While America prepares for Thanksgiving, buying turkeys, sweet potatoes, ham and more, another annual event will overshadow the holiday; Black Friday sales. Since 1952, it has been the unofficial ‘day off’ after feasting with your family.
Black Friday is considered the start of the Christmas shopping season and the time for retailers to make their year’s sales increase. While some chaos does occur, depending on the sales advertised, it is usually a civilized event. It is an even better experience if you can shop from your living room, on-line.
With some planning and a little research, you can narrow down where you can get the best deals both in-store or on-line. The good thing is, tech prices generally drop as newer and sexier devices are launched to the market.
Unless you MUST HAVE the newest and best, you can get some great deals on tech that may be considered ‘not so new’, but still meet your near-term needs.
Before you get caught up in all the Black Friday hype, you also need to be aware of marginalized or misleading deals offered at a few dollars less than the normal retail price, but with a big impressive ‘Sale’ sign or a ‘Limited Stock’ sign, trying to make you panic and buy. But there are some deals out there for your electronic needs.
Best TV Deals:
Television technology has changed by great leaps over the past few years. More and more HDTV, 4K UHD, LCD, LED or OLED are now larger and thinner screens allowing for a full, home theatre set up to be not only functional, but to fit into your perfect home design concept. Many of the newer models have multiple onboard features and functions that differentiate them from their competitors. If you are after a second or third TV in the house and do not need it to be Ultra High Definition 4K resolution, there are some amazing big Full HD 1080p LED TV at super low prices out there.
Organic light-emitting diode (OLED)
An OLED display works without a backlight; thus, it can display deep black levels and can be thinner and lighter than a liquid crystal display (LCD). In low ambient light conditions (such as a dark room), an OLED screen can achieve a higher contrast ratio than an LCD, regardless of whether the LCD uses cold cathode fluorescent lamps or an LED backlight.
One of the better deals is the LG Electronics OLED55B6P Flat 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV. It is available on Amazon for $1,688 USD, discounted from $2,500. It has many features out of the box:
- Dimensions (W x H x D): without stand: 48.4″ x 28.1″ x 1.9″, with stand: 48.4″ x 29.9″ x 8.9″
- ‘Smart’ functionality allows access to many apps and content using webOS 3.0
- Pairs 4K Ultra HD picture clarity with the contrast, color, and detail of High Dynamic Range (HDR) a thoroughly lifelike picture
- Individually lit OLED pixels offers optimal contrast for incredible picture quality
- The OLED does not require backlight tech, providing deep blacks and making it an extremely thin model
- Available inputs: 4 HDMI ports, 3 USB ports, 1 RF, 1 Component, 1 Composite, 1 Ethernet, 1 Optical, 1 RS232C (Mini Jack).
Curved 4K TV
The curved screens offer a beautiful viewing experience and present the picture in a more realistic manner in what manufacturers like to call adapted to the viewers field of vision.
On Amazon for around 759USD, you can purchase a 55” curved Samsung UN55KU6500, with free shipping! It is available in 49” and 65” sizes as well. Although this unit does not have any many bells and whistles as the OLED, it does offer the essentials.
- Effective refresh Rate: 120CMR
- Backlit LED
- ‘Smart’ Functionality with built in Wi-Fi
- Dimensions (W x H x D): TV without stand: 48.9″ x 28.3″ x 4.4″, TV with stand: 48.9″ x 30.7″ x 12.2″
- Inputs: 3 HDMI ports, 2 USB ports.
It is best to look at the space you have in your home for a TX, what you like to watch and to decide what will fit best and present your viewing choices the best.
Full display smart phones
Nothing becomes out of date faster than a smartphone. What is the hot thing one week, is a dinosaur the next. However, if you are looking for something at a great price with all the feature you desire, here are a few suggestions. Amazon is already posting up deals for smart phones. You probably already know the margins are much smaller for phones than they are for other electronics on average, so the deals are not as grand.
The full display smart phones are a newer offering from most of the major manufacturers and offer a larger viewing screen, ultra slim bezels all round and thinner design. They often come with 5.5-inch or bigger displays with Full HD resolution (1920 X 1080) or higher with some going beyond 4K UHD (at 2960 x 1440).
What more often differentiates these smartphones are its’ battery life, the onboard camera quality and operating system.
Galaxy Note 8
One of the higher end smartphones on the market is the Galaxy Note 8. It is not only feature rich, it has a very sexy, sleek design.
- 6.3″ Dual edge super AMOLED Quad HD+ display
- 64GB memory with removable Micro SD slot (up to 256GB), 6GB RAM
- Water and dust resistant (IP68)
- Dual 12MP rear camera’s with OIS. 8MP front Camera with auto focus
- Built in s-pen
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Comparable in price, the newly released iPhone 7 is a crowd favourite. It is available in 32, 128 and 254G capacities, which almost redeems its inability to add memory with a micro SD, like you can in an Android phone. Given that the iPhone 8 is out and possible supply issues with the iPhone X, you can always go with the trusty iPhone 7 or the bigger iPhone 7 Plus with Dual Rear Camera.
- Multi-Touch display – IPS technology.
- Single press, 3D Touch technology.
- The 12-megapixel iSight camera
- Takes 4K video, with up to four times the resolution of 1080p HD video.
- Slim and sleek
Smart home tech (Alexa and Google)
Kitting out your home so it is accessible remotely through your smartphone or tablet offers you not only a sense of security, but a level of convenience you have not yet experienced. These kits offer a contract free, self managing solution you can tailor to meet your unique needs. A smart home can be comprised of security features, audio/video consolidation and property access functions.
Alexa Home Automation (Kit)
One such kit is the complete Alexa based kit. It normally runs for about $360 USD, but at the time of writing, it is listed for nearly 20% less on Amazon.
This is deemed the first professional-grade, self-installable complete home security solution free of any contractual arrangements. Possessing powerful home automation capabilities, Alexa allows you to control your home from anywhere you have an internet connection.
The self-monitoring Apps are available free on Android and iOS. There are optional home alarm monitoring, should you need it in 3-day, 7-day, or incremental plans.
This kit is a wonderful way to get your smart home started, knowing you can always expand on it later.
Other Great Value Smart Home Devices That Works with Alexa
Similar to the Echo 2 Dot, the Google Home Mini, to be released at the end of October, can be used to control your Wi-Fi enabled devices and streaming services in your home. The original and bigger Google Home smart speaker shown below will likely have its price tag slashed again this Black Friday. Both will support multiple 3rd party smart home devices which will link in to the Home and Home Mini and lets you control devices like the smart thermostats, plugs, door locks etc.
Both the new Echo and the super popular Echo Dot, Amazon’s Best Selling smart speaker will likely to be on offer at the retailers store this Black Friday.
- Call, or message your friends and family hands-free between Echo devices and Alexa App
- Stream WiFi music from streaming services including Amazon Music, Spotify, TuneIn and more.
- Line-out with 3.5mm cable or Bluetooth to your favourite sound system or Bluetooth Speaker
- Compatible with most smart home brands.
Laptops have come down in price substantially over the years. You can get better and more bang for your buck if you look for the features and function you need for your work or play. If you are a gamer, you will be looking for more processor power and a lot of RAM. If you are streaming music or video and creating documents, you want more HDD space and more RAM. Ultimately, you need to decide what is going to work for you and what you can afford.
Apple creates some of the sleekest and desirable laptops for the mid-range market. They synch beautifully with all your Mac devices and make personal management simpler. Now based on the 7th generation Intel Core m3 or i5 processors with 256GB or 512GB SSD storage respectively, it is one to watch online if you wish to grab a bargain.
- 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core M3 Processor with Turbo boost up to 3.0GHz, 8GB memory, 256GB SSD Storage OR
- 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Processor with Turbo boost up to 3.2GHz, 8GB memory, 512GB SSD Storage
The HP Pavillion series are well-known for being amazingly good value where laptops are concerned. When it comes to Black Friday deals, you are likely to see further reduction in prices for what is essentially fully loaded laptops with everything you will need on the road and at home. Check out the flagship 13.3-inch with Full QHD IPS display running at 3200×1800 pixel resolution and powered by Intel Core i7 processor with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD Storage, the 14-inch all rounder with Intel Core i3, 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD Storage or the 15.6-inch gaming laptop with Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD and NVIDIA GeFore GTX1050 graphics.
There are dozens of fitness trackers on the market these days. Each offer a multitude of features and enhancements over the next one. They can range from very basic and simple to extremely robust and feature rich. Like any technology, you need to know what you want it for and select the device that meets that need.
Known for their ground-breaking GPS devices, Garmin has entered the fitness tracker arena with a robust and simple to use device. The vivosmart is a sleek wrist worn device selling at a very reasonable $95 USD, reduced from $150 USD on Amazon. This is a perfect gift for the burgeoning or experienced athlete in your family or circle of friends.
- Comfortable sleek band
- Always-on, easy to read display shows your stats
- Displays steps, distance, calories, heart rate, stairs climbed and intensity
- You can receive SMS, phone call, email, calendar and social media alerts
- Control your playlists and your camera (sold separately) all from your wrist
- Reminds you to stay active with move bar and vibration alert
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One of the more well-known brands is Fitbit. They have dominated the market for a long time and are often considered the benchmark for competitors.
Fitbit is also known as a popular brand with continuous enhancements and updates to its software.
- Continuous, automatic wrist-based heart rate tracking (with visual display)
- Visual call, SMS & calendar notifications on the display
- Automatically control your sleep and wake cycles
- Gain a better understanding of your fitness progress and areas to improve
- Track activity like steps, distance, calories burned, and floors climbed.
So, whether looking for a large screen TV, laptop, new phone, smart home technology or you just want to track your fitness progress, there are many deals to be found on Amazon. Many prices are dropping in advance of Black Friday, but many more will be available closer to the holiday weekend.
Following such hashtags on twitter such as #blackfriday, or following Black Friday Deals will allow you to see when ads are posted and others uncover a great sale. Facebook is also a wonderful place to share deals with others and share your amazing finds as well.
It is also important to look for additional deals on Cyber Monday, when electronics specifically are on sale at all major retailers both on-line and in-store.
Here are some of the links where you can catch the buzz on social media:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blackfridaydeals/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/dealnewsbf?lang=en
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/blackfriday/?hl=en
- Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.ca/explore/black-friday/
- SnapChat: https://www.cultofmac.com/399541/beats-sponsors-a-snapchat-lens-for-black-friday/
Edited by Samuel Tan