Amazon is having an internal crisis over Alexa right now—its voice assistant is on pace to lose $10 billion this year—so it might not be the best idea to invest in the company’s lineup of Alexa-powered devices right now. However, Amazon makes a ton of other hardware, from Kindles, which are some of the best ebook readers in the market, to Fire tablets and Fire TV sticks. Everything is heavily discounted right now during Amazon’s Black Friday sale, so now’s the best time to buy.
We test products year-round and handpicked these deals. Products that are sold out or no longer discounted as of publishing will be
crossed out. We’ll update this guide throughout the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.
We’re big fans of Kindles—they’re easy to use, dependable, and work as intended. They can hold thousands of books and have a month’s worth of battery life. Read our Best Amazon Kindles guide to narrow down which is best for you. Most Kindles below are at their lowest price ever.
The Kindle Paperwhite is what most people should buy. The bright 6.8-inch screen has adjustable warm lighting, and it’s waterproof–which makes it a great option if you like to read in the bathtub, by the pool, or at the beach. It’s back to the lowest price we’ve tracked since last year. It charges via USB-C.
The Paperwhite Signature Edition (8/10, WIRED Recommends) comes with a few more features than the standard Paperwhite. The page turn is faster, the display automatically adjusts brightness based on the lighting in your environment, and there’s more storage (the Signature version has 32 gigabytes and the standard has 8 gigabytes). It’s a great option if you listen to a lot of audiobooks.
Amazon updated its basic Kindle this year with a few worthy upgrades. The screen is brighter at 300-pixels-per-inch (PPI)—up from 197 PPI on its predecessor—and the built-in light comes with a dark mode for when you’re reading at night. Amazon also swapped the MicroUSB port for a USB-C port instead, which means you can use the same cable you use with your laptop or Android phone. It comes with 16 gigabytes of storage, which can store thousands of ebooks.
For a more luxurious experience, the Kindle Oasis is the way to go. It has a large 7-inch display with auto-adjust brightness, an aluminum body, speedy performance, and tactile page-turn buttons (the only Kindle with physical page-turn buttons). It’s also waterproof.
The Paperwhite Kids Edition is great for little bookworms. It has a large 6.8-inch screen and comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, a kid-friendly content library with access to parental controls. It’s also waterproof, which means you won’t have to worry about accidental spills.
Fire Tablet Deals
It’s easy to justify a Fire tablet. They’re affordable and capable slates. The software mostly highlights Amazon content and there’s no Google Play Store, so app selection is more limited (there’s a workaround), but they’re perfectly fine screens for consuming media. Read our Best Amazon Fire Tablets guide for more.
The Fire HD 10 (7/10, WIRED Recommends) is our favorite Fire tablet. It has a bright screen, good battery life, and enough RAM to guarantee smooth performance. We also like the HD 10 With Bluetooth Keyboard, which is also on sale for $160 ($35 off). You’ll get a free year of Microsoft 365, and it’s an ideal setup for getting some light work done.
If you can spend the extra cash, go for the Fire HD 10 Plus. It has the same 10.1-inch screen and 1080-pixel resolution, but it comes with 4 gigabytes of RAM instead of 3 GB, which makes performance a little bit smoother overall when you use multiple apps. It also supports wireless charging, so you can use a dock like this and never have to plug it in.
We previously never recommended Fire 7 tablets because they were too slow, but this updated model changes things. It comes with a more powerful processor, longer battery life (charges via a USB-C port), and double the RAM. The SD card also now supports up to 1 terabyte of storage. It’s a nice mini slate to tote around, though you should still spring for the Fire HD 8 if you can.
Amazon’s recently updated Fire HD 8 has a thinner design and a slightly faster processor. It has a great size that’s not too big and not too small. Performance is pretty good, and battery life is plentiful. For more RAM and wireless charging, the Fire HD 8 Plus is on sale for $65 ($55 off).
The new Kids’ version is the same as the Fire HD 8 above. You’re paying extra for the two-year worry-free guarantee (Amazon will replace the tablet if your kid breaks it in that timeframe), as well as a rugged case and one year of Amazon Kids+. The Kids Pro version, which is better for older kids since it has a dedicated Kids app store for parents to install, is also on sale for $80 ($70 off).
For young children, there’s also the new Fire 7 Kids tablet—with a 30 percent faster processor. WIRED reviewer Scott Gilbertson says his kids have always found the 7-inch screen size challenging to use. But if a smaller display isn’t an issue, then it’s a good option.
The Fire HD 10 Kids Pro is great for older children since it’s bigger. Kids can also request to install apps from the app store for parents to manually approve. The case it comes with is also less bulky.
Fire TV Deals
Love watching most of your content on Amazon Prime? Then a Fire TV Stick is a nice idea for your entertainment system. It prioritizes Amazon content over other popular streaming services like Hulu and Netflix, but you’ll still get access to all the major streaming services. Be sure to check out our Best TV Streaming Devices guide for more.
The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is our favorite recommendation for Amazon loyalists—the menus are targeted toward the company’s Prime Video app and purchasing content from its store. It also comes with a variety of upgrades compared to its predecessor, including more memory (2 gigabytes versus 1.5), support for Wi-Fi 6, and a picture-in-picture feature for viewing your security camera feed. You’ll get some of the highest streaming quality with this stick.
The Fire TV Stick 4K doesn’t have Wi-Fi 6 support and has slightly less internal memory, so performance won’t be as buttery smooth, but it’s still a great stick (especially since you need a Wi-Fi 6 router to take advantage of those faster speeds on the Fire TV Stick 4K Max).
Those who don’t own a 4K TV and have no desire to make the switch can opt for the Fire TV Stick Lite, which works great for standard HD TVs. We’ve tested earlier HD models and had access to all the major streaming apps. You’ll also get a simpler version of the Alexa remote—with no TV power button, volume controls, or branded buttons for apps like Netflix (you’ll need a separate app for that). You won’t be able to control content with voice commands either.
More Amazon Deals
Amazon owns other brands like Eero and Blink. We’ve pooled the best sales on those devices too.
The Eero 6 is on our Best Mesh Wi-Fi Routers guide for its simplicity. Even though it’s one of the slower systems we’ve tested (at longer distances), it still offers fairly wide coverage and a stable connection. This one comes with one Eero 6 router and two Eero 6 extenders. If you want something slightly faster in the Eero family, the Eero Pro 6 is also on sale for $148 ($81 off).
These Pro routers and nodes come with the same simplicity as the Eero 6 system. But they’re bigger and can accommodate faster speeds and an extra 5-GHz band, which helps it manage simultaneous streams from more connected devices. We only recommend upgrading if you have a fast connection above 500 Mbps from your internet service provider.
The Halo View received an honorable mention in our Best Fitness Trackers guide. It’s comfortable and affordable, and its companion app is easy to use. It’s also at the lowest price we’ve seen yet. WIRED senior associate editor Adrienne So isn’t a fan of how it tells you to strip down in your underwear to measure body fat composition (and how it pushes business partnerships).
Amazon’s Halo isn’t our top choice for health and fitness tracking, but it is useful for voice-tone tracking. WIRED editor Adrienne So tested this one too. She says that despite her discomfort with the tracker, the Halo’s ability to spot changes in her psychological and emotional states through the tone in her voice did create changes in her own relationship.
We’re still in the process of testing the Blink Video Doorbell, but we gave it an honorable mention in our Best Video Doorbell Cameras guide. It’s not only affordable, but it also works with Alexa and comes in both a tethered and battery-powered version. This bundle includes two of Blink’s outdoor cameras, which will give you broader coverage around your home (other bundles are on sale as well). This one is the lowest price we’ve tracked.
Amazon recently launched this new mount for its Blink Mini camera, so we haven’t tried it yet. It has the ability to pan and tilt, giving you a 360-degree view of any room. This bundle comes with the camera, but if you already own the Mini you can purchase the mount separately.
Echo Speaker Deals
We’ve tested a lot of different speakers and smart displays, in addition to the ones below. For more Alexa-powered devices, you can read our Best Echo and Alexa Speakers guide. If you want to go beyond Amazon, check out our Best Smart Speakers guide and Best Smart Displays guide.
For the best sound, we recommend the Echo Studio, with 350 watts of power, a downward-firing subwoofer, an upward-firing midrange speaker, and two side-facing ones. It’ll both listen and adjust the sound accordingly depending on the space. You can buy and pair two of these for a soundbar-like experience. Read our tips on how to secure your smart speaker to preserve your privacy.
Amazon may have introduced a 5th-generation Echo Dot, but it has yet to release a successor to its flagship smart speaker. The Echo (4th Gen) still holds the title of Best Overall in our Best Alexa Speakers guide. It’s compact, which makes a great addition to any room in the house (use it in the kitchen for recipes and timers or in the bathroom for music), and has robust sound.
The latest Echo Dot comes equipped with a new custom full-range driver for improved sound and a sensor that triggers Alexa to perform a task based on the room’s temperature (like turning on your smart fan when the room gets too warm). (It’s still not the best option if your primary use is to play music.) With gesture control, you can now dismiss a timer or control music by simply tapping the top of the Dot. The new Echo Dot With Clock is also on sale for $40 ($20 off).
The new kids’ version of the Echo Dot comes with some of the same upgrades as the standard Echo Dot, including gesture controls. It’s available in two new adorable designs: an owl and a dragon. As with past models, you’ll have access to parental controls and one year of Amazon Kids+.
The Amazon Echo Show 8 is our favorite Alexa-powered smart display. The 8-inch screen is a great size for making video calls (there’s also an auto-pan and zoom feature to keep you in frame), reading recipes, and streaming content. Its compact size makes it super ideal for your kitchen counter or nightstand too. There’s a physical switch that cuts power to the camera and mic for added privacy.
If you want a larger screen, the Echo Show 10 has a 10-inch smart display that also swivels almost 360 degrees (which can follow you while you’re on a video call or when viewing a recipe). You’ll also get better audio quality.
We criticized the Echo Show 5 for its small screen because it’s a bit too cramped to navigate comfortably. But that doesn’t rule it out as a good option if you want a compact smart display for your nightstand. It also has a physical mute button and a camera shutter for privacy. It dipped lower during the Prime Early Access Sale, but this is still a solid deal.
With a 15.6-inch Full HD display, this is Amazon’s largest Echo smart display to date. It also has a redesigned home screen with widgets for to-do lists, calendars, shopping lists, support for picture-in-picture mode, and more. You can use it to stream Prime Video, Netflix, and Hulu, or display art and family photos. There’s a 5-megapixel camera and mics built-in for video calls as well (which you can turn off for privacy). We haven’t tested it yet.
These buds (8/10, WIRED Recommends) have dipped to this price before, but it’s still a great deal. They’re easy to pair, have good sound, and come with a wireless charging case along with multiple size options for ear tips. You’ll also basically have Alexa right in your ear to help you with any task. Its noise cancellation isn’t the best, and touch controls can be triggered by sweaty hair during workouts.
Black Friday Retailer Sales
Want to browse the sales yourself? Here are a few top retailers participating in Black Friday deals.
This article was originally published here post