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Black Friday 2014 Android deals early roundup – Best Buy, Walmart, Target

Considering we’re still more than two weeks away from the formal opener of the busy holiday shopping season, we already know a lot about what’s coming. And for the most part, we like what we’re seeing.

Android sales

Three high-profile retailers have had their Black Friday deals revealed in full, one of which officially previewed the discount extravaganza by giving us a taste of its “doorbusters”. We mean, of course, Best Buy, although the sample they put out is nothing compared to the cards they keep close to their chests.

Unfortunately for them, we’ll always have your backs when it comes to potentially hefty savings on Android gear, and we’ll spare no effort in helping you make the best, most informed possible decisions.

Black Friday

Without further ado, we’d like to give you an assortment of Black Friday 2014 promotions from Best Buy, Walmart and Target, handpicked and carefully analyzed after being spotted in leaked ads we have every reason to believe are legit.

Best Buy

Good deals:

  • Boost Mobile LG Realm – $20
  • 25 percent off all Galaxy Tab 4 models (7.0, 8.0 and 10.1)
  • Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 – $200
  • Galaxy Tab 3 Kids Edition – $130
  • Samsung Gear Fit – $100
  • Sprint prepaid Samsung Galaxy S3 4G – $80
  • Asus Transformer Pad TF310 – $180
  • T-Mobile prepaid Alcatel One Touch Evolve 2 – $25
  • Pebble smartwatch (compatible with Android) – $80
  • Jawbone UP24 – $80

best-buy-black-friday

Where to even start? Let’s look at the above list this way. Come Thanksgiving, you can buy a phone, tablet and smartwatch for less than $300. Not to mention the cheapest slate there can also seamlessly turn into a laptop. So basically, you cough up $280, and score four pieces of outstanding Android gear.

And yes, we realize the OG Pebble wearable doesn’t run Android per se. But it’s a gizmo that’s best suited for use in combination with an Android handheld, so it’s definitely worth mentioning to our Google-addicted readers.

By the by, how does it feel to see a classic like the GS3 drop to sub-$100 contract-free? Isn’t that something to remember this Black Friday by?

Amazing deals:

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 – $1 with AT&T, Verizon or Sprint contracts
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 – $400
  • Amazon Fire HD 6 – $80
  • Virgin Mobile HTC Desire 510 – $30
  • Fitbit Charge – $100
  • Pebble Steel – $150
  • Misfit Flash – $25

Galaxy S5

You didn’t think things could get better? Oh, but they can. The Fire HD 6, for instance, is barely a month old. The S5 needs no introduction, and the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is hands down the best Samsung tab in history. And don’t even get me started on how cool those ultra-affordable Android-compatible wearables are.

So-so deals:

  • Asus MeMo Pad 7 – $100 with case and 8 GB memory card
  • Tracfone LG Ultimate 2 – $30
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra – $200
  • LG G3 – $1 with carrier activations
  • Fitbit Flex – $80

Fitbit Flex

A big meh goes out to the microscopic Fitbit Flex discount, and, while the LG G3 is a must-buy at a buck, Amazon already has that particular deal in place. The Xperia T2 Ultra? It’s nice, large and cheap, but it’s likewise available on Amazon for a competitive price.

Bad deals:

  • DigiLand 10 – $70
  • DigiLand 7 – $40

I don’t… I wouldn’t… I’m not… Well, you get the idea. Don’t come near these no-name crap-packages. Under no circumstances! Not even if Best Buy lets you have them for free. Okay, maybe free they’re worth picking out from the trash. Otherwise, no! Just no!

Weird deals:

  • Free Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 with Samsung appliance purchases over $649

Buy a refrigerator, get a tablet for free. What kind of a moron conceived that sales pitch? I honestly don’t know if we should laugh or cry seeing it.

All in all though, there’s no question about it. Best Buy is stepping up its Black Friday savings game, and you’d better pay them a visit in a couple of weeks. Online, offline, whatever suits you best. They’ll be waiting.

Walmart

Black Friday shoppers

Smart buys:

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite – $99
  • Nabi 2 Nickelodeon Edition – $99
  • AT&T GoPhone LG Tribute – $39
  • Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy S4 – $249
  • Verizon Moto G – $39
  • Misfit Flash – $24

That’s not bad, Walmart, although we can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed. At least compared to what Amazon has in the pipeline. Oh, well, maybe we don’t have the full story yet. Probably. Hopefully.

Based on what we do know so far, Walmart seems to focus its efforts on devices that are fairly cheap to begin with. The Tab 3 Lite, LG Tribute, Moto G, Misfit Flash, they can already be had for reasonable prices.

But maybe you want to buy them at unreasonable prices. $39 for a Moto G? Somebody pinch me. $24 for a Misfit Flash? I might get into sports just to use that snazzy little activity tracker. But wait, there’s something for fans of higher-end tech too. The no-contract S4, sadly available only with Straight Talk prepaid plans.

Not so smart buys:

  • RCA Pro 10 – $79
  • Straight Talk LG Access – $49
  • RCA 7 – $29
  • Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy Ace Style – $29
  • Galaxy S4 with AT&T or Verizon contracts – $0.97
  • LG G Vista with AT&T or Verizon pacts – $0.97
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 with contracts – $99

Walmart

Repeat after me. Never buy gadgets from manufacturers Google has never heard of. What’s an RCA? As for the S4 and G Vista, they’re as cheap as they come on Amazon, so why wait and why bother? The S5? Pft, did you see what Best Buy is planning to charge for it? Nothing, exactly. Nada. Come on, Walmart, you can do better than $99 with two-year contracts for an aging flagship.

Special offers:

  • $100 gift card with select Android smartphone purchases
  • Up to $200 gift cards on trade-in

Sound good, but let’s wait and see what “select” smartphones the gift cards will be offered with. The Galaxy Note 4 perhaps? LG G3? If so, maybe we misjudged Walmart’s stinginess.

Target

  • Fuhu Nabi 2 – $130
  • RCA 8 – $70
  • RCA 7 – $40
  • Virgin Mobile Kyocera Hydro Vibe – $30
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 – $0.01 with contracts

Target lines

That’s it, Target? That’s not enough deals for us to even break down into categories. Please, pretty please, tell us you have more on the way.

Still, the S5 promo is undoubtedly one of the very best you can hope to find this holiday season all around the interwebs, and the Kyocera Hydro Vibe sounds fairly affordable at $30 considering Amazon currently sells it for $107. The RCA 7, RCA 8? Let’s not go there… again.

Let’s instead rejoice upon seeing one of the most compelling kid-centric tab efforts in history at $130, nearly 50 bucks less than the best Amazon can do.

As a preliminary conclusion, we’re off to a pretty good start. Stay tuned however, because exactly like last year, we plan to round up the most lucrative deals from a dozen sellers you can trust with your hard-earned money. Amazon, Sears, RadioShack, GameStop, Office Depot, Staples, TigerDirect, Newegg, Micro Center, Fry’s, OfficeMax, your time will come. Soon.