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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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VAVA Dash Cam 2K review: Good value, but not the best

The dashcam market is pretty saturated these days, with products ranging in price from $9 (yes, $9) all the way up to $600 or so. As a result, it can be pretty difficult to even get started with your search without being blasted with options. In the ~$100 price range, we've already checked out Anker's Roav C1 Pro and C2 Pro, which we found to be solid offerings.

This time around, we're checking out a dashcam from one of Anker's direct competitors: RAVPower (which owns VAVA). VAVA's Dash Cam 2K can record higher-resolution video than most at this price point, but sacrifices some features to keep costs competitive.

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Sphero BOLT review: A good robot for schools, but not for everyone else

As the name might suggest, Sphero's claim to fame is its sphere-shaped toy robots. These include the original Sphero, Sphero 2.0, Sphero Mini, BB-8, and BB-9E. The company has also been marketing some of its products towards education as STEM learning tools, particularly with the SPRK+.

Sphero's latest product is another educational robot - the Bolt. It's a minor upgrade from the existing SPRK+, with a configurable LED matrix display, infrared sensors for communicating with other robots, and "more than two hours of continuous play."

I think the Sphero Bolt is a well-designed product, but I'm not sure there's enough value to justify the $150 price tag, especially when it's only an iterative improvement over the company's existing robots.

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Myki review: A great offline password manager with the convenience of a cloud solution

Password managers are becoming more and more of a hot topic nowadays. We live a lot of our lives online and that requires a growing number of accounts and identities; yet with multiplying security risks and hacks popping up left and right, it's crucial to use a password manager to stay on top of your login details. Most managers fall in one of two categories: the cloud solutions like LastPass, 1Password, and Dashlane, or the local solutions with a cloud backup option like Enpass (my personal favorite) or SafeInCloud or Keepass. Myki straddles the line between the two, being neither this nor that, but having resemblances to both, plus some very unique attributes that make it intriguing...

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Ricoh Theta V review: The DSLR of 360-degree cameras

There is no shortage of portable 360-degree cameras. The most well-known in our circles is Samsung's Gear 360, but that only works with Samsung phones and iOS. Insta360's 'ONE' and 'Nano' cameras are also popular, though the latter only works with select iPhone models.

If price is no object, one of the leading devices in this category has been Ricoh's Theta V camera. It's tiny, but it packs a 4K sensor and the ability to record surround-sound audio (with a separate module). The camera's functionality can be extended by a variety of plug-ins, like one for streaming to YouTube or uploading media to Google Photos.

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Jaybird X4 review: Great earbuds without much new to offer

A confession: I gave up on my previous pair of Bluetooth earbuds, Jaybird's own X2, after about a year. It wasn't their fault; they sounded good, they were comfortable, and the battery lasted long enough. But keeping the things charged (with microUSB, no less — yuck) and juggling connections became a chore. I gave them away and cozied up to a pair of no-name wired buds. Once I got a Pixel 2, I was living the dongle life.

After spending a week with the Jaybird X4, though, I'm reminded of what I was missing. By virtue of being wireless, they're miles ahead of any wired earbuds for exercising — they don't catch on gym equipment and pop out.

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JBL Link View review: Great sound from JBL, but Smart Displays still have a long way to go

Smart displays aren't for everyone. They're not exactly tablets, but they look like ones and are both less and more useful, depending on how you look at them. With far superior sound and always listening mics, they act as a smart speaker for your home; but without real apps or a fully functional browser, you hit some roadblocks while using them and wish they could do just a little bit more.

Over the past few months, every time I've read someone compare Smart Displays to crippled tablets, I've had the same reply: I want one because it would work for me.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch review: A competent smartwatch you probably shouldn't buy right now

Samsung was among the first large tech companies to launch a smartwatch, and it ran Android before Android Wear existed. Samsung's interest in Android-powered wearables had waned since then. Now, it's all about Tizen despite recent rumors to the contrary. The Galaxy Watch drops the "Gear" branding, but it keeps Tizen. It looks like a real watch, like all of Samsung's recent models. Samsung is really embracing the watch aesthetic this time around, going so far as to make the device tick when you look at the watch face.

In the end, it's still not a real watch—you have to charge it every few days, and it's a bit bulky compared to a mechanical watch.

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Channel Master Stream+ Android TV DVR review: So much wasted potential

Some people are cord cutters — fed up with cable bills that seem to rise every month, hardware rental fees, and the unshakable sense that they aren't getting a ton of value for their entertainment buck. The just-under $150 Channel Master Stream+ and its ability to both stream online content and record free over-the-air broadcasts promises to keep them happy in a cable-free world. Does it deliver?

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BEAM review: Strap a funny GIF on your jacket for $85

A lot of the stuff we review here at Android Police has genuine utility behind it. Things like phones, Chromebooks, and wearables can enhance your life and your productivity. The BEAM will do none of those things, but it will let you stick a funny meme on your chest for $85, and I call that a win.

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