Best Black Friday 2020 deals: Big price drops on Apple Watch, DJI Mavic Mini, Roku, Fitbit, more

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This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

The early Black Friday dealstravaganza (that really should be a word) continues, with nearly every store offering sale prices on all kinds of stuff. In fact, some of them you can get just by asking — literally, with your voice, out loud: If you have an Alexa-powered device, just say, “Alexa, what are your deals?” That’ll get you early dibs on a bunch of Amazon devices that haven’t officially gone on sale yet. (Note, however, that ship dates on some items are showing late December, so look for price matches at other stores, where you may find faster turnaround.)

Speaking of that, Amazon’s Black Friday Deals Week kicked off yesterday, and Best Buy continues to offer early Black Friday deals. Target has its own Black Friday sale, of course, and Walmart’s Black Friday sale starts Nov. 25. We’ve been sifting through all of these to find the cream of the crop, which we’ve gathered below.

Note that a few of the previously “expired” deals we kept at the bottom have resurfaced! That’s why we recommend keeping this post bookmarked and checking it often for updates.

Best early Black Friday deals available now

Roku

It may be two years old, but the Roku Premiere is still an excellent streamer. It has apps for pretty much every streaming service under the sun, and it slings them all at 4K. The latest version supports HDR, too. Whether there’s a “dumb” TV you’re looking to make smart or an old Roku that’s in need of replacing, it’s hard to beat this all-time-low price.

Prefer a premium Roku experience? The Roku Ultra 2020 is on sale for $70 (save $29). It adds features like Bluetooth streaming and a remote with headphone jack.

You can also get the Roku Streambar for $100, the first time this new soundbar has been discounted. (Read our Roku Streambar review to lean more.)

Read our Roku Premiere review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

It’s the first-ever sale on Amazon’s new version of the mid-range Echo, which arrives with a new HomePod Mini-like orb shape (one that extends to the new Echo Dot as well — and that’s on sale for $29). We liked the improved sound quality and powerful bass in this version.

Read our Amazon Echo review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The Echo Show 8 is simply a larger version of the Echo Show 5, but that makes it a better candidate for the kitchen and other places you might prefer a bigger display. (It’s definitely preferable for video calls.) This matches the lowest price on record for this model.

Read our Echo Show 8 review.

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Amazon, Walmart, Costco and other stores had the AirPods at $99 earlier this month — the lowest price on record — but for the moment that deal is gone. In its place: $119 AirPods on Amazon, also “for the moment.”

Will $99 AirPods be back? [Shakes Magic 8-Ball.] All signs point to yes.

Read our AirPods review.

Apple’s new flagship watch just got a solid discount ahead of Black Friday – the biggest so far, in fact. That price is good only for certain colors, however, and those have been changing day to day. Right now, for example, the Product Red and Gold Aluminum versions are $330; the other colors are $379. But it was the other way around yesterday, so it’s hard to be certain what you’ll find.

Read our Apple Watch Series 6 review.

César Salza / CNET

CNET has dubbed the Fitbit Charge 4 the best all-around fitness tracker of 2020 for its low price, slim design, fashionable and functional straps and solid set of features, including GPS and sleep tracking. 

While it doesn’t have a full-color display like most smartwatches, the small design makes it comfortable to wear 24/7, and the battery life lasts about four days, or seven if you turn off GPS. If you’re looking to get a fitness tracker for someone who doesn’t already wear one, this is a great buy. Read our Fitbit Charge 4 review.

And check out all the Fitbit and smartwatch deals happening right now.

DJI

Finally! We’ve been hoping for a reduction on the rarely discounted Mavic Mini, which is a simply fantastic personal drone. This isn’t the lowest price we’ve ever seen, but it’s definitely the best deal in a while. Same goes for the Fly More Combo, which you can grab for $449 (a $50 savings).

Yes, there’s now a Mavic Mini 2, but it starts at $449. Is it worth the extra $90? That’s your call, but the original is pretty sweet.

Note that if Amazon runs out, Best Buy is matching the price, and you can buy it direct from DJI as well (with a free canvas bag thrown in for good measure).

AeroGarden

As we roll into winter, I’m already missing my garden — especially the herbs I grow to make homemade chermoula (my best discovery of 2019).

LED-powered indoor gardens to the rescue! There are lots of these on the market right now, some pretty pricey. This is an unusually good deal on the AeroGarden Harvest Elite Slim, which supports up to six seed pods and comes with a starter heirloom-salad seed kit.

Vanessa Hand Orellana/CNET

New for 2020, the Apple Watch SE is the middle child of the Apple Watch lineup. It’s got the same basic design as the Series 6, but lacks that model’s always-on display, ECG functionality and oxygen saturation measurements.

The 40mm and 44mm models run $279 and $309 at the Apple Store — and have been marked as low as $229 and $259 during previous early Black Friday sales. If you see higher prices, be patient: Those deals will likely return.

Read our Apple Watch SE review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Roku Streaming Stick Plus 4K is our favorite streamer, and at only 30 bucks it will be pretty untouchable in terms of value for money. The Stick offers hundreds of apps, the excellent Roku interface and a robust, voice-controlling remote. Read our Roku Streaming Stick Plus review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Normally $30, the new-for-2020 Fire Stick Lite continues to see a solid discount ahead of Black Friday. This entry-level streamer delivers 1080p video with HDR support (but not 4K). The big missing apps are HBO Max and Peacock (for now), but the Alexa-powered voice remote is top-notch.

Read our Fire TV Stick Lite review.

Kojima Productions

Score a boxed copy of one of 2019’s biggest games for the lowest price ever. We still don’t understand what “stranding” is (just sounds like a misspelled word), but at least you don’t have to pay $60 to experience it for yourself. Read our Death Stranding review.

Hasbro

We all know the best thing about The Mandalorian. (Hint: It’s not the guy who never takes his helmet off.) This Monopoly set features a big ol’ Baby Yoda on the box. Do not pass Go, do not collect Force powers… but do collect this game for only $10.

Best Buy

TCL is best known for its Roku TVs, and we like the Roku smart TV system better than the Android TV version in this television, but for this price you can just buy a Roku Streaming Stick Plus, attach it to this TV and still come out ahead. Aside from its smarts we expect this 4-Series TV to perform “good enough,” just like the Roku equivalent. 

This TV was previously $30 less, and may get there again. So although $120 is a solid discount, you might want to wait and see if the better deal returns.

Best Buy

A pressure cooker is one of the most versatile tools you can add to your kitchen, and at this price it’s one of the most affordable. Insignia’s model appears nearly identical to the equivalent Instant Pot, offering 10 preset modes for things like rice, meat, soup and even cake. It features a delayed-start option, an automatic keep-warm function and a dishwasher-safe nonstick pot.

Angela Lang/CNET

Available today only at this price, this is one of the best deals yet. The AirPods Pro are all about the noise cancellation: These in-ear buds block outside noise better than just about any other product on the market. They’re also great for calls and offer an excellent transparency mode. Like to work out? The AirPods Pro earbuds are sweat-resistant. Standard AirPods are not.

If Woot runs out, Amazon still has the AirPods Pro for $200. And here’s a pro tip: Use your Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card to get 5% back on this purchase. Don’t have that card? If you’re a Prime subscriber, grab it and score a $100 Amazon gift card.

Another tip: Walmart’s aforementioned Nov. 25 sale will include the AirPods Pro for just $169, by the far the best price to date. If you’re not in a rush, it’s worth rolling the dice to see if you can land that deal.

Read our AirPods Pro review.

Amazon

This is only the third time this kit has been priced this low. It’s an insanely popular item, as it’s great not only for checking your ancestry, but also for identifying potentially serious health issues. Makes a great gift, too.

Lenovo’s premium two-in-one, the Yoga C940, boasts a sturdy and sleek all-metal design and a touch display that can rotate 360 degrees into tablet mode. It includes an active pen and can also instantly wake from sleep, one of the phone-like features it received courtesy of Intel’s Project Athena.

This configuration features a 14-inch display with a 4K resolution powered by a 10th-gen Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD with 32GB of superfast Optane memory. A similarly configured Yoga C40 on Lenovo’s site works out to $1,650, so this deal is even better than it looks. And it already looked good.

Read our Lenovo Yoga C940 review.

Crock-Pot

One of several cookers on sale at Koh’ls, this one seems a particularly great deal on an item every kitchen needs. Score the beloved Crock-Pot for just $25.50 with promo code THANKS. This model has lid clamps for easier travel.

Take note that shipping isn’t free, however, unless your cart hits $75. But you can pick it up in-store and bypass shipping altogether.

Sarah Tew/CNET

This was briefly selling for just $100 a short while ago, but even at $140 it’s a deal worth considering. 

As a general rule, we don’t like Amazon’s Fire TV as much as Roku because Fire TV menus push Amazon content too much and are more confusing in general. But this model does have a voice remote with Alexa, and the price is mighty compelling for a screen of this size.

Instant Pot

These days, a multicooker is an essential kitchen tool, like a toaster oven or microwave. This Instant Pot Viva can get you in the multicooker business for half price: $49 buys you a nine-in-one gadget that works as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, sous vide, cake maker and more. It has a 6-quart capacity and comes with 15 preset programs for recipes that include soups, beans, rice, ribs and eggs.

Bose

If ever there was a time to tune out the world, it’s now. (Because, you know, election, pandemic, murder hornets…) Sure, there are newer over-the-ear noise-canceling cans from Sony and even Bose, but this perennial favorite was great when it came out and it’s still great now — especially at this price, which rivals the lowest we’ve seen. Original list price: $350.

Read our Bose QuietComfort 35 II review.

Early Black Friday deals: Sold out or expired (for now)

Eufy

You don’t have to spend hundreds to add some automation to your house cleaning. The Eufy RoboVac 25C can be controlled via a mobile app or by voice with Alexa and Google Home. It’s smart enough to differentiate between floors and carpet and can avoid stairs automatically. 

What you need to know about Black Friday 2020

Black Friday 2020 is shaping up to be a very different kind of shopping experience than any holiday shopping weekend in recent memory. With ongoing inventory issues due to the extended global pandemic — not to mention the need for retailers to maintain a safe environment for customers and employees — it’s likely that there will be no throngs of expectant customers lining up for hours ahead of massive doorbuster sales.

In fact, a number of stores will be closed on Thanksgiving this year, ending a long-standing tradition of kicking off Black Friday sales before the turkey has had a chance to cool. These retailers have not yet announced plans for Friday, Nov. 27, but we’ll update this article as we learn more about their holiday hours. 

In addition, all of the retailers listed below require customers to wear face coverings. Unless their policies change between now and Thanksgiving, it’s reasonable to assume that face coverings will be required for Black Friday sales as well. 

Bookmark this post and check back often for more early and upcoming Black Friday deals!

Read more: 4 things you need to know about Black Friday 2020


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CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and check out our CNET Coupons page for the latest promo codes from Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon and more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page.





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