Pocketnow Black Friday deal roundup: smartphones, tablets, wearables galore

It’s that time of year again: bargain-hunters bundle up for a long night out in the cold, armed with a vacuum flask full of coffee and a checklist of the stores they’ll be hitting. Retail employees let out a resigned sigh as they prepare to begin a single shift that starts somewhere around Wednesday afternoon and lasts through Saturday morning. And if you’re anything like us, you’re staying warm at home, probably watching way too much Netflix, and hoping to snag a few good deals online.

That’s right – it’s Black Friday time. What used to be a single day of retail hedonism has mutated into a sprawling mini-season of its own, giving up any pretense of an exclusive limited window for deals and inundating us with day after day of offers, lasting for weeks.

We’ve already been covering a lot of these deals, like HTC’s weekly specials and some of the early promotions from other manufacturers. But enough of this piecemeal action – it’s finally time we hunkered down and gave Black Friday the deal roundup it deserves, cataloging some of the hottest sales you’ll find from retailers, carriers, and even manufacturers directly. Will we hit every one under the sun? We’re going to do our best, but a few are bound to fall through the cracks. Read on to learn about the best sales we’ve found, and sound off in the comments to let us and the rest of Pocketnow’s readers know about any killer values we missed.

Let’s start with some of deals coming straight from the companies making this gear: the manufacturer offers. These are nice because they’re usually online and don’t often have contract requirements.

Note: Instead of linking to each and every deal individually (especially since many aren’t yet advertised online), you’ll find a link to each store/site/carrier within the descriptions of their respective deals. These should take you to these businesses’ landing pages for Black Friday offers. Since many of these are time-dependent, you may not find specific offers if you check too early (or too late), but all should be available come Friday, if not Thursday. And while we do out best to mention things like contract requirements here, make sure you check each deal’s details with the seller before you go diving in.

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Manufacturers

re-camera-colorsHTC has a great deal on one of its new accessories this season, announcing a Black Friday offer on its RE camera. We complained about the $200 price tag when it first launched, and HTC’s doing something about that this week, slashing the price in half, down to just about $100. You can grab this one directly from HTC’s site, or get the same deal from the company’s retail and carrier partners (sans T-Mobile). The deal starts Thursday night at midnight Eastern (9pm Pacific, 5am GMT) and either lasts through the end of the day on Monday, or until HTC runs out of discounted stock – so act fast.

Microsoft may not have brought us any new Surface hardware this fall, but that just means that there are all the more deals to be found for the Surface Pro 3 and earlier models. Starting on Thursday, you’ll be able to buy an i5-based Surface Pro 3 for $100 off – your choice of 128GB or 256GB storage. For i7 models, those savings increase to $150. Even the old Surface 2 is included in the action, and with $150 falling off its regular sticker price, you’ll be able to find it for as low as $300.

Samsung has some nice deals on direct tablet sales, ranging from $50 off models like the Galaxy Tab 2 8.4, to $100 on the Tab S 10.5, all the way up to $150 on the Tab Pro 12.2 – which can be yours for $500 instead of $650.

shieldNVIDIA‘s been grabbing headlines lately for being super-quick to update its Shield Tablet with Android 5.0 Lollipop. If you don’t yet have one, Black Friday might be a good time to pick one up, as the company offers a couple bundle deals.

First up there’s the 32GB Shield Tablet, LTE edition. This normally goes for $400 on its own, but for Black Friday you’ll also get the Shield controller (a $60 value) and a game bundle from Valve for the same price.

The Shield Portable bundle again keeps its regular sticker price – this time $200 – but adds a couple freebies: a $40 carrying case and $30 glossy black armor for the system. Both this and the Tablet deal also give you access to twenty streaming NVIDIA GRID games through June of next year.

Update 11/27: We just got tipped-off by dbrand as to its own Black Friday offer and… well, it’s a little weird: the company is raising prices by ten percent. OK, that’s actually pretty funny. Consider it the un-Black-Friday for all of you groaning at the thought of these shoppers going hog wild over a few brief deals.

Update 11/28: OnePlus announced that you can now buy a One without an invite, in addition to accessory discounts.

Update 11/28: Apple’s not offering any upfront savings, but you can pick up an iTunes gift card worth $25 to $100 when purchasing select hardware.

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Retailers

This is the meat-and-potatoes of Black Friday: the stores that put out these ludicrously steep discounts with the hope of getting your feet in the door. Sure, you might snag that PlayStation 4 for $350, but you’re probably also walking out of the store having blown another couple hundred on games. Who’s got what, and how low are their prices? Let’s take a look.

ipad air 2 hardware 8Whether you’re shopping for phones, tablets, or accessories, Best Buy has more than enough mobile electronics for you to spend your money on. Some of its stand-out deals include an on-contract Galaxy S5 for one dollar, $100 off the iPad Air 2 or $75 off the mini 3 (all capacities), and that same $150 off the Surface 2 that Microsoft is offering itself. Samsung Galaxy Tab S models with their OLED screens and the Tab Pro 8.4 can be had for $100 off, or you can save $50 on a Tab 4.

Smartwatch shoppers can save $20 on a Pebble or $50 on the Pebble Steel – bringing those prices down to $80 and $150, respectively. At $60 off, you can score a no-contract Lumia 635 for just $40. We’re also looking forward to lots of deals on cases, including GS5 S-View flip covers for $25 (half price) and $20 off select iPad cases.

one-m8-vzw-780OK, so Amazon’s not a brick-and-mortar retailer, but just because there are no crowds to deal with doesn’t mean it can’t offer its own doorbuster-quality sales. For phones, look for savings on the LG G3, going essentially free-on-contract, or the same kind of discount for the HTC One M8. With wearables, it’s got the LG G Watch (the square one, not the R) for $150, or you can get a bundle deal and pick up the Lumia 830 and get a free Fitbit Flex (though, to be fair, that’s hardly a new deal).

If you’re looking to save even more and go with some pre-owned hardware, Amazon’s knocking 20 percent off the prices for refurbished iPhones. And if you’ve somehow managed to avoid picking up a Bluetooth headset already, the retailer’s got those for 25 percent off.

Update 11/27: You may have seen us reporting the news on this one already, but Amazon’s slashed the pricing for its maligned Fire Phone. Got a spare $200? You can buy the 32GB Fire Phone with no contractual requirements. It’s even unlocked – no more AT&T exclusivity.

And if phones aren’t your thing (or if you still can’t bring yourself to love the Fire Phone, even at that price), there’s the Kindle Fire HD 6 tablet for just $80.

Walmart has a complicated cycle of offers, all starting at different times and lasting for different periods. If you intend to pick something up, you’re going to want to check the official schedule, but here are at least a few of the sales to be on the watch for:

Verizon LG G VistaA bunch of these deals give you some outright savings, combined with a Walmart gift card, all ready for you to redeem on a separate purchase. For instance, you can get an iPad mini 16GB WiFi edition for $200, bundled with a $30 gift card. You’ll come home with a $75 gift card when buying an on-contract 16GB iPhone 5S for $80 or a 16GB iPhone 6 for $180. And a $100 Walmart gift card will be yours if you buy the Galaxy S5 for $100 or a basically-free-on-contract GS4 or LG G Vista.

Deals without extra gift card savings include a Fitbit Flex for $70, Galaxy Tab 3 Lite WiFi for $100, or RCA seven-inch Android tablet (RCA makes tablets? We’re scared, too) for $30.

ipad-mini-3-goldTarget‘s in on that gift card stuff as well, hooking you up with a $140 card when you buy an iPad Air 2 16GB WiFi model for $500. Notice you’re not saving anything outright, and the only deal here is the card itself. The gift card’s a little smaller for the iPad Air first-gen and iPad mini 3, only worth $100. You’ll pick up a $30 gift card when getting an on-contract iPhone 6 16GB for $180, or you can go with a free-on-contract 16GB Galaxy S5 – though no gift card offer there.

Fitbit wearables are all over Black Friday deals this year, and Target’s no exception, selling the Charge for $100, a $30 savings.

Update 11/28: Now Google has shared some deals of its own, running from now through Monday. Buy select Play Store devices, including the Nexus 9, LG G Watch R, and Sony Smartwatch 3, and you’ll score a $50 Play gift credit. There’s also a big, direct discount on the LG G Watch (non-R), with its price falling from $230 all the way to $100 – and you get the $50 credit, too.

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Carriers

football-leather-moto-xVerizon knows that shoppers will be coming to check out exclusive devices like the Motorola Droid Turbo, and it’s not about to let them down when it comes to deals. Starting Friday, you’ll be able to grab the Droid Turbo for just $100 on contract. While that value will last through the weekend, Friday itself has some even more inclusive sales, giving you up to a $100 savings on any on-contract Android handset, or the Galaxy S5 free-on-contract after mail-in rebate.

Other big values at VZW include that exclusive football leather Moto X free-on-contract, the LG G Watch for just $100, or a Jawbone Up24 fitness tracker for $100.

AT&T has a big focus on wearables this holiday season, and like Verizon it also plans to sell the LG G Watch for $100. For that same $100 you could also buy a Samsung Gear Fit or a Gear 2 Neo.

You’ll also find deals like 15 percent off accessories with the purchase of a new device, and bundles like a Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 for a buck with the purchase of a Galaxy Alpha, or $50 off a Moto 360 or Moto Hint earpiece when you get a new Moto X on contract.

Sprint

We haven’t heard a ton about great deals over on Sprint. Some of the few that stand out are $200 off a Galaxy S5 or Galaxy S5 Sport, but we’re not seeing a wide breadth of similarly compelling offers. That may change as last-minute sales are revealed, so check back here – and with Sprint itself – as Black Friday rolls around.

T-Mobile

gs5-screenThe uncarrier’s holiday deals are already live, so jump on in as soon as you please. You’ll find a Galaxy S5 (which seems like THE model being discounted, everywhere you’ll look) for $150 off, and if you can live with last year’s Note 3, you’ll save $100. It’s also got a few coupon-code-based deals, like nearly $50 off an LG G3, or about $35 off a Note 4 – smaller savings, but if you were going to buy one of these anyway, nonetheless appreciated.

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Try as we did to hit most of the big ones, stores across the nation are slashing prices this week,  and there’s only room here for so many. We’ll continue to update this post in the days to come as really great sales we previously missed are brought to our attention, as well as any surprise deals that pop up on Thanksgiving or Black Friday itself.

Coming in the near future, we’ll have a look at some Cyber Monday offers that will give you even more reasons to stock up on gadgets this season. There are a lot of fantastic savings to be had, so stick with Pocketnow for everything you’ll need to know.

All prices have been rounded to the nearest sane dollar amount, because pricing something at $199.98 falls somewhere between annoying and outright manipulative – we’re just going to call it $200.

Thanks: The Verge, Gizmodo, countless retailers
Image: Walmart

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!