Sony Xperia XA1 on sale for $50 off at Amazon


If you’re looking for a deal on an unlocked Android smartphone, there’s one available on Amazon right now.

The Sony Xperia XA1 is being offered for $50 off by a third-party Amazon seller. That means that its price is $249 just a couple of months after it went up for pre-order.

As of this post, there are seven units of the discounted Xperia XA1 available. If they run out, Amazon is offering the same unit for $259.42, which is still a discount from the XA1’s original asking price.

The Sony Xperia XA1 is a GSM unlocked Android Nougat smartphone. It’s packing a 5-inch 1280×720 display, 23-megapixel rear camera with Sony Exmor RS sensor, and 8-megapixel front-facing camera. Inside its shell is an octa-core MediaTek MT6757 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a microSD slot, as well as a 2300mAh battery that you recharge using USB Type-C.

It’s not the most high-end Android phone around, but the Xperia XA1 has a decent spec list that could make it a solid option for folks that want a smaller Android phone. To get a closer look at the Xperia XA1, hit the Amazon link below.

Instagram Favorites will let you choose who you share posts with


Instagram today confirmed that it’s testing a brand new feature for its social network.

Called “Favorites”, the newest Instagram feature let you share posts and Stories with a group of people that you choose. When you decide to share a post or Story, you can choose to share it with your Favorites. The people in your Favorites group will see that post with a green “Favorites” badge to identify that only your Favorites can see it.

There’s also a new Favorites tab in your profile that’ll be home to all of your non-disappearing Favorites posts. This way, the people in your Favorites group can see your previous posts, but the tab will appear empty to the people not in your Favorites group.


You can add people to and remove them from your Favorites group whenever you’d like. Other people won’t be notified when they’re added or removed, so the only way they’ll know that they’re in your Favorites is when they see your posts with the green Favorites badge.

With Favorites, you might share more about your experiences on Instagram because you know that what you’re posting will only be seen by a certain group of people. It also eliminates the need for people to create and maintain private Instagram accounts for certain friends.

Instagram is now testing Favorites with a small group of users. The company plans to release it more broadly in the coming months.

HTC U11 getting more uses for Edge Sense soon

HTC’s Edge Sense on the U11 allows you to squeeze the sides of the device to perform functions. While a few functions are available out of the box, HTC will be adding more and more as time goes on. The latest video from the company shows off a few new functions.

In Google Maps, a squeeze will zoom in from the default zoomed out view. In Google Photos, a squeeze will zoom into a photo. In the calendar app, a squeeze will slide the month view out. You’ll also be able to answer and end calls, disable alarms, and pause YouTube videos with a squeeze.

To me, this seems like HTC trying too hard to justify Edge Sense. Zooming in Maps and Photos requires a single-handed double tap, which may be easier than a squeeze when you’re holding your device one-handed. Pausing YouTube videos requires two squeezes rather than one, as the first one brings up the controls. This seems particularly half baked.

Whether Edge Sense is useful or not, more ways to use it is never a bad thing. Hopefully some people will get use out of it. These functions are not yet available but HTC plans to introduce them in the future. What are your thoughts on Edge Sense? Leave a comment!

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with dual 12MP rear cameras rumored for September reveal


Looking forward to the Galaxy Note 8? If so, you’ll want to sit down before you read a new report that’s come out about Samsung’s next Android flagship.

Samsung is reportedly planning to reveal the Galaxy Note 8 in late September. That’s according to VentureBeat, who’s been told by a source that the Note 8 will cost €999, which could turn out to be around $900 in the U.S. given the pricing of the Galaxy S8 and S8+.

For such a high price, you’d expect that the Note 8 will be packed to the gills with high-end features, and you’d expect right. The Note 8 will reportedly have a 6.3-inch 18.5:9 Super AMOLED display, meaning it’ll have the same aspect ratio as the S8 and S8+ but a slightly bigger screen.

Also said to be included with the Galaxy Note 8 is 6GB of RAM, up from 4GB on the S8 and S8+, and a dual 12-megapixel rear camera setup. That latter feature would be a first for Samsung, and so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of features the company includes with the Note 8 if today’s rumors pan out.

The Note 8 will allegedly be powered by an Exynos 8895 or Snapdragon 835 processor, depending on the market, as well as a 3300mAh battery. Other rumored features for the Note 8 include a fingerprint reader located to the right of the rear cameras, improved split-screen multitasking, support for Samsung’s DeX dock, and new S Pen features.

The Galaxy Note phones are typically high-end, pro-tier devices, and so we could see Samsung giving the Note 8 6GB of RAM and dual 12-megapixel rear cameras to help it stand out from the S8 and S8+ as well as the other flagship phones on the market. Does the Galaxy Note 8 as described in today’s leak interest you?

Google Glass and its companion app get updates after years of dormancy


Google Glass was released more than three years ago, but it’s been dormant for so long. The project disappeared from the public and we haven’t heard a peep since. The world wasn’t quite ready for Google Glass, so most people’s glasses have been lying around collecting dust.

Now, out of nowhere, both the device and its companion app are getting updates. Google Glass has been updated to firmware version XE23, which now supports Bluetooth mice and keyboards for wireless input. The companion app was updated to target Android 5.1 (up from 4.2) and now has a notification listener service. It no longer interferes with Android Wear, so you can use both at the same time. It also asks you to disable Doze mode for the app so it won’t be killed when the phone sleeps.

Is this a resurgence in Google Glass? We don’t know. It might be the start of something bigger, a precursor to a future announcement. It might also be a small update to make the $1500 glasses less useless for those who paid up. We’ll see, but Google Glass is not yet forgotten.

ZTE Axon 7 Mini getting updated to Android 7.1.1 Nougat


Back in February of this year, ZTE announced that the Axon 7 would be getting updated to Android 7 Nougat, bringing with it plenty of new features. Now the manufacturer has another announcement to make.

The “little brother” of the ZTE Axon 7, known as the Axon 7 Mini, is now getting updated to Android 7.1.1 Nougat as well. The rollout begins today, and ZTE says if your phone has 30% of battery or less, you should connect it to the charger before you start the download and installation process.

To check for the update, just open the Settings app –> System Update and then start the download from there. ZTE says the Axon 7 Mini will restart during the process, which “may take a bit longer than usual,” but also notes that this is normal so owners shouldn’t worry. Once the update is finished you’ll be asked to unlock the handset via an alternative method other than the fingerprint sensor, just for safety.

Here are the new features Axon 7 Mini owners should take note of with the Android 7.1.1 update, which includes support for T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling:

  • Android 7.1.1 provides updated emojis, plus the ability to use two or more languages at once. Communicating is now easier (and more fun) than ever.
  • Not only can you text in two languages, but you can “be in two places” at once! Android N gives you the ability to switch between apps or run them side-by-side. How fast can you multitask?
  • Android N also provides the ability to save even more battery power, revamped notification updates and a whole lot more so you can customize the Axon 7 Mini even more.
  • With T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling support you can now talk and text without using data!

Who of you out there has an Axon 7 Mini and is excited to get your hands on Android Nougat?

Emporio Armani has an Android Wear smartwatch in the works

Emporio Armani Android Wear watch

Android Wear watches are so easy to make these days. With a standardized hardware platform and software that can barely be customized, traditional watch makers have been pumping out new Android Wear 2.0 watches nonstop.

The latest to do so is Emporio Armani, though details on the device are sparse. Armani says that the watch, advertised as “coming soon,” will have touchscreen functionality, customizable watch faces, and a bunch of other features that every Android Wear watch has. It will also feature customization watch straps, but we hope they aren’t proprietary.

Not much info is known, but it looks like a pretty generic and classy watch. It looks good, but expect a high price to match the brand name. It should launch on September 24, so fans of the brand have a few more months to wait.

OnePlus 5 now official with dual rear cameras, 5.5-inch display, and more


After being teased for weeks, the OnePlus 5 is now officially official, debuting a brand new handset that both packs in plenty of worthwhile features and manages to keep its price tag from going through the roof.

OnePlus announced the OnePlus 5 today, showing off a handset that features a pair of cameras on the back, a 5.5-inch display, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor under the hood. Of course, OnePlus has plenty to talk about with its latest flagship, with quite a bit of the focus going to the new camera system on the back.

The OnePlus 5′s dual rear camera system includes a new Portrait Mode which creates a blurred background and a Pro Mode that allows owners to control camera features like ISO, shutter speed, and more. There is also a new Smart Capture mode which uses software to determine a variety of conditions while snapping a photo. It will automatically adjust for accuracy and clarity, which OnePlus says boasts “professional quality,” but automated.


The dual cameras on the back feature a primary camera with a 16MP wide-angle lens, fast autofocus, and an aperture of f/1.7. The other camera is a Sony IMX 350 20MP telephoto lens with an aperture of f/2.6 and autofocus. There is also a dual LED flash on the back. On the front there’s a 16MP front-facing shooter with an aperture of f/2.0.

The rest of the specs sheet reads as you might expect:

  • 5.5-inch 1080p Full HD Optic AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
  • Anodized aluminum frame
  • OxygenOS atop Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 6GB/8GB of RAM
  • 64GB/128GB built-in storage
  • Physical alert slider button
  • 3300mAh battery with Dash Charge
  • USB Type-C
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Midnight Black/Slate Gray

Open sales for the OnePlus 5 will start on June 27 via the company’s website, but OnePlus is hosting an Early Drop sale that’ll let you order the handset now using the code “Clearer Photos”. There will also be pop-up stores beginning in New York City on June 20 and launches in international markets on June 21.

Pricing for the Midnight Black variant, which features 8GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage, is $539 (EUR 559/GBP 499/CAD 719). Meanwhile, the Slate Gray variant with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage will cost $479 (EUR 499/GBP 449/CAD 649).

Who’s buying the OnePlus 5?

Google ending support for the Android Market on Android 2.1 Eclair and below


Remember the days of the Android Market? It was before Google Play took over, and we thought that name was so silly. It worked out great in the end, though, and the Android Market and the early days of Android will always be remembered fondly.

Unfortunately, Google is discontinuing support for the Android Market on devices running Android 2.1 Eclair or earlier on June 30. Since the Google Play Store only came to devices with Froyo and up, this means that all of the old devices on Eclair and below will no longer be able to install apps through an official source at all.

This really isn’t a big deal, as even Froyo no longer appears on the Android Distribution charts. Those still keeping around 7+-year old devices are usually the ones who can manage sideloading their favorite apps.

If you still have one of these devices laying around, load up on apps before support is ended!

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 may be unveiled in late August


Last year, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 7 in early August, but if rumors are any indicator, the company may be changing the timing up for the Galaxy Note 8.

According to separate reports, Samsung plans on introducing the Galaxy Note 8 at the tail-end of August. Reuters reports information provided by an unnamed source which says the next Note will be announced before the end of August and will feature a curved display that is slightly larger than the 6.2-inch panel on the Galaxy S8+. It will reportedly feature a pair of cameras on the back, too.

Meanwhile, Naver reports that Samsung is planning on unveiling the Galaxy Note 8 on August 26. That would line up with the other launch report, so it looks like we should expect to see the big phone in just a couple of months.

It’s worth noting that the second report does also indicate that Samsung wasn’t able to integrate its fingerprint reader into the display, just like it wasn’t able to do with the Galaxy S8. So we will likely see a fingerprint reader on the back of the Note 8.

Are you looking forward to checking out the Galaxy Note 8 later this year?

Sources: Reuters, Naver