- 1 The best smartwatch for Android users
- 2 Good headphones for bespectacled folks
- 3 Stay in touch with family with a smart display
- 4 A smart display that can double as an alarm clock
- 5 A good beginner smart speaker
- 6 A better alternative to AirPods
- 7 Affordable noise-cancelling headphones
- 8 The Best Early Black Friday Deals From Walmart, Best Buy, and Target
- 9 Wirecutter Deals, Explained
- 10 The Wirecutter Guide to Online Retailer Return Policies
- 11 How We Find Reliable Retailers and Shop Wisely Online
- 12 Related
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On Black Friday, it’s not unusual to see two big-name stores offer the exact same deal on the exact same item—one store offer something at a new low price only for another store to quickly match that deal. But this year, we on the Wirecutter Deals team have spotted a phenomenon that we’ve never seen quite so early in the holiday shopping season: We’ve found competing early Black Friday deals, all offered at the same price, from several different retailers. Now that Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Target are presenting similarly priced deals on the same handful of items, there has never been a better time to be an early Black Friday shopper.
With multiple retailers offering the same competitively priced deals, you now have more choices than ever. This opportunity is especially great for store-specific credit card holders and rewards-program members: No longer beholden to the lowest deal price, you can shop the sale that makes the most sense for you. Whether that means using your Target RedCard to maximize your savings, shopping Best Buy deals with your Amex card to earn more points or cash back, or choosing Amazon to take advantage of its free Prime shipping, you don’t have to sacrifice convenience for price. And if the item you’re after sells out at one store, you have two to four other stores to choose from.
Here are the best ubiquitous pre–Black Friday deals we’ve found so far, along with the many retailers offering the same discounts.
The best smartwatch for Android users
If you’ve decided to channel your pandemic/election/2020-induced anxiety by hitting the pavement more frequently, you may as well start tracking those runs. We think the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 is the best smartwatch for Android users because it runs on Samsung’s faster and more efficient operating system (rather than the slower Android-based Wear OS). This easy-to-navigate watch has a good notification system, a solid fitness tracking system, and now, it’s on sale for $180 from both Best Buy and Amazon.
Read our review of the best Android smartwatches.
Good headphones for bespectacled folks
Over-ear headphones are a great way to block out the world around you, but for folks who wear glasses, they’re not the most comfortable to wear. That’s why our guide writers looked for a pair of headphones that the bespectacled among us could enjoy—and they landed on the Beats Solo Pro Bluetooth headphones. Comfortable to wear and easy to pair with Apple devices, the Solo Pros can effectively reduce background noise even if their adaptive noise cancellation isn’t as impressive as our other picks, and they have great sound-quality, if just a little bass-heavy. Though we saw a slightly better deal on these headphones last week, we still think $180 is a solid price for the Beats Solo Pros. Both Best Buy and Amazon are offering the same discount on these headphones, but shipping will be delayed until November 10 from Amazon.
Read our review of the best Bluetooth headphones.
Stay in touch with family with a smart display
This Thanksgiving will look a lot different than the Turkey Days of years’ past. If you’re celebrating separately from your family, a smart display screen may help you feel a little more connected to your loved ones, no matter the physical distance spanning between your homes. As a cross between a smart speaker and a tablet, the Amazon Echo Show and Echo Show 8 is the perfect device for video-chatting. The Echo Show and Show 8, with a 10-inch screen and 8-inch screen respectively, function similarly with crisp screens, nice speakers, and decent cameras. Down to $150 for the Echo Show and $65 for the Echo Show 8, these deals make now a great time to pick up a smart device that can be used to help your family feel a little more connected this year. Though Echo Show 8 was offered at this discounted price from Best Buy, Amazon, and Target, it’s only available for immediate purchase from Best Buy (Amazon’s shipping is delayed until November 24 at the time this article was written and the deal has sold out from Target).
Read our review of the best smart displays.
A smart display that can double as an alarm clock
Whether you want to limit your screen time before bed or waking up to the Marimba alarm tone every morning has finally pushed you to your wits’ end, a smart display can be a good alternative to using your phone as an alarm. The Echo Show 5 is a good choice because it does everything that the larger Echo Show can do but it’s smaller, making it easier to fit on your nightstand. It also adjusts its screen brightness to the room’s lighting, so it won’t keep you up at night. Back down to the previous lowest price we’ve seen, the Show 5 is now on sale from Best Buy, Target, and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Read our review of the best smart displays.
A good beginner smart speaker
The Echo Dot is the perfect choice for a beginner looking to dip their toe into the world of smart speakers. Affordable and compact, the Echo Dot gives you a surprisingly good sound for something so small, along with all the control and features of Alexa. For folks already entrenched in the Alexa ecosystem, adding another Echo Dot to another part of your home can extend your smart assistants’ range. Price drops on the Echo Dot are fairly common, but this deal brings the smart speaker down to the lowest price we’ve seen. Available for $19 from both Best Buy and Target, we suggest selecting store pickup if you choose to purchase from Best Buy to avoid the shipping fee. Amazon is also offering the Dot for the same price, but shipping is delayed until December 4.
Read our review of the best Alexa speakers.
A better alternative to AirPods
Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds (Moss/Spring Yellow/Lava Red)
Deal price: $160; street price: $250
If you know you’re into the truly wireless earbud life but just can’t convince yourself to spend $250 on a pair of AirPods that can easily fall out of your ears and down a sewer grate, get the Beats Powerbeat Pro earbuds instead. With all the benefits of AirPods without any of the drawbacks, the Powerbeats pair easily with an iPhone, have “Hey Siri” voice activation, and, unlike AirPods, offer full track and volume controls. They also stay in your ears securely, offer water- and sweat resistance, and hold a longer, 9-hour charge. Now down to $160 from both Target and Amazon, this is the lowest price we’ve ever seen for the Powerbeats Pro.
Read our review of the best wireless earbuds.
Affordable noise-cancelling headphones
Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Deal price: $200; street price: $300
For folks who want a quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones that won’t cost an arm and a leg, the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II are on sale for $200 from Amazon, Dell, and Target. As long as you don’t suffer from eardrum suck, the QuietComfort 35 are perfect for anyone in search of a better-sounding headphone for less. The over-ear headphones offer great sound, comfort, and excellent noise-cancelling abilities—but you won’t be able to adjust the level of noise cancellation, which may be an issue if noise-cancelling headphones have caused issues with eardrum suck in the past.
Read our review of the pros and cons of Bose noise-cancelling headphones.
Source: The NY Times
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