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The best Snapdragon 865 phones you can get

Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 in plastic case

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

If you’re a demanding user, getting one of the Snapdragon 865 phones that are available is the way to go. Qualcomm’s latest and greatest chipset can handle just about any task you throw at it with ease. It’s usually paired with loads of RAM and a great GPU, so you won’t have any problems with things like playing the latest games and multitasking.

The selection of Snapdragon 865 phones isn’t massive at the moment, but there are still a number of great options available. If you don’t like any of the phones listed in this post and don’t need a new handset urgently, we advise you to wait. There are a lot of upcoming phones with Snapdragon 865 on the horizon including the Galaxy Note 20 and OnePlus 8T, just to name a few. 

Best Snapdragon 865 phones:

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list when new phones with Snapdragon 865 are released.

1. Samsung Galaxy S20 series

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Snapdragon 865 phone

The Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra are all powered by the Snapdragon 865 in the US. However, the phones pack the Exynos 990 chipset under the hood in Europe and other regions. 

Read next: Samsung Galaxy S20 buyer’s guide

All three phones sport 120Hz displays, support wireless charging, and are IP68 rated. You also get an in-display fingerprint scanner and expandable storage with each one. Unfortunately, though, there’s no headphone jack on board.

The S20 Ultra is the most powerful phone in the series, sporting the biggest display, the best cameras, and the largest battery. The S20 Plus is next in line, followed by the regular S20. Although there are differences between them, all of them are flagship phones that will satisfy the demands on hardcore users. You can check out the differences in specs between the three below.

Samsung Galaxy S20 specs:

  • Display: 6.2-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: SD 865 or Exynos 990
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 64MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: SD 865 or Exynos 990
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 64MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.9-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: SD 865 or Exynos 990
  • RAM: 12/16GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 12, and 48MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 40MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

2. LG V60 ThinQ

LG V60 back against chair

This is the best LG phone you can currently get. In addition to the Snapdragon 865 chipset, the LG V60 also comes with an IP68 rating and a MIL-STD 810G design for improved durability. Thankfully, none of this comes at the expense of the headphone port, which is still offered here.

The LG V60 ThinQ still has a headphone jack.

LG’s flagship features 8K recording, wireless charging, a big battery, and an OLED screen with an in-display fingerprint sensor. This 5G device also supports expandable storage and packs a large 5,000mAh battery. Other specs and features worth mentioning include a quad DAC and stereo speakers.

The only major downside in terms of hardware is that the phone lacks a telephoto or periscope camera, using its 64MP primary camera for zoom instead. But it’s easy to forgive when you look at the rest of the features and the relatively affordable price tag. 

LG V60 ThinQ specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 64 and 13MP + 3D ToF
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

3. Oppo Find X2 Pro

Oppo Find X2 Pro back against orage 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

The Oppo Find X2 Pro doesn’t turn heads like its predecessor did due to its unique sliding design, but it’s still a beast of a phone. It comes with a great design and packs plenty of 2020 flagship features, including a Snapdragon 865 processor, a QHD+ 120Hz OLED screen, 12GB of RAM, and a 4,260mAh battery with blazing-fast 65W charging.

Read next: The best Android phones you can get

The Find X2 Pro’s camera credentials are impressive too, delivering a new 48MP camera that’s technically superior to other 48MP sensors, an ultra-wide 48MP camera, and a 13MP 5X zoom lens. Just don’t expect 8K video recording like with many other 2020 flagships.

This Snapdragon 865 phone is resistant to water and dust thanks to IP68 rating and can handle two SIM cards at once. It’s a big device, sporting a 6.7-inch display. It wasn’t officially released in the US, but you can get the international model on Amazon.

Oppo Find X2 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Cameras: 48MP main, 48MP ultra-wide, and 13MP periscope
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,260mAh
  • Software: Android 10

4. Xiaomi Mi 10 series

Snapdragon 865-powered Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro phone

The Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro are two of the best Xiaomi phones you can currently get. They are similar in many ways, both featuring a 6.67-inch display with curved edges, the Snapdragon 865 chipset, and as much as 12GB of RAM.

The biggest difference between them is in the camera department, where the Pro model offers more. The phone also supports faster charging (50W vs 30W) but comes with a slightly smaller battery. You can check out these details and more in the specs section below.

You get an in-display fingerprint scanner with both devices, but don’t expect a headphone jack. The devices run Android 10 with Xiaomi’s MIUI skin on top and support reverse wireless charging. They are great phones overall, but keep in mind they are much more expensive than their predecessors.

Xiaomi Mi 10 specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 108, 13, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,780mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 20, 12, 8MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

5. Sony Xperia 1 II

Sony xperia 1 II 2020 mark 2 press shots 2

Sony’s latest flagship packs the Snapdragon 865 chipset under the hood along with 8GB of RAM. You’ll find three 12MP cameras at the back as well as a ToF sensor that should help with portrait mode images.

Like most other Xperia phones, the weirdly named 1 II has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. It also comes with a 21:9 display that makes the phone quite lanky. You also get wireless charging, an IP68 rating, and even a headphone jack. All these things combined make it one of the best Snapdragon 865 phones you can get.

The phone will go up for pre-order on June 1 before hitting the shelves on July 24. It’s a great device overall, although it’s overpriced at $ 1,200. But keep in mind that you get a free pair of Sony’s WF-1000XM3 headphones during the pre-order period.

Sony Xperia 1 II specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, 4K
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, 12MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

6. OnePlus 8 series

OnePlus 8 Pro vs OnePlus 8

OnePlus’ latest flagship series consists of two phones: the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. The Pro model offers more, featuring a bigger display with a higher resolution, an extra camera at the back, a larger battery, and wireless charging, among a few other things.

The two handsets do have a lot of similarities, though. In addition to being powered by the Snapdragon 865 chipset, both are also dual-SIM devices, come with as much as 12GB of RAM, and sport an in-display fingerprint scanner.

The phones are more expensive than previous OnePlus devices, but they are still cheaper than rivals such as the Galaxy S20. You can check out the exact prices via the button below.

OnePlus 8 specs:

  • Display: 6.55-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 16, 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,300mAh
  • Software: Android 10

OnePlus 8 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.78-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 8, 48, 5MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,510mAh
  • Software: Android 10

7. Motorola Edge Plus

Motorola Edge Plus in repose

Motorola made a comeback to the flagship sector of the smartphone world this years with the launch of the Edge Plus. It’s a great phone overall that’s powered by Qualcomm’s flagship chipset and comes with 12GB of RAM under the hood.

The display is quite large at 6.7 inches and has a 90Hz refresh rate. The edges of the display are curved, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your preference. Other specs and features worth mentioning include four rear cameras, a 5,000mAh battery, and wireless charging.

The biggest drawback of the phone for US consumers is that it’s available exclusively on Verizon. It’s also expensive, although the story is the same with most other flagship phones these days.

Motorola Edge Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 108, 16 and 8MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 25MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

8. Poco F2 Pro

The Poco F2 Pro.

The Poco F2 Pro is known as the Redmi K30 Pro in some markets. It’s a high-end phone, although it lacks a few premium features you get with other flagships like wireless charging and IP rating. The good side of this is that the price point is lower.

The battery is said to go from zero to 100 percent in 63 minutes.

This Snapdragon 865 phone sports a 6.67-inch Full HD+ display, up to 8GB of RAM, and a 4,700mAh battery with 30-watt charging. The company claims you can get the battery from zero to 100 percent in 63 minutes.

The F2 Pro also features a pop-up selfie camera, four rear cameras, and a headphone jack. All these things combined make it one of the best Snapdragon 865 phones you can get.

Poco F2 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 13, 5, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,700mAh
  • Software: Android 10

9. Realme X50 Pro

Realme X50 Pro 5G Display flat lay at angle

The Realme X50 Pro falls into the flagship killer category because it offers a great price-performance ratio. You get the best Snapdragon chipset available, up to 12GB of RAM, and a large Super AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate.

The battery comes in at 4,200mAh and supports 65-watt charging that gets it from zero to 100 percent in about 45 minutes, according to our testing. The build quality is great, although the design feels a bit dated.

The biggest drawback of the phone is that the cameras aren’t the best. Although they get the job done during daytime, they aren’t that great when it comes to low-light photography.

Realme X50 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.44-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 6/8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 32 and 8MP
  • Battery: 4,200mAh
  • Software: Android 10

10. Red Magic 5G

RedMagic 5G with the Snapdragon 865 chipset

This is a great device overall, although it’s not for everyone. It’s a gaming phone, which means its design is a bit out there. But that also means that performance is top-notch. In addition to the Snapdragon 865 chipset, you also get a 144Hz display, active cooling, gaming triggers, and more.

The phone also packs stereo speakers, a headphone jack, and up to 16GB of RAM. What’s more, it’s relatively affordable, at least when compared to other similar phones.

However, the Red Magic does have a few drawbacks. The software is far from perfect, and the launcher can’t be changed. The phone also doesn’t support expandable storage and has a mediocre camera system.

Red Magic 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.65-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8/12/16GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

These are the best Snapdragon 865 phones you can currently get in our opinion, although they aren’t the only ones. Additionally, there are a lot of upcoming phones with Snapdragon 865 we’re looking forward to from brands like Samsung and OnePlus, among others.

Android Authority

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Pocket Mortys recipe guide: Full recipe list and crafting guide

Pocket Mortys recipes featured image

Pocket Mortys, based on the popular TV series Rick and Morty, was a surprise mobile hit, and for good reason. It successfully adapts the show’s quirkiness to a Pokemon-like game, complete with IVs and a robust crafting system. There are 35 Pocket Mortys recipes in total, with some used for campaign quest progression and others restricted to multiplayer.

Early on, the most important recipes are related to healing, since there’s no other way to heal your Mortys after entering a portal. Once you’ve progressed a bit and expanded your collection of Mortys, you can move on to more complicated recipes. Below we’ve listed everything you need to know about the game’s crafting system, including a full list of all Pocket Mortys recipes. If you haven’t already played it, you can download it at the link below.

How does Pocket Mortys crafting work?

Thankfully, you start the game with all Pocket Mortys recipes unlocked, so all you need to do is find the items and take them to a crafting station. These crafting stations are found in every area of the game: the Citadel, dimensions you explore, and the multiplayer area.

Items are fairly easy to come by as well. They can be found on the ground, in item boxes, or collected as rewards from quests or battles. Item boxes have the best rewards, so be sure to collect them whenever you explore a new dimension.

You can only hold a certain amount of each item, so be sure to churn out a few Pocket Mortys crafting recipe items before you fill up your inventory. Serums, Halzingers, and Morty Manipulator Chips are always useful, so be sure to keep a sizeable stock at all times.

Pocket Mortys recipe list

Pocket Mortys recipes

As mentioned previously, there are 35 recipes in Pocket Mortys, all of which are available at the start of the game. However, only 19 of these are available in multiplayer mode, and 34 are available in campaign play. Apart from the useable items, the rest are only used once for quests or other recipes, but you may need to craft several copies of some items to make higher level recipes.

Below you’ll find all Pocket Mortys recipes, as well as their descriptions and whether they’re available in multiplayer, campaign, or both. Note that there’s only one exclusive Pocket Mortys multiplayer recipe: Breakfast Combo Meal.

  Item Recipe In-game description Campaign or Multiplayer?
1 Breakfast Combo Meal Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit + Frosty-ccino + Breakfast Baconator Start your day off right! Restores 200 HP. Multiplayer
2 Morty Manipulator Chip Supercharged Battery + Circuit Board + Tin Can Captures a wild Morty with low health. Both
3 Serum Battery + Fleeb Heals 20 HP. Both
4 Great Serum Battery + Purified Fleeb Heals 50 HP. Both
5 Sensational Serum Supercharged Battery + Serum Heals 200 HP. Both
6 Pure Serum Supercharged Battery + Great Serum Heals all HP. Both
7 Halzinger Battery + Fleeb + Bacteria Cell Restores a dazed Morty to 50% HP. Both
8 Pure Halzinger Battery + Purified Fleeb + Mutant Bacteria Cell Restores a dazed Morty to 100% HP. Both
9 Poison Cure Tin Can + Bacteria Cell + Dark Energy Ball Cures a poisoned Morty. Both
10 Paralyze Cure Tin Can + Turbulent Juice Tube + Dark Energy Ball Cures a paralyzed Morty. Both
11 Pure Curum Purified Fleeb + Mutant Bacteria Cell + Supercharged Battery Heals all HP and cures all ailments. Both
12 Plutonic Rock Battery + Bacteria Cell Adds 50% of AP to all attacks. Both
13 Pure Plutonic Rock Battery + Mutant Bacteria Cell Restores full AP to all attacks. Both
14 Level Up Mega Seed Attack Mega Seed + Defense Mega Seed + Speed Mega Seed Increases a Morty’s level by 1. Both
15 Battery Tin Can + Cable + Fleeb You can never have enough of these. Both
16 Supercharged Battery Battery + Turbulent Juice Tube Like a regular battery, but superer. Both
17 Purified Fleeb Fleeb + Turbulent Juice Tube A Fleeb, purified to its most potent form. Both
18 Mutant Bacteria Cell Bacteria Cell + Turbulent Juice Tube A smarter bacteria than its predecessor. Both
19 Dark Energy Ball Fleeb + Bacteria Cell Repels matter with a dark force. Both
20 Courier Flap Battery + Motherboard + Mutant Bacteria Cell Takes you back to the Citadel. Campaign
21 Microverse Battery Supercharged Battery + Motherboard + Dark Matter Balle A box of slavery with extra steps. Campaign
22 Dark Matter Ball Dark Energy Ball + Turbulent Juice Tube Emits a strong gravitational pull. Campaign
23 Motherboard Battery + Circuit Board + Cable An ideal base for complex electronics. Campaign
24 Dog Collar Cable + Tin Can Not just for dogs! Campaign
25 Love Potion Purified Fleeb + Mutant Bacteria Cell Move things outside of “friend zone”. Campaign
26 Robot Supercharged Battery + Motherboard Can be programmed for good or evil. Campaign
27 Butter Robot Robot + Tin Can Why reach for the butter yourself? Campaign
28 Gwendolyn Doll Robot + Love Potion Will keep you company, always. Campaign
29 Time Crystal Purified Fleeb + Dark Energy Ball Splits time into multiple zones. Campaign
30 Time Stabilizing Collar Time Crystal + Dog Collar Merges multiple time zones into one. Campaign
31 Interdimensional Cable Box Supercharged Battery + Motherboard + Time Crystal Watch TV from any dimension. Campaign
32 Neutrino Bomb Supercharged Battery + Motherboard + Dark Energy Ball Kills all living things. (Stand back.) Campaign
33 Interdimensional Goggles Supercharged Battery + Time Crystal + Tin Can See through the eyes of another you. Campaign
34 IQ-Enhancing Helmet Supercharged Battery + Motherboard + Turbulent Juice Tube Boosts the wearer’s IQ considerably. Campaign
35 Roy VR Headset Interdimensional Goggles + IQ-Enhancing Helmet How far can you take Rocket Roy? Campaign

That’s it for our guide to Pocket Mortys crafting! Check out some of our other game guides below.

Android Authority

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The 6 best air fryers – Start making your favorite meals healthier today

Cosori Smart Air Fryer

Air frying has provided a healthier alternative to many favorite foods like fried chicken and french fries. When you air fry foods, they get a crispy exterior solely by circulating powerful hot air. Plus, air frying foods can be quicker than cooking foods in a traditional oven. Take a look at some of the best air fryers you can buy right now.

The best air fryers 

Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 

ninja foodi 7 in 1 1

The Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 appliance can air fry, pressure cook, bake, and more. Though its air frying capability is definitely one of its top functions.

This air fryer has TenderCrisp technology that allows you to cook food quickly and still get crispy results. Using a whole chicken as an example, you first pressure cook it to lock in the juices. Then, you use the air frying capability to get that crisp, golden brown coating on the outside.

Cleaning up is super easy with the Ninja Foodi 7-in-1. Both the 5 quart ceramic coated pot and the 3 quart crisp basket are nonstick and dishwasher safe.

Regularly $ 179.99, it’s currently available for $ 129.00.

Buy on Amazon

COSORI Smart WiFi Air Fryer 

cosori air fryer 1

The COSORI Smart WiFi Air Fryer is a fantastic option if you want an air fryer that connects with your mobile device or Alexa’s voice commands. You can download the VeSync app to control your device and gain access to over 100+ recipes. Or you can pair it with Alexa and utilize voice commands to control it. Either of these options gives you the ability to remotely control and monitor the progress of your meals.

See also: Using lockdown to eat healthier: Cosori Smart Air Fryer review

Or, if you want to stay with your food while it’s cooking, the display is ergonomically angled so you can view and change the controls without bending over.

You can currently pick up a COSORI Smart WiFi Air Fryer for $ 119.99. It comes in black, red, and white, and the beautiful, minimalist design looks great on any counter.

Buy on Amazon

Breville Smart Oven Air 

breville smart oven air 1
The Breville Smart Oven Air ensures fast and even heat distribution with its smart convection technology. It also has Element iQ, which makes sure the cooking power stays where it needs to be: above and below your food for the best results. You can air fry french fries, fried chicken, and more. Plus, you can also dehydrate up to four trays of fruits or other foods.

This air fryer has a large 1 cubic foot interior, so you have plenty of room to cook large dishes. You can toast 9 slices of bread or even fit a 9×13 inch pan. If you’re cooking for a large family or constantly meal-prepping for yourself, this is a great option.

The Breville Smart Oven Air is currently available for $ 399.99.

Buy on Amazon

Philips TurboStar Air Fryer

philips turbostar air fryer 1
The Philips TurboStar Air Fryer is great for quick cooking. It uses TurboStar technology to make sure all your food is exposed to constantly circulating heat. This means you don’t have to stir or turn your food while it’s cooking. Plus, you don’t have to wait for it to preheat either. It’s instantly hot and ready to use.

You’ll have access to over 200 recipes on the Airfryer recipe app and a free physical recipe booklet to get you started. Also, Philips boasts that clean up takes less than 90 seconds. Both the removable nonstick drawer and the food basket are dishwasher safe and super easy to clean.

Regularly $ 199.95, you can currently pick up a Philips TurboStar Air Fryer for $ 179.00.

Buy on Amazon

GoWISE Air Fryer 

gowise air fryer 1
The GoWISE Air Fryer makes a sleek statement on your countertop, and still gives you 5.8 quarts of cooking space. It comes in plum, red, black, and white, so you can choose one that truly fits your style. It’s outfitted with an advanced touch screen menu that has 8 cooking presets and is easy to use.

In addition to air frying foods, you can also bake, grill, and roast with minimal oil. The air frying basket is equipped with a cool touch handle and a button guard to prevent accidentally detaching the basket. This allows you to safely remove the basket when you want to shake or toss the contents.

See also: The best smart kitchen tech products you can buy

Like a few of the other options, you’ll receive a recipe book with 50 recipes specifically designed for this air fryer. And you’ll have access to a recipe app as well.

Regularly $ 92.75, the GoWISE Air Fryer is currently available for $ 77.04.

Buy on Amazon

Cuisinart Air Fryer 

cuisinart air fryer 1
Cuisinart’s Air Fryer is also a convection toaster oven, so it can stay on your counter for multiple uses throughout the day. In addition to air frying and convection baking, it can also broil, warm, and toast.

Its 0.6 cubic foot nonstick interior can fit up to 6 slices of bread or a 12-inch pizza at one time. If you’re looking for a more compact option that offers you multiple cooking functions, this is perfect for you. Plus, Cuisinart is a highly reputable brand when it comes to kitchen equipment.

Regularly $ 199.99, you can pick up the Cuisinart Air Fryer for $ 159.99 right now.

Buy on Amazon

Android Authority

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Sony Xperia 1 II gets release date and absurdly high price

sony xperia 1 ii black back front

Source: Sony

Sony has announced the price and release date for its upcoming Sony Xperia 1 II (or Mark 2) flagship. The device is set to go up for preorder on June 1 and ship to buyers on July 24.

Sony Xperia 1 II price and release date

While nothing is surprising about the release window for the phone, the thing that made us do a double-take is the price. Sony announced that the phone would retail for $ 1,199.99. That’s a $ 200 jump from the original Sony Xperia 1, which launched with a $ 999 price tag.

Perhaps in an attempt to justify the price, Sony is offering anyone who preorders the phone by June 28 a pair of Sony WF-1000XM3 headphones. Those are one of the best pairs of headphones on the market, rivaling the Bose QC 35 II. However, with Sony gearing up to launch the Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones, it appears to be more of an effort to get rid of an older model.

The latest announcement from the company confirmed the Sony Xperia 1 II specs we already knew. It’ll come equipped with 5G support thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, 8GB RAM, and 256GB of internal storage. It’ll feature a 4,000mAh battery, which is 700mAh more than the previous version of the device. Overall, the phone is right where we’d expect it to be for a modern flagship, but they don’t do enough to justify the Sony Xperia 1 II’s $ 1,199.99 price tag.

Xperia1II CinematographyPro Viewfinder

Source: Sony

The big thing that makes the Sony Xperia 1 II stand out from the crowd (other than the high price) is its camera. It’s not the best on the market, but it comes with some new features that make it a worthy contender. Specifically, Sony highlighted is the inclusion of 20fps continuous shooting capability, which is a feature no other smartphone has offered previously. This could be a big deal for anyone looking to capture photos of moving subjects, as it makes it easier to get multiple photos in a short timespan.

  Sony Xperia 1 II
Display 6.5-inch HDR OLED
3,840 x 1,644 resolution (4K)
Motion blur reduction (90Hz equivalent)
21:9 aspect ratio
Corning Gorilla Glass 6
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
7nm+ process
Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 585 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 585)
GPU Adreno 650
Storage 256GB
Cameras Rear cameras
– Ultra-wide: 12MP sensor, 16mm, f/2.2 aperture, Dual PDAF
– Wide: 12MP sensor, 24mm, f/1.7 aperture, Dual PDAF, OIS
– Telephoto: 12MP sensor, 70mm, f/2.4 aperture, PDAF, OIS
– Depth sensor: 3D iTOF

Front camera: 8MP sensor

Audio Headphone jack
Dual stereo front speakers
360 Reality Audio
DSEE upscaling
Battery 4,000mAh
21W USB-PD wired charging
15W wireless charging
IP rating IP65/68
Connectivity 5G, sub-6GHz
Software Android 10
Dimensions and weight 166 x 72 x 7.9mm
Colors Black, Purple

It’ll be interesting to see how buyers react to Sony’s price choice. The Sony Xperia 1 II is shaping up to be a really solid phone, but with such a high price tag, it’s entering the market in a valley that it will need to work hard to climb out of.

More posts about Sony Xperia Smartphones

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Save $120 on a Roborock S5, and more of the best robot vacuum deals

Ecovacs Deebot robot vacuum cleaner angle view

If you’re tired of vacuuming the floors of your house, maybe it’s time to give a robot vacuum a try. After all, they don’t tire out, and many are smart enough to avoid common obstacles around your house. One of the biggest challenges is finding a model that fits your budget. Here’s our list of the best robot vacuum deals you can get right now.

See also: Robot vacuum cleaners — What are they and why should you buy?

We’ve done our best to hit a variety of price points and plenty of different brands so you can pick the perfect fit. Robot vacuums have come a long way in the last few years, so features like restricted zones and app integration are more popular than ever. If you’re still stuck at home, at least these vacuums should help to knock a chore off of your list.

These deals are arranged by price low to high so you can match your budget quickly.

Best robot vacuum deals

Editor’s note: We will update our list of the best robot vacuum deals as we find new savings.

Eufy RoboVac 25C

eufy robovac 25c

Source: Walmart

Kicking us off is a budget-friendly option from Eufy. The RoboVac 25C makes it easy to start cleaning remotely from an app or with voice commands. It can run for up to 100 minutes on both hardwood and carpet while filling a large 0.6L dustbin. At just 2.85-inches tall, the RoboVac 25C should fit under most of the furniture in your house.

$ 149 .00
Eufy RoboVac 25C

Save $ 80 .99

Buy it Now

Eufy RoboVac 25C Buy it Now
Save $ 80 .99 $ 149 .00

bObsweep Pro

bobsweep pro

Source: Home Depot

The bObsweep Pro matches the Eufy with the 100-minute battery life, and it’s smart enough to return to a hub when the battery gets low so you can be assured it’ll stay charged. While the bObsweep is just a bit taller at 3.15 inches, it comes in a sleek gold color that adds a little bit of luxury to the cleaning game.

$ 149 .99
bObsweep Pro

Save $ 100 .00

Buy it Now

bObsweep Pro Buy it Now
Save $ 100 .00 $ 149 .99

iRobot Roomba 675

irobot roomba 675

Source: Amazon

Roomba is a more established brand than Eufy or bObsweep, and the Roomba 675 relies on some of the latest technology from iRobot to keep your house clean. It loosens, lifts, and sections dirt with a three-stage process, plus the dirt detection sensor keeps Roomba focused on well-traveled areas of your house. The edge sweeping brush is angled at 27-degrees for peak results.

$ 269 .99
iRobot Roomba 675

Save $ 30 .00

Buy it Now

iRobot Roomba 675 Buy it Now
Save $ 30 .00 $ 269 .99

Roborock E25

roborock e25 robot vacuum deals

Source: Amazon

If you’re a fan of Android Authority you’re probably aware of the quality Roborock offers. The company has created an extensive line of robot vacuums, from budget models up to the top-of-the-line. Roborock’s E25 relies on gyroscopes and algorithms to clean in a logical and thorough manner. It’s even capable of mopping and vacuuming simultaneously.

$ 279 .99
Roborock E25

Save $ 70 .00

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Roborock E25 Buy it Now
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iRobot Roomba 960

irobot roomba 960

Source: Home Depot

For those of you with a bigger budget and an eye on a Roomba, the 960 is a solid choice. It offers five-times the suction of the 675 listed above, and it uses iAdapt 2.0 technology to measure and map your home for a precise clean. You can command the Roomba 960 with an app or Amazon’s Alexa for easy cleaning at a moment’s notice. It’s great for homes with pets because the filter can capture particles as small as 10 microns.

$ 449 .99
iRobot Roomba 960

Save $ 50 .00

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iRobot Roomba 960 Buy it Now
Save $ 50 .00 $ 449 .99

Roborock S5

roborock s5 robot vacuum deals

Source: Amazon

The Roborock S5 is a perfect example of what you get by spending a bit more to upgrade to the S line. It packs a 5,200mAh battery for up to 150 minutes of cleaning, and the vacuum is smart enough to return to its hub and recharge just enough to finish the job. The S5 even features a laser guidance system to plan its route and a spring-loaded brush that adjusts to carpets and edges for a perfect clean.

$ 479 .99
Roborock S5

Save $ 120 .00

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Roborock S5 Buy it Now
Save $ 120 .00 $ 479 .99

Neato Botvac D7 Connected

You might have noticed that all of the robot vacuums so far have been round, and maybe you’re wondering how a hockey puck cleans in a corner. Well, the Neato Botvac resembles the letter D, which makes it perfect for picking up dirt and pet hair in corners. Neato boasts that the Botvac D7 has a 70-percent larger brush than round models, and laser-guided mapping keeps it on track during long jobs.

$ 599 .99
Neato BotVac D7 Connected

Save $ 230 .00

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Neato BotVac D7 Connected Buy it Now
Save $ 230 .00 $ 599 .99

Samsung PowerBot R7260

samsung powerbot

Source: Best Buy

Samsung’s PowerBot has a similar design to that of the Botvac D7, and it covers nearly 11 inches with each pass of the brush. The 0.3L dustbin is smaller than some other options, but powerful CycloneForce and an intuitive interface make the PowerBot very simple to operate. If you’re a Samsung die-hard with a big budget, it’s tough to top the PowerBot R7260 at this discount.

$ 690 .99
Samsung PowerBot R7260

Save $ 208 .01

Buy it Now

Samsung PowerBot R7260 Buy it Now
Save $ 208 .01 $ 690 .99

Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 950

ecovacs deebot ozmo 950 robot vacuum deals

Source: Home Depot

Ecovacs is proud to call the Ozmo 950 the most powerful Deebot ever. Not only can it clean for up to three hours between charges, but it also utilizes carpet detection to provide the ideal clean for your floors. With three levels of suction, the Ozmo 950 can handle almost any surface and seamlessly switch to mopping. You can even map multiple floors of your house so Ozmo knows exactly where to clean, though it can’t climb steps on its own yet.

$ 699 .99
Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 950

Save $ 100 .00

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Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 950 Buy it Now
Save $ 100 .00 $ 699 .99

That does it for our list of the best robot vacuum deals for now. We have plenty more content you might like to help you get through working from home and more:

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10 best diabetes apps for Android to help manage it!

Glucose Tracker best diabetes apps for Android
Diabetes is a life changing diagnosis. You have to change your diet, your activity habits, and some other stuff to stay on top of things. People can actually live relatively normal lives with the proper management. There are only a limited number of things your smartphone can do to help. It can’t take your blood sugar for you or regulate what you eat. It can help with some other stuff though. Here are the best diabetes apps for Android.

Blood Sugar Log

Price: Free / $ 1.49

Let’s start with a good, simple blood sugar logging app. This one is a no-frills log with just enough features. You can import and export logs to email or the cloud as needed. Additionally, you can add a tag to each entry so you know when it was taken (before meals, after meals, in the morning, etc). You can add in units of mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter) or millimole per liter. Some other features include tracking your medications, a blood pressure tracker, and a weight tracker. The UI even looks nice. There isn’t a lot wrong with this one, but it is a bit on the simple side.



Price: Free / $ 4.99 per month / $ 49.99 per year

Diabetes:M is a decent app for sufferers of diabetes. It can track type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes. You can set this app up in two ways. The first is to track your own health where you can put your own stuff in or you can set it up to track a family member or even a pet if needed. It tracks a bunch of metrics, including insulin intake, carbohydrates, and blood sugar levels (in mmol/l or mg/dl). The free version is okay for simple use. There is a subscription option with a bunch of extra features, including Bluetooth integration with some glucose meters, cloud syncing, and better export options.

Glucose Tracker and Diary

Price: Free / $ 3.49

Glucose Tracker and Diary is one of the simpler diabetes apps for things like blood sugar, insulin intake, and other metrics. You can use either major measurement you want and it also supports bread units to track your carbohydrate intake. There is also a tag system in place so you can know when any given measurement was taken. The UI is easy enough to use and everything is reasonably well presented. We also like this app because it requires only a single payment instead of a subscription like most others. The only downside is no support for Bluetooth glucose meters like other diabetes apps sometimes have.

Glucose Tracker and Diary screenshot

Google Play Books (or similar apps)

Price: Free / Varies

There is a lot of published material on the topic of diabetes. The books contain all sorts of information such as methods to cope with the disease, cookbooks with diabetic-friendly recipes, and books about the disease itself (what causes it, what’s happening to your body, etc). You’re going to spend the rest of your life with it, you might as well get to know it better, right? Google Play Books is a good app for this because you can read ebooks or listen to audiobooks. Amazon Kindle and Audible are two more excellent options as well. Here’s a list of excellent ebook readers and audiobook apps if you want to browse even more options.

Google Play Books screenshot 2019 Final

Little Bytes Blood Glucose Tracker

Price: Free / $ 1.00

Little Bytes Blood Glucose Tracker is another simple, effective blood sugar tracker. It also uses the tag system so you know when you took any given measurement. Additionally, you can filter by tag, use both major types of measurements, check out statistics, and you can export and import in case you change your phone. It uses Google Drive and Dropbox as your backup options so you don’t have to pay extra for cloud storage, which we always appreciate. It also has Wear OS support and medication tracking if you need that. It’s one of the better diabetes apps.

Little Bytes Blood Glucose Tracker screenshot


MyNetDiary Diabetes and Diet Tracker

Price: $ 9.99

MyNetDiary is one of the most popular calorie counters on mobile. The company also has an app specifically for diabetic folks. It helps people with type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes and you can track all kinds of stuff. You can input your blood sugar, tag it so you know when you took your levels, and log all of the food you eat along with its nutritional info. The food logging part takes a bit longer than we’d like, but it does work and it is effective. This one has some bugs like most apps, but the bugs here are amplified by its $ 9.99 price tag. You do get syncing to MyNetDiary for backups, though, and you can import on a new device easily.

MyNetDiary Diabetes and Diet Tracker screenshot


Price: Free / $ 2.99 per month / $ 27.99 per year / Varies

mySugr is one of the popular diabetes apps for mobile. It integrates with Bluetooth glucose meters and logs your blood sugar levels, food intake, insulin levels, medicine intake, and carb intake. The free version has a decent selection of features. Those who go pro also get a smarter search function, an insulin calculator, PDF exports, reminders, meal photos, and basal rates for insulin pump users. The subscription is actually less than many competitors and that makes it an easier choice than most to recommend.

mySugr screenshot 2020

Yummly Recipes

Price: Free / Up to $ 4.99

Yummly is one of many recipe apps. This one has a relatively decent selection of diabetic-friendly recipes. Diabetes inevitably means changing your diet and that means you’ll need some new recipes to eat. Yummly has over two million recipes that range from breakfast to dinner and even things like desserts and cocktails. You also get video tutorials, a built-in timer, and some other tools. We also recommend My Cookbook so you can start building a collection of recipes you really like. 

Yummly screenshot 2020

Your doctor’s official app

Price: Free (usually)

Many doctors offices and practices have full apps now. They’re usually apart of a larger network. For instance, my doctor is part of the Healow network (linked at the button). Your official doctor’s app may have a bunch of useful features, including a way to schedule appointments without calling in, a quick method to request medication refills, and information about your condition and vitals. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these apps may offer video calls with your doctor to help you skip visits in general. It’s definitely worth looking to see if your doctor uses an official app.

Healow screenshot 2020

Blood Sugar Meter apps

Price: Free / Device costs vary

There are a variety of digital glucose meters these days. Many of them now have mobile apps. You simply connect to the device via Bluetooth and the app downloads data straight from the device. It works a lot like fitness trackers, actually. The device keeps some data on it and you sync it to see your stats. Some apps, like mySugr, integrate directly with these devices but the official apps can sometimes have features other apps don’t have. We have Dario linked below, but there are a ton of great options.

related 2
If we missed any great diabetes apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out more Android apps and games lists!

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How long after theaters do movies arrive on Disney Plus?

Frozen 2 on Disney Plus app with blue background 1

The streaming landscape is evolving fast as the world sits at home due to the current coronavirus pandemic. With theaters shut and people practicing social distancing, it’s no surprise that platforms like Disney Plus are moving up movie releases for streaming.

But things weren’t always the same, and they could go back to their usual routine once cinemas start reopening and people start going to the movies. In this article, we’ll try and break down the timeline in which Disney movies come to Disney Plus after their theatrical release. We’ve taken into account examples of movie releases both pre- and post-pandemic, so you can get an idea of what’s the norm and how things are changing.

Disney Plus release schedule pre-pandemic

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Disney movies generally arrived on Blu-ray and DVD months before going on to streaming platforms. Previously, you could find a handful of Disney movies on Netflix after their disk releases, but that changed with the launch of Disney Plus last year.

Now, you can find not only Disney’s own set of movies on Disney Plus, you also get a whole catalog of titles from Pixar, Lucas Films, Marvel, 2oth Century Fox, and more.

When Disney Plus launched, a company executive told The Hollywood Reporter that Disney doesn’t plan on changing any release windows to bring movies sooner to Disney Plus.

Disney usually lets a movie run in theaters for about 90 days. It then comes to digital for paid purchases. This is followed by a Blu-ray and DVD release after two or three weeks. The movie finally goes up for streaming about four months after that. However, this timeline is not at all set in stone.

Even before the pandemic, Disney was releasing movies on Disney Plus earlier than expected. For example, Frozen 2 hit cinema screens on November 22, 2019 and was expected to release on Disney Plus sometime in June 2020. However, the movie came to the streaming platform on March 14.

Similarly, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker released in cinemas in December 2019 and came to Disney Plus in early May 2020.

But there were still some films like Maleficent: Mistress of Evil that took a whole seven months after its theatrical release in October 2019 to reach Disney Plus in May 2020.

So as you can see, it’s really up to Disney when a movie should go from the silver screen to the streaming screen. In fact, Disney releases are going to be even more fluid given the pandemic situation.

Disney Plus release schedule post-pandemic

hamilton disney plus

Since people are not going to theaters these days, streaming’s got a big boost as production companies look to get their work out somehow. In the wake of this pandemic, Disney can also be seen wavering from its usual theater-to-streaming schedule.

For instance, acclaimed musical Hamilton is coming straight to Disney Plus on July 3, months before its planned cinema debut. Another Disney original, Artemis Fowl – a sci-fi fantasy based on the book series by the same name – was set to arrive in theaters on May 29, but is now headed directly to Disney Plus on June 12.

That said, Disney isn’t giving up on theater releases just yet.

“We very much believe in the value of the theatrical experience overall to launch blockbuster movies,” Disney CEO, Bob Chapek said during a recent earnings call. “We’re going to evaluate each one of our movies on a case-by-case situation, as we are doing right now, during this coronavirus situation,” he added.

To that end, Disney has already rescheduled the theater premiere of Mulan, a live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1998 animated movie by the same name. It was supposed to release in cinemas on March 27. However, Disney recently confirmed that Mulan is now rescheduled for July 24. This too could change if the coronavirus situation remains as bad going forward.

So as you can tell, Disney Plus movie release dates are constantly shifting right now. We expect things to go back to the pre-pandemic release schedule once life returns to normalcy, but the one thing coronavirus has taught us is that we should be prepared for surprises. It’ll be really interesting to see how streaming services plan content in the near future. Will there be a day when big-budget blockbusters come to streaming screens first? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, if you’re not yet subscribed to Disney Plus and would like to become a member, you can do so by hitting the button below. Given how new movies are releasing faster on Disney Plus these days, now might be a good time to get onboard.

More posts about Disney Plus

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How to block emails on Gmail

Gmail logo on smartphone stock photo 2

It can get annoying when most of the emails you get are junk, spam, or simply unwanted. It’s time to take control of your inbox and start weeding out the culprits. Today we’ll show you how to block emails on Gmail.

How to block an email address on Gmail

If you know the email address you want to get rid of, you can block it. Once blocked, any emails coming from the sender will be sent straight to the Spam folder.

  1. Go to Gmail.
  2. Use your credentials to sign in.
  3. Open an email sent by the address you want to block.
  4. Click on the 3-dot More button on the top-right corner of the email.
  5. Select Block [name or email address].

If you want to unblock an email address simply follow the same steps you see above. At the end you will be asked if you want to unblock them, as opposed to blocking them.

Unsubscribe from mass emails

Gmail logo on smartphone stock photo 1

If there’s a specific mass email subscription you want to get rid of, it’s not necessary to block the email sender completely. You can just unsubscribe from the email list by following the steps below.

  1. Go to Gmail.
  2. Use your credentials to sign in.
  3. Open the mass email.
  4. You will see an Unsubscribe button next to the sender’s name. It could also be labeled Change Preferences.
  5. Select either and follow the prompts.

Help Gmail by reporting spam and malicious emails

Automation of Jobs Robot 1200x675

Google does its best to keep spam and unwanted emails out of your inbox, but some can slip through the cracks. You can help Google better serve you and the community by reporting any email as spam or suspicious.

Report spam:

  1. Go to Gmail.
  2. Use your credentials to sign in.
  3. Open the email or select it by checking the box next to it.
  4. Click on the Report Spam button on top. It looks like a stop sign with an exclamation mark.

Report suspicious emails:

  1. Go to Gmail.
  2. Use your credentials to sign in.
  3. Open the email.
  4. Click on the 3-dot More button.
  5. Select Report phishing.

Check out our other content to learn how to use Gmail efficiently!

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How to invest as a beginner

How to invest as a beginner is one of the more exciting questions you can ask. Why? Opportunity, wealth creation, and a long-term plan for your future are all goals for investing, and taking even small steps to improve your options is an exciting area you’re beginning to explore.

Remember: everyone was a beginner at some point. Investing is not something taught in most settings, even though some beginner investing tips certainly help.

Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

Basic beginner investing concepts

For investment beginners looking to start somewhere, part of the trouble is the finance world has come up with many ways to invest (and jargon to go with it). There are more possibilities than you could ever count for putting your money to work. These include:

  • Common investments: Stocks and ETFs (exchange-traded funds), real estate, fixed interest, 401(k), IRAs, Roths, bonds, mutual funds, gold, sustainable investments, gold.
  • More advanced investments: Peer-to-peer lending, futures, options, foreign exchange, and more. These won’t be covered here.

The question of how to invest as a beginner can be answered in different ways, and we’ll go through key starting points for beginners to explore:

  1. Basic investment tips: useful things to understand.
  2. A closer look at stocks, ETFs, and passive investing, some of the more popular investments and methods, including just what ETFs are all about.
  3. Investing resources: books to consider reading, podcasts, useful places to go on Reddit, apps, and more. These are resources we use too and might be useful to you.

Just remember you don’t have to do everything at once. Feeling overwhelmed is natural. Take small steps first: get to know the basics, make a plan, and know that you need to educate yourself more to make an investment later on. Everyone who is an investor keeps on learning every day as new ways to look at money emerge.

Take small steps first: knowing the basics, making a plan, and keep educating yourself.

How to invest as a beginner: Where to start

Google Pixel 3a XL Camera Review Zoom skyline

True investing isn’t just putting your money somewhere and hoping for the best. Investing involves planning, goal setting, and regular check-ups and adjustments on your journey. To succeed in investing, you also need to understand risk, balance risk versus reward, and take a long-term approach with your money, while ideally setting up a balanced portfolio.

Advice from experts varies in suggested investments, but rarely does it stray from a few common truths: balance your risks with stable investments, try to minimize fees that can eat away at any gains, don’t try and time the market, and consider tax.

You may wish to start investing with the help of a financial advisor, an accountant, or through your own research and discovery, which is what we focus on here. However, knowing as much as you can even when engaging a professional is useful to better understand the process.

Let’s look at each element mentioned above.

Balancing risk: Growth vs yield, time, and asset allocation

A key point: Risk, in investing terms, relates to the likelihood that an investment’s gains will differ from an expected outcome. Specifically, the higher the risk, the higher the chance an investment goes bust.

How much risk you are willing to take is related to your age, portfolio size, and your appetite for risk. Quite literally, if you’re investing in stocks or assets that keep you awake at night, it’s not healthy for you.

Broadly, younger people should feel more comfortable taking much-longer term growth views about stocks, because broad averages play out over decades. Ups and downs happen, but taking a long-view means weathering any storms and enjoying good years together. Time is your friend.

Growth investing can mean investing in companies that have good long-term prospects, but right now haven’t made it yet. Examples include growth stocks or ETFs in the technology sector,  or investing in housing in areas that are hoped to improve but aren’t there yet.

How much risk you are willing to take is related to your age, portfolio size, and your appetite for risk.

Older people closer to retirement will be more worried about their investments over the short to medium term. A single downturn could be enough to wipe out large chunks of their investments, with limited time to recover. Most older people will be seeking safer bets, with diversified options that generate yield or income, like bonds, defensive stocks or ETFs with dividends, rental returns from property, or fixed interest.

One other consideration: passive vs active investing. Passive investing generally involves limited buying and selling. Most passive players don’t change their investments. Active investors may not buy-and-hold for long periods, preferring to move their money around. Generally, active investing is seen as riskier.

Minimize costs, fees, and avoid scams

Good news! It’s quite easy to put your money into investments. Bad news: that can easily mean trouble. Lots of investments aren’t good ideas: too costly, too many fees, or outright scams.

Every single asset class in existence has at least a few schemers hoping you’ll fall for their bait. Everyone wants to get rich quick, many people can be tempted to overlook red flags due to smooth tactics and greed.

Investing isn’t a get-rich-quick-scheme, and investing should never be gambling. It’s a fine line at times, but gambling is usually a bet on a win/lose scenario, while investing is long-term, strategic, and considered.

But what some new investors don’t realize is how important it is to avoid fees, charges, and unnecessary taxes. More on taxes later.

Fees: Fees and costs associated with making and managing investments are enormously important to check. Many companies, accountants, and advisors running mutual funds or managing portfolios charge fees as a percentage of assets, along with administrative costs. Fees must be disclosed as expense ratios, but the money amounts are often hidden.

What it means: An expense ratio of 0.7% per annum means that each year 0.7% of the fund’s total assets will be used to cover expenses. Less than 1% doesn’t sound like much, but if you make a $ 50,000 investment, that amount is equal to $ 350 per year. A typical year in safe investments might only net you a 5% before-tax gain. Then, take out tax and fees, and your return might fall below 4% or less.

Thankfully, this is 2020! Extremely sophisticated, low-cost options exist for investing in most asset classes, as well as funding your retirement. Good advice is easier and cheaper to get than ever, including robo-advisors that base investing decisions on algorithms that adjust to your age, investment size, retirement expectations, and risk appetite.

Tax: Know how it works

This is the featured image for the best tax apps article on Android Authority

Depending on your state and territory, or country of residence, the taxman might be interested in gains you make from your successful investments. Your local laws are worth knowing. The key isn’t to avoid taxes, which will just spell trouble, but to avoid paying unnecessary taxes, and learn about government-led schemes that provide useful savings.

Some investments may allow investors to reduce their tax when saving for retirement, such as through IRAs and Roth IRAs. Many tax breaks exist to support investments that benefit people as they plan for retirement, which reduces the burden on social security.

Tax doesn’t just apply to capital gains, either. Happily, if you make a loss on an investment, the IRS will generally consider that loss in the years ahead, and you can offset any gains with the loss to avoid paying tax. It’s not as good as just making a successful investment, but it’s fair.

Beginner investment options: ETFs and stocks explained

Vanguard app on smartphone stock photo

Remember I said that this is 2020? One modern way to invest is through index funds, also known as exchange-traded funds, or ETFs.

ETFs are an extremely hot topic for investors partly because of their low fees, partly because of how they work and their affordability. ETFs have created easy exposure to a huge range of markets and investment types.

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or index funds explained: 

  • Index funds or ETFs are share portfolios managed by a company that are designed for one purpose: to track a share index, such as the S&P 500, or NASDAQ-100, or global share markets, or the price of oil, or a combination of indices. Each ETF is approved before being placed on the market, and has a specific tracking approach.
  • A range of ETFs can be listed on a market. You can buy one share in an ETF, which then tracks a certain market index.
  • The old approach was to invest in funds by giving the funds money. With an ETF, you essentially buy the fund on the market, which provides much better liquidity and much more visible pricing.
  • How are ETF’s typically used? For example, buying one share in a broad index S&P 500 ETF means you are effectively buying 500 stocks in one. As the index moves up and down through each trading day, so will the ETF, and therefore your portfolio value.
  • Why ETFs? A sad truth is that most money managers that you pay fees to cannot beat the market. By using an index fund to invest, you get the market return less fees. ETFs are so popular and have low costs to maintain that they generally pass on very low fees. Warren Buffett has made huge bets that passive investing beats active investing, and ETFs are often considered useful for passive investing. This makes ETFs attractive for regular folks and big finance as well.
  • Whereas in decades past, funds and money managers might charge 1% or more of your portfolio in fees each year, ETFs may charge between 0.1-0.2%, or lower, or even zero percent in some cases.

What are the downsides of ETFs? The number and size of ETFs has grown dramatically, with more than a trillion dollars now invested in ETFs on the US market alone. Some critics say they are too big and cause market problems during volatile periods. Some ETFs are also more risky, have higher fees, and or may be harder to sell when you need. Large, popular ETFs generally avoid those problems.

To provide a guide, we asked Lauren Wybar, a senior financial advisor with Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, to explain an example of one of the Vanguard ETF range that meets the super-low fee, low cost of entry requirements:

“With ETFs, the minimum requirement is just the cost of a single share. Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), for example, is currently trading at $ 141 and the expense ratio is just 0.03%,” Wybar said via email. “There are no commissions to trade on Vanguard’s brokerage platform and the account service fee is waived by signing up for e-delivery.”

Wikipedia maintains a list of all American exchange-traded funds allowed by the SEC. The SEC also has a PDF explainer on ETFs.

Where to next? More for beginners

Robinhood is one of the best investing apps for android

Next tip: Educate yourself. Here are some resources to consider. These are a few useful highlights; if just one or two options appeal to you to find out more information or to regularly read, that’s enough! (Remember, you don’t have to know everything at once.)


  • r/personalfinance — a big, busy subreddit covering everything from budgeting to investing. Personal but always interesting. Tip: Using this filter will limit topics to investing topics only.
  • r/investing — a focused subreddit but with investing news and views too. This list of FAQs is a great point to start, and come back to.
  • r/bogleheads — a small subreddit devoted to long-haul, passive investing champion John Bogle, who founded Vanguard.




If you have any recommendations on good places to start investing for beginners, feel free to leave them in the comments. Or, if you have any beginner questions (we cannot provide investing advice) on what something means or jargon, let us know below.

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How to use Fossil’s smartwatch app for your hybrid smartwatch

fossil hybrid hr review fossil smartwatches app activity

Hybrid smartwatches have become quite popular for those who want their daily activity tracked, but maybe aren’t interested in having all the features on their wrist. Fossil’s hybrid smartwatches are some of the best you can buy, and there’s a Fossil smartwatch app available — called Fossil Hybrid Smartwatches — so you don’t need to over-rely on tweaking settings from your watch.

What is the Fossil smartwatch app?

The Fossil Hybrid Smartwatches app is the smartphone companion app for any and all Fossil hybrid smartwatches. It’s the app you’ll want to download right away after taking your new Fossil hybrid watch out of the box. It lets you check your daily activity and sleep, customize notifications, set alarms, and change watch face shortcuts.

Be sure you’re downloading the correct app, though. There’s also an app in the Play Store called Fossil Q Legacy, which is simply a legacy application used for older Fossil products like fitness trackers.

You can download the Fossil Hybrid Smartwatches app for Android and iOS at the links below.

Which devices are compatible with the Fossil smartwatch app?

fossil hybrid hr review watch face collider hr on wrist 2

All Fossil hybrid smartwatches are compatible with the Hybrid Smartwatches app. (No surprise there.) The full-fledged Fossil smartwatches running Wear OS, including the Fossil Gen 5 series, do not work with this app. The full list of compatible watches can be found below:

How to use the Fossil smartwatch app

fossil hybrid hr review fossil smartwatches app activity treadmill workout

There are four main sections of the Fossil smartwatch app, and each one is pretty straightforward. The first page is the Home page, where you’ll see your activity stats. A set of Apple Watch-like activity rings can be found on the top of this page, which display your steps, active minutes, caloric burn, and sleep.

Below that, you’ll find individual pages for each of these metrics, where you can see more detailed stats broken down into daily, weekly, and monthly timeframes.

You can customize your Hybrid HR’s watch face complications by navigating to the Customization tab. (By the way, I only have a Fossil Hybrid HR with me, so your customization options may vary depending on which watch you own.)

Fossil includes a handful of preset complication setups for travel and fitness, but I’d recommend just setting up the complications the way you want to. There are only four of them. Just tap the complication you want to change and select from the list that shows up on the bottom of your screen. The full list of complications include your heart rate, date, chance of rain, second time zone, calories, battery, weather, steps, and active minutes.

Tap on the little pencil icon on the watch face to change the background design of the watch face. There are a few preset options here, or you can add your own photo to bring some more personality to your watch. If you go this route, I’d recommend using a photo that you don’t mind being distorted. The e-ink display is pretty low-res, so really any photos of humans or pets will be obscured. Plus, the complications get in the way.

You can also customize the physical button shortcuts on this page. Again, tap the shortcut you’d like to change, then choose from the shortcut list on the bottom. Available shortcuts include: workout mode, wellness dashboard, music control, stopwatch, past notifications, timer, weather, and commute time.

Oh! This is important. Once you’re done, be sure to hit the black check mark button on the top-right of your screen after making your changes.

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You can set alarms, manage smartphone notifications, and move alerts from the Alerts page. Clicking on the alarm box allows you to make a note for that alarm, set it to repeat, and set the time. The Calls & Messages section lets you choose who you receive calls from on your wrist.

Click on the Apps section to choose which apps notify you. All apps are turned off by default, but you can turn on notifications for essentially any app you have installed on your smartphone.

The Profile tab is sort of the catch-all for all other settings. Here, you can edit your profile photo, height, and weight. You can see your activity and sleep records, set step goals, manage connected apps, and update your connected watch’s software.

It really doesn’t get more straightforward than that — the Fossil smartwatch app is relatively bare-bones compared to some other smartwatch companion apps.

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