The celebrations have already begun!
Amazon Prime Day doesn’t officially begin until July 16 at 3pm ET, but that hasn’t stopped the company from beginning the deals a little bit early. Alongside the announcement, Amazon stated that a few deals would be available instantly for Prime members, and there are a few that you definitely won’t want to miss. In the coming days, we expect to see more deals leak, and our continuously updated tracker will highlight all the best Amazon Prime Day deals.
Be sure to check back often, as this page will be constantly adding fresh new deals. If you’re looking for deals on Amazon’s Echo hardware, Kindle Unlimited, Prime Pantry and more, we’ve got you covered.
Prime Exclusive Deals of the Day
In the lead-up to Prime Day, Amazon has switched over its Gold Box deals of the day to be all Prime member exclusive deals. Unlike some of the offers below, these prices expire at the end of the day, so you won’t have much time to think about them.
Today’s deals include:
- Hisense 40-inch LED TV – $194.99 (Was $239)
- Anker Roav Viva Car Charger w/ Alexa – $33.99 (Was $60)
- Hamilton Beach Coffee Makers – Various Prices
- Bic Writing Supplies – Starting at $1.81
- Starter Activewear for the Family – Up to 60% off
- Musical Instruments from Yamaha, Shure, and more – Starting at $24.99
- Trtl Travel Pillow – $20.98 (Was $30)
- Coravin Wine System – $174.95 (Was $350)
- Calvin Klein Men’s Clothing – Up to 50% off
To kick things off, the company slashed $100 on the price of the Echo Show, dropping it down to just $129.99. This is the lowest we’ve ever seen it go and makes it the same price as the smaller screened Echo Spot. We’ve seen Amazon offer Voice Shopping exclusive deals in the past during Prime Day, so if you don’t have an Alexa device, or want another, this is a no-brainer purchase.
The Echo Dot is also down to $34.99, which is the lowest we’ve seen it hit this year.
Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Music Unlimited
If you’ve yet to try out Amazon’s Music Unlimited service, you can get a four-month membership for just $0.99. That’s right, all four months of unlimited access to all the music in the company’s library (which is rather extensive) for just one dollar. Prefer to read books instead of listening to music? No worries, Amazon has three months of Kindle Unlimited available for $0.99 as well. This gets you access to over a million book titles, and you can read as many of them as your heart desires during that time frame.
You can also go all-in on a Kindle Unlimited subscription and save 40% when you checkout with the coupon code PDKU18. This drops the one-year subscription down to $80.32 and the two-year subscription to $143.86. If you want to just buy a few books, you can get $10 towards any Kindle, print, or Audible book purchase when you buy any Kindle book for $5 or more before July 15.
Through the end of July, Amazon is offering Audible subscriptions at just $5 per month to new and returning members. The deal will remain active for three months, after which the service will begin billing you at its regular monthly price of $14.95. You can also choose to cancel the service at any time if you decide it’s not for you.
Amazon’s In-house brands
Amazon has a bunch of its own brands, and right now it’s offering 20% off home, kitchen, and other AmazonBasics gear, 30% off Amazon Elements multivitamins, and up to 25% off Stone & Beam furniture. There are a bunch of other Amazon brands from AmazonFresh to Mama Bear and Goodthreads that will also have discounted items available.
Twitch Prime Games and Gear
For the gamers out there, Amazon is offering a free PC game each day through July 18 via Twitch Prime. There are popular titles like Pillars of Eternity, Q.U.B.E, Hue, and more. You’ll also get exclusive in-game look for Warframe and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and if you’re looking to load up on Twitch apparel, the merch is 50% off right now.
Prime Credit Cardholder Offers
Finally, let’s discuss the Amazon Prime credit cards. Normally, the Amazon Prime Store Card and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card extend shoppers 5% cash back on all Amazon.com orders. You can put the cash back rewards towards your monthly statements or a future Amazon purchase.
Last year during Prime Day, Amazon upped its cash back offer from the standard 5% to 20% on thousands of items exclusively for cardholders. That means smart deal hunters with an Amazon Prime Store Card or Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card were essentially saving an additional 15% on Prime Day. Eligible items included GoPro action cameras and Garmin fitness trackers. In fact, Amazon’s already running some bonus cash back offers for cardholders including 10% back on LG 4K OLED TVs and 20% back on the GoPro Hero action camera.
What’s more, Amazon is sweetening the pot by throwing in a free gift card upon approval. New Prime Store cardholders will receive a $20 gift card, while Prime Rewards Visa cardholders will get a $70 gift card. Both the credit card and gift card are automatically loaded into your Amazon account following the approval process, meaning if you apply now both will be ready to use during the big event.
Of course, to take advantage of any of these offers you need to be an Amazon Prime member. If you aren’t already, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial so you can access all these deals and save during the big event.
The Thrifter team is going to be covering ALL things Prime Day, and you won’t want to miss out. Sign up now to have tips, tricks, deals, and more delivered right to your inbox.
Here’s what the AC community has to say about this comparison.
Earlier this week, I wrote an editorial titled The OnePlus 6 is now my go-to phone instead of the Pixel 2. In that piece, I explained how the OnePlus 6’s software features, Dash Charge system, alert slider, and more make it a better fit for me than Google’s flagship.
Shortly after this was published, it sparked a conversation in the AC forums — OnePlus 6 or Pixel 2?
Here are just a few of the responses to that question.
07-09-2018 07:52 PM
both great phone’s
the 1+6 adds more customization as close to stock andriod
07-09-2018 10:22 PM
The 1+6 can’t be used on Google Fi, so it can’t even be considered here.
Not that I would anyway.
07-10-2018 11:53 AM
I really like what OP is doing and I almost sold my pixel 2 to get an OP6 but the Pixel 2 camera is so good and so much better than anything else I’ve used or seen pics from I just cannot go away from it right now. That and support is my other concern. When I had a defective unit Google swapped it no questions asked. IDK if I can count on OP for that kind of service.
That said, I really…
07-10-2018 12:25 PM
If the oneplus 6 worked on Verizon I definitely would get one. I like the pixel 2 xl, but I definitely don’t like the $800+ price tag that comes with it. The pixel 2 may be the better overall device, but it’s not $400 better IMO
Now, I’d love to hear from you — Would you consider getting the OnePlus 6 over the Pixel 2? Why or why not?
Join the conversation in the forums!
New skins, time traveling, and sea monsters. Get ready.
Fortnite Season 5 is nearly upon us. If you’ve been following the craze to date, you’ll know that new seasons bring many exciting items, tons of changes, and new game modes.
Epic typically prefers to surprise us with new content, so we’re still not exactly sure what to expect in this new season. But leaks have started telling the story, and in-game hints and teasers are tipping us off to potentially insane content. If you aren’t already prepared for Fortnite Season 5, allow us to get you up to speed.
Complete the Fortnite Season 4 Battle Pass
The first thing you’ll want to do is complete as much of the Fortnite Season 4 Battle Pass as you can because once Season 5 hits you’ll no longer be able to do so. The Battle Pass allows players to earn rewards such as skins, emotes, and even V-Bucks, so you’ll want to get on the ball to get the remaining goods.
This would also be a good time to knock those challenges out, as those are also being wiped at the beginning of the season and will help you complete the Battle Pass. And if all else fails (and you happen to have some expendable dough), you can always buy your way to the end.
Save for the Fortnite Season 5 Battle Pass
Speaking of the Battle Pass, you’ll want to have your funds ready for Season 5, as well. While you can get some rewards on the free Battle Pass tier without paying a dime, the premium tier will offer much better and much more things.
The Battle Pass costs just $9.99, or 950 V-Bucks, which is the in-game currency for Fortnite. See if you can’t scrounge up some dollars to get the most out of Season 5.
What are those strange rifts in the sky?
Oh, you weren’t there for the big rocket launch event that Epic used to tease Season 5? While that rocket did sputter and spiral back toward the map, it didn’t actually hit the planet. Instead, it crashed into the protective bubble that surrounds it, and that caused a phenomenon where the rocket entered and exited the scene through strange blue rifts until it blasted off into space one last time to leave a permanent hairline crack in the sky.
The rocket launch caused blue rifts to appear over Moisty Mire, and they’ve been growing in numbers and size ever since. At the close of Season 4, those rifts began popping up at random spots on the map, and if you happen to be at that spot at 4PM Eastern the day they appear, they’ll spawn or destroy something.
We still have no clue what it’s all about, but some have speculated that it may be a foreshadowing of some sort of disruption in the space-time continuum, which could mean we’re in for some time traveling goodness.
Victims of the rifts so far have been the signs at Tomato Town, the motel, the Durr Burger restaurant in Greasy Grove, and the NOMS store in Retail Row. As for what the rifts brought, so far we’ve seen it spawn an old-style horse carriage, which supports the whole time travel theory. The latest foreign object is a rusty old anchor, which could lend credence to theories about a supposed giant sea monster coming to the game.
And if neither of those guesses is accurate, we’ll just play it safe and say aliens. It’s always aliens, right? Anyway, weird stuff is happening and we’ll have to wait until Fortnite Season 5 to get answers.
Practice your building at the Playground
At some point in Season 4, Epic introduced a limited-time mode called the Playground. It’s a game mode designed to allow you to build and shoot and do everything else you can do in Fortnite, but without the constant worry and threat of trying to survive the new-age hunger games.
Many people have been using the Playground as an opportunity to practice their building skills because it’s kind of hard to do that in regular games where people are actively trying to murder you. That’s something you could do in the PVE mode if you spent money to buy the Founder’s Pack, but those who have been in it solely for Battle Royale have never had something like this before.
Unfortunately, Epic is still calling this a limited-time mode, and there’s no guarantee that the Playground will be around for the long haul. In a Reddit post, however, Epic confirmed that Playground was the beginning of what Fortnite’s creative mode would be, and noted that it’ll be back in grander ways down the line.
As for the mode we have now, it will be removed from the game as soon as Season 5 hits, so you’ll want to squeeze some building practice or just create something cool there while you can. (Someone recreated Call of Duty’s Nuketown map!)
Get ready for new map changes
We’re not sure if we’ll get the same sort of massive map changes Fortnite Season 4 brought us, with Dusty Depot being blown away to make room for Dusty Divots, as well as a few other new hotspots to check out.
Leaked game assets suggest we’ll see some sort of library, a new restaurant, and even a point of interest themed after the wild west for Season 5. We’re also seeing signs of life return to the massive meteor-made crater now known as Dusty Divots, with trees, grass, and other vegetation beginning to grow there.
Plan out which new skins you want
A new season wouldn’t be a new season without new skins. As you’d guess, some new skins, emotes, glider trails, and more will be on tap for Fortnite Season 5. It seems we’re in for more detective and hero skins, as well as one patriotic-looking teddy bear skin that I just have to have. The skins were leaked by Twitter account TwoEpicBuddies.
Cosmetics in the items shop cost anywhere from 200 to 2,000 V-Bucks depending on the item. For the sake of preparation, note that 2,500 V-Bucks costs $25. Figure out your budget and which skins you want so you don’t lose out once the floodgates open.
One other thing to mention: when purchasing Season 4’s Battle Pass, you were given two skins immediately instead of having to get to a higher tier. The catch was that the skins start out in their basic forms, and you had to complete challenges to upgrade them with better effects. It was a first for Epic and we’re not sure if they’ll do it again for Season 5, but don’t be surprised if you have to take on more challenges than usual.
Prepare to fight the Leviathan
That blue crack in the sky could also be where the Leviathan lands. Yes, you heard that right: the Leviathan is said to be featured in a big way this upcoming season.
Dormant game assets in Fortnite were uncovered and seem to suggest that an interesting new limited-time game mode is on the way. It’s said to be another big team mode, with one team looking to escort the Leviathan creature, while another will try to stop it.
We’re not exactly sure what sort of creature the Leviathan will be. It’s known as a sea monster in Hebrew mythology, but Epic could have their own unique take on the thing.
For what it’s worth, Epic previously released a premium skin called Leviathan, so it could be a gigantic version of that little fellow. And what do you know? The original picture they used to tease the Leviathan skin has those same strange blue rifts in it.
When does Fortnite Season 5 start?
Fortnite Season 5 will begin on July 12th at 1AM Pacific, 4AM Eastern. It’ll last for 10 exact weeks, which means things will wrap up on September 20th.
Don’t forget that there will be scheduled maintenance in the hours leading up to the season’s launch, so be sure to plan your gaming sessions accordingly. Once it launches, you’ll be on patch version 5.0, and your new Battle Pass, store items, and seasonal challenges will appear soon afterward.
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Up close and personal with Samsung’s next tab.
It’s no secret that Samsung’s working on the Galaxy Tab S4, and thanks to tipster Evan Blass on Twitter, we have yet another render of the device — this time showing it off in a white paint job and with a couple of its official accessories.
Starting first with the white color, it looks like it’ll only be visible from the back and frame of the tablet. Samsung’s sticking with black bezels on the front of the Tab S4, and depending on your personal preference, that’s either a job well-done or a huge eyesore.
These renders also showcase what’s likely a first-party keyboard cover from Samsung and a stylus. While the overall design is mostly the same, the Tab S4’s stylus appears to be shiner and drops the pen clip found on the one offered with the Tab S3.
We still aren’t sure when the Galaxy Tab S4 will be announced or how much it’ll cost, but with IFA coming up this August, that’s likely where we’ll see Samsung unveil all of these important details.
Are you looking forward to a new Samsung tablet?
Best Android Tablets in 2018
These days, Prime Exclusive phones are a pretty incredible deal.
Remember when Amazon started offering certain phones at a discount through its Prime Exclusive program? Originally, this meant that your phone would come loaded with tons of non-removable Amazon apps, along with annoying lock screen ads for Amazon products. You could pay to have the lock screen ads removed months after buying the phone, but the Amazon apps would remain.
Sounds annoying, right? Luckily, Amazon no longer fills your lock screen with ads, but you do still get a few related apps pre-installed on Prime Exclusive phones. Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as bad as you might think — let’s take a look at what all came on my Prime Exclusive Moto Z3 Play.
Motorola’s phones run an extremely close to stock build of Android, which makes it easy to spot non-Google apps on the Moto Z3 Play. Even without opening the app drawer, the default home screen is littered with Amazon apps; Amazon Shopping, Prime Video, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Music, and a folder containing even more branded apps — not to mention a shortcut to Moto Alexa in the dock.
Swiping up into the app drawer reveals, unsurprisingly, even more Amazon apps. In alphabetical order, the Prime Exclusive Moto Z3 Play ships with Amazon Alexa, Amazon Drive, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Music, Amazon Shopping, Audible, Goodreads, IMDb, Moto Alexa, Prime Now, Prime Photos, and Prime Video. Yep, that’s a whole lot, but don’t panic just yet. There’s good news ahead.
Every single Amazon app that comes on a Prime Exclusive phone can be either disabled or uninstalled entirely.
Every single Amazon-related app that comes on the Moto Z3 Play can be either disabled or uninstalled entirely. I did so with all but Amazon Shopping, which I actually use almost every day. Specifically, you won’t be able to completely uninstall Amazon Alexa, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Music, Audible, Prime Photos, or Prime Video — you’ll have to settle for disabling them instead. But the fact of the matter is that even on a Prime Exclusive phone, you can entirely free your home screen of Amazon apps without having to root or switch to a third-party launcher that allows for hiding apps.
The question is — should you? While you might not appreciate the initial clutter, Amazon’s services are genuinely useful. Amazon Music is a great alternative to streaming services like Google Play Music or Spotify that doesn’t charge an additional monthly fee for Prime members, and Prime Video is the host to plenty of excellent exclusive content like The Man In The High Castle. Likewise, Audible (bought by Amazon back in 2008) is the largest distributor of audiobooks online.
Truthfully, I don’t use the vast majority of Amazon’s services, save for its online shopping resources — hence why I got rid of everything else on my phone. But especially for users that aren’t already settled into alternatives like Spotify, Netflix, or Hulu, Amazon’s services offer a lot of value, given that they come included with an Amazon Prime membership. Especially if you already have a Prime Exclusive phone, these features are definitely worth trying out, at the very least.
In any case, Prime Exclusive phones come with virtually no compromise these days, compared to their more expensive Amazon-free counterparts. You’ll still need to sign into your Amazon account during the initial setup, and you still need an existing Amazon Prime membership to buy these phones in the first place. But once you’re through the initial setup process, how much Amazon interferes with your phone … is really up to you.
Have you bought a Prime Exclusive phone before? Knowing how little it affects your phone overall, would you be open to buying one now? Let us know in the comments below!
See at Amazon
This is part of a “strategic” partnership between the two companies.
Magic Leap — the Google-funded company creating a powerful new AR platform — is partnering with AT&T to help get its products in as many hands as possible when its ready for a consumer release.
In a press release that AT&T issued on Wednesday, July 11, CEO John Donovan said:
“AT&T is excited to pair our pioneering technologies, unmatched network, content platform, and vast customer ecosystem with Magic Leap’s efforts to build the next generation of computing.
With this agreement, AT&T will be the “exclusive wireless distributor” of Magic Leap products in the United States once they’re ready to be for an official launch.
In late-December last year, Magic Leap announced its first piece of hardware as the Magic Leap One — consisting of a headset, wireless controller, and a mini computer that powers the experience. Magic Leap One is currently being offered to developers and creators, and while a consumer version has yet to be announced, this partnership with AT&T shows that Magic Leap is getting everything set in place for when that day comes around.
Magic Leap unveils first AR headset that’ll launch in 2018
Command your troops and conquer your enemies!
One of the most contentious games announced at this year’s E3 was EA revealing that a new Command & Conquer game was coming our way. Yes, the cherished real-time strategy franchise would be back in 2018 with Command & Conquer: Rivals — a brand new game designed for mobile. All you need to do is check the reactions on the official reveal trailer on YouTube (2.3K thumbs up to 55K thumbs down) to get a pretty good sense of the immediate reaction to this title.
As a gamer who grew up playing C&C: Red Alert throughout the 90s, I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive about how the C&C formula would be translated to mobile. I have a fountain of fond memories attached to this RTS franchise, so it was important to me that the mobile release retain much of the same look and feel as the games I remember.
Having played C&C Rivals for about a month in pre-alpha, I must say I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the game and think it has potential to be a really great mobile title. In spite of the criticism EA has rightly faced for some exploitive mobile releases in the past, the development for Rivals is shaping up nicely and should live up to even the most ornery fan’s expectations.
Pre-register for Command & Conquer: Rivals
Note: Command & Conquer Rivals is currently in pre-alpha testing, which means we’re still very early into the game’s development. As such, aspects of the game discussed here might change by the time the game is officially released.
The factions are at war again
C&C Rivals once again pits the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) against the Brotherhood of Nod in a battle to control nuclear launch sites. Unlike the previous PC games in the franchise that featured single-player campaigns for both factions, Rivals is a purely PvP gaming experience for mobile.
Each match has you battling on a smaller map where you must fight to control the majority of three contested areas on the map that control the launch of a nuclear missile. Control the areas for long enough and you’ll launch a nuclear strike at your enemy’s mobile HQ. It takes two nukes to take down your enemy’s base, however, you’re also able to deal damage with your troops if you can sneak them past your opponent’s defenses.
Troops are spawned onto the battlefield by spending Tiberium, an extraterrestrial green crystal that you generate at a standard rate automatically and can be doubled by deploying a Harvester. The game is heavy on the strategy, so you’re going to need to manage both how you spend your Tiberium on HQ upgrades and troops, along with sending the right troops in to defend or attack.
Great PvP action
In spite of the limited player base due to the game still being in pre-alpha release status, there’s always been players available to play against and the action is always varied, balanced, and challenging. There’s a learning curve for figuring out the best ways to deploy your troops, and you quickly learn the strengths and weaknesses of each troop type as you play. For example, the most basic ground group is best for countering rocket launcher troops, which are best at countering vehicles, with most vehicles being strong against other vehicles and aerial units.
The tap controls for controlling troops works really well, and often matches will come down to which player does a better job of positioning and managing their troops. While the map is always the same size, the placement of rocks and Tiberium fields can drastically change the layout of the battlefield and will absolutely have an impact on your strategy.
Daily missions also throw a bit of a wrench into your strategies, as occasionally you’ll forgo actually winning to the match to complete some goals. For example, you might be tasked with taking out your opponent’s Harvester, which may require you to send a tank on a bee-line straight to your opponent’s base.
Familiar mobile gaming trappings
In spite of all the good here, this is still a free-to-play mobile game from a major publisher so you should already know there’s going to be some timed crates, card collecting, and a bit of a grind involved for upgrading your troops.
You need coins to upgrade your troops and cards to level them up — both of which are found in your daily crate drops. Diamonds are the other in-app currency deployed here and are predominately used for buying bulk coins and rushing crate deliveries. Cards, crates, and coins can be bought in the shop, but at this point of early development, there are no micro-transactions although the interface is there.
The crate system is pretty basic at this point and designed to have you checking in every four to eight hours. Given the reliable state of gameplay and EA’s masterful ability to use micro-transactions for monetization, you can be sure that this will be a popular money sink for many RTS fans.
Are you GDI or Nod?
One interesting decision at this point is the separation of the GDI and Nod factions. You start out playing as GDI and unlock the NOD after leveling up to Level 4. Rather than offering the same troops with a different color palette, there are unique troop sets for both the GDI and Nod. The troop types are still mirrored, but the stats and abilities of equal GDI and Nod troops are appropriately different.
Currently, there is no cross-play between factions: when you play GDI, you are matched against another GDI commander and likewise when playing as Nod. Overall, I’ve found the gameplay to be varied and rewarding at its best moments, and frustrating and glitchy at times which is to be expected for an app in development. Given the vastly different strategies I’ve seen employed for both factions in the game, and the variety of strengths and weaknesses across the growing assortment of troops to choose from, I continue to remain cautiously optimistic about this game.
Have you checked out the game?
The game is currently in pre-alpha, but you can help test the game by pre-registering for the game on Google Play. If you’re in the U.S. or Canada, you may be invited to test the pre-alpha version of the game and will also receive a special early bird bundle when the game launches.
Download Command & Conquer: Rivals (free, pre-alpha)
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HTC is partnering with Cryptokitties, Animoca, and Bitmark to help create Exodus.
This past May, HTC confirmed it was working on a new phone by the name of “Exodus.” Rather than release another typical Android handset, Exodus is a smartphone that’s powered by blockchain. Today, July 11, HTC announced it’s opening up early access for Exodus during Q3 this year.
Per an HTC press release:
Context and meaning are being destroyed by copyright and privacy laws that were written for a bygone era. Join the Exodus of people who will take back control of the value that exists in their personal identity and data. HTC, the leading innovator in smart phone devices, is spearheading a movement and it starts in the third quarter with the launch of early access to the world’s first major blockchain phone – the Exodus.
To help make Exodus a reality, HTC is partnering with Cryptokitties, Animoca, and Bitmark. HTC says its partnership with Cryptokitties “is the beginning of a nonfungible, collectible marketplace and crypto gaming app store.”
By working with Animoca (the distributor of Cryptokitties) and Bitmark (“the crypto-based digital ownership project”), HTC will be able to further its advancements into the crypto world.
As someone who’s not very invested in blockchain, none of this means that much to me. However, if this is a niche you find yourself getting excited about, are you interested in what HTC’s trying to do with its Exodus project? Do you plan on signing up for the early access program? Sound off in the comments below.
HTC U12+ review: Buttonless blunder
Here’s a look at Sony’s smartphone lineup for 2018.
Sony has an…interesting…position in the Android smartphone space. Sony produced some darn good phones in 2017, such as the Xperia XZ Premium and XZ1, but when compared to handsets like the Galaxy S8, Pixel 2, and even the OnePlus 5T, Sony’s offerings fell flat in one area or another.
We’ve seen Sony’s hand for 2018, and while this year’s phones still won’t keep everyone from jumping on the Samsung and Google bandwagons, they are compelling handsets that are at least worth checking out.
The phones that are still coming
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
In mid-April, Sony announced the Xperia XZ2 Premium. This is a bigger, badder, more expensive version of the regular XZ2 that’s already been released, and while there’s no denying its power, it’s going to set you back a very pretty penny.
One of the main draws to the XZ2 Premium is its 5.8-inch 4K HDR display. That’s the same resolution found on most premium TVs these days, and Sony says it’s 30% brighter than the previous Xperia XZ Premium.
You’ll also find dual 19MP + 12MP rear cameras, the Snapdragon 845, 6GB RAM, and a 3,540 mAh battery.
The Xperia XZ2 Premium costs $999.99, and pre-orders are open now at Amazon and Best Buy with shipments expected to start going out on July 30. Buying the phone from Amazon will let you get a free pair of Sony’s Xperia Ear Duo earbuds that retail for $280, but even then, only die-hard Sony fans will likely give any serious thought to the phone with a price that big.
See at Amazon
Sony Xperia R2/R2 Plus
Sony Xperia R1 and R1 Plus.
Last October saw the release of the Xperia R1 and R1 Plus — two budget phones that offered rock-solid specs at seriously affordable price points.
The rumor mill on successors to these two phones is pretty quiet at the moment, but there’s no reason to believe Sony won’t kick out an R2 and R2 Plus before 2018 is over.
India was the target market for the R1 series, and assuming the we get an R2, that’ll likely remain the same.
Mid-range Sony Xperia R1 and R1 Plus now available in India
The phones that have already been released
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
In January of this year, Sony announced the Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra as its two midrange handsets for 2018. Fast forward to July, and we now have the Xperia XA2 Plus.
As the name suggests, the XA2 Plus is very similar to the other XA2 phones we already have. There’s the Snapdragon 630 processor, an aluminum unibody design, the XA2 Ultra’s 3,580 mAh battery, and Android Oreo.
Perhaps the biggest change with the XA2 Plus lies with its display. While the XA2 and XA2 Ultra use the older 16:9 aspect ratio, the XA2 Plus steps up to an 18:9 6-inch Full HD+ panel. There’s also a single 8MP front-facing camera which is a step down from the XA2 Ultra’s dual front-facing cameras. Lastly, the XA2 Plus will offer much better audio thanks to support for Sony’s High-Resolution Audio platform.
The Xperia XA2 Plus goes on sale in late August with an unspecified price.
Sony Xperia XZ2
Sony’s big flagship this year is the Xperia XZ2. The XZ2 is a successor to last year’s XZ1 and features a completely new design language compared to other Xperia phones of the last few years. The glass back is super reflective with elegant curves, the fingerprint sensor is smack dab in the middle below the rear camera, and there’s an 18:9 screen with slim bezels.
Under the hood, the XZ2 is packing all of the latest specs — including the Snapdragon 845, 4GB RAM, 19MP/5MP rear/front cameras, IP68 dust/water resistance, and Android 8.0 Oreo. The phone costs $800 and is on sale now.
Sony Xperia XZ2 preview: Slimmer bezels, wider appeal
Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact
There’s no denying that the XZ2 is a powerful phone, but what if you want all that horsepower in a phone that’s considerably smaller and a bit cheaper? For you, Sony’s got the Xperia XZ2 Compact.
The XZ2 Compact is mostly the same phone as the regular XZ2, save for a smaller battery, 5-inch screen, and a plastic back. Everything else, such as processor and cameras, are exactly the same.
It’s not necessarily cheap at $649, but it’s one of the few truly small phones that offers a no-compromises flagship experience.
Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact review: The new standard for small
Sony Xperia XA2/XA2 Ultra
During this past CES, Sony officially took the wraps off of the Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra. Both phones are mid-rangers in Sony’s lineup for the year, and while there’s nothing particularly exciting about them, they do the basics really, really well while keeping costs low.
The XA2 offers a refreshingly small 5.2-inch display, and for those of you that prefer big phones, the XA2 Ultra should serve you just fne with a 6-inch screen size. Both come equipped with an LCD panel and resolution of 1920 x 1080, and for the first time ever, these two Sony phones have working fingerprint sensors in the United States 👏.
Each phone also shares NFC, Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box, USB-C for charging, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Aside from the screen size, the only other big difference lies with the XA2’s 3,300 mAh battery and the XA2 Ultra’s 3,580 mAh unit.
The XA2 sells for a fair $349, and stepping up to the XA2 Ultra will cost you $449.
See at Best Buy
Sony Xperia L2
If you like what the XA2 and XA2 Ultra bring to the table but want to spend even less, Sony’s Xperia L2 is for you.
The Xperia L2 has a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 720, MediaTek processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 3,300 mAh battery. As for the cameras, you’ll find a 13MP sensor on the back and an 8MP one up front.
There’s a working fingerprint sensor on the L2 and support for NFC just like on the XA2 and XA2 Ultra, but unlike those phones, the L2 ships with the older Android 7.1.1 Nougat.
You can buy the Xperia L2 in black, gold, and pink, and its price of $250 is more than manageable.
See at Best Buy
Updated July 11, 2018: Added the Xperia XA2 Plus to the list.
One week after Apple seeded the third beta of an upcoming macOS Mojave update to developers, Apple last night released a revised update for the software, fixing an issue where Feedback Assistant would unexpectedly quit for some users.
Apple appears to already have fixed the issue ahead of the second public beta release for macOS Mojave, which hit last Friday, and is now issuing the fix to developers newly downloading the update. Apple does not appear to be offering the revised version to developers who previously installed the original third beta version of macOS Mojave.
The Feedback Assistant app comes built-in with iOS and macOS beta programs, and allows public testers and developers to submit bugs and other problems with Apple’s pre-release software in an effort to help ensure such issues don’t affect public launches later in the year.
Apple announced macOS Mojave during WWDC this year, and the desktop software will see the introduction of a systemwide Dark Mode, Dynamic Desktops, Stacks, and a collection of ported iOS apps that will be available on Mac for the first time: Apple News, Stocks, Home, and Voice Memos.
Related Roundup: macOS Mojave
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