Here at Android Authority, we have a diverse staff. We come from all over the world and we use all kinds of technology. The Staff Picks series shows you what tech we use for work, play, and health.
Like most of the team, I work at my desk a lot of the time but spend a bit of time working in airports, cafes and in hotel rooms. From my command center at home to my as-small-as-I-can-get-away-with backpack, I balance portability against the best bang for my buck.
Phones: Pixel 4 XL and Samsung Galaxy Note 10
I know, I know, I didn’t have too many good things to say about the Pixel 4 in my review, but it’s still the best software and camera experience on Android for me, so I’ve made my peace with the battery and moved on.
My other daily driver is the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, which I fell in love with during the review and haven’t stopped using since. A smaller Note is a dream come true, even if it isn’t quite as feature-packed as the bigger Note 10 Plus.
Smartwatch: Huawei Watch GT2
The one thing I have with me even more than my phones is my smartwatch. The best thing about the Huawei Watch GT 2 is that its battery lasts for two weeks and it does no more than I want it to.
It’s far from the most full-featured smartwatch around but that’s why it never leaves my side. It does what I need and nothing more (without me having to disable half its features), so I can be connected… but not too connected.
Chair: Secret Lab Omega
When I’m working at home I want to be comfortable, which is how I justified dropping a pretty penny on a fancy gaming chair from Secret Lab. I may not be much of a desk athlete, but I figured I could still benefit from what it has to offer those who sit for a living. Despite my sloth-like twitch response I still appreciate the solid construction, almost lie-flat reclining and great adjustable ergonomics of the Omega. It even comes with memory foam cushions.
Camera: Sony a6500 and Sigma 35mm f/1.2 art lens
I’ve been using Sony mirrorless cameras for years because I love their size-performance ratio. I’m still shooting on the a6500, awaiting the release of the mythical “baby a9.”
I recently invested in the new 35mm Sigma f/1.2 prime lens (52.5mm full-frame equivalent on the a6500’s APS-C sensor). I absolutely adore this lens, falling in love with it on the first test shot I took on the counter at B&H (see below). It’s definitely a chunky boi but it has quickly become my go-to lens when I’m not concerned about weight and is worth every single dollar. When I need to travel a bit lighter I go with the excellent Sony 24mm f/1.8 prime.
Mobile lenses: Moment (18mm, anamorphic, superfish, zoom)
I don’t always want to carry a real camera around with me, so I always have a selection of Moment lenses in my bag for more versatile smartphone shooting. Moment lenses are quite possibly my favorite smartphone accessory of all time.
They’re not particularly cheap, but if you take photos on your phone they’re well worth the investment because they add a huge amount of fun and versatility to your mobile photography and can be moved from phone to phone with a Moment case.
Bag: Xiaomi Mi Minimalist Urban backpack
I used to be a huge OnePlus backpack cheerleader, then I got my hands on this tidy little backpack from Xiaomi. Despite being a bit smaller than the OnePlus Traveller backpack, its squared-off shape and tons of pockets mean I can actually fit all the same stuff in it.
My 15-inch MacBook Pro fits neatly, as does my Sony a6500 with the monster Sigma lens, plus headphones, chargers, batteries, spare phones, gimbals and more. Definitely worth a look if you like clean lines on a minimal bag.
Gimbal: Zhiyun Smooth Q2
I’ve always liked using gimbals for super-smooth video but have historically found them a bit too bulky for an everyday carry. Not so with the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 (or the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 for that matter). This thing is tiny but still delivers all the great stabilization and functionality you’d expect from a much larger and heavier gimbal.
Android TV: Nvidia Shield 2019
I’ve always loved the Nvidia Shield and have been loving the new smaller Shield TV 2019. One of the best tricks it has up its sleeve is the ability to use AI to upscale HD content to pretty convincing 4K. What’s even better is you can control how aggressive it is, so you can adjust it depending on your personal tastes or the particular content you’re watching.
The new Shield TV gets a new more powerful processor, a better remote control (that you can also use on older Shields if you just want to upgrade that part of the package), comes in a smaller package and is actually cheaper than the original Shield TV. This is an absolute must-buy if you don’t already have one.
Smart display: Lenovo Smart Display
I’ve long said that no one should buy a smart display but everyone should have one. That means you need to get this on your family’s gift-giving list because as much as I think any smart display is more expensive and less useful that it should be, I still like having one.
The main reason I like the Lenovo Smart Display is that it adds some personality to my kitchen. Unlike Google Home or the Nest Mini, a smart display is designed to attract attention to itself. Mine displays random shots from my camera roll, shows me the weather, recipes, YouTube videos and more, making it as much a focus as what’s in the oven.
Headphones: Huawei FreeBuds 3
The Huawei FreeBuds 3 are unashamedly AirPods 2 ripoffs, just better. Despite the uninspired appearance, these are some seriously good true wireless earbuds. Huawei splits the stereo signal on your phone and transmits each channel to the correct earbud. Most other headphones send everything to one earbud and then transmit from there to the other bud.
Besides the clever technology, the FreeBuds 3 are really good sounding Bluetooth earbuds, complete with ANC. With four hours playback and another 16 in the circular case, the FreeBuds 3 are my new Bluetooth headphones of choice. When I’m at my desk though, I still fall back on wired cans: either my closed-back Audio-Technica ATH-M50x or open-back AKG K7XX from Massdrop.