Take $100 to $200 off the Sony Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra, XZ2, XZ3 at Best Buy, B&H

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Take $100 to $200 off the Sony Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra, XZ2, XZ3 at Best Buy, B&H
Posted: 30 Dec 2018, 16:16 , by Alan Friedman Alan Friedman
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Take $100 to $200 off the Sony Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra, XZ2, XZ3 at Best Buy, B&H
Spotted by Android Police, B&H Photo and Best Buy have deals on several Sony Xperia handsets. Let’s start with the Sony Xperia XA2. Featuring a 5.2-inch display with a 1080 x 1920 (FHD+) resolution, and powered by the Snapdragon 630 SoC, the Xperia XA2 comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of native storage (24GB available to the user). At B&H, the phone is available in Blue or Pink for $299.99. That is a $100 or 25% savings. Best Buy has even a better deal on the phone. Activate the handset today and you’ll pay $149.99, which is half the device’s usual price at Best Buy. Color options are Silver, Black, Blue and Gold.

The Sony XA2 Ultra features a 6-inch LCD display and carries a 1080 x 1920 (FHD+) resolution. Under the hood you’ll find the Snapdragon 630 chipset, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage (24GB available to the end user). B&H is offering the Xperia XA2 Ultra for $249.99, $150 or 38% off of the regular $399.99 price. The device is available in Blue, Gold and Silver. Best Buy has this model in black for the exact same price.

The Sony Xperia XZ2 is equipped with a 5.7-inch LCD display carrying a resolution of 1080 x 2160, and an aspect ratio of 18:9. The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform powers the phone, which comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage (48GB available to the user). You can save 29% or $200 from B&H, taking the price of the Xperia XZ2 down to $499.99. Colors available are Ash Pink, Deep Green, Liquid Black and Liquid Silver. The same deal is offered by Best Buy.

Lastly, the unlocked Sony Xperia XZ3 comes with a 6-inch AMOLED display carrying a 1440 x 2880 resolution (QHD+) and an 18:9 aspect ratio. The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform drives the device, which is equipped with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of native storage (49GB available to the user). B&H is selling this high-end model for $799.99. That is $100 or 11% off the regular price. You can choose from Forest Green or Black. Best Buy has the same exact deal, with one additional color (White Silver) to choose from.

All of these models are unlocked, and work with GSM carriers only. In the U.S., of the four major carriers, these handsets will work on AT&T and T-Mobile. Shipping is free from both B&H and Best Buy.

Sony finally dishes out Android Pie to Xperia XZ Premium, Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ Compact

 

Sony was originally planning on pushing out Android 9 Pie to the Xperia XZ Premium, the Xperia XZ1 and the Xperia XZ1 Compact on October 26th. But some bugs appeared in the software, and, well, nobody likes having Pie with bugs. So Sony pushed back the date of the updates for the three Xperia models, and now all three are beginning to receive them in various markets.

Depending on your feelings toward Android Pie’s navigation gestures, you’ll be either happy or upset to hear that they will not be available with this update. And when the notification pops up, telling you that the update has arrived, you really should connect to a Wi-Fi network before starting the updating process. In addition, make sure the battery is fully charged before the downloading and installing begins; after all, this is a large-sized update to swallow.

Meanwhile, the Xperia XZ Premium, Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ Compact will join the already updated Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact. The Xperia XZ3 came out of the box with Android Pie, and the Xperia XZ2 Premium should receive it later this month. On March 4th, the Xperia XA2, Xperia XA2 Ultra, and Xperia XA2 Plus are scheduled to be updated.

Besides the bump up to the latest Android build, the update includes improvements to the camera app including 1080p super slow-motion. It also carries the October Android Security patch, proof that the update was originally planned for last month.

OnePlus really wants iPhone users to switch to its smartphones

Some customers avoid or delay the switch to a newer smartphone because they believe the whole process of transferring the data from their older device to the new one is too troublesome. It might be true in some cases, but not if you plan to switch to a OnePlus smartphone.

In an attempt to appeal to even more customers and make it easier to transfer data from an Android device to a OnePlus smartphone, the Chinese handset maker launched the OnePlus Switch standalone app in the first days of 2018.

Now that the OnePlus 6T is out, the company wants even more consumers to get a taste of its new product, so it added iPhone support to its OnePlus Switch app. Although the iPhone version of the app is still being tested, you can already download it for free. Also, the latest version of OnePlus Switch for Android, which includes iPhone support, has been released in the Google Play Store too.

OnePlus Switch allows users to migrate their contacts, text messages, photos, and other data from an iPhone to a OnePlus smartphone. In addition, the app can also backup data as a compressed archived that can be kept and used for restoring your data.

Subscribe to Auto Pay and save $5 each month on Verizon’s pre-paid plans

Starting today, Verizon is adding a $5 per line discount each month for those who sign up for Big Red’s pre-paid service and include Auto Pay. The latter is a scheduled bill payment that is taken out of your bank, brokerage or hedge fund account automatically on the same date each month, and credited to your Verizon account. The new pricing that begins today includes $65 for unlimited service, $45 for 8GB of high-speed 4G LTE service, $35 for 3GB of 4G wireless connectivity, and $30 for 500MB of 4G LTE service.

Once the total amount of 4G LTE service you’re allowed for the month has been consumed, you are limited to 2G data speeds for the remainder of the billing cycle. And each plan is now allowed to have up to ten lines, an increase from the previous limit of five. All of Big Red’s pre-paid smartphone plans include unlimited talk and text, and Jetpacks and tablets can be included for the same monthly price that smartphones are charged. All pre-paid smartphone plans include unlimited international text to more than 200 destinations.

With Verizon’s new Mix and Match savings, everyone in the family can have the amount of data they need each month, without having to share it. And those with 2-10 lines on pre-paid plans priced at $40 a month or higher ($35/month using Auto Pay) will receive a monthly savings of $10 to as much as $20. To see what your pricing will be with Verizon’s pre-paid service, check out the chart below.

First 5G iPhone could come in 2020, Intel to supply the modem

The 5G race is starting to intensify. US Carriers are investing heavily with the hopes of winning the “first to release a 5G network” title, while manufacturers are preparing to introduce a barrage of smartphones that support the ultra-fast connectivity in 2019. Apple; however, might not be among those to launch a 5G handset next year.

According to a new report by Fast Company, the first 5G iPhones will come in 2020. Citing an unnamed source “with knowledge of Apple’s plans”, the US magazine claims that Intel’s 10-nanometer 8161 modem chip will be exclusively used in the future lineup. The tech giant has utilized modems from both Qualcomm and Intel since 2016, but it looks like Cupertino is cutting ties with the former.

Current tests are reportedly being performed with a slightly older 8060 chip, and the results are not too encouraging. Apparently, Intel is struggling with reducing the heat dissipation with these components. Many US carriers will rely on using millimeter wave, an electromagnetic radiation spectrum between 30 and 300 GHz, for 5G. The band is rather demanding, and current testing units with the 8060 modem are having problems with the accumulation of heat, which also negatively affects battery life.

The source states that Intel is confident in its ability to solve the problem with time, but Apple is lining up MediaTek as an alternative chip supplier if the issue persists. For comparison, Android manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi will use Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem, which supposedly does not heat up as much.

Apple’s apparent decision to take things slow might not seem like good news to some. Still, a conservative approach could be a good course of action here. Sure, we’ve seen 5G phones like the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 come out in 2018, but these capabilities won’t be utilized until there’s a 5G network to support them. Some wireless carriers in the US and around the globe will make the technology available soon, but worldwide coverage won’t happen overnight. Most Americans don’t even know what 5G is at the moment, so the need for 5G phones will be felt once the ultra-fast download speeds, lower latency, and the ability to connect a lot more devices at once become available to the majority of mobile users.

Apple will no longer tell us how many iPhones are sold each quarter

It wasn’t that long ago that Apple liked to brag about the first-weekend sales records of the company’s latest iPhones, but clearly, the mobile industry has gone through a radical transformation over the past few years, prompting a number of strategy changes for almost all major vendors.

Samsung is more focused than ever on its mid-range product portfolio, Huawei is using two different brands to take over the world, LG and Sony Mobile are… slowly dying, while Apple plans to stop reporting unit sales altogether.

That’s hardly a drastic policy revision, making perfect sense from a business standpoint, as explained by Luca Maestri, the Cupertino-based tech giant’s Chief Financial Officer, during the most recent earnings call.

For several years now, Apple has slowed down its growth in iPhone, iPad, and Mac shipments, nonetheless making more and more money. Between July and September 2018, for instance, the company “only” sold around 46 million iPhones, roughly on par with the numbers posted last year. But all in all, revenues and profits increased significantly.

That suggests “the number of units sold in any 90-day period” is no longer “necessarily representative of the underlying strength” of this well-oiled business. Of course, Apple’s objectives of making “great products and services that enrich people’s lives”, as well as providing an “unparalleled customer experience, so that users are highly satisfied, loyal, and engaged” will remain unchanged.

The same goes for the implicit goal of dominating smartphone, tablet, and computer profits, even if other companies rise through the ranks in terms of sales numbers. Starting with the always crucial December quarter, however, it’s going to be a lot harder to know if Tim Cook’s objective to “serve everyone” is adequately accomplished.

Twitter for iOS gets new floating compose icon, more spam report options

Twitter is making its iOS better with the addition of some improvements like a new compose icon and additional spam report options. Also, the company is testing a new way to keep up with real-time Tweets on iOS.

But first things first, so let’s see what the new compose icon can do to help make Twitter a better experience. Well, the floating compose icon is easier to use since it’s prominently displayed and suitable for one-handed scrolling and Tweet composing.

You can now press and hold the new compose icon to access your drafts, photos and the GIF gallery, which adds even more functionality to the app.

Secondly, there are new spam report options that will allow Twitter users to report spam easier than ever. Basically, there are four new options that you can use now after you choose to report a tweet:

The account tweeting this is fake;
Includes a link to a potentially harmful, malicious, or phishing site;
The hashtags included seem unrelated;
Uses the reply function to spam;
It’s something else.
And finally, the new feature that Twitter has started testing today will allow iOS users to tap the star icon from the upper right corner of the app to see only the latest Tweets in their timeline. Naturally, the top Tweets will be shown first.

Apple’s WatchOS 5.1 update is bricking some Apple Watch devices

Straight after its Brooklyn event earlier today, Apple began rolling the WatchOS 5.1 update to its range of Apple Watches. The software activates the ECG feature on Series 4 models in the US and also introduces support for 70 new emojis and Group FaceTime but, from the looks of things, not everyone is having luck with the new software.

As spotted by 9To5Mac, a number of users across both Reddit and Twitter have begun reporting issues with the update. More specifically, it appears the latest WatchOS version is bricking certain Apple Watch models, causing them to remain permanently stuck on the Apple logo. And, rather unfortunately for users, it appears there is currently no fix. This is despite multiple attempts from owners that have involved restarting both the affected wearable and paired iPhone, and also unpairing the devices.

Apple is yet to pull the new WatchOS 5.1 update so it’s unclear at this point how many users are affected by the issue. However, those of you who are will likely need to contact Apple Support and request a replacement device. Furthermore, users who are yet to update may want to hold off on the new software version until Apple corrects the problem.

Apple says that it will release iOS 12.1 tomorrow

Just the other day, Apple released a free iOS 12.1 iPhone User Guide in the App Store. The guide offers directions on how to use the new features coming to the iPhone with the iOS 12.1 update. Today, Apple announced that the latest build of its mobile operating system will be available to the public starting tomorrow. The update takes place on the same day that Apple is expected to introduce two new Apple iPad Pro models, the Apple Pencil 2 and more, at its new product event.

New features found on iOS 12.1 include Group FaceTime, which allows users to have a 32 way video chat. The most prominent speakers on the chat will be seen in the forefront of the screen. The size of each person’s image in the chat is proportionate to the amount of participation they have in the group. Those sporting older models like the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE will be able to use Group Face Time for audio calls only.

More than 70 new emoji will be joining iOS with tomorrow’s update. You can see many of these in the GIF embedded at the top of this article. Bokeh fanatics will be happy to know that iOS 12.1 carries a new Depth Control feature allowing users of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR to adjust the depth-of-field in real time preview. Of course, this bokeh blur can still be adjusted after the picture is snapped.

And those with one of the new 2018 iPhone models will have their handset support Dual SIM capabilities once iOS 12.1 is installed. With one physical SIM card and an embedded eSIM, users will be able to add a second line to their iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR.

LG V40 ThinQ is just $10/month with an 18 month Flex Lease at Sprint

 

The LG V40 ThinQ is a high-end Android phone that carries an MSRP of $960. But Sprint is offering the handset for only $10 per month (after a $30 per month bill credit) through an 18 month Flex Lease. New Sprint customers, and current subscribers adding a new line or with an upgrade to burn can take advantage of the deal. After 18 months, the customer can turn in the phone and walk away from the deal, or pay off the balance ($240) over 6 months and keep the handset.

The LG V40 ThinQ features a 6.4-inch P-OLED screen carrying a resolution of 1440 x 3120 for an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. Under the hood you’ll find the Snapdragon 845 SoC along with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of native storage (47.58GB available to the user). The three cameras on back include a 12MP primary snapper, a 16MP sensor with a 107-degree viewing angle, and a 12MP sensor with 2X optical zoom. In front, there is an 8MP standard selfie snapper, and a 5MP wide angle camera for taking selfies of large groups.

The LG V40 ThinQ is rated IP68 for protection from dust and water. This means that it can be submerged in nearly 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes, and escape unscathed. Keeping the lights on is a 3300mAh battery, and Android 8.1 Oreo is pre-installed.

If you decide to lease the LG V40 ThinQ, you should definitely purchase a case for it. As with any lease, you will penalized for external and internal damage to the phone.