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Get the most out of your twenties by investing in a mesh router

Home is where the Wi-Fi connects automatically

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So many things in our twenties depend on being connected; whether that’s getting work done, catching up with friends and family, planning our next trip, or even me time.

Imagine being able to do everything you want to do wherever you are in your apartment — from the bedroom, to the toilet, to your couch without worrying about losing connectivity. A mesh Wi-Fi router like the TP-Link Deco M9 Plus allows you to do that and more. Here are some reasons why it’s the best gift you can give yourself during this pivotal decade in your life:

Maximize what you’re paying for

Getting the most out of every spending is almost always the only justification we have for buying something new. Can I wear this beautiful pair of heels without dying in pain after 20 minutes? Will it work with half of my wardrobe or is it practically disposable?

The same decision-making process applies to a Wi-Fi subscription or getting a router. More often than not, it doesn’t feel worth it because you don’t get the advertised speeds when you’re minding your own business from the toilet seat, or when you just want to binge-watch your favorite YouTubers without getting out of bed.

A mesh Wi-Fi router like the TP-Link Deco M9 Plus is an easy solution for those dead spots in the apartment. It comes with up to three Deco units, so they can be placed in key locations to get the best coverage. In rooms where you’re originally only getting zero to 58Mbps, it’ll dramatically improve to the speed you’re actually paying monthly for.

Setup doesn’t require the use of your last two braincells

Us twentysomethings are smarter than most people think — we can tinker with practically anything and learn things on the fly. But it doesn’t hurt to have a new piece of technology to work just as it should: to make our busy lives easier and more efficient.

Setting up the TP-Link Deco M9 Plus doesn’t require much. Just plug the Deco units, download the app, and link them with a few taps. Next thing you know you’re wondering why you didn’t buy it sooner.

Netflix and actually chill

Whether you’re planning on binge watching the latest season of Black Mirror on your smart TV or downloading a movie or two on your phone to watch when you’re on the plane, you’ll no longer need to wait to do so.

We’ve all been there: you’re in the middle of the most nerve-wracking or heart-warming scene and the TV suddenly freezes. With the right mesh router, buffering will be a thing of the past.

It’s future-proof

If you haven’t noticed by now, life doesn’t get easier. Cliché as it may sound, we only get stronger and more patient but more importantly, we also (have to) get smarter about our choices.

We may feel broke 90 percent of the time, but investing in smart appliances and devices is going to be inevitable. Imagine not having to google whether you can put your expensive dress into the dryer or turn off the lights when you’re already half asleep and can’t be bothered?

The Deco M9 Plus is one of the few mesh routers that offer smart home support. It can serve as a hub for smart appliances and devices you’ll eventually get for yourself and/or your future not-yet-existing family.

If dead spots are your only problem now, the band-aid cheaper solution is to get Wi-Fi extenders; but changes will happen, and we’ll all level up in life. We hopefully won’t live in the same tiny apartment our twentysomething jobs can afford.

When we do move to a better, more spacious home someday, making this purchase today will still make sense ten years down the line. Like deciding between faux leather and genuine leather, it’s not the cheapest option, but you’ll get more out of it in the long run than the more affordable options right now.

Want to read this in German? Visit MobileGeeks.de to see a translation.

Best Smartphones

Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400

December 2019 Edition

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When premium phones are out of financial reach and entry-level handsets just don’t make your cut, something in between is the next best thing. This is our updated list of the best midrange smartphones retailing from US$ 200 to US$ 400.

Formulating this category was tricky, since you can’t set an exact price and some of these devices are, in fact, the flagship phones of their respective brands. To simplify things, we chose a price range that simply sits between our other lists for best budget, upper-midrange, and premium smartphones.

Here they are in no particular order:

Realme XT (US$ 333)

The Realme XT is our choice for best smartphone with a 64MP camera. This smartphone produces flagship-level photos.

REVIEW: Realme XT

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE (US$ 300)

Xiaomi has always been a part of the list and the Mi 9 SE truly deserves its spot. It’s a flagship-grade phone from its design to its specs. It’s dubbed as a “compact flagship” thanks to its smaller-than-usual form factor. If you’re looking for a phone that won’t hurt your pockets both in size and price, check out the Mi 9 SE.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Mi 9 SE

Realme 5 Pro (US$ 232)

A quadruple-camera setup at this price point seems unlikely but Realme made it happen. And it’s not just the setup, the lenses actually take photos with good image quality. That would have been enough to recommend this but it also has a Snapdragon 712 AIE chip with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. If you’re looking for a great deal, this is it.

HANDS-ON: Realme 5 Pro

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 (US$ 245)

While not as affordable as its predecessor, the ZenFone Max Pro M2 still does several things most phones can’t even dream of at this price point. We get an upper-midrange chip, large 5000mAh battery, versatile cameras, and a pure take on Android.

REVIEW: ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2

Huawei Nova 5T (US$ 367)

Huawei managed to put a flagship-level chip with a glass back and with triple cameras on a midrange phone. These are things you expect from brands like Xiaomi but Huawei was able to pull it off as well.

READ: Huawei Nova 5T

Samsung Galaxy A50s (US$ 345)

Samsung’s pivot to the A series has been fantastic and the Galaxy A50s is another proof of that. It’s a refinement of everything that was good with the Galaxy A50. If you’re a die-hard Samsung fan looking for a midrange phone, the Galaxy A50s is a solid option.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy A50s

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Best Smartphones

Best Budget Smartphones below $200

December 2019 Edition

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Welcome to GadgetMatch’s list of the best smartphones priced below US$ 200! Each month, we update our selection with the budget-friendly phones we believe are most deserving of your hard-earned savings.

Even though the spotlight has been on high-end smartphones this entire year, there have been a few surprisingly good entry-level handsets coming out lately, as well. So good, in fact, that we had to reassess our entire list.

Here they are in no particular order:

Redmi Note 8 (US$ 155)

The Redmi Note 8 is proof that you can put quality cameras on a budget smartphone. It has a 48MP main shooter which is what you’ll find on most flagships and midrangers. With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC, it should also have no trouble handling basic gaming and other tasks you do on your phone.

READ: Redmi Note 8

ASUS ZenFone Max M2 (US$ 175)

We were disappointed to find out that the ZenFone Max Pro M2 went above the US$ 200 mark, but we still have the non-Pro Max M2 to buy at this price point. Fortunately, the fast Snapdragon 632 processor, large 4000mAh battery, and dual rear cameras remain.

REVIEW: ASUS ZenFone Max M2

OPPO A5s (US$ 117)

The OPPO A5s perhaps is best looked at as a transition device more than anything else. It does what you expect out of budget smartphones. It’s good to have “for now” but you might look elsewhere for a more reliable daily driver.

REVIEW: OPPO A5s

Realme 5 (US$ 154)

Realme is giving Xiaomi a run for its money on our top-of-mind easy phones to recommend. The Realme 5 is a real treat for people looking for a budget smartphone that provides more than what they need.

HANDS-ON: Realme 5

Samsung Galaxy A20 (US$ 190)

Samsung’s revived Galaxy A-series proves that the company cares about every price segment. The Galaxy A20, in particular, is the most well-rounded below US$ 200 thanks to its ultra-wide camera, AMOLED display, and hefty battery.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy A20

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Best Smartphones

Best Upper-Midrange Smartphones from $400 to $600

December 2019 Edition

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When premium phones are out of financial reach and entry-level handsets just don’t make your cut, something in between is the next best thing. This is our updated list of the best upper-midrange smartphones retailing from US$ 400 to US$ 600.

Formulating this category was tricky, since you can’t set an exact price and some of these devices are, in fact, the flagship phones of their respective brands. To simplify things, we chose a price range that simply sits between our other lists for best budget, midrange, and premium smartphones.

Here they are in no particular order:

Redmi K20 Pro (US$ 364)

With the future of Pocophone up in the air, the Redmi K20 Pro fills the category that the sub-brand created for itself. On paper, it’s equipped with flagship specs but without the price tag usually associated with top of the line smartphones.

READ: Redmi K20 Pro

Realme X2 Pro (CNY 3299)

The Realme X2 Pro has flagship killer written all over it. Equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ and a 64MP camera sensor along with three other cameras, this phone promises to be a powerhouse with a price tag that doesn’t require sacrificing any of your internal organs.

HANDS-ON: Realme X2 Pro

Google Pixel 3a (US$ 399)

Years after the death of the Nexus line, Google has finally unleashed a more affordable Pixel phone that still has the same great set of cameras. While the body is now plastic and the processor isn’t as fast, the Pixel 3a still runs circles around the competition at this price point.

REVIEW: Google Pixel 3a

Xiaomi Mi 9 (EUR 449)

Xiaomi once again brings the latest and fastest processor available to the midrange segment. That’s right: The Mi 9 has the Snapdragon 855 chipset, and it doesn’t cost a fortune. Not only that, Xiaomi’s flagship also has speedy wireless charging and class-leading cameras.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Mi 9

OnePlus 7T (US$ 599)

When the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro came out, the company wanted to clearly communicate that they’re competing in the premium space. Fast forward to the OnePlus 7T and it looks like they are back to their flagship killing ways offering premium-level specs at a price lower than most top-of-the-line flagships.

UNBOXING & HANDS-ON: OnePlus 7

ASUS ZenFone 6 (EUR 499)

ASUS wowed us with the ZenFone 6 and its new Flip Camera. The unique mechanism of the phone’s camera not only allows a notch-free display, but it also lets users take incredible selfies using the primary shooters. Also, ASUS has blessed its new smartphone with the latest specs possible at a competitive price point.

REVIEW: ASUS ZenFone 6

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