You blinked and it is, inexplicably, almost Black Friday again.
Should you buy a bunch of stuff just because it’s discounted? Probably not! Can you use it as an opportunity to save some money on stuff you already wanted anyway? Absolutely.
We don’t aim to be exhaustive with our Black Friday tech roundup. Instead, we just try to highlight some deals on the gadgets and gear we’d recommend even at full price.
Before we hop into the deals, we always like to start with a few tips:
If you’re buying on Amazon, use a historical price tracker like camelcamelcamel to determine if the sale is really a sale, or if the price was just temporarily cranked up yesterday for the appearance of a discount today.
Make sure you’re really buying what you think you’re buying. Retailers love to sneak last year’s model into the sale mix to clear out inventory. Now, last year’s model can be great! Just know what you’re getting.
On a similar note: for things like TVs, it’s not uncommon to see older panels repackaged under new model numbers. If that model of TV didn’t exist before a few months ago and is somehow being offered at a huge discount, be curious.
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If you want to buy from Apple directly, the company is offering gift cards of varying values with hardware purchases — up to $75 when you buy AirPods, $50 with an iPhone/iPad/Apple Watch, or $250 with a Mac. (Note that, unlike many retailers, Apple’s “Black Friday” deal isn’t starting before actual Black Friday.)
AirTags: Amazon has a 4-pack of AirTags down to $80 (normally $99.)
If you’re looking to pick up an Amazon device like a Kindle or an Echo speaker, Black Friday tends to be the best time to do it.
Amazon Echo: The latest Echo Dot is down to $25 (normally $50) and comes with a free Philips Hue bulb OR six months of Amazon Music Unlimited. If you want one of the Echos with a display built in, they’re all 50-60% off.
Fire TV: The very solid Fire TV Stick 4K is down to $25, normally $50.
Like Amazon, Google also tends to do deep discounts on its own hardware for Black Friday.
Chromecast: The latest Chromecast 4K with remote is down to $40 (normally $50). If you don’t need 4K, the HD-only model is down to $20 (normally $30).
Nest devices: The Nest Learning thermostat is down to $179 (normally $249.) If you don’t want all the automated “learning” features though (which, honestly, are hit or miss), the more manual (but still WiFi-connected) Nest Thermostat is down to a super cheap price of $90 (normally $130.). All Nest speakers and smart displays, meanwhile, are about half off right now.
If Google/Amazon/Apple’s streaming devices aren’t doing it for you, Roku’s gear is all discounted right now as well:
The very solid Backbone One gaming controller for iPhone is down to $75 (normally $100.)
Alas, the deal is only for the iPhone model and seemingly does not include the just-released Android (USB-C) version.
Sonos sometimes sits Black Friday out, but this year they’ve brought out some deals.
The Sonos One speaker is down to $175 (normally $220); they’ve offering a two-pack, as well, but the price/savings per speaker stays the same.
We haven’t seen any particularly mind-blowing deals for the Nintendo Switch yet this year. This is particularly true if you’re looking for a deal on the recently released OLED model, which seems to be going for its regular $350 price everywhere we look.
The best deal this year seems to be this bundle — it still costs the regular $300, but they’re including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (usually $60) and 3 months of Switch online (usually $8.)
Finding a Playstation 5 in stock is still hit-or-miss, so there isn’t much in terms of deals on the console itself this Black Friday.
If you’re looking for another controller, though, Gamestop has PS5 controllers marked down to $50 (normally $70.)
There are two versions of the latest gen Xbox console — the Xbox Series S and the Xbox Series X. You can read about the difference between the two here, but the gist of it is that the Series X has a disc drive and is more powerful across the board.
We’re only seeing deals for the Series S (read: the less powerful) model this year, with Amazon bumping the price down to $240 (normally $300.)
Gamestop has Series X/S controllers down to $50 (normally $60), and Microsoft itself is offering upwards of 30-50% off on games like Deathloop, Gotham Knights, Red Dead Redemption 2, and NBA 2K23.
Apps and Streaming Services
We’re not seeing any deals from Spotify or Netflix this year, but the competition has some offers:
Hulu is offering its ad-supported plan for $2 per month (normally $8 a month) for 12 months.
HBO Max is offering its ad-supported plan for $2 per month (normally $10 per month) for 3 months.
Paramount+ is taking 50% off its annual plan, bumping the price of the ad-supported plan from $50 for the year to $25, and the no-ads (except on live TV) plan from $100 per year to $50.
Plex is offering 25% off a lifetime subscription to Plex Pass — $90, instead of the regular price of $120.