Smartwatches can be a popular gift around the holidays, but the best ones can certainly blow up many folks’ budgets. Thankfully, today, you can get the 42mm Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic for just $149 from Walmart in black or white, which is an exceptional discount of $200. This model is the only one remaining with Samsung’s awesomely tactile and unique rotating bezel control, allowing you to operate the watch with less reliance on the touchscreen — very helpful for glove-clad hands in the winter months.
While the newer Galaxy Watch 5 brought slightly improved battery life and a somewhat useless temperature sensor, the Watch 4 Classic has remained in the lineup and is now seeing steep enough discounts that make it still very appealing. The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic has all the usual health and fitness tracking you expect, and it runs the latest of Google’s Wear OS 3. Samsung has its own slew of apps and UI tweaks and has added new health and accessibility features over time, like tracking your sleep using cute cartoon animals. And again, I must reiterate: that bezel. Read our review.
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic features a nice physical rotating bezel and more third-party support by way of Google’s Wear OS 3. But keep in mind that it’s paired best with a Samsung-made phone.
The holidays often mean a lot of hosting and activity around the home, which means lots of cleaning before company arrives and after they leave. An iRobot Roomba j7 Plus can definitely help make life a little easier by handling the bulk of your vacuuming duties, and it’s on sale for $599 ($300 off) at Amazon, Target, and Best Buy.
This vacuum bot maps out your house so you can have it target specific rooms or set up no-go zones to ensure it steers clear of spots that might get it stuck. And even if you don’t tidy up some clutter before sending it on a cleaning job, it avoids obstacles on its own and sends you pictures with its built-in camera informing you when it had to skip some small spots because the dang cat hid another toy under the bed. (Okay, I may be speaking from personal experience here).
The j7 Plus remains our top recommendation for smart vacuums, in part because its auto-emptying docking station and software make it a very easy and manageable experience that’s mostly no-fuss.
The j7 Plus is good at avoiding obstacles, features good battery life, and includes an auto-emptying docking station. Additionally, iRobot will replace the vacuum for free if it runs over pet waste within the first year of ownership.
If there’s one thing that will help get us through the holidays and Black Friday, it’s coffee. How appropriate then that the self-heating Ember Mug 2 smart mug is on sale. You can get the 10-ounce version for about $99.95 ($30 off) at Best Buy, Target, or Amazon in black or white, or you can step up to the 14-ounce version for about $119.95 (also $30 off) at Best Buy, Target, or Amazon in those same monochromatic colors. Though the best deal may be for those of you with Costco memberships, where you can get the 14-ounce Ember in gray for $99.99.
Whichever size is right for you, the Ember Mug 2 keeps your drink heated to the temperature of your choosing within a range of 120 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. These mugs are great if you sit or stand at a desk for long hours and often forget about your drink until it’s gone cold. Is it a necessity? No. Is it incredibly handy and a charming use of tech? Sure is! It also makes a great gift, which is why it made its way into our home tech holiday gift guide.
The Ember Mug 2 is a temperature-controlled smart mug that keeps beverages hot for up to 80 minutes while on battery or all day when sitting on its plug-in coaster. The accompanying iOS and Android apps allow you to dial in a specific temperature, from 120 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Peak Design is running an early Black Friday sale on its site, running through Cyber Monday, offering up to 30 percent off select bags, smartphone cases, and camera accessories. I’ve owned and used a variety of Peak Design stuff over the years, and its bags are some of my personal favorites for carrying camera gear — even if its marketing sometimes makes me cringe so hard I want to fire myself off into the sun.
Some highlights of this deal are the Everyday Backpack Zip 15L in blue or white for $132.96 ($56.99 off). This smaller backpack follows the design of the standard Everyday Backpack (which is currently 10 percent off), but it uses one simple zipper for opening from all sides. Plus, its smaller size helps prevent me from encumbering myself with way too much heavy gear while still affording room for a laptop, chargers, accessories, a mirrorless camera, and a couple of lenses.
The Everyday Zip backpack is a compact, multipurpose camera and commuter bag that uses an all-around zipper to open like a capsule, allowing access from the sides or top. It has flexible dividers for fitting mirrorless camera systems, interior side pockets for small items, and a back pocket for a 13-inch laptop and small tablet.
The structuring of this bag and the way gear slots into its three shelves and pocket walls with side access offers versatility for those who carry a lot of camera and tech-adjacent gear.
Aside from kinda-posh bags, Peak Design also makes some nice phone cases for iPhones and Pixel phones that normally start at $39.95. These cases have their own built-in magnetic accessory system, which means you can add pseudo-MagSafe magnetic wireless charging to your Pixel 6 or Pixel 7. The Pixel phone cases and cases for previous-gen iPhones are 30 percent off.
Peak Design’s phone cases for iPhones and Pixel phones have a fabric back with protective rubber sides. They use built-in magnets for optional accessories like a tripod or a bike mount, which also adds MagSafe-like charging to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7.
Some more deals:
- The now last-gen Apple TV 4K is on sale at Amazon for $79.99 (about $99 off). The new one may have more CPU power and HDR10 Plus support, but last year’s base model still has an ethernet port. Read our review.
- The Logitech G435 Lightspeed gaming headset in blue and red is $29.99 ($50 off) at Walmart. This headset for PC, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch is one of the best all-around multiplatform wireless options, and this is as cheap as it gets. Read our buying guide.
- Microsoft’s standard Xbox wireless controller is about $39.99 ($20 off) in select colors at Amazon, Best Buy, and Target. It works on all current Xbox consoles or on PC via Bluetooth wireless or wired USB-C connections.
- LG’s 48-inch A2 OLED TV is $569.99 ($730 off) at Best Buy. This 4K TV is budget-friendly for an OLED, though its biggest trade-off is only topping out at a 60Hz refresh.