SAN ANTONIO – Smart watches to smart speakers, cool tech gadgets are hot gifts this year. And, if you’re a last-minute shopper, you’re in luck because there are still some deals and discounts.
Consumer Reports senior tech reporter Bree Fowler did some shopping and offered some recommendations:
Smart phones: Carriers are offering discounts on the latest from Apple, Samsung and OnePlus if you’re looking for an upgrade.
“Verizon has a two-for-one deal,” Fowler said. “Others have similar offers, but you really have to be careful that they are good deals for you.”
Verizon is offering a BOGO (buy one, get one). So, you can purchase one iPhone 12 Pro Max and get another for free as long as you buy it with a new unlimited plan and a two-year commitment. You can also get an additional $250 off each line if you’re switching providers to Verizon.
If you prefer an Android, the Samsung Galaxy Note20, is top in Consumer Reports’s ratings. It’s $300 to $400 off with the major carriers.
“You don’t necessarily have to commit to a carrier. You can buy these phones unlocked,” she said.
Any time you sign up for a new phone and service, be sure to read the fine print.
Smart watches: They’re popular and practical. They can also be pricey.
“The good news is, this year, we have the Apple SE, which is a bit cheaper than the Series 6 and last year’s Series 5.”
At $250, it’s $30 off at Target as of Friday.
Consumer Reports also recommends the new Fitbit Sense. At $280, it’s $50 off at several stores.
“This watch is interesting because it’s supposed to track and monitor stress,” Fowler said.
Smart Speaker: Amazon’s newest Echo smart speaker is $30 off at $170. Testers say it sounds better than the previous version.
Headphones: Beats Solo Pro noise-canceling headphones are marked down by $120 at Best Buy. Fowler said Consumer Reports doesn’t normally recommend them because of their high price tag, but called this a deal.
Laptops: It can be a challenge to find some laptops in the lower price points due to this year’s demand.
“We did find a Lenovo Yoga selling for about $630, about $150 off regular price, and you can get it Amazon, which means it ships in a few days.,” she said.
The 14-inch laptop is lightweight and convertible.