Now these are the kinds of deals we want to see.

As the rumors start to really heat up surrounding the new Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2, we finally have some substantial discounts on the current-gen phones. Both Woot! and Verizon have really good deals, pricing these phones well below their consistently high starting prices that have held on even several months into their lives.

Woot! has the best deal available right now, although in typical Woot! fashion it’s for refurbished phones. $399 for a Pixel, or $449 for a Pixel XL — both in black. That’s a fantastic deal, particularly for the larger Pixel XL, which still sells for $769 on the Google Store. The usual caveats about buying a refurbished phone apply, but that price is really great and likely worth it.

See at Woot!

Verizon perhaps has a better deal, all things considered, as it’s selling a brand new Pixel for $420 and Pixel XL for $540. That extra cash gets you a new phone rather than a refurb one, and it also lets you choose the white/silver model if that’s more your thing. Unlike typical Verizon deals this also doesn’t require monthly payments — it’s only available at this price if you buy outright.

See at Verizon

If you’ve been eyeing a Pixel or Pixel XL but were worried about getting one at this point because their successors are going to be announced soon, this is a great way to get a great phone for an appropriate price.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

The unlocked Moto Z2 Play is coming soon.

After nearly two months as a Verizon exclusive, the Moto Z2 Play is soon going to be available unlocked directly from Motorola for $499.

The version you’ll soon be able to buy is $91 more expensive than the aforementioned Verizon variant, but it lacks bloatware and is compatible with all four major U.S. carriers — AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and, yes, Verizon — making it much more versatile. It also comes with an extra gigabyte of RAM, bringing it to 4GB altogether, along with double the storage at 64GB, making it considerably more future-proofed than the Verizon model.

Here’s what I said about it back in early June:

I love this phone. I don’t even want to go back to my Samsung Galaxy S8 right now because the Moto Z2 Play does everything I need it to, and has the deep (and growing deeper) Moto Mods ecosystem to help do what it can’t out of the box. That’s great.

I am also aware that the phone is probably too expensive, at $499 unlocked.

I still feel that way, even with the announcement and impending release of the at-least-$750 Moto Z2 Force. The Moto Z2 Play is great value at $408 from Verizon, but at $499 it may be too expensive for many people to stomach, since it fits somewhere in the middle of the mid-range and the premium segment. That said, the bulked-up specs must count for something, and the phone shows no signs of slowing down after two months of solid use. It will also be compatible with the new Moto 360 Camera Mod, which is nice.

Interested? It’s available in Lunar Gray and Fine Gold variants.

See at Motorola

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

The Thrifter team is back again, this time with a great discount on a camera to make your home more secure!

The Arlo Q wired 1080p HD security camera is down to $120 at Amazon. We’ve featured a lot of Arlo deals in the past, but rarely has there been a sale on this wired security camera. Mostly because over the last six months it has jumped in price, not dropped. Barring those few jumps up to $200, this camera normally sells around $150. This drop to $120 is the lowest it has gone since February.

This camera comes with all the following features:

  • Stream live video 24/7 and watch past recordings in sharp 1080p HD resolution from anywhere in the world
  • 130-degree field of view lens lets you see the whole room
  • 7 Days of free cloud recordings that lets you view, share, and download recordings from the past 7 days
  • Receive instant alerts on your mobile phone whenever motion or sound is detected
  • Built-in mic and speaker enable two-way communication so you can listen in and talk back
  • Wi-Fi Range – 300 feet line of sight
  • Enhanced night vision capability lets you see clearly even in total darkness
  • Simple DIY setup – get Arlo Q up and running in less than 10 minutes using the free Arlo mobile or web app
  • View your live video with a simple voice command – “Alexa, show me the front door.”

And of course, you have the security of a wired camera that doesn’t need to recharge its batteries like the Arlo wireless cameras do. If you’re using an Arlo system, you should definitely have at least one wired camera at all times, just in case.

See at Amazon

More from Thrifter

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

It’s been over a month since the latest OnePlus flagship was released.

The OnePlus 5 has had its fair share of ups and downs in the weeks since it launched, but one thing is clear: people are interested in this phone. Whether they already have it, are on the fence about buying or know it just isn’t the phone for them, the OnePlus 5 is in the discussion whenever we’re talking about high-end phones.

The phone has a lot going for it — including its price, specs and software experience — but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be all things to all people. Especially at this $479 price point, OnePlus had to leave some things on the cutting room floor, and that means compromises. The camera is good rather than great, the hardware is a bit polarizing and some nice-to-have features like waterproofing aren’t here.

Let’s talk about changes — realistic or not.

We want to know which aspects of the OnePlus 5 you would change to make it a better phone in your eyes. Whether you have a OnePlus 5 in your pocket already, are considering buying one or have specific reasons why you didn’t go with it, we’re sure there are things you’d change to make it better for you. They don’t necessarily have to be realistic changes, either — just hit us with what you would want in an ideal world.

Let us know your thoughts on changes to the OnePlus 5 in the comments, and you can continue the discussion in the forums as well!

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Google wants search to be consistent across all devices, and that means killing off Instant Search after seven years.

First launched just way back in 2010, Google Instant Search was supposed to be the future of search, saving countless precious seconds each day by loading results dynamically as you typed, freeing users from the chains of the enter key. The feature was big news at the time — and not just in the tech world, but the broader online and traditional media as well. Instant demonstrated the technical prowess of Google at the time, and the continuing strength of its core product.

Only now, Google Instant Search is being retired. The reason? More of us search on mobile devices, without Instant (where Instant was never introduced), and so it makes more sense to maintain just one version of Search on both mobile and desktop.

SearchEngineLand, which broke the story, received this statement from Google:

We launched Google Instant back in 2010 with the goal to provide users with the information they need as quickly as possible, even as they typed their searches on desktop devices. Since then, many more of our searches happen on mobile, with very different input and interaction and screen constraints. With this in mind, we have decided to remove Google Instant, so we can focus on ways to make Search even faster and more fluid on all devices.

The fact that the change went mostly unnoticed perhaps demonstrates that Instant was always overkill, and that for most of us, hitting the enter key or clicking a prediction isn’t a big deal.


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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

$459.99 now gets you a 6-inch handset with dual cameras, Nougat and a 4,000mAh battery.

The Huawei Mate 9 is one of our favorite big-screened Android phones of the year — and arguably one of the best, if battery life is your main concern. Now the Mate 9 is available at its lowest price to date — $459.99 from Amazon in the U.S., down from its already discounted price of $499.99 just a few days ago.

The Mate 9 is available in Space Grey and Moonlight Silver colors, and this is the international dual-SIM version (MHA-L29), so it’ll work on just about every global LTE network, in addition to AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S.

See at Amazon

In addition to a giant display and capable Leica-branded cameras, the Mate 9 packs a respectable high-end spec sheet, with Huawei’s own Kirin 960 CPU running the show, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, plus a gigantic 4,000mAh battery featuring Huawei’s SuperCharge tech. The phone certainly impressed us when we reviewed it back in December:

Huawei has managed to nail performance and build quality just as it has with previous flagships. What’s new this time around is a software experience which, for the most part, is worth of the hardware on which it’s running. And it should come as no surprise that a 4,000mAh battery guarantees you exceptional battery life, to the point where multiple days per charge are a real possibility.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Your phone is full of Pokémon now. Don’t you need a wallpaper that is, too?

Pokémon Go has been out for over a year now, and if you’ve lapsed your play in this summer heat (I know I have), then you’re not alone. Whether you’ve been out raiding all weekend or you’re just looking for a little nostalgic nerdiness on your home screen, we’ve got the Pokémon wallpapers for you!

There have been a lot of starter Pokémon over the various generations of games, but the original trinity will always be fan favorites. This minimalist wallpaper by Krukmeister, one of many, is awesome not just in the way it keeps these iconic water Pokémon instantly recognizable with only the barest of shapes, but in that on your Android smartphone, this is three wallpapers in one. I’m partial to Wartortle (those ears and tail, man!), but depending on your mood, you could have a cute little Squirtle or a cannon-packing Blastoise on your home screen.

Now if only Squirtle had some shades….

Gen I Water Starter Minimalist Vector by Krukmeister

Lapras, the Transport Pokémon, is one of the many that have remained out of my reach here in hot, hellish Texas. And if Pokémon were real, Lapras would be my home boy. Sure, Pikachu’s cut and shoulder-friendly, but Lapras is a beauty and a freaking tank! Not to mention as an ice type, Lapras could help me keep cool in these hot summers while we go float down a river or two… WEAPONIX also has an entire series in this style, so you can find your favorite Original Generation Pokémon to display proudly on your Pokedex — I mean home screen.


Wild Pokémon Living in the City by Ninja-Jamal

There are Pokémon living all around us…

Okay, maybe they aren’t quite this plentiful in the city, and maybe we only have 140 Pokémon from Kanto right now, but it’d be nice to image all these Pokémon are sitting in an alley, waiting for us right now. Especially that Snorlax in the back. Or that poor Jigglypuff that just needs a hug… Don’t cry, Jigglypuff! I’ll sing with you!

Wild Pokémon Living in the City by Ninja-Jamal

Team Mystic

Team Mystic, aka The Blue Team (and the BEST team), knows no team but the Bird in the North, whose name is Articuno!
DABIRDINDANORF was the first team mascot to become catchable in-game with this weekend’s Pokémon Go Fest, and I can’t wait to get my hands on one! It’s icy, it’s cool, it’s powerful, and in this Texas heat, I’d be dying to have Articuno sharing its chill with me.


Moltres by Tharalin (Team Valor)

Team Valor can be a bit intense. It’s the team that focuses on strength, and defines itself by it. Their emblem and their bird is Moltres, their ‘Lord of Light’. If you see a circle of Pokémon GO trainers who shout “Fire and blood!”, that would be Valor. It’s an intense team, but maybe you’ve got what it takes…

Moltres by Tharalin (Team Valor)

Zapdos by MrRedButcher (Team Instinct)

There is no shelter from the storm.

Yeah, Instinct may not be quite as popular as Valor or Mystic, but can we all agree that the Zapdos above is freaking terrifying? And a legendary bird that commands lightning is not the kind of bird you want to mess with, because unlike the water-hating Moltres or the temperature-challenged Articuno, Zapdos could be anywhere just waiting to short out your phone when you finally corner that Pikachu.

Zapdos by MrRedButcher (Team Instinct)

The Legendary Kindness

Lugia and Articuno have made it to Pokémon Go (GO MYSTIC!!!!), but the Legendary that I’m really waiting and hoping for is Entei. Sure, Entei may not be as intimidating as Lugia and the Legendary birds, but I don’t keep a Lugia plushie by my bed!

…Uh, yeah, I keep an Entei plushie on my nightstand. And you can keep one on your home screen with this sick wallpaper!

The Legendary Kindness (original)

The Legendary Kindness (edited wallpaper)

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

If you’re going to be away from a power outlet for quite a while, then that external battery pack you have will only charge your so much before it dies as well. You need an external power bank that runs on nature’s battery.

Harness the power of the Sun for $60! Learn more

The ZeroLemon SolarJuice is an external solar battery with a 26,800mAh capacity, which can charge the average Android phone five to eight times, depending on the phone and your use. This battery bank features a USB-C port, a USB-A port, and a QC 3.0 port for capable phones, as well as a Micro-USB port for input if you can’t wait on the Sun. The SolarJuice regularly retails for $99.99, but through Android Central Digital Offers, you can get it for $59.99, a savings of 40%.

If you’re out on the trail or gone camping for a week, the SolarJuice can help keep your devices charged the whole time, and you can charge up to three devices simultaneously. The casing is rain-resistant, dirt-proof, and shock-proof, as well as compact and portable, making it perfect for the great outdoors. There’s also a handy flashlight with four brightness settings to help you out in the dark.

If you’re looking for a way to keep your devices charged no matter where you go, then you need a solar battery pack, and the ZeroLemon SolarJuice is one of the best around. Snag it for only $59.99 at Android Central Digital Offers.

Harness the power of the Sun for $60! Learn more

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

For the fifth year running, Motorola’s spicing up the summer with a smartphone that’s not afraid to stand out – but this year, the bombastic brand name feels a bit … Forced.

I’m Michael Fisher, alias MrMobile, and I went hands-on with the Moto Z2 Force Edition and the latest Moto Mod, the Moto 360 Camera. Check out this video, and then head over to Android Central’s hands-on coverage for more.

Featured Products

Stay social, my friends

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Mobile gamers will be a fan of this.

Motorola’s stable of Mods for its Moto Z lineup of phones is constantly growing, and one of the coolest of the lot is the GamePad Mod that adds physical gaming controls to your phone. It was teased back in June with the launch of the Moto Z2 Play, but now we’ve actually used a production model and can tell you what this accessory brings to the (gaming) table.

While it may look a bit bulky at a glance, it’s a totally understandable size once you see everything that’s inside. At the base of it the GamePad has to be slightly thick to be stable while twisting and gripping during gameplay, but also that the control surfaces have something to grab on to. The controls are basic, but exactly what you need: joystick and d-pad on the left, joystick and standard buttons on the right, and a pair of bumpers on the top. There’s also a 1033mAh battery inside to keep your phone topped up while playing.

Support for gamepad controls varies by game, but most of the types of games that you’d expect to work with a controller do, and it’s handled at the OS level so you don’t have to worry much about anything funky happening.

The GamePad’s biggest advantage may be its physical connection and large battery.

Then there’s the big unseen advantage: with a physical connection to the phone, there’s no fiddling with pairing Bluetooth or messing with Wi-Fi to make it work. Just pop your phone on, and it instantly recognizes the controls — no latency, no disconnects, no problems. That, with all of the other things aside, is worth checking this thing out for.

Even though Motorola is finally talking about the GamePad Mod again, it isn’t yet ready to release it to the public. The product page still asks you to “register for updates” and doesn’t provide any better timeline than a summer launch, which we were told back in June. The price, if it stays at the originally quoted $79, will be a fantastic deal for such a functional accessory among plenty of other Mods that push over $200.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |