Gift Guide: Black Friday tech deals that are actually worth considering

Welcome to TechCrunch’s 2019 Holiday Gift Guide! Need help with gift ideas? We’re here to help! We’ll be rolling out gift guides from now through the end of December. You can find our other guides right here.

Ah, Black Friday. The day of a zillion “deals” — some good, many bad, most just meant to clear the shelves for next year’s models.

Hidden amidst ten thousand “LOWEST PRICE EVER! ONE DAY ONLY!” e-mails, though, are a handful of solid sales on legitimately good stuff.

Whether you’re trying to save some coin heading into Christmas or you just want to beef up your own gear collection, we’ve picked a few things that seemed worthwhile while trying to sift out most of the junk. We’ll add new deals throughout the day as we hear about them.

(Pro tip: Want to check if something on Amazon is actually on sale, or if a seller just tinkered with the price ahead of time to make it look like you’re getting a discount? Check a historical price checker like camelcamelcamel to see the price over time.)

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Amazon Devices

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Amazon generally slashes prices on its own devices to get the Black Friday train moving, and this year is no different.

  • The 4K Fire TV Stick, usually $50, is down to $25
  • The non-4K Fire TV Stick, usually $40, is down to $20. For the $5 difference, though, I’d go with the 4K model above. Future-proofing!
  • The incredibly good Kindle Oasis is about 30% off this week — $175 for the 8GB model (usually $249), or $199 for the 32GB model (usually $279)
  • If you’ve got Alexa devices around your house and are looking to expand, the current generation Echo Dot is down to $22 (usually $49) while the bigger, badder Echo Plus is down to $99 (usually $150)

Google Devices

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  • Google’s latest flagship Android phone, the very, very good Pixel 4, is $200 off at $599 (usually $799) for an unlocked model. The heftier Pixel 4 XL, meanwhile, is down to $699 from $899.
  • The less current but still solid Pixel 3a is down to $299 (usually $399).
  • The Nest Mini (formerly known as Google Home Mini) is down to $30 from its usual price of $49.
  • The Nest Protect smoke alarm (both the wired and battery versions) are down to $99 (usually $119)
  • The 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra is down to $49(usually $69), while the non-4K Chromecast is currently $25 (usually $35.)


With both Amazon and Google slashing at the prices for their streaming devices, Roku isn’t looking to be left out. The company’s 4K-friendly Roku Ultra is down to $48 (usually $100), complete with a pair of JBL headphones you can plug into the remote for almost-wireless listening.

Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo Switch

If you’ve yet to pick up any of this generation’s consoles, now honestly isn’t a terrible time (as long as you can do it at a discount.) Both Microsoft and Sony are prepping to launch new consoles in 2020, but that means you’ve got years and years of really great games from this generation to pluck through — and it’ll probably be a few months before there’s much worthwhile/exclusive on the new consoles, anyway. Nintendo, meanwhile, just revised the Switch to significantly improve its battery life in August.

Microsoft has dumped the price on the 1 terabyte Xbox One X down to $349 (usually $499), including your choice of Gears of War 5, NBA 2K20, or the pretty much brand new Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The Xbox One S meanwhile, is down to $149 (usually $249) with copies of Minecraft, Sea of Thieves, and about $20 worth of Fortnite Vbucks. (Be aware that the One S has no disc drive, so anything you play on that one must be a digital/downloaded copy. That’s not a huge issue! But be aware of it, particularly if you’ve got a slower internet connection or limited monthly bandwidth.)

Likewise, Sony has a killer deal on the Playstation 4 — $199 gets you a 1TB PS4 and copies of God of War, The Last Of Us (Remastered), and Horizon Zero Dawn. The deal is available at most of the big box retailers (Best Buy/Walmart/GameStop/Target/etc), though it seems to be going in-and-out of stock everywhere so you might have to poke around a bit.

Deals on the Switch console itself are few and far between so far (and many of the deals are for the older model with the weaker battery), but you can pick up a pair of Joy-Con controllers for $60 versus the usual $80.


Airpods Pro

Apple deals don’t tend to get too wild on Black Friday — especially not on the latest generation hardware. This year, though, there’s some surprisingly worthwhile stuff.


Looking to expand your Sonos setup? Many things in the company’s line-up are on sale right now, including:

  • The Sonos Beam (the smaller of the company’s two sound bars), usually $399, is down to $299.
  • The bigger soundbar, the Sonos Playbar, is down from $699 to $529
  • The massive Playbase (like a soundbar, except you sit your entire TV on it) is down from $699 to $559.
  • A two-pack of Play:1 speakers is going for $230 on (usually $170-200 each), though you’ll need to be a Costco member to access it.

Ridiculously cheap microSD cards

The cost of microSD cards has plummeted over the last year, seemingly bottoming out for Black Friday. SanDisk’s 512GB microSD card was going for $100-$150 just a few months ago; today it’s down to $64. Need a faster model? The 512GB Extreme MicroSDXC was $200 earlier this year, and now it’s down to $80.

Steam games

Valve’s annual Autumn Steam sale is underway, slashing prices on a bunch of top notch games — like Grand Theft Auto 5 for $15 (usually $30), Portal 2 for a buck, The Witness for $20 (usually $40), Return of Obra Dinn for $16 (usually $20), Soul Calibur 6 for $18 (usually $60), or the just released (and absurdly fun) Jackbox Party Pack 6 for $23 (usually $30).

Oh! And Valve’s Steam controller is down to $5 (from $50)… with the caveat that it’s because they’re discontinuing it and honestly for most games it’s just an okay controller.