When you are thinking of putting up your own house, you spend an incredible amount of money just to get the foundation, as well as the household items that would make it complete.
Because you are spending a huge sum of money, it is imperative that you protect your investment at all costs. One way to do that would be to install a surveillance system that not only alerts you when someone is near your house but also deters would-be intruders from getting inside.
Today, I am going to go over some of the best outdoor home security cameras that help protect your home 24/7.
Best Outdoor Home Security Cameras
1.Arlo Pro 3
Considered by many as the best outdoor security camera on the market today, the Arlo Pro 3 has a lot of nifty features that will surely protect your home from intruders.
For one, it has an IP67 rating which means that it can withstand any weather conditions- whether it is a hot sunny day or the cold winter nights, it should have no problems whatsoever.
The third version of the famous Arlo Pro line of cameras has an improved video quality of 2K resolution and it now has a wider viewing angle of 160 degrees.
What’s more, the camera has a built-in siren that you can program to trigger if its motion detectors get anything within its vicinity or you can have it manually triggered using its companion app.
Of course, it goes without saying that this product has night vision (and a colored one at that). It has some LED lights that shine brightly within its range so that can also deter intruders as well.
One of the things that you should always consider when getting a home security camera is how well it can record audio. The good thing is that this product excels on that end.
Conversations can be heard clearly and its overall audio quality is crystal clear compared to the others on the market.
This camera can also interact with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant Plus as well so you can have it do some things just by using voice commands.
Technically, you can buy one Arlo Pro 3 camera, but since it requires a base (which is only available when you buy the kit), it can be one of the most expensive cameras on the market.
But, with its feature set, the high price tag is justified.
2.Reolink Argus 2
Not a lot of people can afford the Arlo 3 camera above and if you are on the same boat, this next recommendation will be a good fit for you.
The Reolink Argus 2 is a security camera that can be installed either indoors or outdoors. It is more suited to be installed outside as it comes with night vision, but you can safely put this inside your house as well.
I like this product because there are no wires when you use its default setup. It makes use of a rechargeable battery so you do not have to contend with annoying wires at all.
You can also opt to use its solar panel attachment so that you will never have to worry about powering the device since it uses solar energy. Of course, using the camera with the attachment can prove to be bothersome to install, so just bear that in mind.
There is a companion app that you can use so that you can set up its email and push notifications. It has a built-in MicroSD card slot to store all of the video files locally and you can play them remotely by using its app as well.
This 1080p camera is pretty good but there are some issues that you need to be aware of. For one, its motion detector is a bit slow compared to its competition and you might experience WiFi issues, especially if your home router doesn’t have a good range.
But other than that, the Reolink Argus 2 is one of the best budget security cameras on the market.
3.D-Link mydlink Full HD Outdoor WiFi Camera (DCS-8600LH)
D-Link is a reputable brand when it comes to networking solutions, but it also offers some competitive security cameras as well.
The D-Link DCS-8600LH is a $150 Full HD security camera with an IP65 rating. It can withstand the elements, albeit not so much so compared to the top recommendation above.
Still, it has a pretty good night vision feature and two-way audio which means that you can clearly hear what the device hears as well.
It can store files both locally (via a microSD card) and online (with the use of the company’s cloud storage solution).
Because of its small and round-shaped design, installing this thing can be a problem, especially since its coating is a bit on the smoother side.
But, the DCS-8600LH provides competitive features at a relatively low cost.
4.Kami Smart Outdoor Security Camera
Another great budget security camera, the Kami smart outdoor security camera ticks all of the boxes if you want an affordable home security solution.
The camera is IP65 certified which means that it is weatherproof up to a certain extent. Its night vision provides you with a colored output and that is something really nice considering its affordable price.
Its motion detection is also surprisingly good and thanks to its dual-audio feature, you can clearly hear anyone who is talking within its range.
The camera also has smart human detection but do keep in mind that the said feature can be prone to false positives.
Still, for $60, I am surprised that this Kami security camera is priced the way that it is considering what you will get.
5.Ring Stick Up Cam
Although this next camera is suited for indoor use, you can actually install it outside as well thanks to its included base.
Anyway, the Ring Stick Up Cam is battery operated which means that installing it is just as easy as sticking it to its base and putting it wherever you want.
Even though it is battery-operated, you can also opt to get one with a solar panel for ease of use, though you will have to spend $20 more for that.
The Ring Stick Up Cam is quite convenient because you can do a lot of things by utilizing its companion app.
When you fire up the application, you can use its ‘Live View’ feature which basically allows you to see things within its range in real-time.
You can also choose to buy more than one Stick Up Cam and integrate all of them just by using the application as well which is a pretty nice touch.
This camera has a built-in microphone that not only records audio but can also be used to activate Amazon Alexa as well. It doesn’t support Google Assistant, however.
When you purchase this product, you will be given a code that registers you to the company’s protection plan. This basically means that you get to use its cloud storage service for 60 days, after which, you will have to pay them money if you intend to use the storage solution for more than the allotted time.
Although there is a lot to love about this device, it does have a relatively short battery life.
Still, it is a competitive budget offering with smart home features, so its downside is just a minor inconvenience.
If you want a subtle looking camera that is hard to see at night, the Blink XT2 is the right one for you.
Because this camera uses Two AA lithium batteries, you need not worry about any cables at all. It connects to your home network via WiFi so as long as your router has a pretty good range, you shouldn’t run into any problems setting this thing up.
What I love about the camera is that it sends you real-time alerts whenever someone is within range of the device. It can send you a short video clip along with the notification so that you will know what is currently happening in the vicinity of your home.
Aside from storing files using its MicroSD card slot, you can also choose to store the files using the company’s cloud storage solution.
Another noteworthy feature of this device is that it has customizable motion zones so you can set what specific zone you want this camera to focus on before it sends a notification to you that it detected some movement.
It records videos in Full HD and has an IP65 rating so it is weatherproof.
If you want more peace of mind, you can buy more than one Blink XT2 camera and synchronize them using the company’s mobile application. It can support both Android phones and iOS devices.
7.Google Nest CAM IQ Outdoor
Google produces some of the best security cameras on the market and the Google Nest CAM IQ is one that is definitely worth considering despite its high asking price. Let me explain.
Aside from the fact that it is easy to install, the Nest CAM IQ records videos at 4K by default which provides impeccable video quality at the cost of storage space.
In addition, the camera also has HDR support and it can also provide 12x enhanced digital zoom so that you can also get to see what is within your home’s vicinity much more clearly.
The two-way audio functionality lets you talk to the person that is within the camera’s range which is perfect if you want to talk to the delivery guy or deter people from entering your house.
By using the Google Nest application, you can set the camera to record snapshots and it will save those images every 3 hours.
Its IP66 rating ensures that this security product can withstand the hottest days and the coldest nights without any issues.
Because this security camera is made by Google, you can integrate it with other Google products as well.
The only real issue here is the price, but if you can afford it, this is a serious contender.
8.Deep Sentinel 3-in-1 Cam Starter Kit
Price: $399 for 1 camera, $699 for the 3-camera kit
One of the most unique camera kits that you can buy on the market, the Deep Sentinel security camera is the one that you’d want to consider for maximum peace of mind.
Let’s talk about the camera first. It can record videos in 1080p and has an IP rating of IP65 which can withstand pretty much all weather conditions.
Aside from that, it has a two-way communication feature, as well as a 130-degree viewing angle which is respectable for a security camera.
It is battery-powered and can be recharged using the included solar charging kit. The cameras are quite efficient though and the company even says that they can last up to 9 months on a single charge, which is definitely impressive.
The unit also comes with a pretty loud siren rated at 104dB, so you may want to tinker that so as to not annoy the neighbors.
But, the camera is only one part of the equation. When you purchase a 3-in-1 camera kit, you also get to use the company’s live monitoring service as well. This is how it works:
The camera operates 24/7 and whenever it detects motion within its range, it will discern the subject first. If it is an intruder, the camera will start recording some footage and the recording will be sent to the company’s office for review.
There will be a live person that is going to assess the feed and will take appropriate actions when necessary.
Seriously, this is one of the only camera kits out there that provide this level of service, which also explains why the kit alone is quite expensive.
However, if you want maximum security and peace of mind, this is the camera kit you should get.
9.Lorex Smart Outdoor Security Camera
Although most of the security cameras that you can find on the market can withstand harsh weather conditions, most of them cannot withstand a predominantly cold season. It is imperative that you get a camera that is built for frigid temperatures and the Lorex Smart Outdoor security camera is one of them.
This camera is a bit small, but do not let its stature fool you. The unit is designed to withstand temperatures as low as -30 Celsius which is pretty insane!
This particular security product also comes with some handy features to go along with it as well. It has support for 2-way audio, has a built-in siren, and has a pretty bright spotlight as well.
Of course, it goes without saying that it also has motion detectors and their performance is okay, but nothing really to brag about.
If you’ve ever heard about the company, Anker, you will find out that they actually have a sister company that specializes in security equipment called ‘Eufy’.
That being said, the EufyCam 2 is another well-rounded security camera that you can install outside your house.
It has a better IP rating at 67 which makes cold and wet weather a non-issue. It is compatible with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa so you can use some smart home features as well.
This unit’s battery life is so great because it is rated to last an entire year. It is also rechargeable so you need not worry about replacing it at all.
With its included 100dB siren, you can ward off any would-be intruders out of your house which is a nice touch.
The only thing that might put off some people is that it has a slight delay in its video recording feature, though it is not as bad as you think.
Security cameras are a must in this day and age to protect your home and family. The ones that are mentioned in this article should provide you with an additional level of protection and are the most bang-for-the-buck so you will get your money’s worth.
GoPro Hero 9 Black Review- This Action Camera is Going 5K
Even though we are asked to stay at home due to the Covid-19 situation, this is not to say that you should not invest in things that you will most likely use in the future.
If you are into action cameras, the GoPro Hero 9 Black was just released and I’d have to say that it is a huge improvement over its predecessor. It is safe to say that it is the best iteration yet.
Today, I am going to review this action camera so that you can have an informed decision about whether or not you should also get one for yourself.
The GoPro Hero 9 Black is the largest GoPro has to offer yet. It measures 71 x 55 x 33.6mm and it also weighs 158 grams. It is bigger and heavier than its predecessors but it is actually not that big of a deal because it still remains relatively compact.
It has a predominantly black aesthetic with the company branding seen on the front of the camera and is painted white.
One of the biggest additions to the Hero 9 Black is the front-facing display which is ideal if you are thinking about vlogging or streaming. This allows you or any model to find out how they’re positioned so you do not have to command them to do anything else since they can already see for themselves.
You also get a removable lens cover that allows you to use your lens mods. This has been implemented before but has been changed in later versions. It is refreshing to see this coming back.
What is interesting about the GoPro Hero 9 Black is that it now has a 23.6-megapixel main sensor that is capable of recording 5K resolution videos at 30 frames per second.
Now, you might be thinking about why you need a 5K camera since most displays nowadays are only set at 4K. Well, there is actually a use-case for that.
If you’ve ever used any vlogging or action cameras before and you’ve recorded some footage in 4K, you will find that there are some areas where the resulting video is cropped. That is most likely due to the lower pixel count in smaller cameras.
With the Hero 9 Black, because you have plenty of pixels to work with, that same cropping method will no longer be present here since the camera is capable of outputting more pixels than ever before.
So, even if you are not really going to use its 5K resolution setting, you are still getting more pixels in 4K that you can use in your monitor or TV which is pretty impressive.
There are so many features that you may want to use when you’re recording with the GoPro Hero 9 Black. The first is Hypersmooth 3.0.
Because this is an action camera, you want the resulting photo or video to be stabilized at all times and that is what the said feature can do. However, when comparing it to the previous version, there is no noticeable difference, but you might notice it more than me.
The next one is the linear view. This is basically a feature that vloggers would want to enable. Essentially, if the camera is orientated in a way that is natural for most people while they’re moving, the linear view makes it a point to stabilize the subject as much as possible. It is a bit similar to Hypersmooth, albeit this one is more of an auto-correction.
Another unique feature is the TimeWarp 3.0. If you’ve used iPhones before, this is basically a feature where the frame rate remains consistent (normal) then slows down to a crawl for those amazing shots.
TimeWarp 3.0 is ideal for whenever you are doing fast-paced movements and recording, though use it sparingly as the feature can drain the battery more than any other recording modes.
It is worth mentioning that the GoPro Hero 9 Black can also be used as a webcam as well. This is great for work from home setups and you can set the resolution to 1080p (which is pretty much standard fare in most streaming sites).
To use this as a webcam, you must first download its software either on Windows or Macs. I haven’t tried the latter, but the Windows version (which is still in beta) is actually a joy to use.
Alternatively, you can download the camera’s companion app if you want to transfer files to and from your camera, as well as do a lot more things.
You might think that the Hero 9 Black suffers in the battery department, especially with the introduction of a front display, as well as more power-hungry features. In a way, there is some truth to that but there are some optimizations at play here that will still give you more battery than you will ever need in a single session.
The GoPro Hero 9 Black comes with a 1,720 mAh battery which is 500 mAh higher than the Hero 8. Battery life improves a bit, but this thing can still last anywhere between 90-150 minutes depending on the resolution and the features that you have enabled.
That is pretty impressive given that it comes with new technologies.
The company will be releasing what is known as the ‘Media Mod’ that will also come with the Display and Light mods as well.
This is basically more suited for dedicated filming as it helps give you features that can make your video recording life so much easier.
At the time of writing, the mod will be released next month for $99.99.
The new GoPro Hero 9 Black is pretty easy to recommend because it now supports a higher resolution and has a slew of new features that you will really like.
Although its form factor is certainly bigger than its predecessor, you will also get a bigger battery life as a result.
Next month, the company will be releasing certain mods that will allow you to record videos quickly and seamlessly, though you will have to spend a bit more money to get that.
All in all, I am impressed with the GoPro Hero 9 Black. Sure, its size is bigger but I think that its extra heft is warranted and you still get the durability of GoPro’s of the past.
The GoPro Hero 9 Black is priced at $450, though you can get it for $399 if you are willing to opt into the company’s subscription service.
The Best Flagship Phones This August 2020 That Will Definitely Suit Your Needs
Do you want to buy only the best of the best phones out there? If so, read this article to find out our recommendations for the best flagship phones this August 2020.
We are now in the second half of the year and if you are interested to know the best phones that you can buy, read further to find out what they are.
Best Flagship Phones in August
1.Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Among all of the top smartphone companies on the market, Samsung is always the first one to release its flagship products and one of them is the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. The good thing about being first, in this regard, is that the products will be sold at discounted prices later this year (which is now quite evident on this one).
Anyway, what makes the S20 Ultra so special is its unique array of cameras. Its quadruple-camera setup is highlighted by the 108-megapixel wide-angle lens followed by a 48-megapixel telephoto sensor.
Thanks to the latter camera lens, the phone is able to accomplish 10x lossless zoom which means that you can zoom in on your chosen subjects without a loss in picture quality.
Although you can technically use its 30x zoom feature, that is just a digital zoom and, graininess and photo noise will be present if you max that out.
Aside from its impressive cameras, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra also has other amazing things as well.
It has a massive 6.9-inch Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz screen refresh rate (which makes this one of the company’s first smartphones to ever have a fast display).
As you can expect, the Super AMOLED screen has HDR10 support which means that color performance and picture quality are superb no matter what content you intend to look at using this device.
Since 5G is going to be the new standard moving forward, this is also a great 5G-enabled phone.
Lastly, the device has a pretty hefty 5,000 mAh battery so it will have no problems lasting an entire day even with moderate to heavy use.
While it was originally sold at a price of $1,349, it is now priced at $929 which is definitely a good deal.
2.OnePlus 8 Pro
Although it was hard to recommend the Oneplus 8, its pro version is certainly one of the best flagship phones on the market.
The OnePlus8 Pro has a lot of nice features. It has a 6.78-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz screen refresh rate and 1440p resolution. Whether you are watching your favorite shows or playing your games on this thing, the display can handle anything with flying colors!
As you can expect from a top-of-the-line device, it comes with the latest SoC from Qualcomm in the form of the Snapdragon 865. It is also packed with 8GB of RAM for the base model and 12GB for the priciest configuration.
At first, its cameras were mediocre at best but it has certainly become quite a contender thanks to the numerous updates it had received since the phone was released.
People that want to have full confidence that their phones are not going to run out of battery will be happy to know that this one is a survivor. If you need to top it up, its 30-watt warp charger will have no problems doing so.
3.Sony Xperia 1 II
Sony was out of the game for quite some time but the company has since resurfaced to bring you one of the best and most unique smartphones on the market.
The Sony Xperia 1 II is a great media consumption and photo/video editing device. It is unique because it is one of the only smartphones on the market that has a 21:9 aspect ratio screen, which means that you get a lot of different graphical elements displayed on the phone at one time.
Speaking of the screen, you are getting a 6.5-inch OLED display with a resolution of 3840 x 1644. It is odd, but the company touts this device’s resolution to be 4K. True enough, the images are crisp and vibrant no matter what content you intend to look at.
As is evident in a flagship device, the Sony Xperia 1 II comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of internal storage, and a 4,000 mAh battery.
Aside from its display, its built-in photo and video creation and editing applications make this quite an appealing device to use for content creators.
You can literally do whatever you want- take amazing photos, record stellar videos- and you can do all of the editings directly on the phone itself which is pretty cool.
This phone is also the only flagship device that has a 3.5mm headphone jack, so for all of the audiophiles out there, this smartphone is quite an appealing choice.
4.iPhone 11 Pro Max
Aside from the Google Pixel, the iPhone 11 Pro Max has an amazing camera- both in the hardware and software department.
To be honest, Apple always creates interesting smartphones every year. The A13 Bionic chip on this thing can even outperform Qualcomm’s latest chipset by a couple of points. This also translates to real-world performance as well.
The ‘Max’ version is the biggest among the iPhone 11 line and has a 6.5-inch OLED display and up to 512GB of internal storage. I know, the RAM is only a measly 4GB but do keep in mind that Apple did some amazing optimizations to ensure that the device gets the most out of its hardware.
What makes iPhones so special is their camera performance. Each and every iteration of the device, you’re getting an improved set of cameras which makes Apple a household name when it comes to great camera phones.
Photographers that often engage in low-light photography will definitely love what the iPhone 11 Pro Max has to offer.
If you want to save a bit more money, you can go for the non-Max version but keep in mind that you are sacrificing screen size and a bit of battery capacity if you do so.
5.Oppo Find X2 Pro
The priciest phone on this list is none other than the Oppo Find X2 Pro. This phone is quite unique which kind of warrants its very steep price tag.
So, what is so special about this thing? To be honest, it is one of the most versatile flagships out there on the market out there. Why? Because almost everything about it is amazing.
You have a 6.7-inch AMOLED display that can be set to a high 120hz screen refresh rate. It is HDR10-compatible so you can enjoy online HDR content with superb visual fidelity.
It has very good specs to back it up. You are getting the latest flagship chipset from Qualcomm, a hefty 12GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of internal storage.
The device also has a 4,260 mAh battery as well. Oh, you are running out of juice? Do not worry, its SuperVOOC charger ensures that the device is not going to die on you. A 15-min charge can give you 40% of battery life. It is that impressive!
Although its cameras do not outperform the Google Pixel devices and Apple’s iPhone, it certainly is no slouch as it can also deliver some stunning images as well.
Seriously, if you have the money to spend, the Oppo Find X2 Pro is the most flagship phone you can get this August.
6.Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
Here’s a fun fact for you: Which of the smartphones today can rival the Google Pixel 3 XL when it comes to camera quality? If you’ve answered Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, then you are right on the money.
The S20 Plus was released earlier this year but it certainly still deserves a slot on this list mainly because of its amazing camera performance. Sure, it doesn’t truly rival the Ultra version of the lineup but it can still go head-to-head with what Google has to offer.
Although its lossless zoom is only maxed at 3x, you still get stunning photos without enabling the said feature. That is thanks to the 64-megapixel telephoto lens, 12-megapixel wide, and 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensors.
You got to love Samsung when it comes to phone displays. The S20 Plus has a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display that can also be set to a 120Hz screen refresh rate. Because it is HDR10 compliant and because the picture quality is stunning all throughout, you can also play your favorite Android games here and enjoy every second of it.
Just like its ‘Ultra’ brother, the S20 Plus also comes with flagship components and a hefty battery that can last an impressive 10 hours and 30 minutes with moderate use.
So, why did I include this on the list? Well, that is because you can snag one up for just $720 for the base model which comes with the Snapdragon 865 chipset, 12GB of RAM, and 128GB of internal storage. To me, this is a definite steal, so you’d want to get this one as soon as possible.
There are really some awesome flagship phones on the market from big companies such as Samsung, Apple, and even some interesting ones such as Sony and Oppo.
All of the phones on this list are great and you can never go wrong by choosing either one of them.
Best Android Smartphones in 2020- From True Flagships to the Top Budget Phones
The beauty of the Android mobile operating system is its diversity. Because it is open-source, different phone companies can create their own versions and provide better value that will suit the different needs of the consumers.
If you are looking to buy one soon, then read further as I will go over some of the best Android smartphones in 2020.
I will separate them based on price tiers from the truly high-end to the budget and mid-range offerings.
Best Flagship Android Phones
1.Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
If you want the best overall flagship Android device of 2020, then look no further than the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus. There is a lot to love about this device and I am going to go over them here.
First is that this is one of the company’s first devices that has a fast refresh rate screen. It can go as high as 120Hz but bear in mind that by doing so, you effectively increase its battery drain. Fortunately, there are many ways to top up the phone’s battery, so you need not worry about this too much.
Second, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus’ camera is better than what the Google Pixel 4 has to offer. Unlike the latter, the S20 Plus has an ultra-wide sensor, which is then coupled by a 64-megapixel telephoto lens, 12-megapixel wide sensor, and a time-of-flight sensor as well.
The third is the screen is just so amazing. It is a 6.67-inch Super AMOLED display that has a resolution of 1440p. Although it does have that hole punch cutout for the selfie camera, you still have a lot of screen real estate to work with.
It should also come as no surprise that you get the top-of-the-line chipsets with this device. Depending on your region, you either get the Snapdragon 865 or the Exynos variant which is still pretty good overall.
My only complaint here is that the phone is not optimized enough to handle the faster screen refresh rate. Fortunately, it does come with a fast charger and you also have the option to wirelessly charge the phone as well.
If you want the best overall Android smartphone in 2020, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is the best one out there.
2.OnePlus 8 Pro
Once a company that creates flagship killers is now one that manufactures actual flagships. The OnePlus 8 Pro is the company’s ‘true’ flagship product and it certainly delivers.
It has a very vibrant 6.78-inch OLED panel with a resolution of 1440p. What’s more, the display can be clocked at a 120Hz refresh rate so that all of the graphical elements it can display will become buttery smooth.
While the S20 Plus’ camera is better, the OnePlus 8 Pro is actually good. It has received a lot of updates that have certainly improved the camera’s performance and I can now recommend it for some photography on the side.
Aside from the top-of-the-line specs, one amazing feature of this phone is its battery and the included charger. Dubbed as the ‘Warp’ charger, it can top up the device from 0 to 100% in just under an hour which is pretty insane.
The pro variant is also capable of Qi wireless charging, though the base model, sadly, does not.
The OnePlus 8 Pro is what I would recommend for people that want a cheaper flagship phone that delivers powerful performance and insane battery life.
If I had to nitpick here, I would say that the curved display is prone to accidental touches, though your muscle memory will catch on.
3.Sony Xperia 1 II
Sony hasn’t had a flagship in a while but I am happy that the company is getting right back on track. The Sony Xperia 1 II is its newest flagship and I have to say that it ticks the right boxes.
It does have a boxy design but the company has made it so that it will have svelte looks regardless.
The phone is equipped with components that you would normally expect on a high-end phone such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, 6.5-inch OLED 4K display with HDR10+ certification, 256GB internal storage with an option to expand it, a good array of cameras that are perfect for cinematography, IP68 rating, and has a considerable 8GB of RAM.
I really love its display because aside from it having a 4K resolution, it can also handle HDR content without any issues. The only downside to this is that the display is locked at 60Hz which means that if you are looking for a faster screen, this is not it.
It is also worth mentioning that it has a slow charger at only 15-watts, so it might take some time to fully give juice to this device.
Still, the camera array is pretty good both for images and capturing videos. It is so good, in fact, that you can use the phone as a vlogging camera if you are a content creator.
Even though it doesn’t have a fast display and it only has a slow charger, the Sony Xperia 1 II still has all of the right specs that people will surely love. And oh, did I mention that it does have a headphone jack?
4.Oppo Find X2 Pro
The Oppo Find X2 Pro is a surprisingly good flagship contender in 2020. Aside from the high-end specs, one of its biggest features is its display.
This phone has a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1440p and can be set at a 120Hz refresh rate. But, what’s interesting here is that this device has one of the most color-accurate displays among smartphones out there.
So accurate, in fact, that it has a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut score, which means that consuming media content on this device is a dream come true!
Aside from that, it has 800 nits of peak brightness so even if the sun is glaring at you, it will have no issue displaying anything on the screen.
Another strong feature of the Oppo Find X2 Pro is its camera array. It is equipped with the Sony IMX689 wide-angle lens and is coupled by a 48-megapixel ultra-wide shooter, 13-megapixel periscope telephoto lens, and it also has a 32-megapixel selfie camera as well.
As you can expect, the phone produces some amazing photos and videos that serious photographers can actually use this for professional photography instead of a dedicated camera.
While there is a lot to love about this phone, there are some things that people might not like. This device is running Android 10 with the ColorOS 7.1 skin on top of it. It does have a simple interface but I don’t think that people will actually love it.
Still, this is an everyday device that can last a whole day thanks to its 4,260 mAh battery and the class-leading 65-watt SuperVOOC 2.0 charger.
While it has a pretty fast charger without a doubt, the phone doesn’t support wireless charging though.
5.Google Pixel 4
Google’s own version of a flagship device, the Google Pixel 4 and its larger brother, the Pixel 4 XL, are pretty good phones for most people.
Its strongest feature is definitely the cameras- both the hardware and the software. In fact, the camera quality on this device can rival that of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus. If you want the simpler aesthetic of the Google Pixel 4, then you can get this instead of the S20 Plus I just mentioned.
This is also the first phone where the company used a high refresh rate screen. Although it is maxed out at only 90Hz, it still provides a smoother overall experience nonetheless.
Most of the nice things about this phone are in the software. Aside from a really good camera app, you also get to be one of the first people to enroll in the Android beta program. In fact, if you want to sample what Android 11 has to offer, getting a Pixel phone makes sense.
Among all of the phones I’ve tested, only the Google Pixel devices have pretty accurate Google Assistant results, as well as good facial recognition for unlocking the device.
Sadly, and this has to be said, its weakest link is its poor battery life. Even if you do not subject it to demanding workloads, the phone barely lasts a whole day, so you better bring its charger with you.
6.Xiaomi Mi Pro 10 5G
They say that 5G is the future, so as early as now, you should be getting a 5G device so that you can get a hold of the new technology as it becomes available in your area.
That being said, one of the best 5G phones that are reasonably priced (in my opinion) is the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G.
You can expect the usual specs that come with a high-end phone. You get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, 6.67-inch Super AMOLED display that can be set to 90 Hz refresh rate and has HDR10+ certification, and of course, it is 5G-enabled, among many others.
While the screen only has a maximum of Full HD+ resolution, it still provides a pretty good viewing experience nonetheless. The display does have a hole punch for the selfie camera, but other than that, you still get a lot of screen real estate to watch your favorite movies and TV shows.
What’s more, you can have a much smoother experience thanks to the display’s ability to be clocked at 90Hz refresh rate.
It doesn’t have expandable storage, though it comes with a hefty 256GB or 512GB of internal storage, which should be okay for most people. It is UFS 3.0, so expect faster performance and quick file transfer speeds.
It should also be mentioned that the cameras on this thing are pretty good. It is not at the same level as the S20 Plus or Pixel 4 but it still provides excellent videos and images nonetheless.
The phone is also a survivor thanks to its hefty 4,500 mAh battery and 50-watt charging block that is included in the box.
Of course, it is already capable of 5G, so if it is already available in your area, you can use this device without any issues.
Budget Android Phones
1.TCL 10 Pro
Now, let’s talk about the best budget to mid-range phones and in this category, there is actually plenty to choose from. However, I will narrow it down to just 5 of the best ones so that it will be easier for you to choose.
That being said, the first one on the list is the TCL 10 Pro. It has amazing looks and specs that you might mistake this for a flagship phone.
Anyway, the phone has a 6.47-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2340 x 1080. It is also coupled with the Snapdragon 675 chipset and 6GB of RAM which should be plenty for most users.
Although its internal storage is only capped at 128GB, it is expandable via microSD so you can still store a lot of photos, videos, and other files in it.
The TCL 10 Pro’s battery life is also quite good as it lasted more than 10 hours in my testing. This means that you can have it fully charged before you leave the house and you come home with some juice left on it.
While its looks are premium and it does have considerable specs, this phone’s weakness is its camera. Sure, it has 4 different cameras, but the software, as well as the hardware, just do not compete with the likes of the Google Pixel 4 XL or Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus.
Still, for what you are getting, I would still consider this as one of the best budget phones under $500.
2.Moto G8 Power
Do you have less than $300 to spend on an Android smartphone? If so, look no further than the Moto G8 Power. I am quite surprised how affordably priced this phone is for what it has to offer, but I am glad that Motorola provides you with an amazing budget phone regardless.
It comes with a 6.4-inch LCD display with a resolution of 2300 x 1080. It is equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chipset which is a good mid-range performer and it also has 4GB of RAM that should be plenty for most use-cases.
While its camera is not something to brag about, you still have a 4-camera array at the back and a 16-megapixel camera at the front.
Its 5,000 mAh battery can also last an entire day without issue and you can top it up with its included 18-watt fast charger.
Seriously, for the price of just $250, I am pleasantly surprised by the Moto G8 Power.
3.Samsung Galaxy S10e
The Samsung Galaxy S10e was released two years ago, but because it is equipped with the top of the line specs back in the day, it is still a worthy contender in 2020.
For just $350 at the time of writing, you get the once-flagship chipset in the form of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845.
It has a 5.8-inch display with a resolution of 1080p and if you’ve known Samsung for a long time, you will know that this device has a rich and vibrant screen. Its refresh rate cannot go higher than 60Hz, but that is a trade-off considering that this device is now priced in the budget category.
The overall design of the phone is also what you can expect from a company that provides amazing high-end devices.
Its camera setup is also quite respectable as well.
Fans of Samsung’s reverse wireless charging will be happy to get the Samsung Galaxy S10e because it, too, has this feature built-in.
4.Asus Zenfone 6
Asus hasn’t produced a flagship phone in 2020 yet but its high-end phone last year does deserve praise. It is now priced at $499 which I think is a pretty good deal.
In the era that this phone was released, most devices use pop-up mechanisms for the selfie camera and while most people are okay with that, there are some that have expressed their doubts, especially when it comes to durability.
So, instead of using a pop-up mechanism, the company has opted to use motors instead to actually shift the camera forward or facing backward depending on the need. This is a unique implementation and is something that definitely deserves some praise and recognition.
Aside from the camera, you get a hefty 5,000 mAh battery, alongside some flagship specs and considerably good 6.4.-inch LCD display.
5.Xiaomi Mi Note 10
Some people buy phones mainly for the camera and if you are part of that demographic, then this next one is definitely a good contender.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 10’s standout feature is its 108-megapixel shooter that provides amazing results even in low-light environments. It is punctuated with an additional 12-megapixel portrait camera, 5-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 2-megapixel macro sensor to top it all off. For the selfie camera, you get a pretty decent 32-megapixel shooter.
This is considered as a mid-range phone, and true enough, its specs are a testament to that. It is equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor, 6GB of RAM, 5,260 mAh battery, and 128GB UFS 3.0 storage.
It is also bundled with a fast charger so even if it has a pretty hefty battery, you can give it enough juice in just a short amount of time.
The Android mobile operating system is certainly a pretty good one. It has been refined over the years and more features are being added to the mix in every new iteration.
What I love about the ecosystem is its diversity. You not only have the option to get a high-end flagship phone but you also get a lot of mid-range and budget smartphones that are worth your money.
I hope that this article has helped you with your purchase decision.
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