No I’m not usually a fan of importing Americanisms like Black Friday, but I do like a bargain. Yes you can also spend your money more ethically than with Amazon, but for as long as they continue to be the cheapest option and frequently the most convenient, it is hard to ignore.
This is broadly going to be a bit of a round up of Amazon’s stuff, but will include anything else good I spot. Also a couple of links to things not currently discounted for Black Friday, but may be a better option than things that are on sale. If you are looking to buy books and would rather support independent local bookstores, then it may be worth looking into Bookshop.org instead.
The Amazon links here, like elsewhere on my blog, are affiliate links where I get a small payment if you use them and buy something. Thanks. The rest of them are just ordinary links though so feel free to hit those without worrying about me benefiting…
Amazon’s own range of devices are frequently a solid choice for personal electronics. I use a few myself that are easy recommends.
Although these can be a bit annoying if you want to use apps that are not available in the Amazon app store, it is relatively straight forward to install the normal Google Play store onto the devices. These days you can basically convert them to just run as standard Android tablets. That said, they are excellent value for money specially if you wait for them to be on sale. As usual they are reduced for Black Friday, but always reliable for a good deal on “Amazon Prime Days” too.
I have used a couple of these, and one is still in use as my main tablet now. I don’t do any 3D gaming on it, but use it for watching all the main streaming services, reading comics & PDFs and for playing card and board games.
My preferred choices:
This is the kindle fire I have myself. I upgraded from the original HD version of the Fire 8 model below. I was very happy with the smaller device, but for reading digital comics, the 10″ screen means the whole page fits comfortably on screen and is as close as you can get to the experience of reading a physical comic. It’s also reliably in use every Sunday as I stream Red Zone on it while watching the Dallas Cowboys game on the big screen.
Oh and if you go for the one with Special Offers / Ads to save a few quid, you can always pay the extra later to have them removed.
A new addition to the range is this “Plus” model of the HD 8. While I happily used the HD 8 for ages, the extra RAM and improved battery life of the Plus seems well worth the slightly extra price. It is likely to be longer before you’ll want an upgrade.
Although reading comics is much more comfortable on the HD 10, if you’re going to carry the tablet around a lot the HD 8 is probably the sweet spot for display size vs portability.
Increasingly redundant as more people move to Smart TV’s or connect other set top boxes with media apps like Blu-ray Players & game consoles, the firestick is still one of the better options for accessing apps on your TV. I’ve gone for the 4k model here, as even if you don’t have a 4k display, that bit of extra performance in the device should make it a bit snappier to use.
The original Amazon device. Earlier models of these didn’t have any kind of light, with the “e-ink” displays doing their best to replicate paper. Still a solid choice for getting started with ebooks if like me you don’t enjoy reading on your phone.
Not currently discounted as I write this, but worth checking in case they do add a discount come Friday. This is the kindle I use myself. It does see discounts down to around £80ish, and is the e-reader I’d recommend. The kindle oasis is nice but I’m not convinced it’s worth the significant additional cost, even with the current offer.
Alexa and Friends
I’m still not sold on any of the A.I. listening devices, and at present have disabled Alexa, Cortana and Google listening software on my electronics that support them. However, if you’re in the market for one, Black Friday is a good time for those too.
For new customers to Amazon Music, this Echo Dot with free 6 months of Amazon Music Unlimited is a great deal (just remember to cancel the subscription to Amazon Music if you don’t want to keep it after the 6 months).
The Echo Show 5 has a decent discount if you like your A.I. to be watching you as well as listening. I’m sure it’s fine, I’ve just watched too much X-Files.
Otherwise, there are plenty of discounts across the whole range of Alexa enabled devices here.
Not on Amazon, but if Google is more your thing, they’re currently doing their Nest Hub for £59.99.
Amazon subscription offers
Kindle Unlimited is a pretty good value proposition if you read a lot (and are not concerned about having books to keep on the shelf). Some of the included digital magazines are pretty nice too for reading on a tablet. New subscribers can currently get Two Months Free instead of the usual shorter trial.
Amazon Music Unlimited
I still struggle a bit with the way the music streaming industry treats artists, although I’m not sure Kindle Unlimited is much better for authors… However, they are a good way to discover new music, and listening to other people’s playlists is fun. Just remember if you want to support the bands you love, go see them live (if that’s ever a thing again) or buy their merch from them direct.
Black Friday has a free three months trial (instead of the usual 30 days) for new subscribers.
Other Amazon links
Again as yet not discounted, but have come down since the RRP anyway. These saw a good discount last prime day so will be worth checking on Friday to see if they have another deal on. (If not, they’re still well worth £75). Comfortably the best of the ‘mini’ consoles, I still love mine. Should you pick one up, I also recommend the 8bitdo additional controller rather than trying to get another wired official one. They look the part, are very comfortable to use, and best of all are wireless with no noticeable input delay (I use mine to play pinball and shmups without issue).
This is a good deal for one of the best fighting games ever. It’s not much of a discount from the regular price, but circa £15 for the complete edition with all the extra characters still feels like a bargain to me.
Doom Eternal (PS4/PC/Xbox One)
This seems a decent price, £17 for retail editions of the PC, PS4 or Xbox One version of the game. Also comes with a steel poster, which looks fun apart from it appears to be the same size as a game case. Not sure if that meets the definition of ‘poster’ but fun all the same.
Not a super great deal really but a fair price if you fancy this and haven’t picked it up yet. Particularly if you intend to get a PS5 in the next month or two as so long as you get the full PS5 with the disc drive, you can put this PS4 disc into it to access the PS5 version of the game for free. If “football” football is more your bag, the same applies to FIFA 21, at the same price point.
Amazon Warehouse is where they clear out items that have been returned, for whatever reason and for Black Friday there is an additional 30% off. If you don’t mind things being “nearly new” it is certainly worth browsing. The goods are still guaranteed and the descriptions will tell you what condition to expect. I purchased my PSVR setup from the Amazon Warehouse Black Friday sale a few years ago, for about £100 less than RRP. The outer box was ripped but inside it was all mint, and the device still had all the plastic covers on.
Other sales to check out
Not a site I knew of before a couple of weeks ago, but their early Black Friday sale was brought to my attention, and a couple of really good deals on board games stood out. Also had excellent prices on the sleeves I needed for my copy of 7 Wonders: Duel. Very pleased with the service, so happy to recommend them here. They mostly focus on collectable card games like Magic the Gathering (as you might expect from the name), Pokemon etc. including selling individual cards. They do have a good range of general table top board and card games though too.
Another great resource for board games, usually good prices anyway. Worth checking their Black Friday sale too.
Currys have come a long way in terms of competitive pricing and customer service in recent years. I’ve found myself using them quite a bit for games consoles, chromebooks and various general bits of tech. It’s still worth shopping around to compare prices, but I feel much more comfortable recommending them these days. Their Black Friday sale is worth a look.
Unsurprisingly, GAME have a tendency to have a more cynical approach to Black Friday, with items on sale being already available for the same price (or cheaper) elsewhere. Worth a look to compare prices if you’re after something specific, but definitely double check other places before buying there.