How to Shop For the Latest Amazon Echo, Fire, and Kindle Deals

How to Shop For the Latest Amazon Echo, Fire, and Kindle Deals

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There’s not much you can’t buy from Amazon. From groceries and clothes to this very small cowboy hat for pets (that, ahem, a good portion of our staff could not resist purchasing), the Everything Store usually has whatever you need—including a line of its own branded smart speakers and displays, tablets, and eBook readers. Whether you’re looking for a voice-activated assistant, a tablet for all your binge-watching, or a feather-light e-reader to carry around with you, Amazon has it all—and many of them are Wirecutter-recommended.

But before you head over to the site to fill your cart with new electronics, there’s one important rule of thumb Wirecutter Deal Editor Nathan Burrow thinks you should follow: Never pay full price for any of Amazon’s branded devices. Amazon’s branded products see discounts quite often, so it’s almost always worth it to wait for these price drops before spending your hard-earned money, especially if a huge deals holiday (like Cyber Week or Prime Day) is on the horizon.

To help you figure out which Amazon device is right for you before the deals start rolling, we’ve rounded up everything we think you need to know to save the most on the things you want and need.

How to Shop for Amazon Smart Speaker Deals

Amazon Echo
Photo: Sarah Kobos

If you’re new to smart speakers and don’t want to spend a lot on something you aren’t sure about, an Echo Dot Clock is an inexpensive way to get your feet wet. At its lowest, we saw it sell for $35, and it includes an LED clock display making it a great replacement for a bedside clock or even a kitchen radio (especially because the Alexa timer function comes in handy when cooking).

If you’re looking for a device with better audio, but don’t want something that will take up much room on a shelf or desk, we recommend the third generation Echo speaker. For even better sound, consider the Echo Studio. It’s twice the size of the Echo (and costs a fair bit more), but has a louder sound with a significantly improved bass, plus an integrated Zigbee radio for expanded smart home control. The Studio, released in 2019, rarely sees discounts—which means even small price drops may be worth your time.

Another great Echo to consider for a night stand or kitchen counter is the Echo Show 5. It’s a smaller version of the Echo Show, but has all the same clock, video calling and display features of the larger one. Since this one includes a built-in camera for making video calls, it’s nice to get one for yourself and one for a family member or friend. The midsize Echo Show 8 is another great option if you’re looking to save: It has an 8-inch screen that’s bigger than that of the Show 5 (which has a 5-inch screen) and it costs half the price of the original Show.

If smart home control is what you like about Alexa, and you know what kind of devices you like, then always keep your eyes peeled for bundle deals. Last year we saw great deals on Echo Dots bundled with Ring doorbell cameras, Wemo smart plugs and Hue smart bulbs.

How to Shop for Amazon Kindle Deals

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Photo: Sarah Kobos

When it comes to e-readers, you can’t go wrong with Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite. It’s our top pick for a reason: The screen displays crisp, easy-to-read text and clear images; it’s light and small; and it’s waterproof (bath readers, rejoice!). The 10th generation Paperwhite includes bluetooth capability so you can stream audiobooks, too. We also recommend the Paperwhite because Amazon offers an impressive catalog of affordable reading materials and has partnerships that let you check out free books from public libraries. We’ve seen the Paperwhite drop as low as $85, but we’d consider it a great deal even at $100—so if you’re in the market for a new e-reader and see competitive pricing, don’t hesitate to jump on it.

How to Shop for Amazon Fire Tablet Deals

Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet
Photo: Ryan Whitwam

Though we think the iPad is an all around better tablet, we think cheap tablets like the Amazon Fire series are sufficient for casually watching videos or even light reading. The most recent iteration of the Fire HD 8 does a good job at these simple tasks, which is why we think it’s a good affordable alternative if you’re not keen on joining the Apple family. Even though Amazon just released the new Fire HD 10, we don’t think it’s worth the extra money. Our testers found that the Fire HD 10 doesn’t add enough to the experience to justify it’s higher price—in fact, the guide writer thinks the larger screen and shape can actually be a downside for some people, since it’s less comfortable and more awkward to hold for long periods.

Although Amazon updated the Fire 7 to include double the storage (16 GB) and support for 512 GB microSD cards over the summer (making it slightly better than it once was), it still doesn’t make the grade to be one of our picks. Instead, we think splurging for the Fire HD 8 (or even better, just waiting for one of the many sales it will likely see) is a better idea. Even when there are price drops for the Fire 7, we think it’s worthwhile to spend the extra cash for the Fire HD 8 because it has more storage, a higher-resolution display, and a longer battery life.

If watching streaming content on a tablet screen isn’t for you—and you don’t have a Smart TV—Amazon also makes the Fire TV Stick, which will allow you to easily stream the movies and television shows on your must-watch list. However, even if you see discounts on the Fire TV Stick, we think you should pass and get a Roku Streaming Stick instead. Our guide writers found that the Fire TV interface prioritizes Amazon content first and makes it difficult to find content from other services. This is okay if you buy almost all of your content from Amazon, but if not, it can be a real pain. The interface also has ads on every page, which can be hard to ignore, while Roku only has a single ad on the main page.

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter
Keyword: How to Shop For the Latest Amazon Echo, Fire, and Kindle Deals

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