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Sony

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Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact leaked with new design and 18:9 screens

For better or for worse, Sony has stuck to the same phone design for years at this point. While I personally don't mind the design, it has started to show its age over the past year or two with the advent of 18:9 phones and small bezels. We've been hearing rumors that Sony's next flagships would be a radical departure in terms of design, and now that has been confirmed with a new leak from VentureBeat.

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Google will begin certifying Android devices for business use, starting with phones from LG, BlackBerry, Motorola, and others

When it comes to security, Android devices are a mixed bag - to say the least. Few manufacturers make promises about long-term support, and timely security updates are rare. This is understandably a concern for large businesses, which often don't want to worry about security flaws or constantly deploy new devices. For many enterprise customers, the question of which Android phones should be used is difficult to answer.

Google's solution to this problem is the 'Android Enterprise Recommended' program, which defines which Android devices are ideal for business use. All phones in the program must be running Android 7.0 or higher, support zero-touch enrollment (only applies to Oreo devices), be sold carrier-unlocked, and comply with other requirements.

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Xperia XA1 family's Oreo updates will ditch built-in blue light filter, meaning that zero Sony phones will come with any form of 'night mode'

These days, many manufacturers include some sort of blue light filter or "night light" in their phones' ROMs. Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and some other companies are on the list, and Sony was as well with its "Good night actions" function in Xperia Actions for phones in the XA1 family. However, following the impending Oreo updates, no Sony phone will have a built-in blue light filter.

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Sony possibly making last-minute changes to upcoming flagship

Sony has maintained mostly the same design on its smartphones for years - a blocky shape, usually with a side fingerprint sensor and large bezels. While there are plenty of people content with that aesthetic (they are very vocal in our comments), there's no denying Sony's lineup is starting to look a bit dated, with 18:9 screens and small bezels becoming more common.

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[Update: Pricing] Sony announces new 4K HDR Android TVs with Google Assistant built in

Sony's been busy with announcements so far at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, debuting new headphones and speakers, an Android Auto audio system, and some new phones (trademark bezels still intact). There are surely many more new Sony things being launched at the show, but not all of them are relevant to us here. New Android TV sets with the Google Assistant built in? Yep, that's relevant enough.

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Qualcomm announces 18 OEMs will build 5G devices in 2019 with its X50 modem

At the company's "5G Day" event in San Diego yesterday, Qualcomm announced that it had secured 18 OEM partners to build 5G devices using its new X50 5G modem in 2019. Notable among them are handset makers Nokia (HMD), Sony, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, HTC, LG, ASUS, and ZTE. Conspicuously absent at the time of this writing is Samsung, though the two companies did just announce a long-term cross-licensing agreement, so you'd have to think they were on track to build a phone with this new modem, too.

Other companies in the list can be found in the press release below, though most of the others are in the component or supply chain side of the business.

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Android 8.0 Oreo rolling out to Sony Xperia X and X Compact

Sony has started rolling out an update to Android 8.0 Oreo to its Xperia X and Xperia X Compact phones. The version has build number 34.4.A.0.364 and is a little over one gigabyte to download.

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LineageOS adds support for Xperia Z5, international Galaxy S6, and more

The last time we covered LineageOS, the project had started supporting seven new phones, including the Xperia Z5 Compact and LG K10. Since then, several additional devices have been added to the official build roster. These include the Sony Xperia Z5, Samsung Galaxy S6, and Redmi 3S/3X.

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Sony adds Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra to the Open Devices Program

Sony is pretty good about letting the open-source community have a field day with its devices thanks to the company's Open Devices Program. Two new phones just got added: Xperia XA2 and Xperia XA2 Ultra. That means that they are open to flashing custom versions of Oreo.

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[Deal Alert] Sony's 75" 2017 Android TV $2,498 at various retailers ($300 cheaper than Black Friday), plus free Google Home at B&H

Android TV saw a good bit of attention at CES, but if you don't want to wait for the new TV sets with it built-in (or pay full MSRP), then you may want to check out this deal over on the usual vendors like Amazon, Best Buy, and B&H. The 2017 model Sony XBR75X900E is sitting at $2,498, a nice $700 off. 

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