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[Deal Alert] Sony Xperia XZ is now $449.99 on Amazon ($200 off)

One tradition with Sony smartphones is that they are nearly always overpriced at launch. Sony's latest flagship, the 2016 Xperia XZ, was no exception - it started at a whopping $699. Although the official MSRP has been marked down to $649 since then, you can now get it from Amazon for just $449.99.

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Sony confirms the SmartWatch 3 will not receive Android Wear 2.0

The SmartWatch 3 was Sony's first - and last - attempt at making an Android Wear device. It was a good watch at the time, and still is, but it won't be getting the long-awaited Android Wear 2.0 update. The SW3 was already missing from the list of supported watches, and now Sony has confirmed it.

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[Update: OTA resuming] Sony begins rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat OTA to the Xperia Z5, Z3+, Z4 Tablet

The Xperia Z5 series (Z5, Z5 Compact, and Z5 Premium) was on the list of devices that Sony promised to bring Android 7.0 Nougat to. After releasing the update to the more recent X Performance and XZ, then the X and X Compact, Sony is now ready to bring Nougat 7.0 to the Z5.

The OTA has started rolling out to some Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Premium users and will probably expand to the Z5 Compact soon. It's a large download at more than 1.2GB, and it should up your phone's software to version 32.3.A.0.372.

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PlayStation Vue Mobile 2.0 gets a program guide, sub-profile creation, and more

PlayStation Vue is a TV streaming service that provides live shows, sports, and On Demand to subscribers. Despite the name, it is not limited to Sony's gaming consoles. There is an Android TV app for sitting back on your couch to watch your favorite shows, as well as a mobile version for on-the-go content consumption on your phone or tablet.

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Sony shows off the first 3-layer stacked CMOS image sensor with DRAM for smartphones

At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference this week, Sony took the time to reveal the first 3-layer stacked CMOS sensor (with DRAM) for smartphones ever, which has the potential to lend itself to some amazing leaps in mobile photography.

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[Deal Alert] Sony Xperia X Compact drops to just $350 ($150 off) at Amazon and Best Buy

Back around the time of the Galaxy Nexus, I recall a counter-culture developing, calling for an end to the insanity of oversized phones with screens as big as 4.7 inches. They wanted a smaller alternative, built for human hands and human pockets. While the itty bitty smartphone committee might have lost the good fight in a general sense, they now have a few more options, including the Xperia X Compact. Its screen is only 4.6 inches. Hey, it's the principle that counts.

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Sony's CES announcements include new sound bars, TVs, and headphones

Sony is, of course, at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. As you'd expect it has a great many new products, ranging from new TVs to new Blu-Ray players. However, in our opinion, what is most exciting in Sony's announcements are the Chromecast built-in (or is that Google Cast?) products and the newly-unveiled Android TVs, plus some new headphones.

Sound bars and speakers

First up is a new sound bar, the catchily named HT-ST5000. This is Sony's flagship sound bar for 2017, so it has all the top-of-the-line features, such as Dolby Atmos, hi-res audio, and twelve advanced speakers. Sony says the HT-ST5000 is for home theater setups, and proves that with the number or ports and connectivity options: three HDMI ports, one HDMI ARC port, a USB input, Bluetooth and NFC, and a number of digital and analog connections.

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Android 7.0 Nougat starts rolling out for the Xperia X and X Compact

When Android 7.0 Nougat started rolling out in August, Sony announced a list of devices that would get the official update sooner or later. These updates started at the beginning of the month with the Xperia X Performance and XZ and now another duo of phones is getting the Nougat treatment: the X and X Compact.

The update was announced a few hours ago by Sony's Twitter account, stating that the rollouts are phased and might be coming to certain regions before others. But XperiaBlog had actually spotted the update a couple of days prior and provided more details regarding it: it's rolling to the Xperia X (F5121), Xperia X Dual (F5122), and Xperia X Compact (F5321) and is marked as build number 34.2.A.0.266.

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Most Wanted: The top budget (<$250) smartphones of 2016

The budget smartphone segment in America seems to be a shrinking one of late (well, at least of good options), but we've rounded up the best we think the market has to offer consumers right now in the $250-and-under segment. The selected phones are presented in no particular order.

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[Deal Alert] Get a 15% statement credit for Xperia X, XA, MicroSD cards, headphones, and other Sony products with Amazon Prime Store Card

Itching to get your hands on some great Sony gear? Hurry over to Amazon and do some shopping because you might be able to score a total of 15% back on select Sony products if you purchase them with an Amazon Store Card. Over 2,000 listings qualify for the deal in most of the major product categories, including audio equipment like headphones and speakers, Bravia televisions, Xperia smartphones, and memory cards. The offer ends at midnight (PST) tonight, so get moving on this one.

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