Hot or Not: The best (and worst) Black Friday deals according to our experts

Hot or Not: The best (and worst) Black Friday deals according to our experts

Updated: 2 months, 6 days, 10 hours, 49 minutes, 54 seconds ago


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Hot! hai Smart Showerhead for $149.00 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

All I want for Christmas is this highly-rated showerhead. While you’re all looking for the hottest devices that’s offer the best discounts, I’m looking forward to better, spa-level showers next year.  

A different kind of smart home device, the hai Smart Showerhead doesn’t just keep you fresh and clean. It’s got some awesome features as well, including usage tracking to help you limit your water consumption, a spa-like mist mode (we all deserve it!), and a built-in notification to let you know that you’re water is the perfect temp (no more jumping around and squealing in the shower because the water's freezing.) For extra fun, it also has customizable LED lights and comes in different shades.

Plus, it’s 40% off for Black Friday!

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hai Smart Showerhead: was $249.99 now $149.00 at Amazon (opens in new tab)It might be time to replace that old showerhead, especially if you can’t just get rid of all that pesky build up. Since you’re smartening your home already, why not do it in the bathroom as well with this smart showerhead from hai. It’s 40% off for Black Friday, which means you’re getting $100 off on a premium showerhead that will bring the spa into your home.

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Not! This Ninja air fryer will heat things up but it's not on this year's hot list...

Amazon's best-selling Ninja air fryer is always a Black Friday best-seller, but this year the four-quart appliance is only marked down to $99.95 - $30 more than the record-low price. There are several other fantastic Black Friday air fryer deals available, which why we would pass on this model.

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Ninja AF101 Air Fryer: was $129.99 now $99.95 at Amazon (opens in new tab)Air fryers are always popular during the Black Friday deals event, and Amazon has this best-selling Ninja model on sale for $99.99. The four-quart air fryer has over 39,000 positive reviews on Amazon and can not only air fry but crisp, roast, reheat, and dehydrates food for quick and easy meals.

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Hot! awesome mid-range gaming laptops starting at $899 / £949

There's a real sweet spot when it comes to buying a decent gaming laptop. Spend too little and you'll potentially get a machine that either can't run modern games effectively or has a relatively short-lived live span. Spend too much, and you'll get diminishing returns when it comes to price to performance. 

Here are two absolutely stellar Black Friday gaming laptop deals that really offer a ton of bang for the buck. If you've got a bit of dosh to spend, these are safe buys:

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MSI Katana GF66 15.6-inch gaming laptop: £1,399 £949 at Very (opens in new tab)We've seen this MSI Katana listed for £999 at both Currys and Amazon before but Very has snuck in with an awesome record-breaking price for Black Friday. While not cheap, this machine is incredible value thanks to its speedy RTX 3070 graphics card, Intel Core i7-11800H, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD, all of which are fantastic for the price. Overall, this is an incredibly impressive machine and one that won't let you down if you're on the hunt for performance. 

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Asus Zephyrus G14 gaming laptop: $1,399 $899.99 at Best Buy (opens in new tab)
Save $500 - Easily one of the best laptop deals in the entire Best Buy Black Friday sale, the Asus Zephyrus G14 has never been cheaper. This is one of our favorite gaming laptops thanks to its fantastic combination of portability and power. This particular model features a speedy RTX 3060 graphics card, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a Ryzen 7-5800HS processor. All in all, this is a fantastic price for a machine with these specs, and the fact that the G14 features a lovely premium design and compact form factor makes it even better value.

(Image credit: Future)

Hot! JLab Go Air Sport for $19.99 at Amazon with coupon

Michelle here, TechRadar’s Buying Guides Editor. Listen, we’re all feeling the pressure of the holiday season, especially with the cost of living crisis still looming over us. But, who made it a decree that all we must spend a lot on gifts this year anyway? 

There are so many excellent products out there in the budget range right now. One of my favorite ones are the Go Air Sport headphones from Jlab, which in my humble opinion beat out (no pun intended) the likes of the Beats Fit Pro in many aspects including comfort. For a fraction of the price, the JLab Go Air Sport headphones deliver great comfort, surprisingly fantastic audio, and better staying power. Seriously, I’ve recommended these to all my friends.

It gets better, as it’s even cheaper for Black Friday. Grab it for yourself or as cheap gifts for everyone in your life. This deal isn't hot. It's sizzling.

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1. JLab Go Air Sport: was $30.00, now $19.99 at Amazon with coupon (opens in new tab)
The JLab Go Air Sport are our absolute favorite workout headphones, even though they do have their limitations being in the budget range. We recommend them to everyone, especially now that they are 17% off on Amazon and come with an extra $5 coupon, knocking their price down to $20. 

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Not! A throwback to a post we did last year...

...About the retailer Have you heard of it? If you thought Amazon marketplace was wild, you ain't seen nothing yet folks. If you're not familiar, Wish is essentially a massive worldwide online marketplace that tends to feature knock-offs, direct-from-factory listings, and well, pretty much anything you could think of.

As you'd imagine, we wouldn't recommend most of the listings on this site, even if they are listed as a 'Black Friday deal'. Last year, our managing editor of lifestyle Josie found a few of most bizzare 'deals' imaginable, check them out:

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Hot 3D Simulation Food Pillow Plush Toy Soft Funny Ham Intestine/ Chicken Legs/Grilled Fish Cushion Creative Christmas Toy Gift: £3.79 at Wish

There's not much more to say really. It's an uncomfortably realistic-looking chicken wing pillow.

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6/12/20/30/40/50Pcs Abs Trainer Replacement Gel Sheet Abdominal Muscle Hydrogel Pad Exercise Machine Patch For Abs Trainer: £1.65 at Wish

Want the abs but without having to put in as much effort? These totally legitimate Abs Trainer Replacement Gel Abdominal Muscle Hydrogel Pad Excercise Machine Patch for Abs Trainer will do the trick every time.

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3 In 1 USB Multi-function HD Mini Digital Led Visual Ear Spoon Otoscope Camera Ear Wax Removal Endoscope Kits - £6 at Wish

I cannot stress how much you should not try this at home. Also, ew.

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20X Magnifier Magnifying Eye Glasses Loupe Lens Jeweler Watch Repair LED Light - £3.71 at Wish

We can't imagine these do much beyond hurting your eyes, giving you a headache and making you look a lot like Mole from Disney's Atlantis. Which could be what you're going for, I guess.

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Nicolas Cage In A Banana - Original Yell bvdSoft Decorative Throw Pillow Cover for Home 45cmX45cm(18inchX18inch) Pillows NOT Included - £3 at Wish

Honestly, we could do a whole article about the sheer volume of Nic Cage-related content. A few years ago, when that was a fresh meme, it might have even made us chuckle. Now we're just a little sad. Instead, try one of our best-ranked pillows (opens in new tab) - which come with pillows included.

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Creepy Cry Baby Full Head Face Latex Rubber Masquerade Costume Mask - £0.77 at Wish

They say a picture says a thousand words, but this one just says one: "Help." We like that it kind of looks like the model balling up for a fight - though that could be with the mask that is slowly taking over their brain. Cursed.

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Cute Cartoon Animal Hard Enamel Pin Lapel Pins - £1.75 from Wish

Don't let the name fool you, this is exactly what you think it is: sexy Magikarp. I'll take 50.

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The pods are just hot

Sometimes, we try to imagine just how many AirPods Apple might sell this holiday season. Its excellent Bluetooth earbuds are a massive hit and Apple has done a great job of refining the design and sound engineering and quality.

The newest member of the family, Apple AirPods Pro 2 takes the whole experience to another level. Sure, Apple didn't change the design much between the AirPods Pro 1 and the Pro 2, but the sound quality and, in particular, the Active Noise Cancellation tech (ANC) is something to behold, or heard.

With such a new and lauded product, it's surprising to see it swept along in the Black Friday Deals excitement, but no matter where we look in the US, the original $249 is now just $199. The deals are not quite as strong in the UK, where the AirPod Pros 2 only dropped by $20 pounds.

Even so, this is generally a hot deal for what we called in our review, "a hugely impressive upgrade."

See the latest AirPods Pro 2 deals below.

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Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation): was $249 now $199 at Amazon (opens in new tab)Perhaps today's best early Black Friday deal is Apple's best-selling AirPods Pro 2 on sale for $199 - a new record-low price and $30 less than last week's deal. Apple's all-new earbuds include improved audio quality and noise cancellation and include a wireless charging case that provides more than 24 hours of battery life.

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AirPods Pro 2: was £249 now £229 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
This is the cheapest UK price for Apple's latest and greatest earbuds so far. £20 isn't a huge deal, but it's better than the £0 available before! We raved about the noise cancellation and sound quality in our review (opens in new tab). The longer battery life and upgraded Find My support are both excellent too – and they're still light and comfortable.

(Image credit: Future)

A cautionary tale from our US editor in chief

Are you buying an iPhone this Black Friday? Our US editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoffhas some wise words for you, specifically - buy a recent model. Here's what he said in a previous post just a few days back:

"Do not buy the cheapest iPhone deal you can find. Let me tell you a story.

It was the iPhone 8. There was a fantastic Black Friday sale and, thinking I'd be the hero for getting my wife a new iPhone without breaking the bank, I bought it.

The look on my wife's face when she unwrapped it and then looked at my iPhone 12 Pro (then the latest model) was not what I would describe as pleasure. Though not a technophile like me, my wife's no Luddite and knew that – while new and still for sale at the Apple Store – the iPhone 8 did not represent the best Apple has to offer.

Eventually, I tired of the snide comments and upgraded her to an iPhone 13 (by then the newest model) and, since she didn't divorce me, I think we're okay. Still, I learned a valuable lesson: it doesn't pay to save money on a tech gift if the gadget you're giving will spark, not joy, but disappointment."

Thanks Lance. Wise counsel for both iPhone deals hunters and married shoppers. If you're interested, here's the best Black Friday promotion on the latest iPhone 14 series that we've found so far.

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Apple iPhone 14 Plus: $10/mo with new unlimited line at Verizon (opens in new tab)
No trade-ins are needed to get the brand new Apple iPhone 14 Plus for just $10 per month this week, thanks to Verizon's early Black Friday deals. This is the first non-trade-in carrier discount we've seen on any device in the new iPhone 14 range and a superb deal overall. The saving here totals a whopping $540, over the duration of a 36-month plan and new customers will also get an additional $200 if they switch over from another carrier.

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Hot! 1More SonoFlow headphones for £64.99 at Amazon

LDAC hi-res supporting wireless over-ears, just £64.99 for Black Friday?! Yes please.

No, these over-ears won't say Sony on the headband; but they will support Sony's hi-res LDAC codec – and of course, that 1More branding only helps to keep the prices low. 

This incredible Black Friday headphones deal sees the excellent 1More SonoFlow (try to get past that name, we know it sounds like a water purifier) which were already affordable at £90 slashed to just £64.99 – which means that you could buy 4.6 pairs of them for the same price as one pair of Sony's WH1000XM5, even at their all-new lowest-seen Black Friday discount! 

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1More SonoFlow headphones: was £90 now £64.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)OK this (…this, people!) is a wireless over-ear ANC headphones deal and a half for Black Friday! Why? Firstly, we gave them 4.5 stars out of 5 in our recent review (opens in new tab), secondly you get a whopping 70-hour battery and thirdly, LDAC hi-res audio support is on the menu! We loved them – and we think you will too – plus we've never seen them discounted like this until now. The name may not wow you, but the sound and feature set for this money will. A Black Friday bargain indeed. 

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NOT! Dyson Airwrap Complete: free accessories with purchase (opens in new tab)

Yikes! Dyson isn't even trying here. While we know the Airwrap is one of the most in-demand hair styling products right now, offering potential buyers a free travel pouch, paddle brush, and detangling comb for every full-priced purchase of the Airwrap isn't so much a Black Friday deal as it is a feeble attempt at charity.

It is worth noting that Dyson is currently offering a 20% Dyson Airwrap discount to previous Dyson customers, but that doesn't really help those of you who haven't purchased a Dyson product from the website before. Plus, considering how much Dyson products are actually worth, are you really saving anything if you've had to have bought something expensive to get another expensive thing for just a little less?

This is why many are turning to Dyson Airwrap dupes, as there are some out there that do the job just as well without charging an arm and a leg. Skip this deal above and get the cheaper and also discounted Revlon One-Step Volumizer instead, now only $29.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab). You'll thank yourself later.

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Hot! Nintendo Switch bundles in both the US and UK

Looking to get your game on this Black Friday? Console deals in general tend to be pretty thin on the ground but there are some superb Nintendo Switch bundles worth checking out today.

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Nintendo Switch + Mario Kart 8 Deluxe + Nintendo Switch Online (3 months): $299 at Best Buy (opens in new tab)Want to pick up a Nintendo Switch this Black Friday, but would like a game and something extra to go along with it? This bundle packs in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and 3 months of Nintendo Switch Online allowing you to take your karting skills online against players from across the globe.

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Nintendo Switch + Mario Kart 8 Deluxe + Nintendo Switch Online (3 months): £259 at Nintendo Store (opens in new tab)It's an even stronger deal in the UK, as the bundle's price comes in at the cost of just the console itself. Essentially, you're getting Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and 3 months of Nintendo Switch Online at no extra cost.

Here's what our games hardware writer Rhys Wood had to say about these bundles:

"Whether you're in the US or the UK, this Black Friday Nintendo Switch deal is incredibly strong. If you've been looking to buy a Nintendo Switch, you likely want to make sure you can get at least a game with it on the cheap, especially considering the console doesn't come with a pack-in game.

And you're not just getting Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which to this day is still a fantastic game. The bundle includes a 3-month subscription to Nintendo Switch Online. This'll let you access online play in various titles, but also NES and SNES retro libraries."

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Definitely not: An odd window into British humour this Black Friday...

We sometimes browse deals aggregator sites like HotUKdeals for inspiration over Black Friday and the stangest listing I've found so far on the site is this Smiffy's Mullet with Blonde Highlights Straight Wig for Men. 

Before you ask - yes, this listing was actually more highly rated than legitimately good deals on HotUKdeals, which in our eyes, pretty much sums up what British people find amusing. In short, some deals hunters over in the UK would rather upvote a novelty mullet wig than a cheap TV. 

Here are a few of the comments from this listing:

"The fact that this has made it to the first page of the HUKD hot deals on my app tells you everything you need to know about the quality of Black Friday deals this year."  - GrimFandango

"Decent if you can pull it off." - _Slogan

What's even better is that this product is actually a bestseller on Amazon UK, which tells you everything you need to know about modern Britain. Anyway, we wouldn't recommend buying this unless you have questionable taste or incredibly specific needs this Black Friday.

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Not! Purple Plus mattress from $1,299 at Purple (opens in new tab)

In general, $200 off a mattress is a pretty good deal. It's not even like Purple is one of those brands with perpetual sales, where MSRP is a mythical figure that exists only to be struck-through. In fact, it's fairly common to head to the Purple site and find no discounts at all. It's not that it's a bad mattress either – it has a spot in our official best mattress ranking, because it's so excellent at delivering pressure relief for achy joints.

The reason why this Purple Plus deal is officially NOT HOT is that at the start of the month there was $400 off every size. Unfortunately, with Purple sales being relatively rare and quite unpredictable, we can't confidently say when (or even if) this model will drop to that low price again. If you're in any kind of a hurry to upgrade your sleep setup, you might be best off hopping on the Black Friday deal anyway, and pretending we never told you about that other sale.

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Hot! Apple Watch deals in the US and UK

So, Apple products aren't exactly known for their value - or Black Friday deals - for that matter, but we're actually seeing some surprisingly decent price cuts on Apple Watches today. First up, check out these two US listings:

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Apple Watch SE (1st Gen): was$279.00 now $149 at Walmart (opens in new tab)The original SE isn't as good as the Series 8, Ultra, or the updated SE from a hardware point of view, but there's still a lot to love here for $150. With a recycled aluminum case, it's swim-proof, great for hiking with real-time compass and elevation readings, and allows you to take calls and answer messages from your wrist.

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Apple Watch 8 (GPS, 41mm): was $399now $349 at Amazon (opens in new tab)This is only the second time we've seen the latest Apple Watch 8 discounted at Amazon. The smartwatch has only been available for less than two months, but you can already save $50 at Amazon's early Black Friday sale. Updates are incremental compared to the previous version but do include an upgraded S8 processor, all-day 18-hour battery life, and a suite of new health and fitness functions thanks to watchOS 9.

Getting an Apple Watch as good as the first generation SE for $149 is an absolute steal, considering it's still got all the main fitness and sleep tracking features, a decent screen, and plenty of power to chug along well enough. The Apple Watch 8 listing at Amazon isn't quite as good value if you're talking about sheer bang for the buck, but it's the first big discount we've seen on this super recent release.

Over in the UK, we're also seeing some great Black Friday Apple Watch deals, check these out:

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Apple Watch Series 8 (GPS): was £429 now £399 at John Lewis (opens in new tab)John Lewis is kicking off its Black Friday sale with a small but welcome discount on the latest Apple Watch Series 8 this week. While it appears that this price is for the Starlight color specifically, this is currently the best deal out there for this model if you're simply looking for a GPS version. New features with this iteration include an Always‑On display, crash detection, and temperature sensing, for a wide range of applications. Note, you can also find this one listed at Amazon UK for the same price (opens in new tab).

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Apple Watch SE 2022 (GPS, 40mm): was £259 now £249 at Amazon (opens in new tab)A £10 saving might not exactly be a ground-breaking discount, but this is actually the first discount on the latest Apple Watch SE 2022 and the lowest price yet. If you're looking for a fully-featured and up-to-date model without breaking the bank, this is definitely a decent option over Black Friday. A new chip, lighter build, and new crash detection features are the main upgrades on this particular model over the previous iteration. Note, you can also find this one listed at John Lewis for the same price (opens in new tab).

The discounts in this region aren't quite as juicy as those over in the US, but they're definitely worth checking out - especially since discounts on recent models tends to be fairly rare on this side of the pond. 

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Not! LG's C1 OLED TV is always a Black Friday best-seller, but maybe not this year...
LG's C1 OLED TV was one of the best-selling TVs at last year's sale, and while we would expect to see the OLED display back down to a record-low price, Amazon currently has the 65-inch model on sale for $1,646.99 - $150 more than the record-low price. While we might see Amazon drop the price over the next few days, at its current offers, we wouldn't recommend it.

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LG C1 OLED TV (65-inch): $2,499.99 $1,646.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Always a best-seller during Black Friday, Amazon has LG's stunning C1 OLED TV on sale for $1,646.99 - $150 more than the record-low price we saw at last year's sale. The LG C1 is one of the best TVs you can buy, thanks to the brilliant OLED display, Alpha a9 Gen. 4 processor, and virtual surround sound audio.

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Hot! Apple MacBook Air M1 for $799 at Amazon

Here we go folks - one of the best value ultrabooks you'll find anywhere online right now, the excellent Apple MacBook Air M1. While it's not the latest model on the market anymore, this one's a great buy if you need a nice mix of power and portability on a budget. 

We say budget - it's of course not the cheapest laptop on the market right now but this great ultrabook is at its lowest price yet in both the US and UK.

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Apple MacBook Air (M1): was $999 now $799 at Amazon (opens in new tab)The 2020 Apple MacBook Air with M1 chip is one of the best laptops ever made, so finding it on sale makes it even better. You can get 10% off the entry-level configuration with 8GB memory and 256GB of SSD storage with this Amazon deal.

Why do we recommend this older model? Well firstly, while it may not have the most modern design or chip inside, the Apple MacBook Air M1 still really holds up well for 2022 for the vast majority of users. It's lightweight, decently powerful, has excellent battery life, and it's much, much easier on the pocket than the M2 version. 

For context, the M2 version is currently sitting at $1,049 at Amazon US for Black Friday. That's also a record-breaking deal but it's a whopping $350 more than the above listing on the older model. Overall, we'd say the listing on the older model is the better Black Friday MacBook deal of the two for most users. In the UK? Here's the cheapest listing we've found today.

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MacBook Air (M1, 2020): was £999 now £879 at Amazon (opens in new tab)Stock for the MacBook Air M1 is now more stable and we're seeing some better discounts as we head toward Black Friday. This configuration offers 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD, which is a solid spec for all your computing needs. Today's price is the best we've seen in months, so it's a great time to buy.

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Hot! Google Pixel 6 for £299 at Currys

Here's an absolutely amazing unlocked phone deal if you're not fussed on getting your hands on the latest and greatest flagship this Black Friday. The Google Pixel 6 for half price in the UK:

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Google Pixel 6: was £599 now £299 at Currys (opens in new tab)Google's 2021 flagship offers solid performance, a superb dual rear camera and a clean Android experience – designed as Google intended; all wrapped up in an eye-catching design. This fresh £200-off Currys deal – paired with the voucher code PIXEL100 at checkout – cuts the price of the Pixel 6 in half, rendering it £100 cheaper than the mid-range Pixel 6a that it usually sits above.

Here's what our phones editor Alex Walker Todd said about this particular listing when he covered it recently:

"The Google Pixel 6 sits as the sweet spot within the previous Pixel family, offering a clean user experience and an impressive camera at a competitive price. This Curry's deal, however, has the makings of one of the best Black Friday phone deals of 2022, cutting the asking price of the phone in half, from £599 down to just £299 (opens in new tab)

What makes this Curry's deal so potent is that the retailer drops the price of the flagship Pixel 6 down by £200 – to the standard retail price of the mid-range Pixel 6a (£399) but then ups the ante by serving up a voucher code that reduces the price yet further by an additional £100."

In the US? Check out this Google Pixel 6 deal in your region:

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Google Pixel 6: was $599 now $471 at Amazon (opens in new tab)The fantastic Google Pixel 6 has been on sale for a while at Amazon but today's deal brings this flagship device down to its lowest-ever upfront price. While this device is a little older now and features the same Google Tensor chip as the 6a, a better screen and premium design make it a worthy upgrade in our books. Even with the Google Pixel 7 available we'd say the Pixel 6 is still a fantastic buy, especially at this price.

Hello bargain hunters! We're kicking off our Black Friday deals 'Hot or Not' live blog before the big day hits so you don't a single highlight this year. Unsurprisingly, most retailers have already launched their Black Friday sales well in advance this year so there's plenty to check out - even if it is still Thanksgiving (or 'Grey Thursday' if you're in the UK).

Anyway, thanks for joining early and sit tight, we've got some absolutely awesome Black Friday deals to share shortly - all of which have been specially picked out by our team of experts here at TechRadar.