But there was the cost factor, particularly in pandemic times.
“I don’t think most people have any idea the kinds of costs that are involved in sustaining these kinds of businesses,” McGown noted.
Rather costly was keeping their trusty 42-year-old Grumman truck road-worthy to pass annual permit inspections.
“With just its yearly maintenance plus the skilled labour and the rising cost of food, it becomes an untenable situation, especially when you can’t do volume,” McGown said.
And then there’s the rent factor. They had recently signed a 10-year lease.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t pay the rent we had agreed to, because our business model had changed entirely. We tried to work out a Hail Mary scenario with our landlord, but couldn’t come to an agreement. Had we done so, we might have been able to continue. I don’t wish to vilify the landlords, either, as I assume they are in as much trouble as many small businesses.”
As the end of the year approaches, new phones are on the minds of many between holiday discounts and buying gifts for family members. If you’re looking for the best Android smartphones available today, here are our top picks.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
Best for most people
Samsung is the most popular brand in the Android market, and for good reason. The company’s smartphones get a lot right from performance to design. The standard Galaxy S20 series was far from affordable starting at $999 (despite being extremely good phones anyway), but the Galaxy S20 FE takes a different approach to deliver a starting price of just $699.
The Galaxy S20 FE has a 6.7-inch, 120Hz AMOLED display, a trio of cameras headlined by a 12MP shooter, and offers features like IP68 water resistance, wireless charging, and solid battery life with wireless charging. It also features the same Snapdragon 865 processor as Samsung’s $1,000+ phones, only paired with 6GB of RAM instead of 12GB. There’s also 5G support on all carriers.
The Galaxy S20 FE is just a tremendously good deal as we put forward in our review. The only potential negative for some people might be that this phone is plastic instead of glass, but that’s all down to personal preference. It also comes in a plethora of color options.
Google Pixel 5
Best for photos
If pictures are your biggest focus, there’s no better choice than Google’s Pixel 5. Here’s why.
Pixel 5 is not a true flagship smartphone, rather focusing on a “what you really need” approach. The Snapdragon 765 chipset has enough power for just about anyone, and paired with 8GB of RAM it delivers solid overall performance. Plus, Google’s software suite is fully available on this device, and you have 128GB of storage for all of your apps and media. There’s also a 4,080 mAh battery that easily powers this device and its 6-inch 1080p OLED display through over a day of use.
What really stands out here, though, is the camera and its software. There’s a 12MP standard camera and a 16MP ultrawide shooter. Both can capture stunning photos that, thanks to excellent software, provide the best overall shooting experience on any smartphone. There are also some great video features that you can learn more about in our review.
In the same vein as the Pixel 5, Google’s Pixel 4a is also an excellent choice for its camera, battery life, and unlimited Photos storage. This phone, though, goes farther by offering simply the best Android experience in a $349 phone.
The Snapdragon 730 chipset inside of the Pixel 4a combined with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage delivers solid overall performance on Android 11. Plus, you’ll get guarenteed software support for at least three years, meaning some major Android updates and monthly security patches. That’s something no one else offers at this price point.
Rounding things out, the 5.8-inch display has slim bezels, wonderful colors, and blacks thanks to the OLED tech, and a size that feels comfortable in the hand. If you need a bigger phone, the Pixel 4a 5G jumps up to 6.2 inches while also upgrading the processor, adding 5G support, and throwing an ultrawide rear camera into the mix.
Google Pixel 4a is available for $349 from the Google Store, Amazon, B&H Photo, and Best Buy. The Pixel 4a 5G is also available from the Google Store, Amazon, B&H Photo, and Best Buy, and you’ll find both phones at major carriers, too.
OnePlus 8T/OnePlus 8 Pro
Best for gaming
If you’re buying a smartphone for performance or, more specifically, gaming, the OnePlus 8 series is the best choice. OnePlus smartphones have killer specs that rival any other Android flagship, but for a fraction of the price. The OnePlus 8T, for example, starts at $749 while delivering a 120Hz display, Snapdragon 865 processor, and a large OLED display.
The OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro both offer that same chip with up to 12GB of RAM, a minimum of 128GB of storage, and at least three cameras headlined by 48MP primary shooters. All three are currently running the latest Android OS, too, with Android 11.
Why are these phones so good for gaming? OxygenOS has a special “Fnatic Mode” that helps minimize interruptions and maximize performance. You’ll often find that OnePlus phones can handle gaming better than most. Plus, since this is Android, you can still access Fortnite that isn’t currently possible on iPhones.
Every OnePlus smartphone also includes timely major Android updates (quarterly security patches) as well as super-fast charging. The OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro can charge at up to 30W while the 8T can hit a whopping 65W.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra truly goes all out on the spec sheet. It offers up a massive 6.9-inch 120Hz 1440p AMOLED display. It’s huge, it’s bright, and it looks absolutely gorgeous in person. You can also use that display with the embedded S Pen, which now offers latency that’s indistinguishable from a real pen. Under the hood, the Snapdragon 865+ delivers 5G support and killer performance with 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage alongside it. Wireless charging and a 4,500 mAh battery round out this powerhouse.
As far as cameras go, Samsung delivers a package that outshines its Galaxy S20 series, this time around offering a 108MP primary sensor helped by laser autofocus for crisp photos. There’s also a 12MP ultrawide shooter and a 12MP periscope zoom lens that helps to enable zoom up to 50x. Add on Samsung’s excellent video features, and this is truly one of the best camera systems on any Android smartphone right now, even rivaling the Google Pixel series.
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is by far the best device on the market for productivity, and during the holidays you’re likely to find it on sale below its $1,299 price point. There’s also the standard Note 20, which is a bit smaller, has a few downgrades, and cuts $300 off the retail price.
“Single player is thriving,” Sony said in a presentation obtained by Vice, which shines some light on the platform holder’s ongoing commitment to story-based games.
However, research conducted by Sony also highlighted several issues its players encountered with single player games, findings which appear to have been influential in the creation of PlayStation 5’s new Activities feature.
Sony listed four key problems players reported experiencing:
Not knowing how long they need to achieve in-game goals
The amount of time it takes to locate solutions in online help videos
How to engage socially without encountering spoilers
Forgetting what they were doing the last time they played and struggling to re-engage
“We’ve never had greater success with our own narrative-driven, story-based games than we’re having right now,” he told CNET. “We feel good about that, and it’s certainly not a genre of gaming we’ll ever walk away from.”
If you’re looking for a Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus deal on Cyber Monday 2020, you’re in the right place! Today only, you can grab a 128GB model at its lowest-ever price: $899.
Granted, that is still a lot of coin. Keep in mind, though, that the MSRP of this phone is $1,199, so you’re saving $300, or 25% off. That’s not bad in the slightest!
As of publishing this article, you have the choice of three different colorways at the $899 price: Cloud Blue, Cosmic Gray, and Cosmic Black. Unfortunately, Cloud Pink is unavailable.
If you just can’t stomach $900 — even if it is for one of the best phones of the year — you could always get the non-Plus variant of the device. There’s a deal on the vanilla Galaxy S20 that brings the price down to $749, which is also a 25% savings over the MSRP. Obviously, you’re going to get a smaller phone with a smaller battery and a slightly weaker camera system.
Samsung Galaxy S20 PlusOne of the best phones of 2020!
The Galaxy S20 Plus features 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage, and all three color variants are available. This is the US version with the Snapdragon 865 processor, and it comes unlocked to both GSM and CDMA networks.
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