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It’s that time of year again. Amazon Prime Day 2021 is almost here (it’s on Monday, June 21 and Tuesday, June 22, FYI), and if you’ve been on the edge of your seat waiting for the deals to go live, we’re here to help. The best products will be going fast, and with more than two million (!) to browse, you could easily miss out on the cream of the crop if you're not sure where to look.
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We've tracked down some of our readers' favorite buys from Prime Day 2020, and while you'll have to wait until until the actual savings event to find out what the prices will be on the big day, many of them are already on sale—including the coveted Apple AirPods Pro and Amazon's own compact Echo Dot smart speaker. Along with their current discounted rate, we’ve also peeked into last year’s price drops, so you can decide for yourself if you want to pounce now or wait till the 48-hour deal bonanza for a possible lower tag (no guarantees though!).
Either way, you'll be making some smart purchases with the buys below. Drumroll please: Here are the best deals to bookmark in anticipation of Amazon Prime Day 2021.
1. This compact smart speaker
Looking for an entry-level smart speaker? Check out the Echo Dot third generation, originally $39.99 and now $34.99. During Prime Day 2020, this popular Alexa-enabled gadget fell by more than half its selling price to just $18.99. This Amazon device is one of our favorite smart speakers for its top-notch Alexa features and easy Bluetooth connectivity, which allowed us to connect it to any other speaker in our home for a boost in sound quality. Since it’s extremely affordable—even more so with a discount—it’s a great starter speaker for those looking to enter the Amazon Alexa ecosystem.
2. These cult-favorite wireless earbuds
With more than 206,000 Amazon shopper ratings, the AirPods Pro are one of the most beloved earbuds on the market, and to be honest, we get it —they ranked highly on our list of our favorite wireless headphones, too. Currently, they're on sale for $197 from the standard $219 price tag, saving you $22. That's not much higher than last year’s $189 price tag, giving you even more incentive to get them ahead of schedule. We especially liked their noise cancelation, as they were able to reduce ambient noise by 23dB(a)—a measurement that was better than most of its competitors. As a daily wearer of the AirPods Pro, I can also attest that they block out some of the most jarring traffic noises during my daily walk. The silicone ear tips are great, too, and come in multiple sizes, allowing you to match them to the shape of your ear. Not to mention, we found that a quick five-minute recharge in the wireless charging case gave us an additional hour of listening time—something that's especially useful when you're in a rush to get out the door.
3. This must-have hair tool
There's a reason that the Revlon One Step hair dryer and volumizer has rave reviews from more than 271,000 buyers. Right now, it's reduced from $59.99 to as low as $42.99, saving you $17. (Note that you can also get a different version of this same hair-drying tool on sale for just $33.99 right now.) Though that's not quite low as its previous Prime Day price of $29.39, Prime members will be able to get it as early as tomorrow, avoiding the usual Prime Day delays. We gave this brush our stamp of approval for the way it detangled, dried and volumized Beauty Editor Jessica Kasparian's hair in less than 30 minutes, offering nothing less than salon-quality style. She also liked that she could turn and flip this hair tool as needed for the perfect amount of volume. (Pro tip: Hold the brush at your root tips for a few seconds to get the most volume.)
4. This awesome streaming stick for easy viewing
If you love spending time binge-watching your favorite TV shows and movies on Prime Video, you'll love the Amazon Fire TV stick 4K, which is currently marked down from $49.99 to $39.99—$10 higher than last year’s Prime Day sale price of $29.99. We ranked this as one of our favorite streaming devices for its ability to support everything from 4K video to Dolby Vision and Atmos sound (though you will want to note that Netflix Atmos titles are not supported). Since it’s manufactured by Amazon, the recommended content is usually mostly Amazon-based, which may be a mark against it if you prefer a simpler, more platform-agnostic interface. But, for its compact size, this user-friendly remote with voice control is a great pick.
5. This budget-friendly iPad
Ranked as our pick for the best-valued tablet on the market, the Apple iPad (32 GB) (2020) has dropped from $329 to $299, saving you $30. That's the same price is went for during last year’s Prime Day savings event! We found this entry-level gadget to be particularly great for social media, streaming, web browsing and more, all without a hefty price tag. Despite being an older model, its long battery life trumped that of its higher-priced successors, lasting well beyond eight hours while we played a movie on loop. It also featured a bright, LCD display and has the classic home button for those of you that miss Apple’s older classic design. In addition, it's compatible with Apple’s Smart Keyboard ($149) and the first-generation Apple Pencil ($94), so you can sketch, draw or type away, all on this sleek tablet.
6. This itty bitty smart display
The original Echo Show 5 is a great smart display, and it's currently down lower than last year's Prime Day price of $49.99. (Note: if you’re not a Prime member, you can grab it for $59.99.) Our senior smart home editor, Rachel Murphy, called this smart display the "perfect accessory for your desk" for both its compact size and added privacy features, which include a shutter for the camera for added peace of mind. The sound quality was solid for the small size, too. With this gadget, you can access everything from weather and news to streaming services, such as Hulu and Prime Video—just note that its 5.5-inch size may not be the best for movie marathons, per Rachel. You can also choose from neutral sandstone or charcoal colors to best match your home décor.
7. This top-rated DNA kit
If you’ve ever been curious about your genetic roots, you’ll want to try the popular AncestryDNA kit, now discounted from $99 to $59. You could grab the same kit during Prime Day last year for $49, a $50 savings. We’ve repeatedly tested this service and found it to be at the top of the genetics heap for its unique ability to link your family tree to your DNA. The test itself was super simple too: Spit into a tube, cap it up and mail it back to the lab for results. Once the results arrive (within six to eight weeks, or longer after holidays/major gift-giving occasions) they can be easily accessed online. You might even discover some far-flung family connections!
8. One of our favorite Roku devices
Ranked as one of our favorite streaming devices on the market, the Roku streaming stick+ is reduced by 22% right now at Best Buy's competing Prime Day sale, bringing its price down to just $39.99—that's similar to last year’s price drop of $37. We loved its top-notch speedy performance, which we found to be on part with our No. 1 ranked streaming device, the full-sized Roku Ultra, $69.99, its 4K and HDR support (note there's no Dolby Vision support) and the voice-controllable remote features.
9. This super smart home bundle
Keep an eye on things with this Ring wired video doorbell and Echo Dot 4th generation smart speaker bundle, now on sale for just $79.99. That's $30 off its $109.98 tag. A similar bundle including the Ring video doorbell (2020 release) and Echo Dot 3rd generation smart speaker was on sale for $69.99 during the retail giant's monster savings event last year. We’ve tested both products from the new set before, ranking the budget-friendly wired Ring video doorbell ($59.99) as one of the best video doorbells on the market for its novel customizable motion zones and reliable, responsive features, which were comparable to some of Ring's more expensive models.
As for the Echo Dot 4th gen ($44.99), it landed among our favorite smart home speakers, as we enjoyed the orb-like, minimalistic design and decent audio quality for its size. When our Accessibility Editor, Sarah Kovac, paired it with a second Echo Dot to simulate stereo sound, it even drowned out the sound of her kids scrambling around upstairs!
10. This über-useful tire pressure gauge
Planning on taking a road trip this summer? You’ll need the AstroAI digital tire pressure gauge, down from $10.99 to $9.99 for a 9% price cut. While it doesn't quite beat last year's Prime Day price of $7.69, it's still a steal at its current discount. With a solid 4.5-star rating from more than 36,100 Amazon customers, this car tool received praise for its easy-to-read LCD screen and near-instant readings. Since it’s small enough to stash in your glove compartment, you can also take it with you on your long drives. Whether you own a car, bike, motorcycle or truck, this is the road essential you need.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Prime Day 2021:The 10 best deals to bookmark or shop right now