For more than half a century, Black Friday has been the official start of the Christmas shopping season in the United States. It takes place after Thanksgiving and it’s one of the busiest shopping days of the year. All retailers offer huge discounts and there are thousands of Black Friday tech deals to choose from. Throughout the past decades, Black Friday expanded worldwide and online. Shoppers soon realized a day is not enough to grab all the deals, especially with the stores being overcrowded, so retailers responded by creating Cyber Monday – the online version of Black Friday. Both days are now part of what is commonly called Cyber Week, a term coined by Forbes in 2013 when it was clear that the shopping frenzy lasts for more than just a few days.
According to a report by the National Retail Federation of the United States, more than 30% of retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas. Last year, 59% of the U.S. population took advantage of the special deals available during Cyber Week, spending approximately $655.8 billion during the holiday season. However, Black Friday and Cyber Monday remain the most important days for shoppers, with over 60% of consumers choosing one of these days to make their purchases. With so many people searching for the best deals, you need to make sure that you won’t miss out. Amazon is teasing discounts of up to 50% and Prime members get free shipping, no matter how large the order is.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless headphones have been continuously hyped since their release, and though the saying "don't believe the hype" (coined by the legendary hip-hop group Public Enemy) tends to stay true, the hype in question is definitely justified. This product was featured on our list of best wireless headphones due to its elevated sound quality, as well as for being sweat and water-resistant – a must for workouts. Moreover, the Bose SoundSport Wireless features NFC technology, an inline microphone that allows you to take calls from your smartphone, and comes with StayHear+ ear tips that'll free you from the nightmare of having in-ear headphones fall off as you get active.
Released in September 2017, Amazon’s latest Fire tablet offers great specs at an affordable price. With a 10-inch high-resolution screen (1920 x 1200 px) and high pixel density (224ppi), the tablet is perfect for watching videos or playing games. It’s 30% faster than the previous generation Fire tablet, with a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Like all Fire tablets, it supports Alexa, but it’s first one to feature the hands-free mode, which allows you to voice commands to control smart home devices and easily get responses from Alexa even when the device is in sleep mode. The battery lasts up to 10 hours and it takes only 5 hours to fully charge the device.
Bookworms will definitely be thrilled to find out that they can save $30 on the Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, which will be available starting November 19th for the special price of $89.99. This is the company’s best-selling Kindle and a great choice for Prime users, as it offers unlimited access to more than 1,000 titles. Its high-resolution 6-inch display has a pixel density of 300PPI and a built-in light, so your eyes won’t get tired after hours of reading – and you can definitely read for hours, as the battery lasts for up to six weeks!
If you plan on modernizing your home, you could start by getting a speaker that doubles as a smart home hub, like the Amazon Echo Plus. Starting November 23rd, the device will be available for $149.99, including a smart light from Philips. Besides powerful Dolby speakers that offer immersive, 360-degree surround sound, this product features Alexa, the smart assistant that can answer questions, set alarms and even help you order groceries. The built-in ZigBee smart home hub allows you to easily control smart lights, thermostats, locks, and plugs in your home.
Robotic vacuum cleaners are truly smart devices that are taking home appliances to the next level. iRobot Roomba cleaners are packed with sensors and can easily navigate around your home. There are plenty of cleaners to choose from and some of the best models are presented with all the pros and cons in this great overview from ValueWalk.
One of our top pics is the iRobot Roomba 650, one of the company’s bestsellers. With a compact, circular design and measuring only 3.6-inch in height, the Roomba 650 can reach even the most inaccessible places in your home - under furniture or in tight spaces. It can be used to clean carpets or hard floors and it is quite powerful for its size (33 Watts). With the dedicated iRobot Home App, you can control the device remotely and find the house clean when you get home.
With all the smart gadgets available nowadays, it has never been easier to monitor your home. For those interested in home security, Cloud Cams are perfect for 24/7 monitoring. With wide viewing angles and infrared LEDs, these cameras allow you to view what's happening in your home even during the night. The smart cameras can be controlled via dedicated apps, allowing you to receive notifications on your mobile device whenever activity is detected in your home.
With this deal, you can get a 7-inch tablet for at an affordable price! Granted, the Fire 7 Tablet doesn't offer impressive specs, but it’s a device that has all the basic features for reading, browsing the web, or playing games. It’s powered by a quad-core 1.3GHz processor and comes with 8GB or 16GB of internal storage. However, you get unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content, which is a huge advantage for users of Prime Music, Video or Reading.
If you prefer a larger screen, you can pick the Fire HD 8 Tablet, which has a larger display with better resolution, as well as an improved battery. With the Fire HD 8 Tab, you can enjoy 12 hours of usage on one charge, a significant upgrade compared to the Fire 7 Tab. It also comes with free unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content and Alexa, the smart assistant who is always ready to answer your questions and requests. Both tablets will be available starting November 23rd.
Amazon Echo Dot is a discrete but mighty smart home assistant: discrete due to its ultra-compact form factor, and mighty because it’s packed with functionalities. With a diameter of only 3.3-inches and a weight of 250 grams (8.8 oz), Echo Dot can be easily moved around your home, so you always have it within your reach. You can use voice commands to control your smart home devices (thermostats, lights, TVs) and to get help from Amazon's smart assistant. With Alexa, you can check your calendar, buy items from Amazon, set alarms, order a taxi and get answers to any important questions you might have, such as "How to prepare guacamole?". Echo Dot can also be used as a Bluetooth speaker for playing music, but even then you won’t need to worry – Alexa will still hear you because the Echo Dot has seven microphones, advanced noise cancellation, and far-field voice recognition.
Echo Show is Amazon’s premium smart assistant, integrating video features. With a 7-inch, high-resolution touchscreen (1024 x 600 px) and a camera, the device is perfect for video calls and can be used as an intercom, thanks to the Drop-In feature. This means that you can connect multiple devices placed in different rooms and see what's happening in each room. Therefore, the Echo Show is also a great home security device and can be easily integrated into your home if you already have other smart home gadgets. It’s compatible with security cameras from Nest, Logitech, Ring, speakers from Sonos, Bose and Ultimate Ears, and, of course, all Amazon devices. The Echo Show itself can be used as a speaker, and you can stream music from Amazon Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn or Pandora. This device has two Dolby stereo speakers that deliver clear and powerful sound. However, if you want deep bass and high volume, you’ll have to connect the device to a quality Bluetooth speaker.
One year after the successful global release of Amazon Echo, the company unveiled the second-generation Echo device this October. The new Amazon Echo is completely re-designed and has a smaller form factor. Users have can choose from six stylish fabrics and wood veneers: charcoal, heather gray or sandstone fabrics and oak, walnut or silver finishes. Besides the new look, the second-generation Amazon Echo offers better sound quality. It has a 2.5-inch woofer and a 0.6-inch tweeter, delivering rich and powerful sound; furthermore, it has seven microphones and advanced noise cancellation, as well as far-field voice recognition. With this advanced audio technology, your voice commands can’t be missed: no matter where you are in the room and no matter how noisy the environment is, Alexa will hear you. Just like with any other Echo device, you can use voice commands to control smart devices in your home, for hands-free calling and messaging, to order items and to do much more, as new skills are added to Alexa every day.
Most kids nowadays are digital natives, and making sure that the devices they use are safe and appropriate for their age should be a priority for parents. With devices designed especially for children, parents don’t need to constantly keep an eye on their kids while they are playing or streaming cartoons. Amazon’s Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet even gives parents full control over what kids can see with a smart filter feature, which can be used to customize the content depending on age. The tablet comes with a free one-year subscription of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, offering access to books, movies, TV shows, and educational apps at no extra cost. In terms of specs, the tablet has a 7-inch screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600 px, a front-facing VGA camera and a 2-megapixel rear camera. With 16GB of expandable memory, there’s plenty of storage space for photos, videos, and books. The tablet is protected by a colorful case (available in blue, pink or yellow) which keeps it safe from shocks, drops, and scratches and can be used for 8 hours on one charge.
The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet has a high-resolution 8-inch screen (1200 x 800 px) with a pixel density of 189PPI. It’s powered by a similar processor as the Fire 7 Kids Edition, but it comes with a larger battery that guarantees 12 hours of usage on a single charge. With a larger screen and Dolby Atmos stereo speakers, this 8-inch tablet is ideal for watching videos or listening to music. It also includes more onboard storage (32GB) that can be expanded via microSD card. Just like the 7-inch edition, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet is protected with a Kid-Proof Case and comes with one year of unlimited Amazon FreeTime access, which offers a catalog of more than 15.000 books, videos, and games.
One of the most powerful and affordable streaming media players, the Fire TV Stick gives you access to a wide range of channels, from Netflix to Disney. The newest upgrade includes the Alexa Voice Remote, so you can instantly get the content you want without having to raise a finger – literally – since you can use voice commands. The Fire TV Stick connects to your TV via HDMI and supports dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1. It’s compatible with high-definition TVs and has an output resolution of up to 1080px at 60fps. With 8GB of internal storage and unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content, you can enjoy tons of videos without having the delete the ones you've already watched.
Black Friday shopping can become overwhelming and it’s very easy to get distracted – you might even forget what you actually need and buy lots of items which weren’t on your shopping list! It’s good to take advantage of the offers, but make sure you don’t forget about the items that are at the top of your list. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you stay organized during the shopping season.
When you set eyes on a product on discount, don’t forget to check if other shops have that product – you might find it for an even price. There are plenty of platforms which help you find the best prices: Google Shopping, ShopSavvy, PriceGrabber and, of course, Versus, which also gives you all product specs and features at a glance. If you are curious to see pricing trends, you can check out CamelCamelCamel, a free Amazon price tracker.
2. Don’t wait until Black Friday to shop
The saying the early bird catches the worm is especially true during the holiday shopping season. If you wait until Black Friday, you might be surprised to see that some of the best deals won’t be available anymore. That’s why it’s better to start early. Many retailers offer so-called "preview deals" which might be available again on Black Friday or during Cyber Week if stocks are not exhausted.
3. Follow the big retailers
Big retailers advertise big deals on social media and they often offer special discount codes or coupons. To make good use of these opportunities, follow your favorite shops on social media. With all great deals in your news feed, you’ll be one step ahead of other shoppers.
4. Make your smartphone your shopping assistant
If you prefer going to physical shops rather than shopping online, make sure you have your smartphone with you. You can easily search for additional info online and even compare up to seven products on Versus. With all specs at a glance, it will be easier for you to decide what to buy. If you are an Android user, you can use the free Versus app. Just remember to charge your phone before you go on your shopping adventure.
5. Check return policies
It might happen that you aren’t completely satisfied with one of your purchases, or you might simply change your mind once you get to try out a product. This is always a risk when shopping online, especially when it comes to fashion items. To play it safe, make sure you check the return policies and always keep the receipt.
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