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Wileyfox: Say yes to opt-in ads, we'll give you a cheaper Android phone

UK-based phone maker Wileyfox is offering discounts of up to GBP70 off of new, unlocked handsets if buyers opt in lock screen adverts. The Wileyfox Swift 2, Swift 2 Plus, Spark X and Spark Plus are all now available to buy with Add-X, for GBP120, GBP100, GBP80 and GBP70, savings of GBP70, GBP60, GBP60 and GBP50, respectively. Swiping left will see you unlocking the phone as normal while a right swipe will take you to the offer, deal or article presented.

Launch partners include Dominos Pizza, Ministry of Sound, Reuters and Buzzfeed, but the idea is that over time, the ads will become more tailored to each user. The good news for refuseniks is that you’re not required to avail yourself of any of the deals presented and in the future, if you feel that the idea of carrying ads around in your pocket all day is too invasive, you’ll be able to pay GBP40 to have the ads removed altogether.

Cheap Android phones get even cheaper

How it works right now is you choose the phone you want from Wileyfox’s site and whether you want to buy it unlocked with the Add-X discount or without it. If you pick the former, Add-X kicks in during the set-up process after you’ve connected to the Internet and set up your Google account.

Add-X asks you to enter your age (from a number of pre-set brackets i.e.

18-24, 35-34, etc) and gender (right now, just a choice between male, female or N/A). You can even enter a location (we just put ‘London, UK’), though this isn’t compulsory.

Wileyfox’s chief marketing officer Naeem Walji told PC Mag that the idea is for Add-X to be “non-invasive” and to not track individual users, although the platform will evolve over time, based on the adverts and articles that people click on and the age and gender info you input. It should be noted, however, that if you swipe right on an ad or article, at this point, any data you hand over or anything which can be derived from cookies will between you and that third party.

The plan is to appeal to buyers who want a phone for around GBP100, without having to skimp on quality. People on capped plans worrying about how much Add-X might bite into your usage needn’t worry; it apparently burns through a mere 10-20MB every month. “Deal-seekers, the bargain hunters have an opportunity to get the same Wileyfox experience at prices of up to 42 per cent off,” Walji said. “The Add-X model really allows another price point to enter the market, but without the compromise on the overall experience in terms of hardware and software.”

Though not available to buy with Add-X now, Walji added that the top-of-the-line Swift 2 X[1], which normally goes for GBP219, will be available for GBP139 with Add-X later on, an GBP80 discount.

Talking about plans to integrate Amazon’s Alexa into the Wileyfox range, Walji said that the company plans to offer a “fully integrated Alexa experience” for GBP99.99 with Add-X beating HTC’s U11, (which starts at GBP599) by half a grand. “If you’re familiar with the way voice services work, you’ll know that the chipset has a huge role in ensuring that the wake word, that could be ‘Alexa’ or ‘OK Google’ or ‘Hey Siri’, it’s very chipset-dependant. The chipsets that support that today include in the Snapdragon 600 and higher range [The Swift 2 and Swift 2 Plus feature Snapdragon 430s].

“We’ve been able to fully integrate the wake word through a software solution both in partnership with Amazon and Qualcomm, to get this thing out there.” The Alexa updates are reportedly rolling out to Wileyfox phones from the Swift 2 and upwards at some point before the end of 2017; that’s not long to go, so hopefully OTAs will arrive in time for anyone who is going to unwrap an Amazon Echo this Christmas. It will, however, be “a push” to bring Alexa to older phones like the Spark X and Spark Plus, which run on MediaTek MT6735s.

Revenue Sharing Gateway Drug

Back to Add-X; unfortunately, early Wileyfox adopters won’t be able to retroactively download Add-X and get credited the difference.

The plan is for every Wileyfox user to have the Add-X app pushed out to their phone eventually, because, Walji added, the Add-X portal brings us a step closer to a revenue sharing scheme which was tipped last November. Playing around with the Add-X app on a Swift 2 Plus, we spotted a section marked ‘coming soon’ and something called Wileyfox Points. A year on, and Wileyfox is still keeping mum about the particulars, but the basic idea is with the revenue sharing scheme is that if you shop online at certain retailers, you’ll earn points which can be spent on future phones.

Wileyfox has said that in theory, you should never have to pay for a phone ever again; it might be with Add-X turned on, a big chunk of the cash you’d have to part with is gone right from square one. It certainly seems like this is part of the revenue sharing puzzle and if so, then Add-X may be launching now as the gateway drug for Wileyfox Points. While information on all of that is still TBC, you can pick up Wileyfox phones for less now with Add-X.

Here’s all of the official prices with and without the Add-X discount applied:

Other Wileyfox phones will be added to the line-up at a later date and will eventually cost:

References

  1. ^ top-of-the-line Swift 2 X (uk.pcmag.com)

Everything Coming to Amazon Video in December

Amazon Video[1] is giving viewers a huge gift for the holidays–it will have the Doctor Who Christmas Special days before it usually airs on the BBC. As a Doctor Who fan, I’m thankful but it’s not the only present I’m getting from Amazon. My favorite movie of all time, Moonstruck, comes back to the streaming service[2] this month, too.

Its complex family relationships really might speak to you this time of year.

Whether you’re hiding out from your family or are just too full from holiday sweets to move, there are lots of movies and TV shows to spend time with on Amazon Video this month; check out a some standouts and the full list below.

Doctor Who Christmas Special–Dec.

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The Doctor Who Christmas Special airing before Christmas is as close as it’s every going to come to Christmas actually coming early. The special traditionally airs on Christmas but Amazon has it days early. Every special is emotional but this one promises to be more so, with the Twelfth Doctor encountering the First Doctor before he becomes the Thirteenth Doctor (and a woman!).

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Moonstruck–Dec.

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I could endlessly quote this movie to you or you could watch it yourself. Basically that’s a threat but also it would be on par with the emotional hostage-taking that the Brooklyn Italian family the Castornis specialize in. This movie is charming any time of year but especially at the holidays since it features New York during that season, which is when it looks its best.

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Rocky I – V–Dec.

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You probably have days off this holiday season. Use one of them to have a Rocky marathon. The first five movies in the series all come to the streaming service on the first day of the month.

Having watched many of them far more than once, I will say that Rocky and Rocky II are by far the best ones. Rocky III and Rocky IV are eh. Rocky V is truly awful in the way Godfather III is awful.

Rocky Balboa is as good as the first two but alas it is not available with Prime (though you can rent it on Amazon if you are a completist).

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New to Amazon Video in December

December 1Apocalypse NowAt Close RangeBasic Instinct 2BloodsportBrothers GrimmBuffalo 66Child’s PlayDr. StrangeGremlins 2: The New BatchHammettHannibalHitchHulk Vs.In & OutIn Enemy HandsLight SleeperMeet Wally SparksMoonstruckNext Avengers: Heroes of TomorrowPlanet HulkPoint BreakRockyRocky IIRocky IIIRocky IVRocky VSearching for Bobby FischerSilenceStigmataThe Final CutThe Heartbreak KidThe Invincible Iron ManThe Silence of the LambsThe Weight of WaterThor Animated Movie: Tales of AsgardTitanicUltimate Avengers: The MovieUltimate Avengers IIWristcutters: A Love Story December 3Class: Season 1

December 4The Royals: Season 3 December 7AftershockGun ShyThursday Night Football: Saints vs. Falcons

December 8Crank 2: High VoltageThe Grand Tour: Season 2 December 9It Comes at Night December 10NightcrawlerRosewater

December 12Foreman December 14Thursday Night Football: Broncos vs. Colts

December 15Jean Claude Van Johnson: Season 1 December 18Doctor Who Christmas Special December 21Humans: Season 2Woodshock

December 22Monster Trucks December 23Anne of Green Gables: Season 2Banksy Does New YorkSomeone Marry BarryTeen Wolf: Season 6 December 25Thursday Night Football: Steelers vs.

Texans December 28Anjelah Johnson: Mahalo & Goodnight December 29Rings

December 31Brawl in Cell Block 99Solacets

References

  1. ^ Amazon Video (www.pcmag.com)
  2. ^ streaming service (www.pcmag.com)

Black Friday 2017: Best Amazon Echo, Google Home, Sonos One smart wireless speaker deals

If home automation’s high up on your tech to-do list, then there’s some great Black Friday deals to be had on Amazon Echo, Google Home and Sonos One speakers, on top of everything else that’s been announced so far[1].

Amazon Echo and Echo Dot

Both Amazon and Currys PC World have slashed the prices of its new Echo (2017 edition)[2] and Echo Dot speakers by GBP20 and GBP10 respectively, making getting set up with Amazon’s line-up of smart voice-activated assistant/entertainment hubs even cheaper. The Echo is designed to act as your main hub speaker and would sit in your living room or wherever you spend most of your time at home. The mini Echo Dots can be paired wirelessly via the Alexa app, so that tunes you stream on the main speaker can be piped through to other rooms, like your kitchen, bedroom or bathroom, or anywhere where you perhaps wouldn’t want, or space won’t allow a bigger speaker.

Read next: Apple HomePod vs.

Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Smart Speaker Showdown[3]

Google Home

Thanks to its compatibility with Chromecast Audio, streaming music to speakers from your phone couldn’t be easier with Google Home[4]. Like Amazon’s Echo ecosystem, as well as big speakers, you can also pair your Google Home with Google Home Minis.

One key advantage Google Home has is that it can handle up to six different user accounts, giving different calendar information and playlists for each, as long as everyone has a phone with the Google Home app running. Currys PC World has a string of Google Home deals running throughout Black Friday, including one which sees a Google Home speaker bundled with a Google WiFi dual-band wireless range extender.

Sonos One

Sonos One[5] is not just a powerful wireless speaker in its own right, it’s also one of the few speakers on the market that’ll work with Amazon Alexa and (eventually) Google Assistant, making it an excellent bridge between two separate ecosystems. During Black Friday, Amazon’s selling the Sonos One in black and white with a 25 per cent discount.

References

  1. ^ on top of everything else that’s been announced so far (uk.pcmag.com)
  2. ^ new Echo (2017 edition) (uk.pcmag.com)
  3. ^ Apple HomePod vs.

    Amazon Echo vs.

    Google Home: Smart Speaker Showdown (uk.pcmag.com)

  4. ^ Google Home (uk.pcmag.com)
  5. ^ Sonos One (uk.pcmag.com)

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