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Shopping for back-to-school looks a little different as we age. The excitement over a new backpack and lunchbox emblazoned with our favorite cartoon characters evolves into getting pumped for new notebooks and pens to write down our hopes and dreams. Of course, maybe you prefer to encrypt your deepest darkest feelings, and that’s where a smartphone comes in. Amazon can help make that a reality with a hype deal during an already hype-worthy time by giving a free $50 Amazon gift card with a purchase of a new Google Pixel 6a for $449. The Pixel 6a costs $436.52 on its own, making the extra $12 a worthwhile investment. 



The Google Pixel 6a, released at the end of July, is the first Pixel with Google Tensor, the first chip designed by Google for the Pixel line. This Android 5G phone features an all-day battery for Instagram-ing between classes and for hours of library scrolling when you should be studying—though it’s as good for researching a topic as it is journalling or procrastinating. The 12-megapixel camera includes presets like Motion and Portrait Modes that allow you to take a perfect picture regardless of circumstances. We’re keen on the Magic Eraser feature, which lets you remove unwanted objects (aka “randos,” as you youth call them) with just a few taps. If you’re worried about carrier compatibility, fear not: this phone comes unlocked. 

A new phone for school means you’ll also need some headphones, especially ones with noise-cancelling capabilities for living with roommates or studying on the loudest floor in the library. For an over-the-ear option, check out the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, which are on sale for $299 and received a glowing review from us. If you’re an earbuds person, the Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Earbuds are on sale for $199 and feature the same effective noise cancellation as Bose’s over-the-ear headphones.

No school shopping is complete without upgrading to a new laptop. This certified refurbished Acer Chromebook 315, selling for $129.99 compared to the $279 retail price, gives you the new laptop feel without the new laptop price. 

Don’t wait to snag these deals—they could sell out like a textbook required for an intro-level 200-person lecture-style class.