Black Friday is approaching! In a year when it feels perfectly normal to ask Alexa what day it is, that Black Friday seems to come out of nowhere.
As we say pretty much every year, a lot of Black Friday deals are … not that good. While there are sure to be deals to be found, there is also a lot of hand-waving to help retailers and manufacturers clean out the old models and increase Q4 numbers.
It can also be a day when it's way too easy to buy junk just because there is a 40% discount. Because of this, we've tried to narrow this list down to what we recommend, even if it's not for sale. If we see anything else worthwhile in the next day or two, we'll add it. So you can check in again at any time.
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A few tips to keep in mind today:
When you see something is for sale and want to check that the selling price is really better than normal, put it in a price tracker like camelcamelcamel. If the price suddenly went up last week, to be "cut" by any percentage this week, you know what is happening.
At least be a little wary of TV deals. Of course, there are TV offers – but the most noticeable offers are usually excess panels with a new model number. Google the model number; If that particular TV only exists for Black Friday, think twice.
Once unheard of, Apple Black Friday deals are now a little easier to find. However, they tend to go fast!
Both Amazon and Walmart sell AirPods Pro for $ 170 – a super high discount from the usual $ 250. The stock seems to be coming and going fast, so this could be difficult to get.
The 40mm GPS version of the latest Apple Watch (Series 6) has dropped from currently $ 399 on Amazon to $ 379. While that's only a $ 20 drop, those things didn't hit shelves until September.
Best Buy has some pretty solid deals on the latest (8th generation) iPads, like a 10.2-inch, 32GB model for $ 280 (usually $ 330) or the 128GB model for $ 360 (usually $ 430).
With people flocking to Amazon already on Black Friday, the company usually offers some pretty massive discounts on its Amazon-branded devices to grab the moment and get more people into their ecosystem. Safe enough:
Google tends to get pretty big with the Black Friday discounts, and this year is no exception. Some examples:
The Nest Hello doorbell costs $ 179, typically $ 229.
Nest Hub costs just $ 50 (typically $ 90), and its bigger brother, the Nest Hub Max (pictured above), retails for $ 179 (typically $ 229).
The latest generation of the Nest mini smart speaker costs $ 19 versus $ 50. The beefier Nest Audio speaker is now $ 85 (typically $ 99) each, with the catch that you'll have to buy two.
The Stadia Premiere Edition – practically a starter kit for Google's Stadia gaming-in-the-cloud service, including a Stadia controller and Chromecast Ultra – has gone from $ 100 to $ 70. The controller alone typically costs $ 70. So if you're already thinking of giving the Stadia a try, is it like getting a free Chromecast Ultra?
Roku's new Streambar – basically a Roku box and soundbar in one package – costs $ 100 today, compared to the normal price of $ 130.
If you want to expand your Sonos system (which is actually a point in a Sonos system), Black Friday is usually a good day to do it. Unfortunately, Sonos sales are a bit limited this year, but there are still savings to be made. Amazon has reduced the portable Sonos Move to $ 299 (typically $ 399) and the Sonos SUB to $ 599 (typically $ 699), while Sonos itself has its Beam Playbar for $ 299 (typically $ 399) US dollars).
If you don't mind ads, Hulu is cutting the price of its ad-supported plan from $ 6 per month to $ 2 per month for one year. Unfortunately, there's no deal for the ad-free plan, which is still the normal $ 12 a month – but if you still want to check out the ad-free plan, you can save a few bucks too.
Calm, the popular subscription-based meditation / sleep sound service, has two special offers: they cut the price for a one-year membership by 50% (from $ 70 to $ 35) or for a lifetime membership by 60% (399 to 159.)
You probably won't find any offers for this year's new Xboxes or Playstations because … well, they already haven't been able to keep up with the demand. The best deals for this year are games, services and in some cases accessories.
Hell, that goes for the Nintendo Switch too. Even without a new hardware version this season, the Nintendo console flies off the shelves. If you're looking to make big savings on a Switch yourself this year, you should know that inventory is incredibly low. Any retailer offering a Switch deal is only doing so to get your hopes up and get you to the site. We find it difficult to find stock even at full price.
Microsoft sells Xbox controllers (that work with next-gen Xbox series consoles!) For $ 40, down from the usual $ 60.
Best Buy sells 3 months of Xbox Game Pass (Microsoft Netflix-style subscription service) for $ 23, down from the usual $ 45.
Gears 5 is $ 5 (typically $ 40) at Best Buy, Doom Eternal is $ 20 (typically $ 60) at GameStop, and Microsoft takes 10 US dollars from the newly redesigned Pro Skater 1 + 2 by Tony Hawk.
Sony is selling 12 months of Playstation Plus (its service that lets you play multiplayer games online) for $ 45 (down from $ 60).
Amazon sells Last of Us Part II for $ 30 (typically $ 60), and GameStop and a number of other retailers sell Ghost of Tsushima for $ 40 (typically $ 60). Sony got the oh-so-tough but oh-so addicting Cuphead for $ 15 out of $ 20. Most retailers will also sell Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Watch Dogs Legion, and Star Wars Squadrons.
Nintendo sells Luigi's Mansion, Super Mario Maker 2, Yoshi's Crafted World, Mario Tennis Aces, and Zelda Links Awakening for $ 40 (usually $ 60) through Amazon and most other retailers. All of these are fantastic!