Updated 9:30 a.m.—Cyber Monday deals for products I genuinely love
I test out products so on major shopping holidays I can show you exactly what’s worthwhile.
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On major shopping holidays like this, retailers use steep discounts to lure you into buying junky products that will sit in the back of your kitchen cabinet for half a decade. There’s a head-spinning number of deals this weekend; but not all of them are on products that are worth buying. As the commerce editor at Popular Science, I do a lot of product testing, in part to let you know what will change your life for the better and what is better left ignored—no matter the bargain.
Here, I’ve trimmed the fat and highlighted only the deals on products I’ve enjoyed.
o Kindle Paperwhite is $45 off—$85 (was $130)
The Kindle Paperwhite checks all the boxes and then some. It’s thin and lightweight, with a battery that lasts weeks. It’s available in two colors—Black and Twilight Blue—and the beefiest model can hold 32 GB of entertainment. This Kindle also sports a 300 ppi (the optimal resolution for digital printing presses), glare-free display.
o Ecovacs DEEBOT OZMO 920 2-in-1 Vacuuming & Mopping Robot is $350 off— $350 (was $700)
Ecovacs’s Deebot Ozmo 920 is a 2-in-1 device that mops as well as vacuums. What’s nice about this particular model is the ability to choose how much water you want the OZMO 920 to use while mopping, so it doesn’t soak your floorboards.
The cleaner uses a navigation system to map your home and clean it efficiently. It has the ability to map up to three floors, so it’s great for huge homes—or if you want to split the cost with a neighbor. The battery lasts for up to 110 minutes. Within the smartphone app, you can schedule cleanings and even choose areas you don’t want the robot vacuum to go, like the always-messy playroom. It’s also the nicest looking mop and vacuum duo that I’ve seen. You can use this model with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, meaning you can use your voice to begin a cleaning cycle or schedule one later in the day. Like other models, this vacuum will return to its charging dock when the battery is low, and then resume cleaning where it left off.
o Ultimate Ears BOOM 3 Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker is $30 off—$120 (was $150)
This speaker from Ultimate Ears can be submerged in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes, proving its durability. It also holds charge for 15 hours, so you don’t have to worry about the party losing steam. The Boom can pair with up to 150 other Boom speakers if you need extra volume, but the lone speaker pumps as loud as 90 decibels.
o Braun Series 9 Electric Razor is $60 off— $200 (was $260)
This waterproof electric shaver has four shaving blades and one skin guard for efficiency and comfort. It also features two titanium trimmers for detail work and a sensor that tells the motor how hard to work based on hair density. The Braun Series 9 has a particularly strong motor that creates 10,000 micro-vibrations with every stroke. The flexible head is great for hard-to-reach corners. On a one-hour charge, this shaver can go cordless for up to 50 minutes, and the LED screen will let you know when the battery is low. When you’re done, place it in the charging/cleaning station that disinfects and lubricates the blades.
For smart home control:
o Wemo Mini Smart Plug is $8 off—$16 (was $24)
With the WeMo Mini Smart Plug, you can control your outlets from anywhere. If the temperature spikes and you want to keep your poor pup a little cooler at home, use the smart plug to turn on the A/C The plug connects via Wi-Fi and can be controlled from an app on your smartphone. Schedule devices in your home to turn on automatically. The plug works with Amazon’s Alexa and can pair with the Nest Thermostat as well.
For working out:
o Fight Camp Home Boxing Gym is $779 off—$1,219 (was $1,995)
If you’ve ever wanted to get better at boxing—or even just have the physique of Canelo Alvarez—you’ll want to know about Fight Camp, an at-home boxing gym with instruction built-in. It’s similar to other home workout set-ups Peloton or Mirror in that you pay for the equipment upfront and then a monthly fee for access to unlimited classes.
It’s pricey—usually costs about $2,000 for the equipment alone—but for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can get the total setup for $1,219 (or $51 a month). There’s a year warranty and a 30-day return policy if you decide you don’t like the service.
If that is too steep, but you’re still interested, they offer another option. If you’ve already got a punching bag and gloves, their Fight Camp connect package includes just their punching trackers and wraps.
Those punching trackers are what makes Fight Camp extra special. The trackers inside your wrist wraps help monitor the speed of your punches and how many punches you throw per lesson. This helps you achieve the full workout and complete any goals. Those results are tracked, so you can monitor your progress and see how you compare to other Fight Camp users.
You can use an iPad or television to screen your lessons, depending on where you have room to set up the freestanding punching bag and floor mats. To keep the bag stable, you must fill the base with water or sand. While testing, they provided me with sand since I’m on the 6th floor of an apartment building and a potential leak would have caused issues (no sand leaked out).
The full set of equipment comes with the mentioned bag and mats, as well as punching trackers, wrist wraps, and a set of gloves. For Black Friday, you’ll also get a free kit to help take care of and clean your gloves and bag.
o OXO BREW 9 Cup Coffee Maker is $40 off—$160 (was $200)
This stylish, precise machine makes up to nine cups of coffee via a showerhead water dispenser that brews in the pour-over style. The coffee is then held at optimal coffee temperature (around 200 degrees Fahrenheit) in a double-walled carafe. The machine features a dial that allows you to set a timer for when it brews, so you can wake up to a flawless cup of coffee. The LED screen also tells you how fresh your pot of coffee is. This is a great choice for the super-particular coffee head.
For portable listening:
o Sony Noise Cancelling WH1000XM3 Headphones are $70 off—$278 (was $348)
Sony’s noise-canceling WH-1000xM3 headphones are not only lightweight and incredibly comfortable for long listening periods, but they also have the most advanced and customizable noise-cancellation features to better suit your personal listening experience. When you’re setting up the headphones, you can choose to turn on features like Adaptive Sound Control, which listens to your environment and automatically adjusts how you’ll hear ambient sound. It also lets you adjust the settings in the app depending on if you are sitting, walking, running, or in transit on a bus for noisier places.
Within the app, you can manually change EQ settings or use their presets for boosted bass tones or to enhance speech. Ambient Sound Mode brings in outside noise and mixes it in with the music so you don’t get hit by a bus you never hear coming. Instead of using physical buttons, the right cup features swipe gestures to adjust volume or switch tracks. They hold a 30-hour charge and connect via Bluetooth 4.2.
The Automatic Power Off setting is particularly helpful. You can choose how long your headphones will stay on when you aren’t playing music. The impressive quick-charge will give you up to five hours of listening time in just 10 minutes thanks to the included USB-C port. With the headphones you’ll receive a case, charging cable, and 3.5mm aux cable.
o Brava Smart Countertop Oven is $250 off—$845 (was $1,095)
The Brava can cook food in 10 ways, including functions to bake, sear, air fry, dehydrate, and broil. It uses what they refer to as Pure Light Cooking, which is a combination of visible and infrared light that can go from zero to 500 degrees Fahrenheit in a fraction of a second. Unlike conventional ovens, even though the Brava reaches super-hot temperatures internally, the exterior of the machine remains cool to the touch.
The smart oven comes equipped with three bulbs on top and three on the bottom. This splits the oven into three cooking zones. The including cooking accessories—egg tray, flat tray, and glass tray—are divided and labeled into three sections, so you’ll always know where to put the ingredients. This arrangement lends itself to typical meals that include a protein, a vegetable, and a starch. This helps with timing. You don’t need to worry about alarms set for cook times going off in the middle of your marathon binge. Also, since heat hits food from the top and bottom simultaneously, you don’t have to flip or stir the ingredients. The oven also doesn’t need to preheat. This is a huge time saver, especially when compared to frozen foods that can take a third the amount of time as
Pure Light Cooking also makes it possible for the Brava to switch between cooking functions easily and without any more work for the user. Various light frequencies can pierce food at different depths. This means you can cook the inside of the steak and automatically switch to a high-intensity sear to finish it off. Unlike a convection or conduction oven, Brava’s lights can be easily focused and adjusted. This means Brava can go from searing to baking without needing to transfer ingredients from one appliance to another.
The smart oven uses a five-inch touchscreen located on top to choose recipes and customize settings. You can find the included 500 smart cook recipes developed by Brava chefs here or on the companion smartphone app. Within each of these smart cook recipes, there are pro tips on how to prepare the meals. Every Tuesday, seven to 10 new recipes show up, and both old recipes and new ones are touched up. While your food is cooking, two cameras inside the oven let you watch the cook either on your smartphone app or via the touchscreen on the machine. Once you’re finished cooking, the machine has a black rubber surface to place cooked meals
o Breville BOV900BSS Convection and Air Fry Smart Oven Air is $50 off—$350 (was $400)
The Breville Convection and Air Fry Smart Oven Air can pretty much replace your oven and is one of my favorite multi-cookers. It’s got a 1-cubic-foot interior cooking space, features a two-speed convection fan with six independent heating elements, and looks nice. According to Breville, one-cubic-foot can roast a 14-pound turkey or toast up to nine slices of bread. What you get for the price is the ability to perform 13 cooking functions, including toasting, broiling, dehydrating, and baking pizzas. All of these options can be customized and accessed via the digital LCD panel on the front.
For your guest room:
O Intex Dura-Beam Series Elevated Comfort Airbed is $6 off—$35 (was $41)
If you have any friends or family, an air mattress will come in handy. This Intex Dura-Beam airbed boasts a soft-flocked top that hugs your sheets, and inflates in four or five minutes. It has an internal pump and an optional manual pump in case you find yourself somewhere without electricity. It also comes with a bag, which makes it easy to pack up.
o Ubtech Marvel Avengers: Endgame Iron Man Mk50 Robot $51 off—$199 (was $250)
This coding robot brings Tony Stark to your living room by using movements, sound, and lighting effects inspired by Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame films. The one-foot-tall robot pairs with iOS or Android devices. Choose to control it from your smartphone or use block-based programming to get the robot to perform tasks. Within the app, you can play an AR game that further transports you into the universe, letting you battle some of the comic’s most infamous villains. You must complete missions to build up Iron Man’s suit and weapons. As an added bonus, a video screen underneath Iron Man’s helmet means you can place your own face on the hero.
For saving paper:
o Rocketbook Fusion Smart Reusable Notebook is $12 off—$26 (was $37)
The Rocketbook Everlast Smart Notebook has 42 reusable pages that—if written on with Pilot FriXion pens, markers, or highlighters—can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. After 15 seconds the ink dries and you can scan the notes with your smartphone’s camera to Dropbox, iCloud, or Google Drive. The notebook comes with one pen.
For smart lighting:
o Lutron Caseta Smart Start Kit (Set of 2) is $35 off—$130 (was $165)
Lutron’s Caseta wireless smart lighting system is truly the most reliable, easy-to-install, and universal smart lighting solution I’ve come across. Lutron controls your existing, dimmable bulbs from within the free app, using the included remote control, or via the switch on the wall. It works with most systems, including Alexa, IFTTT, Wink, Samsung SmartThings, Sonos, and Apple HomeKit. The minimal design means the system won’t be an eyesore. From within the app, you can control single lights, create scenes that’ll change multiple lighting products at once, and set schedules for your lights to turn on by the time you’re home. Each smart bridge can control up to 50 Lutron devices, so you don’t need to worry about installing a bunch of switches.