This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.
Thanksgiving Day is now but a memory — and a swelling in our waistbands — but Black Friday Deals Week is still chugging along at Amazon. There are big discounts on smart TVs, DJI drones, Apple Watches, Sonos speakers, Roku streamers, Fitbit wearables and more. Meanwhile, nearly every device in the Amazon stable — Echo smart speakers and displays, Fire tablets, Fire TV streamers, Kindles, Eero networking products and Ring doorbells — is at or near its lowest price ever. Keep reading to find our top picks from Amazon’s big sale, along with some pro tips for saving extra cash.
A few other pointers:
Pro tip No. 1: We also found a “secret” deal, one reserved for those who already have Alexa-capable devices: Just say, “Alexa, order an Amazon Smart Plug.” You’ll then have the option of purchasing the $25 plug for just $5. (Note that this deal isn’t working for some, though I just spoke with my Echo Show 5 and it’s still coming up. One theory: If you’ve already purchased this plug, you’re not eligible.) This was still working for us as of Friday morning.
Pro tip No. 2: Delivery dates are starting to slip to late December and even January on some products. Those may readjust to closer ranges, but be aware if you’re ordering anything that’s a must-have holiday gift.
Pro tip No. 3: Virtually everything you buy from Amazon qualifies for 5% cash back when you pay with an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card. But Amazon has raised that to 10% for a lot of items — even sale items, like the DJI Mavic Mini and iRobot Roomba i3 Plus (see below). That makes this a good time to sign up for that card if you don’t already have one.
Pro tip No. 4: Cash-back service TopCashback is currently offering up to 8% back on select Amazon purchases (mostly Amazon devices.) That would be in addition to the 5% to 10% back if you used Amazon’s Visa. Buy an Echo Show 8 for $65, for example, and you’d get 8% back here and 5% from the card. Real savings!
Finally, don’t forget: Amazon isn’t the only Black Friday game in town. Best Buy’s Black Friday started Nov. 22 and Walmart’s Black Friday sale started Nov. 25.
Black Friday 2020 sales and deals
Amazon Black Friday deals available now
First, the good news: This just about matches Walmart’s all-time-low deal from yesterday (which sold out rapidly, no surprise). The bad news: Amazon shows an in-stock date of Jan. 24. So you can still buy at this price, but don’t expect delivery in time for Christmas.
If you’re willing to wait, this is literally one of the best deals ever on an Apple Watch. I own this model; no complaints.
This is a time-limited deal, so you have a narrow window while Amazon matches Prime Day pricing on this super-popular smart-home item. I own one; works great.
This jumbo-size Echo Show smart display measures, as the name implies, 8 inches diagonally, which makes it a great choice for watching cooking videos in the kitchen or making video calls. This sale price ties the lowest price we’ve ever seen for this model. Read our Echo Show 8 review.
Not everyone wants to wear a smartwatch, and the Fitbit Charge 4 was called the best all-around fitness tracker of 2020 and received CNET’s Editors’ Choice Award — read our Fitbit Charge 4 review for details.
Finally! We’ve been hoping for a discount on the rarely discounted Mavic Mini, which is a simply fantastic personal drone. This isn’t the lowest price we’ve seen, but it’s definitely the best deal we’ve seen 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.
Note that the Mavic Mini qualifies for the aforementioned 10% cash back (instead of the usual 5%) when you pay with an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card. That lowers your net cost to around $323.
Read our DJI Mavic Mini review.
“Wait for a sale.” That was the conclusion of CNET’s Echo Dot 2020 review, which praised the design and sound quality of the new model but rightly noted that Amazon’s mini smart speakers go on sale all the time. This, however, is actually the first time it’s happening; during Prime Day, Amazon discounted only the previous-gen Dot.
Note that you can buy the Echo Dot with Clock for $39, also discounted for the first time, also $21 off. And the Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids Edition is $49 (you save $41).
Read our Echo Dot 2020 review.
This was already a bargain at $70, so $55 feels like outright theft. The Bip S improves on the already-great original Bip in several ways, with more sport modes and a higher-resolution display. Take note that Amazon currently shows an in-stock date of Dec. 12. If you want it sooner, look for a price-match at other stores (notably Best Buy).
Read our Amazfit Bip S review.
Tile usually makes you buy a multipack in order to get a decent discount. This is one of the best deals on record for a single tracker — which just happens to be one of my favorite products. Add it to your keychain, then use the Tile app when those keys go missing. Just as valuable, double-press the Tile button and it rings your phone (even when set to silent).
Another Prime Day rerun, the Fire HD 10 tablet is an absolute steal at this price. Among the highlights: a big, sharp screen, expandable storage, a USB-C connector and a speed boost over the previous-gen model. It may be a while before we see the Fire HD 10 get discounted this much again.
Read our Fire HD 10 review.
This is the lowest price on record for this particular Pot, which holds six quarts of pretty much anything you want to cook and has a digital display. In addition to pressure cooking, it does sous vide, rice, yogurt and even cake.
Read more: The best Black Friday Instant Pot deals
Want something a little fancier than the Bip S? This ties the lowest price on record for Amazfit’s Apple Watch lookalike, which offers a lot of the same features and way better battery life (up to 14 days, according to Amazfit). It offers a vibrant 1.6-inch display (with an always-on option), built-in GPS and loads of fitness features. Plus, it works with both Android and iOS phones.
This combo would ordinarily cost $75, but it’s on sale for $34. You get the all-new Echo Dot along with an Amazon Smart Plug, which you can use to control lights or appliances using Alexa.
This isn’t the only Echo Dot (4th gen) bundle, either. For example, if you’re more a fan of TP-Link smart plugs, you can get the Echo Dot with TP-Link Smart Plug for $47, saving $26. Read our Amazon Echo Dot (2020) review.
This is the largest discount on record for this new Roomba, which not only navigates your floors with smart sensors but also empties its own dust bin. (I’m pretty sure this is how Terminators got started.) And this is another item that qualifies for 10% cash back when you pay with your Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card. That effectively lops another $39 off the price.
Don’t have that Visa? You should get one, right now, because there’s a $100 Amazon gift card in it for you.
At $100 off, we haven’t seen the Sonos Move priced any cheaper. This is the first portable Bluetooth speaker from Sonos, but of course it also works with other Sonos speakers as part of a whole-home sound system using a Sonos wireless mesh network. You get an 11-hour battery life when it’s not sitting on its discreet charging pad. Read our Sonos Move review.
Looking for something for your media room? Amazon is also discounting the $399 Sonos Beam soundbar (on sale for $299). Read our Sonos Beam 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.
Read our Fire TV Stick Lite review.
Ebooks: awesome. Reading ebooks on a phone or tablet: less awesome. Good luck settling in with email, Twitter, TikTok and text messages clamoring for your attention. Plus, those screens aren’t too easy on the eyes. That’s why I’m a big believer in a dedicated e-reader. The entry-level Kindle is superb, with an integrated light and an improved design.
Read our Kindle 2019 review.
Available only in arctic white at this price, the Bose 700 was dubbed CNET’s pick for “top noise-canceling headphones” last year. It originally sold for $400 but has been hanging out at $379 more recently. At $299, this ties the lowest price on record.
Read our Bose 700 review.
In CNET’s hands-on tests, we found AncestryDNA to offer the best integration of DNA analysis and historical research. And now the service is on sale for more than half off.
Read our analysis of DNA test services.
It just hit the market about a month ago at $50, so this is a pretty major price drop. The Band 5 packs a wealth of fitness features — heart rate and blood oxygen monitoring, music controls, even Alexa — into a wearable that can run up to 15 days on a charge. You can read my first take on the Amazfit Band 5 here. It’s not in stock until January but if you buy today then you’ll still get that low price.
Also worth noting: The Amazfit GTS smartwatch is on sale for $100, tying the lowest price ever. It’s an Apple Watch lookalike with way, way better battery life.
Sure, cloud storage is great, but nothing beats having your data locally. Whether you need a MicroSD card for your Switch or a backup drive for your PC, this SanDisk sale is a great time to get all the terabytes you need at deep discounts.
Amazon is following Target’s lead with a “Buy two, get one free” gaming sale. Fair warning, though: The good stuff is going fast.
The Versa 2 is a powerful hybrid smartwatch and fitness tracker that combines many of the things Fitbit does especially well — like excellent sleep tracking and detailed analytics about your workout habits — with smartphone notifications, Alexa integration and a wide selection of watch faces. We’ve even given this model our Editors’ Choice Award; read our Versa 2 review.
While saving $50 is nothing to sneeze at, be aware that $130 still higher than $100, the lowest price ever for this fitness watch.
Want to score some great tips for Black Friday shopping? Look no further than this episode of the Cheapskate Show podcast:
Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020
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How to win Black Friday in 2020
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