Early Black Friday Deals (2023) in the UK
Black Friday is much more than just a day. It's a way of life. OK, scratch that, we can't keep a straight face. It's definitely more of a season than a single day, though. The sales started weeks before the actual date of Black Friday, which lands on November 24 for 2023, and have stepped up slightly this week. Keep your eyes peeled because some of what could be the best buys of the season are already close to selling out.
Our job is to highlight these highlights. And to steer you away from the stuff that basically doesn't represent a deal at all. A lot of so-called Black Friday bargains were really the same price, or even cheaper in some cases, in the weeks before. Here are our certified Black Friday bangers.
Sound the alarm bell, it’s time to buy a new console. Discounts on Xbox Series X consoles are very rare, and this one is a corker. You can get the console alone for £90 less than its pre-price-hike cost. Or you can roll the dice with a refurb and save even more (£30). There are plenty of bundles floating around too. The best value is likely the Xbox Series X plus Diablo IV deal from John Lewis at £390.
The Cambridge Audio AVLA ST is a record player fit for a newer generation of vinyl lovers who don’t have decades of experience with the format. It has Bluetooth aptX HD built-in, plus a phono stage, meaning you don’t need to buy a separate preamp. Initially, this player was out of the reach of many buyers, selling for £850 in just 2022. But at less than half price at Richer Sounds, this is tempting. It beats Cambridge Audio’s own £550 Black Friday discount.
You can buy the GoPro Hero 12 Black on its own (£339) as part of a Black Friday deal, but this bundle is the best buy of the lot. It nets you an additional battery, grip, head strap, and carry case for just £10 more. A steal when an additional battery alone costs more than £20. We gave this action camera a WIRED Recommends badge at review (8/10) and are fans of GoPro's improved heat handling.
This is one of the most celebrated pairs of running shoes of the year, alongside its pricier Endorphin Speed 3 Pro, which uses a carbon plate for even better energy return. Many will prefer this non-Pro version for running, though, as its lower rigidity gives the shoe a softer, more pliant feel. It’s still fast enough to propel you to reach your next PB too. Speed is in the name, after all.
The most iconic LEGO set of the last decade, this take on the Millennium Falcon is made of a daunting 7,541 bricks. It takes an estimated 20-30 hours to build this thing. And despite all that, and the high cost of the set, its enduring popularity has seen this model stick in the range ever since 2017. Be prepared for it to take over your Christmas if you do decide to buy.
Sony / WIRED
Despite selling like gangbusters since launch, you can get a healthy discount on the Sony PlayStation 5 right now. This is the full disc console, the one we’d recommend for ultimate flexibility. No, this isn’t the PlayStation 5 Slim announced in October, but that is one of the least interesting console updates ever. It’s not much smaller, doesn’t look all that different, and brings no notable performance changes. Bundles are available elsewhere too, including a £390 one with Final Fantasy XVI at House of Fraser and a Spider-Man 2 bundle with bonus free game (including Dead Space or The Last of Us (Part 1) for £400 from Argos.
The LG Gram SuperSlim is a kinda ridiculous laptop. It has a 15-inch screen and yet weighs less than a kilogram. You get a high-end Intel Core i7 processor and yet LG claims it can last up to 20 hours off a charge (expect closer to 13 hours with light jobs). It makes not a gramme of sense, and yet here it is. You’ll pay £600 more for this exact laptop directly from LG. Bear in mind, though, that the 1080p OLED won’t look super-sharp, just super colorful. And these LG Gram laptops feel less sturdy than most rivals but are a dream for ultra-portable use.
Will a hotter Nintendo Switch OLED deal arrive before Cyber Monday wraps up? Perhaps, but maybe not for this Mario Edition of the console, complete with red Joy-Cons. Argos lets you pick a free game, and it’s not all cheap dross. Metroid Prime Remastered, Bayonetta 3, and Fire Emblem Engage are our top picks in the selection. The white and standard blue/red Switch OLED models are part of this deal too.
These headphones are ancient, released in 2017 when the world was a different place. But it doesn’t matter because the Philips Fidelio X2HR is the polar opposite of today’s popular street headphones. They’re not tech-packed and don’t use a battery. You can’t really use them out of your home either, as their open backs leak sound and don’t block out noise. However, you’d be hard-pressed to find any better-sounding pair for £70. They provide balanced audio, with wide and open imaging. Ideal for late-night movies and gaming when loud surround sound is off the cards.
Xiaomi routinely delivers some of the best Black Friday deals but rarely gets enough credit thanks to deals for the better-known Samsung and Pixel handsets. The Red Note 10 5G is stunning value at under £100. A full HD Gorilla Glass screen with a 5000mAh battery and 5G internet? Not bad. The processor isn’t great for gaming and the IPS screen isn’t as good-looking as the step-up OLED ones, but you can get that by spending £25 more on the Redmi Note 12 (a 4G phone).
Right now everyone interested in handheld PC gaming may be talking about the OLED Steam Deck, but the Asus ROG Ally still has benefits. It’s much more powerful, thanks to its use of an AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme chipset, has 512GB storage as standard, and a sharper Full HD screen. Full disclosure: we gave the ROG Ally a dismal 3/10 at review earlier this year. However, software updates have at least improved the battery life since that point.
The Momentum range used to be a star of the mainstream headphone scene. Nowadays it sits in the shadow cast by Sony, Bose, and Bowers & Wilkins, but is still competitive when you actually listen to the Momentum sets. This latest generation offers improved active noise cancellation, up to 60-hour battery life, and a reworked sound signature. Expect fearsome sub-bass and unusually pronounced mids, although they’re best-used wireless-only as there’s a mid-range “honk” when not powered.
It’s the deal that keeps coming back every Prime Day and Black Friday, the Samsung EVO Select memory card. This line offers the best performance per pound among cheap consumer microSD cards, roughly equivalent to the Sandisk Extreme series. It’s ideal for Steam Decks, Nintendo Switches, and phone upgrades. 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities are all on sale.
Your best Bose buy for Black Friday so far is this pair of “SE” series Quietcomfort headphones. We called them dated in our original 7/10 review, but we can excuse that at this price. They sound smooth and have excellent active noise cancellation plus plush pads. What does the SE part mean? The standard Quietcomfort QC45 comes with a hard case, and the cheaper SE with a softer case. Big whoop. If you want the white or green shades this series comes in, though, you will have to pay the £90 extra for the non-SE version.
Amazon’s originally offered a Black Friday BOGOF, buy one get one free, promo on the Show 5 smart display, but now it's just half price. You'll also find the cute Echo Pop speaker for just £18. These aren’t close to the top of any Amazon ranges, and we found the Echo Pop’s bass a wee bit weak. However, this is a great way to get your home tooled up on the cheap.
Blink is a budget smart home security brand from Amazon. This deal takes the value stakes to a whole other level. And, if your home is small enough, it’s basically the full setup. One camera for outside, one for inside. You effectively pay around half the RRP for the outsider cam, and get the indoor one for free. The Blink Mini only made it to our honorable mentions list in our smart home camera group test. But at these prices, it’s still a sound buy.
Did you know Amazon makes TVs? It sure does, and they come with Amazon’s Fire TV interface baked-in. The typical line with these lower-end 4-series models is they get you typical bog-standard budget TV performance. Brightness isn’t great, there’s no local dimming or variable refresh rate. However, they are decent for movies as they have solid contrast, and at £150 this is sure to be one of the best deals of the entire Black Friday period. The bad news: it’s an invite-only deal. “Invites will be sent between 22 November and 25 November” apparently. Fingers crossed.
All of Amazon’s Fire series tablets are on sale this Black Friday. Pick one that suits your needs, but we suggest starting with the Amazon Fire HD 10. It’s cheap, has a big screen primed for movie streaming and the display is pretty bright for a budget tablet. The top-end Fire Max 11 in on sale too, but bear in mind these tablets use Amazon’s Appstore rather than Google Play, which has a more limited app selection. Amazon tablets are best at the basics.
The Line6 HX stomp guitar modeler uses the same tech as Line6’s top-end Helix line-up. That means you get realistic virtual guitar amps and legions of effects, all crammed into a highly portable floor unit. This deal only nets you around £50 off the price seen elsewhere, as these units just aren’t ever that deeply discounted. But GuitarGuitar also bundles a bespoke case worth £40, ideal for band practice sessions or gigs.
This last-generation VR headset from Meta isn’t as powerful as the Quest 3 and doesn’t have its color passthrough feature or its new lenses. But it still provides a hugely immersive experience, which earned it a 9/10 write-up and a WIRED Recommends badge back in 2020. This deal is effectively £50 off, making its price close to what you’ll often see second-hand Quest 2 headsets selling online. This promo is available widely, but Argos has the best offer, bundling in a £50 Argos voucher.
One of our only criticisms of the WIRED Recommends Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones at review (9/10) was they were a bit pricey at launch. This Black Friday deal solves that by lopping £100 off the original cost, or around £40 off the more recent online pricing. They have excellent noise cancellation, truly absorbing sound and are super-comfy.
Why just buy an air fryer? This kitchen contraption is an air fryer, steamer, slow cooker, and more. You can also cook multiple things at once, as there’s a dual-layer structure inside. This one is best for smaller or medium-sized households, as it’s kinda a 30cm-ish cube with a moderate capacity of 5.7L.
The Google Pixel 7 is old news. It’s redundant. But the cheaper Pixel 7a? That’s still a current model, as the Pixel 8A isn’t expected until 2024. It just missed out on a WIRED Recommends badge at review, thanks to its so-so battery life, but still came away with an entirely respectable score (8/10). The performance is excellent, it’s highly water resistant and has a great camera, just like the pricier Pixel phones.
Back at its release in 2022, this laptop would have cost around £1300. It’s likely only so highly discounted during Black Friday because it uses a last-generation Intel Core i7-1260P processor. But in real-world use, you’d struggle to tell the difference between this and a laptop with a top-tier 13th Gen processor. We also get a super-vivid 1800p OLED screen, a 360-degree hinge, a bundled pressure-sensing stylus, and a glass touchpad that can turn into a light-up NUM pad at the touch of a button. Delightfully silly.
If you told us a few years ago we’d see an OLED laptop for £300, back when the upgrade cost for a vanishingly rare laptop OLED might have been £300 alone, well, we’d have taken some convincing. And yet here it is, courtesy of Argos. It’s a full HD OLED screen matched with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD—enough grunt for some real work. The Intel Core i3-N305 processor is no slouch either, even if is an entry-level chip. This would make a great family PC. It ships with Windows 11 S, a limited version, but you can take off the training wheels easily enough with no tech know-how.
If you’re among the handful of people who haven’t bought an air fryer yet, this is a good place to start. It’s the smaller version of the Ninja model that won our air fryer group test way back in 2021. It has a 3.8L volume for food and takes up less space than many. And unlike the most basic air fryer models there are four modes: air fry, roast, reheat, and dehydrate.