We’ve been focusing on back-to-school gear and deals these past few weeks, but sometimes you want to treat yourself to something that has nothing to do with hitting the books—like a new smartphone, hair dryer, or smart speaker. We’ve rounded up a number of great discounts that can help scratch that new-gear itch.
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Our Favorite Phone Is on Sale
Its one-year anniversary is coming up soon, but that shouldn’t stop you from buying Google’s Pixel 6 (9/10, WIRED Recommends), especially at this price. This is the lowest we’ve ever tracked for this Android phone, and it matches what we saw during Amazon Prime Day a month ago. For less than $500, you’re getting speedy performance, a 90-Hz AMOLED screen, day-long battery life, one of the best camera phones, and some really smart software. This discount might have something to do with the fact that the Pixel 7 will be launching in around two months, but it’s still a great way to save if you don’t care about having the absolute latest.
If you want a 120-Hz screen that’s slightly bigger, plus a great 4x optical telephoto camera, you should snag the Pixel 6 Pro, which is also on sale for $649 ($250 off) (also available at Amazon). These two phones are the first to run Android 13, which Google rolled out earlier this week.
Kindle and Tablet Deals
The Galaxy Tab S8 is a luxe Android tablet. This is close to one of the lowest prices we’ve tracked. It doesn’t have an AMOLED panel, but LCD, which is still sharp, bright, and colorful. The 11-inch screen is also a great size, not too small and not too big. It’s speedy, thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor powering it, and you get a stylus that magnetically sticks to the slate. Samsung’s DeX mode makes it possible to do some light work if you connect a Bluetooth keyboard, but it’s also a fantastic slate for catching up on the latest season of Stranger Things.
This went down to $75 during Prime Day and you can expect it to drop again during Black Friday, so if you aren’t desperate for one, it’s best to wait. Amazon Fire Tablets aren’t for everyone—there’s no Google Play Store (there is a workaround), so not every app is available, and Amazon heavily pushes its own services. But these cheap screens are great for playing games, binging TV, or catching up on long reads. The Fire HD 10 (7/10, WIRED Recommends) is our favorite Fire Tablet because of its large size, but the smaller Fire HD 8 is also on sale for $50 ($40 off).
There are better tablets for adults, but kids don’t need a $300 iPad. This one is durable and cheap, especially at $70, which is the sale price we typically see. It’s the same as the regular Fire HD 8 we mentioned above, but with a bulky case to protect it. It’s covered by a two-year worry-free guarantee so that you can replace it if it breaks, and you’ll get a year of Amazon Kids+ service, which provides access to kid-friendly books, movies, games, and apps, all with parental controls.
Kindles are our favorite e-readers, and the Paperwhite is the best option in Amazon’s lineup. This standard version has 8 gigabytes of storage and bright, warm lighting. Plus it’s waterproof for reading in the bathtub. For $130 ($30 off), you can get the Paperwhite without lock screen ads.
The Signature Edition (8/10, WIRED Recommends) gets 32 gigabytes of storage and has no ads on the lock screen. That’s a huge storage upgrade but not necessary unless you listen to a ton of audiobooks. (For reference, 8 gigs is about 5,000 books.) This version also gets auto-adjusting lighting and wireless charging capabilities.
The Oasis from 2019 is getting long in the tooth. It used to be the nicest of all the Kindles available, but the Paperwhite options above are cheaper, with a lot of the same pros. However, I love that it has physical page-turn buttons. Its 7-inch screen is slightly larger too, with an overall thinner, sleeker aluminum design.
Nooie makes some of my favorite smart home products. They do the job and aren’t made by a mega-corporation that loves to hoard data, plus I really love the matte design. This camera has 1080p video, with accurate motion detection and two-way audio. It’s called a dog camera on the Amazon page, but it doesn’t have anything specific to make it that way—it’s good for whatever you need to watch. You can store clips by subscribing to Nooie’s cloud service or insert your own MicroSD card.
Eufy makes a lot of affordable smart home products that we like, including this security camera, but it has flaws. For example, it has several different apps for each type of smart home product, so if you already use its smart plugs or robot vacuums, you’ll need to download a separate security app to monitor this camera. Still, it lets you pan and tilt so you can see the whole room remotely.
Like the other Amazon devices on this list, the sale price for the Echo isn’t uncommon, but it is our favorite Echo speaker (8/10, WIRED Recommends). The Echo is powered by Alexa, is easy to use, and takes up little space. It has surprisingly good speakers for its size too. If you don’t want to spend as much, the Echo Dot With Digital Clock is on sale for $50 ($10 off). Its speakers don’t sound as good, but it does many of the same tricks.
Monoprice makes a lot of our favorite home office gear, from monitor mounts and desk lamps to HDMI cables and 4K monitors. It’s currently running a 15 percent off site-wide promotion if you use the code SMORE at checkout (some products are excluded). This sale event ends on August 21.
Beauty and Hair Tool Deals
None of these appeal to you? We have a bunch of hair dryer recommendations in our guide.
We love Alleyoop, especially its multi-use products like this one. Designed like the multicolor pens of your youth, this includes an eyeliner, brow pencil, lip liner, and highlighter in one cute package. The rest of the products on the site are discounted too, from 25 to 40 percent off.
There’s no shortage of blowout brushes like this one (we’ve tried a few), but Hot Tools offers brush attachments for different styles (or to appease everyone in your household). WIRED editor Adrienne So says it did a pretty good job in 10 minutes, but not as good as the Revlon or Drybar, and it requires a little more time and finesse.
This is a good, affordable hair dryer for curly hair that needs a lot of surface area covered. It’s light and thin too, so it’s not a bad travel option. I also just love the way it looks, but I wish it had a medium speed setting.
Conair makes great affordable hair tools, and this dryer is no different. It’s simple, but it works well and is super cheap, even when it’s not on sale. It comes with a diffuser and air concentrator.