant would work on displays a while back, but so far only third-parties have launched hardware. A new leak suggests Google is aiming to launch its own Assistant smart display called the Home Hub. Some leaked renders purport to show a device that looks like the offspring of a Chromebook and a Google Home speaker.

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LineageOS 15.1 Oreo now available for the ZTE Axon 7, LG G2, and other devices

The last time we covered LineageOS, the most popular custom ROM in the Android community, Oreo builds for the Nextbit Robin and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 became available. In the month since that post, even more phones have been added to the Oreo roster, including a long-time community favorite - the ZTE Axon 7.

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