Amazon Prime Day 2019 is coming! For Amazon’s fifth annual summer sale, Prime Day is two entire days instead of one.
The shopping event can be worth it if you score big discounts on pricey products. But the problem I’ve noticed is that there are too many products to keep track of. It’s tempting to just “add to cart” simply because something seems like a steal.
My friend, I can’t stop you from buying useless things like a 55-gallon of lube, but let me help you cut through some of the noise. Specifically for tech.
Come July 15 at 3 a.m. ET (12 a.m. PT), Amazon’s website will bombard everyone with deals, deals, deals. You’re gonna see a lot of crap — trust me, it’s gonna be more than you can handle — but you gotta stay calm. Follow my advice and you won’t end up buying crap you’ll regret.
Avoid: pocket projectors
Stay as far away from these things as you can.
Image: screenshot: amazon
I’m always amazed at the sheer amount of pocket or “pico” projectors available on Amazon Prime Day. These dinky little projectors come with the most jargon-filled descriptions to trick you into thinking you’re getting a bang for your buck. Most of them let you connect a phone, tablet, or laptop to it and project photos and videos onto the wall or ceiling.
Cheap as they might be, don’t buy them. Pocket projectors are usually garbage because they offer crappy resolution, very low brightness, and weak batteries that can’t even make it through a feature-length movie.
Buy instead: discounted large HDTV or Amazon Fire tablet
It’s not the same as blowing up your mobile device’s screen to, say, 75 or 100 inches, but I guarantee a discounted large TV (especially if it’s 4K) or even a discounted 10-inch Amazon Fire tablet is a better buy. Sit closer to the big TV if you have to. At least you’ll be able to see what’s happening on their screens instead of having poor projected image quality because of the projector’s too dim.
Avoid: no-name fitness trackers and wearables
An Apple Watch for less than $30? Do you think we’re stupid?
Image: screenshot: amazon
I won’t name specific knockoff fitness trackers (see image above) and wearable brands to avoid, but you’ll know them when you see them. Oftentimes, they’re a complete ripoff of the genuine product, like an Apple Watch clone or a Fitbit bootleg.
Generally, they cost a fraction of the cost of the real thing and promise a bunch of features that almost never work. The last thing you want is a fitness tracker to count your steps and it can’t even do so reliably.
Buy instead: Apple Watch, Fitbit, or Garmin wearable
There’s a reason Apple Watches, Fitbits, and Garmins are the most popular wearables: they work. More than that, they have sensors that are more accurate at tracking steps and activities than any off-brand cheapo fitness tracker. Additionally, their apps are more robust and the companies care about safeguarding your data.
Google News, Bing News, Yahoo News, 200+ publications
It’s almost impossible to go wrong with any model from any of these brands. They’re not new to the fitness tracker/wearable game and have been around long enough for them to be reliable and trustworthy.
Avoid: premium cables
It’s got fusion…which means nothing TBH.
I tell people all the time to never, ever spend good money on so-called “premium” HDMI or USB cables. It’s one of tech’s greatest cons. Does anyone listen? Most people do! But there’s always some bozo who overpays for this junk anyway.
Buy instead: Anker, Monoprice, or AmazonBasics cables
Cables are cheap. Like dirt cheap. Prime Day will be filled with super cheap cables as far as the eye can see, but don’t buy the cheapest ones you can find. There are tons of reputable brands that make cables that won’t tear easily or burn up in flames while connected to your devices.
Anker, Monoprices, AmazonBasics cables — these are the ones we’ve tried and tested for years and they’re solid through and through. Not to mention affordable.
All the rest to avoid
There are lots more tech products you should definitely avoid that aren’t worth too many words. Anything that’s a knockoff of something else is a given.
Other easy gadgets to steer clear of: Cheap Bluetooth headphones and wireless earbuds that are too good to be true (and Bluetooth speakers), crummy instant cameras like the Polaroid Pop, and no-name battery packs/banks (who knows how well these lithium batteries are insulated).
360-degree cameras and mobile VR headsets are best avoided now that the Oculus Quest is here. Ditto for amateur toy drones with potato-quality cameras and inadequate flight times (DJI’s consumer drones are the only ones anyone should consider).
All the rest to buy: anything Apple, Dyson, Amazon Echo/Fire/Kindle
Apple and Dyson products are expensive AF. If you see discounts on any items from them, it’s usually a solid buy. Prime Day may not give you the best online deal, but savings on AirPods, or iPad, or Dyson vacuum don’t come every day, so any price cut is money saved.
Same goes for Amazon gadgets. Echos, Echo Dots, Echo Shows, Fire tablets, and Kindle e-readers are all worth buying on Prime Day.
Other good tech stuff to stock up on: memory cards (high capacity storage crammed into super tiny microSD cards are my fave and great for expanding Android phones and the Nintendo Switch); PC parts like SSDs, RAM, and external hard drives; and good instant cameras like the Instax ones from Fujifilm.
Oh, and air fryers. Those are fun! If there’s any from Philips (everyone seems to swear by them) that are on sale, Prime Day’s the time to get it.