No better way to start off a new, long, tedious work week on the right foot than finding the perfect distraction at the best possible price.
Be honest, you all like to clear a few Candy Crush levels when the boss man isn’t watching, catch up on your favorite TV shows during lunch break on your ultra-high-res Android tablet, or get your jog on after eight hours of sitting on a chair and accurately measure distance covered or calories burned.
Fancy new smartphones, slightly older and/or lower-cost gear, big and small slates, all ideal for multimedia consumption, plus smartwatches and fitness trackers. They’re front and center in our latest Amazon promotion roundup, alongside the often overlooked but essential affordable mobile accessories.
Best handheld deals for the week
Triggered a while back, the $150 discount on both premium N6 configurations is still on, to our sincerest surprise. Boy, the market must really be tough for non-iPhone 6 Plus, non-Galaxy Note phablets if this Quad HD/Snapdragon 805/3,220 mAh beast has to permanently drop to iPhone 5s tariff levels to survive.
It’s a tablet. No, it’s a (freakishly large) phone, or at least that’s how BLU Products is advertising it, pushing the phablet limits to fairly outlandish heights. If only Lollipop treats would be on the horizon, as is the case with the more compact Studio X, X Plus, G, 6.0 HD and Energy.
Speaking of other, soon-to-be-updated Studio family members, the 6.0 HD is a nice bargain as well, what with its 720p screen, quad-core processor, 8 MP LED Flash camera and 3,000 mAh battery. Be afraid, Motorola, be very afraid!
Okay, so this mixed bag was probably never worth three Benjamins. Less than two, though? Definitely, given the near-guaranteed Android 5.0 promotion, 64-bit quad-core Snapdragon 410 SoC, 8 MP and 5 MP cams. Besides, for a previous-generation (read non-metal) budget Android soldier, the Grand Prime looks dapper, with an 8.6 mm waist.
The Optimus brand suggests you’re dealing with an archaic LG slab, and for the most part, the hardware upholds the antiquated sensation. But the Exceed 2 is really “only” a year old, so technically, it could score Lollipop before it slips into oblivion. Other (semi-) respectable features? KitKat software, for the time being, a 5 MP autofocus rear shooter and 2,100 mAh cell.
Tablet deals and steals
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (2013 edition) – starting at $349 in 32 GB config; $379 and up for 64 gigs
Nothing new under the sun for the frequently discounted Fire lineup, but the two year-old 8.9 incher remains a robust proposal to this day, thanks chiefly to the 2,560 x 1,600 pix res LCD panel, 2 GB RAM, up to 18-hour battery life and forever young Snapdragon 800 processor.
Newer, smaller and obviously humbler than the HDX 8.9, the HD 7 has itself been treated to a slew of cuts lately. This is hands down the deepest, and makes the quad-core bad boy irresistible, despite heated 7 to 8-inch sub-$100 competition.
Can’t decide between the Excite Go and Fire HD 7? We say buy them both. You can save one as backup, or perhaps hold onto it and gift it to a little brother, nephew or niece come back to school season. They’ll love Toshiba’s ultra-portable, punchy quad-core Intel Atom “laptop replacement”, and you’ll keep expenses at a minimum. Win-win!
Most likely signaling a sequel is on the horizon, LG’s largest but not fastest pad to date has lowered its ask dangerously close to 7 to 8-inch mid-range levels. Once again, the 10.1 incher may look the part, with nearly 70 percent screen-to-body ratio and 8.9 mm profile, but it’s by no means a high-ender.
On the plus side, it’s Android 5.0 upgradeable, quad-core Snapdragon 400-packing and endowed with 16 GB internal storage space in addition to microSD support.
According to many, it’s the number one Android Wear device around. Others say it’s narrowly behind the LG G Watch R and far exceeded by the Watch Urbane in terms of premium construction, but at least the latter is ridiculously costly. Whether you place it in first, second or third, you can’t deny Moto 360’s greatness… and excellent bang for buck.
Nowhere near as stylish as Motorola’s rookie smartwatch effort, Sony’s third (and best) intelligent timepiece stands out with built-in GPS connectivity, targeting sports nuts.
There’s a good reason why the Flex dominates Amazon fitness trackers, and Fitbit rules over the global wearable landscape. In a nutshell, these rudimentary-looking accessories get the job done effortlessly and unequivocally, offering stellar battery life and universal smartphone compatibility.
Jarv Joggerz Pro Sports Bluetooth 4.1 headphones – $15.99 (77 percent off)
Even if you’re no frequent runner, we’re sure you can appreciate the value of a pair of malleable, HD sound-boasting wireless headphones sold at less than a quarter of their typical list price. In standard black or funkier black/green or black/grey color combos, with up to 20-hour battery life and a noise cancelling microphone.
RAVPower Qi wireless charging pad stand – $29.99 (down from $149.99)
Fun fact – while a number of contemporary Android phones and tabs can technically be charged wirelessly via inductive electrical power transfer, very few bundle the actual pads needed to juice them up sans extra costs.
And, say, an original GS6/S6 Edge wireless charger costs roughly $40 after a $30 discount. Hence, you can no doubt see the utility of a cheaper, universal RAVPower product. Yes, this mundane-looking $30 stand is good to power up the S6, S5, S4, S3, Nexus 6, 5, 4, 7 second-gen, etc., etc.
It’s dirt-cheap, tiny and stylish (at least for the fair sex), yet it can provide a nice, full charge for many top-shelf smartphones. It’s the superlative shopping cart filler. Period.