Black Friday is right around the corner and trying to get prepared for it can be chaotic, but that’s where Thrifter steps in. We will be bringing you all of the leaked ads, analysis on the best deals and so much more leading up to the big day. Be sure you are following us on Twitter, subscribe to our newsletter, and bookmark this page so you don’t miss out on any of the savings.

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Happy birthday, old friend 🎉

Every now and then, a gadget comes along that makes a huge impact in the mobile technology market. Apple’s iPhone revolutionized what a smartphone should be in 2007, Samsung’s original Galaxy Note in 2011 brought back the stylus and made big phones commonplace, and LG’s Nexus 5 in 2013 offered the best Android experience the market had seen at that point in time.

The Nexus 5 launched with a starting price of $350, and for that money, you were getting a totally stock build of the all-new Android 4.4 KitKat, wonderfully practical soft-touch plastic body, 4G LTE connectivity, and all of the latest silicon that was currently available. The Nexus 5 offered a lot of what we’d come to expect from a flagship phone in 2013, but it did so at about half the price.

The Nexus 5′s user experience was second-to-none.

However, talking about the Nexus 5 based solely on its spec sheet is the wrong way to handle this conversation. The phone certainly offered an impressive list of tech, but what made the Nexus 5 so special was just how much of a pleasure it was to actually use the device.

Going back to that plastic body, this was easily one of the Nexus 5′s strong suits. There was some initial backlash considering that the Nexus 4 offered an arguably more premium design with its reflective glass back, but any worries or concerns immediately disappeared once people got their hands on the phone.

The Nexus 5 was available in two colors at launch (black and white), and while the white (aka panda) version was clean and attractive with a harder plastic, the black variant was soft and grippy with a crazy amount of texture. This is something you just don’t see in phone design these days, but it made the Nexus 5 comfortable, durable, and even allowed for wireless charging –
something the Pixel 2 doesn’t even offer.

KitKat was a turning point for Android.

Google used the Nexus 5 as its showcase for Android 4.4 KitKat, and this was a huge step for the OS. Android KitKat introduced the world to the Google Now Launcher with Google Now cards on the left side of our home screen, got rid of the Tron aesthetic in favor of a cleaner and flatter design, and smoothed out a lot of the rough edges that’d been present in Android since its inception. KitKat was fast, fluid, and paved the way for the Android that we still know and love with 8.1 Oreo.

However, if Google’s flavor of stock 4.4 KitKat wasn’t your jam, you had no shortage of ROMs to choose from with the Nexus 5. The Nexus 5 had (and still does) one of the most active development communities around, and like many others, was my first foray into the world of rooting and ROMing.

It’s no secret the Nexus 5 was a great phone, and while we’d love to keep gushing over it, we also want to hear about your experiences with the phone. What did you love? What did you hate? How in the world has Google not made a sucessor to that stunning red version?

See you in the comments!

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Update: This deal has returned!

It’s time to take your photography game to the next level, and this inexpensive accessory can help!

Is this deal for me?

Smartphone cameras have become significantly better over the past few years, and people like to push them to their limits. A great way to really take advantage of how far they’ve come is by using a tripod to take your skills to the next level. We know, people don’t want to lug around a full-sized tripod to “get the shot”, but what about a mini one?

Aukey is currently offering its cell phone tripod for $7.91 when you use the coupon code AUKEYT01 during checkout at Amazon. This is a savings of around $3 from its regular price. Beyond just your smartphone, you’ll also be able to use this for a GoPro or even a DSLR.

  • Take clearer shots or time-lapse videos from a stable fixed position
  • Best for capturing a variety of landscapes and points of view
  • Compact, lightweight, foldable design to easily to grab, setup, and put away
  • Mount to smartphones up to 5.7″ with included holder, or attach digital cameras, GoPros, camcorder, and more

If you are already having fun taking amazing photos with your phone, try adding one of these to your arsenal. Think of the long exposures, time lapses, and more that you’ll be able to capture with this!

You can also check out the option with bendable legs for $10 with coupon code AUKEYT03.


  • What makes this deal worth considering? – At just under $10, you can seriously improve the shots you take with your smartphone. A tripod isn’t necessary for all shots, but great for moments when you really want to capture a clean, steady photo.
  • Things to know before you buy! – These tripods can only hold 5.7-inch phones or smaller, meaning huge “phablet” phones like the iPhone 8 Plus, Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel 2 XL will be too big to mount. If you are looking to mount a phone larger than 5.7-inch, consider buying Kobratech’s tripod for $17.99. It’s flexible to hold a phone of any size and comes with a two-year warranty.

See at Amazon

Happy Thrifting!

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

BlackBerry’s latest smartphone is coming to Canada in less than two weeks!

I’ll admit it, I have a soft spot for BlackBerry. Growing up in Canada and watching the rise and fall of the company, it’s hard not to feel a bit nostalgic every time a new piece of hardware is announced. Sure, the oversight of that hardware is now performed by TCL Communications, and the software is Android, not BlackBerry 10, but it still says BlackBerry on the box. Got to count for something, right?

Anyway, BlackBerry Mobile’s latest phone, Motion, is coming to Canada on November 10 starting at $99 on a 2-year plan and $599 or so outright. That’s the upside — it’s cheaper than KEYone by $100 or so — and comes with a big 5.5-inch display, IP67 water and dust resistance, and a huge 4000mAh battery.

BlackBerry Motion specs

Here’s the pricing for each carrier in Canada:

  • Bell: $99 CAD on a 2 year premium plan; $599.00 CAD outright
  • TELUS: $100 CAD on a 2 year premium plan; $605.00 CAD outright
  • Koodo: $100 CAD on a Tab Large plan; $605.00 CAD outright
  • SaskTel: $99 CAD on a 2 year premium plan; $599.99 CAD outright

What’s clear is that the Motion isn’t getting as wide a release as the KEYone, largely because it’s not meant to serve the same market. Given its all-touch design, it’s not nearly as differentiated as the KEYone, but it’s also going to attract people looking for a rugged, secure, long-lasting Android phone that doesn’t cost $1000.

Are you interested in the BlackBerry Motion? We haven’t heard anything about U.S. availability just yet, but we’re hoping that changes in the near future.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

By now, we likely know everything there is to know about the HTC U11 Plus. If you’re not up to speed, you should catch up on all the U11 Plus details here.

HTC has been dropping hints about the phone … Read More

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The teaser image of a semi-transparent U11 Plus shared by HTC a few days ago may be an actual color option for the phone. At first, we thought the image was showing the transparent back to show off the wireless charging coil inside … Read More

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The only thing missing is pricing and availability info.

Following in the footsteps of the awesome, yet underappreciated HTC U11, we’re expecting to see two more HTC handsets by the end of the year in the U11 series – the U11 Plus and U11 Life. The latter of those two is a budget device that’ll be the second Android One phone available in the U.S., and thanks to a product listing on T-Mobile’s website, we now know everything about the phone ahead of its announcement.

First off, since the U11 Life was listed on T-Mobile’s site, this confirms a report that popped up a few days ago suggesting that the phone would be available on the Un-Carrier in the States. It’s unclear if the U11 Life on T-Mobile will be part of the Android One program or not, but either way, this is an excellent score for the company.

Snapdragon 630, 3GB RAM, 32GB expandable storage, 2,600 mAh battery, Android 7.1.1.

As for the U11 Life itself, a lot of what’s featured here is similar to other rumors we’d previously heard. The phone will be powered by the Snapdragon 630 processor and 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage (up to 2TB) is available for all of your local files, and a 2,600 mAh battery should offer 13-17 hours of usage before needing to charge up.

Both the rear and front-facing cameras use a 16MP sensor, NFC is available for use with Android Pay, there’s an IP67 rating for dust/water resistance, and Android 7.1.1 Nougat will be available out of the box with HTC Sense.

Also included with the U11 Life is Edge Sense, Amazon Alexa, and a free pair of HTC’s awesome USonic earbuds that shipped with the regular U11.

Pricing and availability for the U11 Life are still unclear, but considering that the phone was already listed on T-Mobile’s site (it’s since been pulled), it’s safe to say we shouldn’t have to wait too much longer for an official announcement.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

There’s a reason why Google does these Developer Previews before a wider release.

Updated on October 30, 2017 – Looks like the issue has been fixed! In the Google product forums, a Googler posted, “This issue has been resolved. For those of you that faced the issue and were reverted back to 8.0, you will be offered a new OTA (which is rolling out now). Thanks to all of those that sent up reports, and helped us get to the bottom of this.”

Among all of the excitement of a new Developer Preview release for Android 8.1 this week, we saw many reports of installation problems on both the new Pixel 2 and original Pixels. Whether you had snagged the factory image to install manually or waited for the OTA via the Android Beta Program, there was a decent chance you’d hit a snag during installation. Google has now acknowledged that there are some potential installation issues with this Dev Preview, taking to the Google Pixel product forums to ask for help from the community.

From the Pixel product forums:

We are collecting feedback about user reports of OTA installation issues on the 8.1 beta. If this is happening to you, can you post your experiences here? That will allow us to possibly reach out for bug reports or additional information.

The core issue for most people seems to be that the OTA for the Dev Preview will download and prompt you for installation, and then upon rebooting after the first phase of installation it simply goes through the boot animation a few times before returning you to your lock screen still on Android 8.0. Subsequent installation attempts don’t seem to work, and most aren’t finding joy in clearing the download and getting a new file.

How to get the latest version of Android Oreo on your phone right now

At the time of writing the post already has dozens of replies, but no clear answers as of yet. The only fix for most people has been to perform a factory reset of their phone on Android 8.0 and then get the OTA to the 8.1 Dev Preview at that point. That’s definitely a hassle, but of course one that isn’t out of the norm for someone dabbling in “Developer” software. For now, take this as a bit of caution if you’re considering enrolling in the Beta Program to grab 8.1 — but let’s hope by providing Google with more information on the issue it can fix the problem going forward.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

This has caused quite a storm — and some would say rightfully so.

Emoji looking different depending on what operating system you’re using is nothing new. Send an emoji to a friend from your Samsung phone and there’s a good chance it looks different on a Motorola phone, Google phone or Apple iPhone — sometimes to the point of confusion. But now, we have a real crisis: look at Google’s “cheeseburger” emoji. Wait … why is the cheese on the bottom of the burger?

Yes, this is one place where iOS unequivocally gets things right. Apple places the cheese on top of the patty, as we’ve all seen time and time again from backyard cookouts to fancy new american eateries. Someone at Google — presumably backed up by a vetting process — chose to put the cheese under the patty. Oh my.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted that fixing this was his top priority — provided people could come to a consensus on where the cheese belongs.

Will drop everything else we are doing and address on Monday:) if folks can agree on the correct way to do this!

— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) October 29, 2017

He is slightly joking, of course, but seriously Mr. Pichai please get this figured out. Google is clearly on the wrong side of this argument.

Despite the canonical name for this emoji actually being “hamburger” and not technically a cheeseburger, all major platforms have taken it on as such. And every single one, aside from Google, puts the cheese on top of the patty. Additional accouterments like lettuce and tomato also find various placements across the companies, but none of those issues is as big as where you put the cheese — we’ll get to those arguments next.

Go look at your phone: is the cheese on the top of the patty, or do you have the wrong emoji? If the latter, it’s time to go follow Sundar Pichai on Twitter and make sure you keep up with the developments here.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

The Pixel 2 is a phone filled with features that can appeal to anyone.

I’m not really the kind of person who gets excited about new technology. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the software updates, the new sleeker looks, the increased abilities and new features that come alongside a brand spanking new phone. But I am not the kind of person who goes running to the store to grab one as soon as possible.

So nobody was more surprised than me when I fell completely in love with the new Pixel 2 and everything it’s capable of. From the feel of it in my hand to the features hidden under that casing, there is a lot here to love. I’ve picked my favorite features out and I’m going to tell you why they come together to deliver a phone built for everyone from your mom to your tech-obsessed roomie.

Look and feel

There is something to be said for a phone that fits easily in your hand and feels solid and stable. Over the last few years, the trend towards ‘bigger is better’ has been marching slowly forward, and that’s been bad news for people with tiny hands like me. Trying to take a photo one handed with a Note 8 or Galaxy S8 was an effort in futility form me.

The Pixel 2 is small enough to fit comfortably in my hand without feeling small or flimsy. Even better, it feels solid, and not slippery. Considering I’m as clumsy as the day is long, being able to keep a solid hand on my phone is key. The colors are fantastic, and even though the kinda blue seemed super washed out in photos, it’s a gorgeous grey-blue that I’ve come to absolutely adore.

A sweet, sweet, camera

The first thing that I checked out after getting a hold of this bad boy was the camera. I’ve never been what you could call a photog, but I love capturing the awesome moments of my life. From selfies when my makeup is on point, to hundreds of photos of my dog, to photos from day trips and important moments, my phone is always there. In the past, I’ve always enjoyed the camera on my phone but it’s rare that I’m blown away.

The Pixel 2 changed all of that. It captures clear, vibrant photos that just cannot be overstated. It works beautifully in normal light, and it takes some jaw-dropping shots in low light as well. But my favorite features of the camera come in the form of EIS stabilization, and portrait selfie mode. Portrait selfies let me take amazing shots that take next to no effort and look absolutely amazing.

The addition of both OIS and EIS makes a big difference.

From the blur around faces in the photos with this mode to the fact that you get access to the original and the edited shot, there is a ton here to love. Of course without the addition of both OIS and EIS I wouldn’t love it nearly so much. I suffer from benign tremors in both of my hands at all times. This means that even on the best days they tremble pretty noticeably, and I can’t count the number of photos at places like weddings that have been ruined by this tremble.

Since getting my Pixel 2, I’ve only managed to come out with one blurry photo, and that can be blamed on my rambunctious dog moving at an inopportune moment. Compared to every third or fourth photo with a Note 8, and roughly one out of every four with an original Pixel, I’ve already noticed how much more often I whip out this phone to snag a snapshot.

Now Playing lets me keep discovering new music

I’ve always been a pretty big music fan, and for most of my luck, my only hope was to look up lyrics or hope that I heard a song title or artist when I heard a new song that I enjoyed. For the most part, this hasn’t been too problematic, but with the addition of Now Playing, finding the new details is easier than it has ever been.

Even when I’m offline it’s got access to a catalogue of over 10,000 songs.

Now Playing will automatically detect, and show me the Song Title and Artist, for whatever song it can detect playing nearby. This feature works whether I have an internet connection or not, and even when I’m offline it’s got access to a catalogue of over 10,000 songs. While it didn’t recognize Delta Rae when I put it on, it did catch both BabyMetal and even Space Unicorn within moments.

While initially Now Playing just shows up on the lock screen, if I tap on it, will launch Google Assistant giving me all the information about the song playing. This means links to albums, upcoming appearances, anything else I might want to know. All I know is that it makes finding the new music I hear easier and more awesome than it’s ever been before.

Google Assistant is better than ever

Being organized has never actually been a strong suit of mine, but Google Assistant does make it easier to keep better track of everything without losing my mind in the process. Still, with my last Pixel, I was never what you’d call an avid user of Google Assistant. After spending the spring with Galaxy devices, being able to easily launch Google Assistant made a huge difference.

Being able to easily launch and access Google Assistant has made a pretty significant difference.

I can launch with a squeeze, or now with a better verbal command of Hey Google and that makes more of a difference than you’d think. The AI behind Google Assistant has also been improving over time meaning that it understands me easier, and brings up the relevant information that I’m looking for easier as well.

Being able to easily launch and access Google Assistant has made a pretty significant difference too. I’m more apt to use it to set reminders for additions to my schedule, and the algorithm for delivering the news I’ll want to see has been top notch so far. Unlike in the past where Google Assistant seemed neat, not integral, it’s now so easy to use that I have it open before even really thinking about it.

This is a phone worth getting excited over

It’s easy to see how much work went into the little details with Google’s Pixel 2, and that work has paid off in every avenue. For the first time I feel like a phone was made with me, and people like me, in mind. Features like Now Playing, and stabilization when taking photos, make even the most common uses for your pocket computer even more awesome.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |