Technical Reviews

The best early deals you can shop now

We’re getting close to the start of Prime Big Deal Days, Amazon’s second site-wide sale of 2023. While the October Prime sale doesn’t officially happen until October 10 and 11, there are already plenty of early deals to be found. You’ll need to have a Prime membership for some of them, but others are open to all. We’ll be rounding up the best of what’s out there starting on Tuesday, but in the meantime, you can get a jump on a few discounts that are already live. This week’s best tech deals include lots of Amazon devices like Echo speakers, Echo Show smart displays, Blink cameras, Ring doorbells and the Kindle Scribe. As for non-Amazon gadgets, we’re seeing strong prices on Tile trackers, Samsung microSD cards and an Anker 5-in-1 USB-C hub.

Apple AirPods Pro

Photo by Billy Steele / Engadget

Apple’s AirPods Pro are the “best for iOS” pick in our wireless earbuds buying guide, as they provide pleasing audio quality, strong active noise cancellation (ANC) and a range of iPhone-friendly features.

$199 at Amazon

The AirPods Pro with a Lightning charging case is on sale for $199, which is $50 off their usual price. We consider the AirPods Pros the best wireless earphones for those who use an iPhone or lots of Apple devices. They still deliver excellent noise cancellation, a pleasingly warm sound profile, a variety of Apple-specific features such as hands-free Siri, quick pairing and switching between Apple devices and Find My device tracking. With a recent update, they’ve also gained a useful “Adaptive Audio” mode that blends the pair’s ANC and transparency modes dynamically based on your surroundings. Note that Apple recently released a new model with a USB-C charging case, improved dust resistance and lossless audio support with the upcoming Vision Pro headset, though that one isn’t on sale at the moment, and the two pairs are otherwise identical.

Amazon Echo Dot + Kasa Smart Plug Mini


The Echo Dot paired with a Kasa Smart Plug Mini is 67 percent off ahead of October Prime Day.

$24 at Amazon

As part of a big Echo speaker sale, the latest Echo Dot is down to $23, and you can get a bundle with the small smart speaker and a Kasa Smart Plug Mini for just $1 more. Considering the Echo Dot is one of our favorite smart speakers and the Kasa smart plug earned a spot on our list of best smart plugs, this is a great bundle for anyone who wants to smarten up their home while sticking to their budget. Also included in this sale are the Echo Pop for $18 and the full-sized Echo for $55.

Amazon Echo Show 5


This is the lowest price we’ve ever seen on Amazon’s smallest smart display.

$40 at Amazon

A number of Amazon’s smart displays are on sale ahead of October Prime Day, and that includes the Echo Show 5 for $40. It’s the smallest smart display in the company’s lineup at 5.5 inches, which helps it work well as a sort of smart alarm clock. It has strong audio quality and a sunrise alarm feature, and this updated model included a faster processor and an additional mic for improved Alexa responsiveness. The Echo Show 8 (previous-gen) and the Echo Show 10 are also included in this sale, and there’s a bundle that pairs the Echo Show 5 with a Philips Hue Smart Color Bulb for $42.

Amazon Echo Show 15


The Echo Show 15 is big enough to be mounted on a wall and has Fire TV technology built-in.

$185 at Amazon

The Echo Show 15 is 33 percent off right now and down to a near record-low of $185. It’s the biggest smart display in Amazon’s lineup, with a 15.6-inch touchscreen that you can sit on a countertop or mount on a wall, and it supports both portrait and landscape orientation. In addition to showing widgets like sticky notes, calendar views and more, the Show 15 has Fire TV technology built in, so you can treat it like a mini TV and stream your favorite shows and movies. And when you’re not actively using the display, you can use it to display pictures using the Photo Frame feature.

EarFun Air Pro 3

Photo by Jeff Dunn / Engadget

Clip the $20 on-page coupon to get a discount on this recommended pair of noise-canceling earphones.

$60 at Amazon

EarFun’s Air Pro 3 noise-canceling earphones are down to $60 with a $20 on-page coupon. That’s not an all-time low but still $20 off the device’s typical selling price. This is the runner-up pick in our guide to the best budget earbuds. The EarFun Free 2S, our “best under $50” pick in that guide, are also on sale for $36 with a 10 percent coupon.

Amazon Echo Buds (2023)

Photo by Jeff Dunn / Engadget

This deal is exclusive to Prime members, but it matches the lowest price we’ve seen for Amazon’s semi-open wireless earbuds. 

$35 at Amazon

Prime members can get the latest Amazon Echo Buds for $35, which is $15 off and an all-time low. This is another pick in our guide to the best budget wireless earbuds. Specifically, the Echo Buds should appeal to those who prefer a more open design, one that lets in outside noise but doesn’t insert directly into your ear canal. They can sound solid for the price with a bit of EQ tweaking, and they support features we don’t often see for less than $50, such as wear detection and multipoint connectivity. They also have Alexa baked in, natch. Their IPX2 sweat-resistance rating isn’t enough for workouts, and their five-ish hours of battery life is just average, but they’re worth a look if you’re on a tight budget and hate the feel of traditional in-ear headphones. We gave them a score of 77 earlier this year.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic


The new Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic brings back the rotating bezel and is currently seeing it’s biggest discount ever. 

$369 at Amazon

Samsung unveiled the new Galaxy Watch 6 Classic alongside the standard Galaxy Watch 6 during its Unpacked event in July. We were particularly delighted by its rotating bezel mechanism, which makes navigating Samsung’s One UI a bit more convenient. We call the Watch 6 series the best Android options for most people in our smartwatch buying guide; compared to the standard model, the Classic is pricier and heavier, but it has a larger display and a more premium stainless steel frame along with that rotating bezel. Right now the watch is seeing a modest eight percent discount, bringing it down to $369 instead of its usual $400. It’s not a huge dip, but it’s still the biggest price drop we’ve seen for the wearable to date.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5 is pretty expensive, but a $300 discount takes some of the sting out of picking up the company’s flagship foldable.

$1,500 at Amazon

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is $300 off ahead of Amazon’s October Prime Day sale at $1,500. This matches the price it hit a few weeks back for Labor Day. This deal applies to the base model with 256GB of storage; the 512GB model, meanwhile, is down to $1,620 from its usual $1,920. We gave the 7.6-inch Z Fold 5 a score of 86 in our review and named it the best foldable for multitasking in our smartphone buying guide. Overall we were impressed by its speedy performance, handy multitasking gestures and improved hinge, which helps eliminates any air gap when the phone is folded. Our biggest concern is its sky-high price, which this discount makes a little less of an issue.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is on sale as well, with the base 256GB model $100 off at $900. That phone got an Engadget review score of 88 and is currently the top flip-style foldable pick in our guide to the best smartphones.

Amazon Kindle Scribe

Photo by Cherlynn Low / Engadget

The Kindle Scribe is the only Kindle with note-taking support, and it’s now within $10 of its all-time low.

$265 at Amazon

Amazon’s Kindle Scribe is 22 percent off right now and down to $265. Unlike the deal we saw last month, you don’t have to be a Prime member to get this sale price. The Scribe is one of the best e-ink tablets on the market right now, and it’ll be best for those that want an easy-to-use ereader that also lets you jot down notes as you read. Users can create notebooks on the Scribe to organize their handwritten musings, though only a handful of titles in the Kindle store are considered “write-on” books that allow you to take notes directly in the margins. We gave the Kindle Scribe a review score of 85 last year.

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite


The cheapest streaming stick in Amazon’s lineup supports HD content and comes with a basic Alexa voice remote.

$18 at Amazon

A handful of Fire TV devices have been discounted before Amazon’s upcoming sale, including the Fire TV Stick Lite down to $18. It may be the most limited streaming dongle in Amazon’s lineup, but for smaller or secondary TVs, it offers 1080p streaming and a useful voice remote. If you’re willing to spend more for a Fire TV streamer that doubles as an Alexa speaker, you can also snag the Fire TV Cube for a low of $110.

Anker 332 USB-C Hub


Clip the $2 coupon to take a little bit extra off this handy five-port USB-C hub. 

$16 at Amazon

Anker’s 332 USB-C Hub is down to $16 with a $2 on-page coupon, which is roughly $9 off its typical street price. As laptops get sleeker, ports disappear, but this 5-in-1 hub can add a 4K HDMI port, two USB-A ports, and either one or two additional USB-C ports (depending on whether you need one for power delivery) back to your device. That means you’ll have more space to connect a mouse, keyboard, flash drive, webcam or what have you.

Amazon Smart Thermostat


Amazon’s smart thermostat is an affordable way to better control your home’s temperature and save a bit on energy costs.

$56 at Amazon

Amazon’s Smart Thermostat has dropped to its best price of the year at $56. Note that this sale price is for the model without a C-wire adapter, so you’ll have to make sure your system has a C-wire in order for the thermostat to work. Smart thermostats like this can help you save on energy costs by giving you more granular control over your heating and cooling system. You can use Amazon’s companion app to control your home’s temperature from anywhere, or ask Alexa to turn the temperature up or down as you please.

Amazon Fire HD 8

Photo by Valentina Palladino / Engadget

Amazon’s Fire HD 8 will be good enough for most people who just need a basic tablet to browse the web, shop online and watch videos.

$60 at Amazon

Amazon’s Fire HD 8 tablet has dropped to $60 as part of a larger tablet sale ahead of Prime Big Deal Days. That’s only $5 more than it was during Prime Day in July. We recommend this slab for those who want a cheap tablet they can give to their kids or use for basic media consumption. This model comes with 32GB of storage, but you can expand that space up to 1TB using a microSD card. Performance isn’t especially fast, and Amazon’s Fire OS is relatively limited — it lacks Google apps, for one — but the whole thing is comfortable and can last more than 10 hours on a charge. If you want a higher-end Fire tablet, the Fire Max 11 is on sale for a low of $150, though that’s a good chunk of change to spend on a Fire OS device.

Blink security cameras


Blink’s recently released 4th-gen Outdoor cameras are already discounted ahead of Amazon’s Prime Big Deal Days sale.

$135 at Amazon

A range of Blink 3rd- and 4th-gen security cameras are also on sale. These deals are particularly noteworthy for including the 4th-gen Outdoor cameras, as those were just announced at the end of August. A three-pack of those new cameras is half off at $135, and there are a bunch of bundles available as well: a two-pack with a Blink Mini for $100, a three-pack with a Blink Video Doorbell for $165, a whole home bundle for $102 and many more. These wireless security cameras aren’t the most advanced things around, but they still offer two years of rated battery life, motion and audio alerts, two-way talk and night vision.

Ring Video Doorbells


A big Ring sale has discounted video doorbells, indoor security cameras, alarm systems and more.

$35 at Amazon

There’s a massive Ring sale going on now, which includes the wired Ring Video Doorbell on sale for $35. As the name suggests, you’ll have to hardwire it to your home during installation. If you’d prefer a model that runs on a rechargeable battery, consider the standard Ring Video Doorbell, which is down to $55. The sale also includes Ring Stick Up cameras for inside the home, as well as various Ring Alarm bundles.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Kids


Prime members can save on various Kindle Essentials bundles before Amazon’s Prime Big Deal Days sale.

$143 at Amazon

A few Kindle Essentials Bundles have been discounted for Prime members ahead of the October Prime sale, including this Kids model on sale for $143. It contains a Kindle Paperwhite Kids ereader with a cover, screen protector, power adapter, two-year warranty and one-year subscription to Amazon’s Kids+ content service. The Kids+ subscription gives access to a selection of child-appropriate ebooks and audiobooks; just remember that the membership will automatically renew after the first year.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

This is our pick for the best kids tablet you can buy and now it’s down to its lowest price ever.  

$120 at Amazon

Amazon’s Fire HD 10 Kids Pro is the top recommendation for kids in our tablet buying guide. It has a list price of $200 and often sells for $140, but this early Prime Big Deal Days offer drops it down to an all-time low of $120. The tablet comes with a protective case that also serves as a stand and handle, plus a two-year warranty and a year’s subscription to Amazon Kids+ service. It comes with a fairly robust selection of parental controls as well.

Tile Slim


This Bluetooth tracker has a credit card-like shape, making it easy to slip into a wallet or an interior pocket of a backpack.

$25 at Amazon

One of our favorite Bluetooth trackers, the Tile Slim has dropped to $25 ahead of October Prime Day, which is close to a record-low price. As its name suggests, this tracker is flat and slim like a credit card, making it easy to slip into a wallet or another small pocket so you can keep track of your valuables. Tile’s companion app will show you the last known location of your stuff if you ever misplace it, and you can use your phone to force the tracker to chime so you can find it more quickly if you’re not too far from it.

Amazon Music Unlimited


New subscribers can get three months of Amazon’s premium music streaming service for free. Those who also subscribe to Amazon Prime get a four-month free trial.

$0 at Amazon

If you’ve never subscribed to Amazon Music Unlimited, you can now get three months of the music streaming service for free. If you’re an Amazon Prime member who has never subscribed, that jumps to four months. Music Unlimited usually comes with a one-month free trial and goes for $11 a month — or $10 if you use Prime — so this deal saves you either $22 or $30. We highlight Music Unlimited in our guide to the best music streaming services: Its UI and music discovery features aren’t as robust as Apple Music or Spotify, but it offers a large library in CD streaming quality and a wide podcast selection. Naturally, it also works well with Echo speakers and other Amazon devices. Note that your subscription will be set to auto-renew by default, so you’ll have to manually cancel if you’re just looking to snag a few months of music streaming at no cost.

Eero Pro 6E mesh Wi-Fi system


An Eero Pro 6E three pack will give you Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, up to 6,000 square feet of coverage and a built-in smart home hub.

$400 at Amazon

Amazon has discounted most of its Eero 6 Wi-Fi systems as an early Prime Big Deal Days deal, including the most powerful of the bunch, the Eero Pro 6E. You can pick up one router for $180, or spring for a three-pack for $400, both of which are down to record-low prices. Devices with support for Wi-Fi 6E can connect directly to the Eero’s 6 GHz radio band, and if you get the three-pack, you’ll get up to 6,000 square feet of coverage — more than enough for most homes. These Eeros have a built-in smart home hub as well, so you don’t need to have an extra device if you want to build out an IoT ecosystem in your house.

Samsung Pro Plus

Photo by Jeff Dunn / Engadget

This is within a dollar of the all-time low for a bundle that pairs the top pick in our microSD card buying guide with a USB card reader. The latter helps the card achieve faster read and write speeds on compatible devices.  

$23 at Amazon

If you need more storage for your Nintendo Switch, GoPro or anything else that accepts microSD cards, the 256GB version of the Samsung Pro Plus with Samsung’s USB reader is on sale for $23. We’ve seen the card alone fall as low as $20, but this is just a dollar above the all-time low for the bundle with the reader, which helps the card get closer to its advertised read and write speeds — up to 180 MB/s and 130 MB/s for reading and writing, respectively — on devices that allow them. Normally, this SKU retails for $25. The Pro Plus is the top pick in our guide to the best microSD cards, as it delivered the fastest sequential write speeds and random performance of any card we tested and comes with a 10-year warranty.

Amazon Fire Omni QLED Series TVs


Many of Amazon’s Omni QLED series TVs are on sale ahead of October’s Prime sales event. 

$590 at Amazon

All sizes of Amazon’s Fire TV Omni QLED Series are on sale ahead of October’s sale. The 43-, 50-, 55- and 65-inch models are down to $380, $400, $440 and $590, respectively. Those match or beat the prices we saw for July’s Prime Day. The Fire TV Omni QLED sets are best for people who like Amazon’s Fire interface, which is easy enough to figure out, though the OS tends to push you towards Amazon’s own content. Beyond that, Fire TVs do well to integrate Alexa with a useful voice remote and hands-free smart home support. If you don’t feel like having Alexa listening in, you can turn off the mics with a built-in switch.

Your Fall Prime Day Shopping Guide: See all of our Prime Day coverage. Shop the best Prime Day deals on Yahoo Life. Follow Engadget for Prime Day tech deals. Learn about Prime Day trends on In The Know. Hear from Autoblog’s car experts on must-shop auto-related Prime Day deals and find Prime Day sales to shop on AOL, handpicked just for you.

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