The best Black Friday deals of 2018: The Cheapskate’s picks

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Free iPhone, anyone? That’s just one of the pretty damn sweet deals lined up ahead of Black Friday, which kicks off just a few days from now (Nov. 23, if you’re bad at calendaring). 

As always, I spend my time looking for the best of the best, the cream of the cheap crop. Sleep? I’ll sleep when I’m dead! Right through midnight on Friday, I’ll continue to serve up my favorite Black Friday deals of 2018.

To clarify, these are my favorite deals so far. Because we’re still a few days away from the big day (this was last updated Nov. 21), there may be late-breaking additions — so be sure to bookmark this post and check back often. 

 

The Cheapskate’s favorite Black Friday 2018 deals

Apple Watch Series 3: 99 (save 0)

Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

Macy’s decided not to wait for Black Friday or even Thanksgiving. The Apple Watch Series 3 is available right now for this all-time-low price. Yes, it’s last year’s model, but there’s an awful lot of tech packed into this thing, which is why at 99 I have no qualms about recommending it.

See at Macy’s Apple Watch Series 3 review

iPhone XR: Free! (Save 50)

Angela Lang/CNET

OK, make that ‘free*.’ The asterisk is because you have to sign up for a US Cellular unlimited plan and stick with it for 30 months. The iPhone XR is paid for during that time in the form of bill credit. Still, you’re going to be paying for service from some carrier, right? When all is said and done, you will indeed walk away with a 50 phone you paid not an extra penny for. The deal is live right now and runs through Nov. 26.

See at US Cellular iPhone XR review

3 months of Mint Mobile for 0 (save 0)

Mint Mobile

Shopping for a new carrier? On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, prepay-and-save service Mint Mobile will have one of the best trial offers ever: 3 months for 0. That nets you unlimited minutes and messages and 5GB of LTE data (on T-Mobile’s network) per month. After that, you can choose between various 3-, 6- and 12-month plans, all of which amortize out to extremely low rates.

See at Mint Mobile

Two Amazon Echo second-gen smart speakers: 00 (save 00)

QVC

Sure, Amazon will be selling the Echo for 9 on Turkey Day, but this QVC deal is even better. Score two of the smart speakers for just 9.98, a price that includes a voucher for extras like three months of Pandora Premium and three months of FreeTime Unlimited. Update, Nov. 20: The price now shows 09.98, but if you’re a new QVC customer, promo code TEN4U takes 0 off.

See at QVC Echo review

Sphero BB-8 app-enabled droid: 0 (save 00)

Sphero

For anyone who loved the idea of an app-controlled BB-8 but didn’t relish paying 30, your patience has paid off. Sphero’s cute, versatile little roller has never been priced this low. Just sign in to My Best Buy to see this lower price.

See at Best Buy Sphero BB-8 hands-on

Amazon Echo Dot (third-generation): 4 (save 6)

Ry Crist/CNET

There are plenty of standouts in Amazon’s roster of Black Friday deals, but for me the real standout is the just-released third-generation Echo Dot. Given that it’s brand-new, Amazon could easily have left it at 0, or even just lopped 0 off while selling last year’s model for the bigger discount. (As it happens, the second-gen Dot will be less!) But just 4 for the smart speaker with the cloth suit and bigger, better sound? Yes, please. And don’t expect to see this deal again until Prime Day 2019.

See at Amazon Echo Dot review

Huawei Honor View 10: 49 (save 50)

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Normally 00, and never before priced below 29, this powerhouse metal phablet features a 6-inch screen, dual rear cameras, dual SIM slots, Android 8.1 and — wait for it — a headphone jack! Just make sure you’re not buying this phone for someone who’s a US government employee or contractor, as federal security agencies have effectively deemed Huawei to be a national security threat.

See at Amazon Honor View 10 review

Apple iPad (2018): 50 (save 0)

Sarah Tew/CNET

Wait, how is this better than Amazon’s Fire HD 10 for 00? Because, let’s face it, the iPad is an all-around better tablet, and at 50 it’s actually reasonable.

See at Target iPad 2018 review

Fitbit Versa: 50 (save 0)

Josh Miller/CNET

Priced just about 00 everywhere else, the Versa is arguably the best Apple Watch alternative you can buy. Will other stores match this all-time-low price? Time will tell. For now, Target has the deal to beat.

See at Target Fitbit Versa review

PlayStation 4 1TB with Spider-Man bundle: 00 (save 00)

Insomniac Games

My spendy senses are tingling. Update, Nov. 22, 3:30 p.m. PT: Target and a few other stores decided not to wait for Black Friday, so this deal is sold out everywhere we can see online. It’s sold out quickly, with good reason: It’s an excellent deal on a great console bundled with one of the hottest games of 2018. Target is still showing as ‘available’ in select stores, hit the link below to check your own nearby brick and mortar.

Pro tip: If you’re willing to brave the lines at Kohl’s, you can get this same deal on the PS4 bundle, plus 0 in Kohl’s cash.

See at Target PlayStation 4 review

TCL 55-inch Roku TV: 50 (save 00)

Sarah Tew/CNET

On sale at Amazon, Target and Walmart for the same price, and available right now, this may be the 55-inch TV deal to beat this year. You get a big screen, the unparalleled Roku interface and picture quality that belies this bargain-basement price.

See at Amazon TCL S405 review

Ring Video Doorbell 2: 39 (save 0)

Chris Monroe/CNET

Wireless and equipped with a rechargeable battery, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is among the easiest video doorbells to install and keep charged. It also integrates nicely with the Amazon Echo Show for an at-a-glance view of who’s at your door. At 99 it’s not exactly Cheapskate-approved, but 39 is definitely more in the ballpark. The optional -a-month cloud storage fee is reasonable, too.

See at Ring Ring Doorbell 2 review

Art.com: Save 50 percent sitewide

Art.com

Need to dress up some walls? On Nov. 23 only, you can score 50 percent off all purchases at both Art.com. Looking for something a little more casual? On Nov. 24, AllPosters will be offering up to 60 percent off sitewide.

See at Art.com

The Instant Pot six-in-one cooker: 0 (save 0)

There’s no question that every kitchen should have a pressure cooker. The Instant Pot is also a slow cooker and four other kinds of cooker. This same deal (0 instead of 00) tends to come around annually, but that doesn’t make it any less appetizing. If you don’t own one yet or you need a killer gift for a foodie, now’s the time to buy.

See at Walmart 5 reasons you should own an Instant Pot

Motorola Moto G6: 00 (save 0)

Josh Miller/CNET

Already a steal at the regular 50 price, the G6 gets even steal-ier when you knock 0 off. It’s unlocked, so take it to whatever carrier has the best deal — or best coverage.

See at Best Buy Moto G6 review

HP Pavilion X360 with Intel Core i7 and 1TB hard drive: 50 (50 off)

HP

Wowza, Office Depot! You’ve undercut just about everybody on this 15.6-inch two-in-one powerhouse. This is one of the best laptop deals of 2018, bar none.

See at Office Depot HP Pavilion X360 review

Black Friday 2018 smart home deals: Half-priced Echo Dot, 9 Google Home Hub and more

November is a time of tradition: colder weather, football, turkey feasts with friends and family — and, of course, scouring the web for the best Black Friday deals. And, sure enough, here you are!

Presuming it’s deals on smart home gadgets that you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. They’ve been some of the hottest Black Friday sellers in recent years, especially now that big names like Amazon and Google are essentially all-in on the connected home. Expect more of the same in 2018.

To that end, here’s a running list of all the upcoming deals we’ve spotted thus far. We’ve gotten a good look at the smart home deals we should expect to see from Amazon and Target, but we’re sure to see see savings at outlets like Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot, and more in the coming days, too. As soon as we see anything, we’ll update this page, so keep it bookmarked.

And remember the usual caveats: Most of these deals won’t actually be live until Black Friday, Nov. 23, and CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Got it? Good. Now let’s get to the deals:

Save 0

Amazon Echo (2nd gen) for 9

Ian Knighton/CNET

Amazon’s fleet of Alexa-enabled smart speakers goes on sale starting Thanksgiving Day, and that includes a 0 discount on Alexa’s flagship, the 2nd-gen Amazon Echo. That discount brings the price down to 9, more than 00 less than the original Echo originally sold for. That price looks like it’ll be available elsewhere, too, including at Target.

9.00 at Amazon 

See it at Target

Save 6

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen) for 4

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Amazon has a relatively aggressive discount in store for the new, third-gen Echo Dot, too. At just 4, you’ll be able to get it for more than half off (and a dollar cheaper than its rival, the Google Home Mini, which I’m sure is just a coincidence). And yep, like a lot of these Echo deals, you’ll find the same price if you shop at Target.

4.00 at Amazon

See it at Target

Save 0

Amazon Echo Dot (2nd gen) for 0

Ian Knighton/CNET

Amazon already cut the price of the last-gen Echo Dot down to 0 when the new one came out last month, but the company is marking it down by another 0 for Black Friday, bringing the price all the way down to 0. I don’t know why you wouldn’t just pay the extra for this year’s model, which offers a noticeable uptick in sound quality, but hey, maybe you’re just going to connect the thing to an external audio setup anyway. In that case, this might be the deal for you.

9.00 at Amazon

Save 0

Amazon Echo Show (2nd gen) for 80

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

If you’d like an Alexa device that comes with a touchscreen, then the 2nd-gen Echo Show is your newest option. You can save 0 on it on Black Friday.

79.99 at Amazon 

Save 0

Amazon Echo Spot for 0

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Another Alexa touchscreen option: the semi-spherical Amazon Echo Spot, which might rightly claim to be the smartest-ever alarm clock. You can score it for 0 on Black Friday, a savings of 0.

9.00 at Amazon

Save 0

Amazon Echo Plus (2nd gen) for 10

Chris Monroe/CNET

Also 0 off: the just-released, second-gen Amazon Echo Plus, which you’ll be able to get for 10 for Black Friday. It takes the Echo and adds a slight improvement in sound quality, plus a built-in temperature sensor and a Zigbee radio that can connect directly with things like smart lights and smart locks.

09.99 at Amazon 

Save 0

Google Home Hub for 9

Chris Monroe/CNET

It’s only been out for less than a month, but that didn’t stop Google from discounting its new voice-activated touchscreen by fifty bucks for Black Friday. Small but mighty, the Home Hub’s Google Assistant smarts are a great fit for your kitchen countertop, and you’ll be able to score one for just 9 at Target later this month, which is 0 less than what you’ll pay on Black Friday for its rival, the Amazon Echo Show.

9.00 at Target 

Save 5

Google Home Mini for 5

Chris Monroe/CNET

Meanwhile, the Google Home Mini smart speaker gets a Black Friday discount, too. Target has it listed for 5, and we expect to see it on sale elsewhere, as well.

5.00 at Target 

Save 0

Google Home for 9

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Prefer a smart speaker with a little more oomph? The full-size Google Home gets a Black Friday deal, too, with a 0 discount bringing the price down to 9.

9.00 at Target 

Save 50

iRobot Roomba 890 for 50

iRobot

Target has a bunch of vacuums and robot vacuums marked down for Black Friday, but the biggest discount we’re seeing is the 50 you can save on an app-enabled Roomba 890. That discount brings the price down to 50, which is about as low as we’ve ever seen a smart Roomba sell for.

49.00 at Target 

Save 0

Nest Cam Indoor for 29

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Nest’s lineup of smart security cameras are all pretty solid picks, but they don’t come cheap. Fortunately, you’ll be able to score a pretty sizable 0 discount on the original Nest Cam Indoor at Target this Black Friday, bringing the cost down to 29. It’s not the newest model, but it’s still a worthy pick, especially at this price.

29.00 at Target 

Save 0

Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd gen) for 79

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Nest’s smart thermostat is basically an icon of the smart home at this point. If you’ve been holding out for the right price to make the upgrade in your own smart home, then perhaps this 0 Black Friday discount from Target will do the trick.

79.00 at Target 

Save 0

Nest Thermostat E for 39

Chris Monroe/CNET

It isn’t discounted by quite as much, but the plastic-bodied Nest Thermostat E costs less than the stainless steel Nest to begin with, and it’s just as smart.

39.00 at Target 

Save 0

Nest Protect Smoke Detector for 9

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

It’s not the biggest doorbuster I’ve ever seen (especially for a piece of tech that’s been out for a few years now), but hey, here’s Nest’s smart smoke detector marked down by 0.

9.00 at Target 

Free 0 gift card

Buy a Philips Hue White and Color Starter Kit, get a free 0 Target gift card

It isn’t marked down, but if you buy a four-bulb Philips Hue White and Color Starter Kit from Target this Black Friday, the retailer will throw in a free 0 gift card. If you were so inclined, you could turn around and use that card to pick up a bonus bulb for your new setup.

99.00 at Target

Apple just turned your ancient AirPort Express router into an AirPlay 2 wireless speaker dongle

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You’ve got to hand it to Apple. Even though the company hasn’t updated its AirPort Express router since 2012, and even though it discontinued the entire AirPort line earlier this year, Apple isn’t just letting its Wi-Fi router become a doorstop. Today, Apple imbued the AirPort with a brand-new power, one that could keep it in rotation for years to come.