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, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.
The earlydealstravaganza (that really should be a word) continues, with nearly every store offering sale prices on all kinds of stuff. In fact, some of them you can get just by asking — literally, with your voice, out loud: If you have an Alexa-powered device, just say, “Alexa, what are your deals?” That’ll get you early dibs on a bunch of Amazon devices that haven’t officially gone on sale yet.
Speaking of that,kicked off yesterday, and . , and starts Nov. 25. We’ve been sifting through all of these to find the cream of the crop, which we’ve gathered below.
That list includes deals available right now, but also some expired items, which we’re keeping here because they may resurface. As always, keep this post bookmarked and check it often for updates.
Best early Black Friday deals available now
Apple’s new flagship watch just got a solid discount ahead of Black Friday – the biggest so far, in fact. That price is good only for the Space Gray color; others are about $20 higher. You can save on the 44mm size as well, though not as much: The Space Gray version is $49 off.
Vanessa Hand Orellana/CNET
New for 2020, the Apple Watch SE is the middle child of the Apple Watch lineup. It’s got the same basic design as the Series 6, but lacks that model’s always-on display, ECG functionality and oxygen saturation measurements.
The 40mm and 44mm models run $279 and $309 at the Apple Store — and have been marked as low as $229 and $259 during previous early Black Friday sales. If you see higher prices, be patient: Those deals will likely return.
César Salza / CNET
CNET has dubbed the Fitbit Charge 4 the best all-around fitness tracker of 2020 for its low price, slim design, fashionable and functional straps and solid set of features, including GPS and sleep tracking.
While it doesn’t have a full-color display like most smartwatches, the small design makes it comfortable to wear 24/7, and the battery life lasts about four days, or seven if you turn off GPS. If you’re looking to get a fitness tracker for someone who doesn’t already wear one, this is a great buy. Read our Fitbit Charge 4 review.
Finally! We’ve been hoping for a reduction on the rarely discounted Mavic Mini, which is a simply fantastic personal drone. This isn’t the lowest price we’ve ever seen, but it’s definitely the best deal in a while. Same goes for the Fly More Combo, which you can grab for $449 (a $50 savings).
Yes, there’s now a Mavic Mini 2, but it starts at $449. Is it worth the extra $90? That’s your call, but the original is pretty sweet.
It may be two years old, but the Roku Premiere is still an excellent streamer. It has apps for pretty much every streaming service under the sun, and it slings them all at 4K. The latest version supports HDR, too. Whether there’s a “dumb” TV you’re looking to make smart or an old Roku that’s in need of replacing, it’s hard to beat this all-time-low price.
Prefer a premium Roku experience? The Roku Ultra 2020 is on sale for $70 (save $29). It adds features like Bluetooth streaming and a remote with headphone jack.
The Roku Streaming Stick Plus 4K is our favorite streamer, and at only 30 bucks it will be pretty untouchable in terms of value for money. The Stick offers hundreds of apps, the excellent Roku interface and a robust, voice-controlling remote. Read our Roku Streaming Stick Plus review.
Normally $30, the new-for-2020 Fire Stick Lite continues to see a solid discount ahead of Black Friday. This entry-level streamer delivers 1080p video with HDR support (but not 4K). The big missing apps are HBO Max and Peacock (for now), but the Alexa-powered voice remote is top-notch.
Score a boxed copy of one of 2019’s biggest games for the lowest price ever. We still don’t understand what “stranding” is (just sounds like a misspelled word), but at least you don’t have to pay $60 to experience it for yourself. Read our Death Stranding review.
We all know the best thing about The Mandalorian. (Hint: It’s not the guy who never takes his helmet off.) This Monopoly set features a big ol’ Baby Yoda on the box. Do not pass Go, do not collect Force powers… but do collect this game for only $10.
Not wild about the new orb-shaped Echo? You can score a solid deal on the previous, third-generation model. It’s available only in the charcoal color at this price, and probably not for long. Use this to replace, say, an old Dot or bring Alexa smarts to a currently nonsmart room.
For what it’s worth, the new Echo will be on sale for $70 soon — but, again, you’ll have to look at that dorky orb all the time. My $0.02: pass.
The Echo Show 8 is simply a larger version of the Echo Show 5, but that makes it a better candidate for the kitchen and other places you might prefer a bigger display. (It’s definitely preferable for video calls.) This matches the lowest price on record for this model.
To get this deal, you’ll need to order using your Alexa device: Just say, “Alexa, order an Echo Show 8.” Or just wait a bit, as we expect to see this price on Amazon proper soon.
TCL is best known for its Roku TVs, and we like the Roku smart TV system better than the Android TV version in this television, but for this price you can just buy a Roku Streaming Stick Plus, attach it to this TV and still come out ahead. Aside from its smarts we expect this 4-Series TV to perform “good enough,” just like the Roku equivalent.
This TV was previously $30 less, and may get there again. So although $120 is a solid discount, you might want to wait and see if the better deal returns.
A pressure cooker is one of the most versatile tools you can add to your kitchen, and at this price it’s one of the most affordable. Insignia’s model appears nearly identical to the equivalent Instant Pot, offering 10 preset modes for things like rice, meat, soup and even cake. It features a delayed-start option, an automatic keep-warm function and a dishwasher-safe nonstick pot.
Available today only at this price, this is one of the best deals yet. The AirPods Pro are all about the noise cancellation: These in-ear buds block outside noise better than just about any other product on the market. They’re also great for calls and offer an excellent transparency mode. Like to work out? The AirPods Pro earbuds are sweat-resistant. Standard AirPods are not.
If Woot runs out, Amazon still has the AirPods Pro for $200. And here’s a pro tip: Use your Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card to get 5% back on this purchase. Don’t have that card? If you’re a Prime subscriber, grab it and score a $100 Amazon gift card.
Another tip: Walmart’s aforementioned Nov. 25 sale will include the AirPods Pro for just $169, by the far the best price to date. If you’re not in a rush, it’s worth rolling the dice to see if you can land that deal.
Amazon, Walmart, Costco and other stores were offering $99 AirPods, the lowest price on record, but for the moment that deal is gone. In its place: $129 AirPods on Amazon
Will $99 AirPods be back? [Shakes Magic 8-Ball.] All signs point to yes.
This is only the third time this kit has been priced this low. It’s an insanely popular item, as it’s great not only for checking your ancestry, but also for identifying potentially serious health issues. Makes a great gift, too.
Lenovo’s premium two-in-one, the Yoga C940, boasts a sturdy and sleek all-metal design and a touch display that can rotate 360 degrees into tablet mode. It includes an active pen and can also instantly wake from sleep, one of the phone-like features it received courtesy of Intel’s Project Athena.
This configuration features a 14-inch display with a 4K resolution powered by a 10th-gen Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD with 32GB of superfast Optane memory. A similarly configured Yoga C40 on Lenovo’s site works out to $1,650, so this deal is even better than it looks. And it already looked good.
As we roll into winter, I’m already missing my garden — especially the herbs I grow to make homemade chermoula (my best discovery of 2019).
LED-powered indoor gardens to the rescue! There are lots of these on the market right now, some pretty pricey. This is an unusually good deal on the AeroGarden Harvest Elite Slim, which supports up to six seed pods and comes with a starter heirloom-salad seed kit.
This was previously $30 less, so it’s possible we’ll see that lower price again.
Kohl’s isn’t technically having a Black Friday sale, but we’re tossing this in because it’s a great deal on an item every kitchen needs. Score the beloved Crock-Pot for just $25.50 with promo code SAVE15. This model has lid clamps for easier travel.
Take note that shipping isn’t free, however, unless your cart hits $75. But you can pick it up in-store and bypass shipping altogether.
You don’t have to spend hundreds to add some automation to your house cleaning. The Eufy RoboVac 25C can be controlled via a mobile app or by voice with Alexa and Google Home. It’s smart enough to differentiate between floors and carpet and can avoid stairs automatically.
Early Black Friday deals: Sold out or expired (for now)
This was briefly selling for just $100 a short while ago, but even at $140 it’s a deal worth considering.
As a general rule, we don’t like Amazon’s Fire TV as much as Roku because Fire TV menus push Amazon content too much and are more confusing in general. But this model does have a voice remote with Alexa, and the price is mighty compelling for a screen of this size.
Believe it or not, these headphones debuted at $300 about four years ago — at which time we dinged them for not sounding quite as good as other $300 headphones. For $120, however, they’re a steal — and that’s $80 less than you’d pay at the Apple Store. Read our Beats Solo 3 Wireless review.
This 55-inch TCL has a 4K UHD display with HDR. It’s equipped with our favorite smart TV interface, Roku, which you can control with the included voice remote. There are four HDMI inputs (including ARC) and dual-band Wi-Fi for smooth streaming.
If ever there was a time to tune out the world, it’s now. (Because, you know, election, pandemic, murder hornets…) Sure, there are newer over-the-ear noise-canceling cans from Sony and even Bose, but this perennial favorite was great when it came out and it’s still great now — especially at this price, which rivals the lowest we’ve seen. Original list price: $350.
These days, a multicooker is an essential kitchen tool, like a toaster oven or microwave. This Instant Pot Viva can get you in the multicooker business for half price: $49 buys you a nine-in-one gadget that works as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, sous vide, cake maker and more. It has a 6-quart capacity and comes with 15 preset programs for recipes that include soups, beans, rice, ribs and eggs.
What you need to know about Black Friday 2020
Black Friday 2020 is shaping up to be a very different kind of shopping experience than any holiday shopping weekend in recent memory. With ongoing inventory issues due to the extended — not to mention the need for retailers to maintain a safe environment for customers and employees — it’s likely that there will be no throngs of expectant customers lining up for hours ahead of massive doorbuster sales.
In fact, a number of stores will be closed on Thanksgiving this year, ending a long-standing tradition of kicking off Black Friday sales before the turkey has had a chance to cool. These retailers have not yet announced plans for Friday, Nov. 27, but we’ll update this article as we learn more about their holiday hours.
In addition, all of the retailers listed below require customers to wear face coverings. Unless their policies change between now and Thanksgiving, it’s reasonable to assume that face coverings will be required for Black Friday sales as well.
Bookmark this post and check back often for more early and upcoming Black Friday deals!
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