This Echo Dot price drop is still the Amazon Prime Day deal to beat

Amazon Prime Day has been rolling for a while now, and we’re seeing all manner of deals come out – but this one for the Echo Dot still remains one of the best.

This is the lowest price we’ve ever seen for the Echo Dot (3rd generation), and for more than 50% less you can grab this attractive little nugget to enter the world of voice assistance.

So how much actually is it? If you’re in the US the diminuitive Alexa speaker had dropped to just $22 from $49.99 for Prime members – if you’re coming at this from the UK it’s an almost identical saving, taking a huge £27.99 off the RRP to bring it down to just £22.

And a further deal for those in the US of A: for $59.99 you can pick up three of these little rocks of sound, or in the UK £40 will get you two once you throw it into your cart.

Or you could add a smart plug for $4.99 in the US, which is a great entry to the smarthome when you can just command Alexa to turn something on or off for you.

After over 24 hours of being at this low price, stock still seems to be good – and you can get it in Charcoal, Heather Gray or Sandstone for the ultimate addition to a gray house.

Why is there such a huge discount?

Well, Amazon wants you using its services – so by dropping the price to basically impulse level, it hopes to see you grabbing discounts on its own devices so you start embedding yourself in its ecosystem. Don’t let that fool you though, the Amazon Echo (3rd edition) is a neat bit of kit in itself.

Sign up for Prime Day

You’ll need to be an Amazon Prime member to take advantage of Prime Day deals. You can sign up for a free trial, which will see you through Prime Day and which you can cancel after 30 days.

The speaker that works with Amazon Alexa to play music, answer questions, make calls, and more all with the command of your voice. The compact speaker plays your favorite tunes from services like Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, and more. 

The 3rd generation (this is the newest model) Echo Dot can also control your smart home devices to adjust the temperature, turn on lights, and more using your voice.

Like we mentioned above, this is the lowest price we’ve seen for the newest Echo Dot and a perfect opportunity to build your smart home. This discount is exclusively for Prime Members and is only valid during the 48-hour event.  

The best Prime Day Echo Dot deals:

Echo Dot: common questions

If you’re undecided on the Echo Dot or want to learn more about the smart speaker, we’ve answered some common questions below to help make your buying decision.

What is the Echo Dot, and what can it do? The Echo Dot is a compact smart speaker that connects to Wifi to work with Amazon Alexa. You can use your voice to ask Alexa questions, play music, and control other compatible smart home devices.

Is there a monthly fee for an Echo Dot? No, there’s no monthly fee with the Echo Dot, just the one-time fee for the smart speaker. You’ll need an Amazon account to get started, and you’ll need to download the Echo app.

What’s the difference between the Echo and Echo Dot? The most significant difference between the Dot and the Echo is the size and price. The Echo is bigger than the Dot and produces a powerful sound. The Echo is also more expensive, costing $20 / £30 more than the Dot. 

TechRadar is scouring Amazon and all the major retailers’ websites to round up all the top deals on Amazon Prime Day – and we’ve put all the best Prime Day deals in one easy-to-navigate page to help you find the offers that matter to you. 

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We were wrong: this Bose SoundSport Free deal WAS beaten on Amazon Prime Day

The Bose SoundSport Free headphones are true wireless earbuds from a respected brand – but they’re usually a little on the expensive side. 

We posited a month ago that they could get a decent price drop on Amazon Prime Day this year, but we’d thought we’d found a far cheaper way.

Directly from Bose, you could get a pair of SoundSport Free for the deal price of £120 / $150, which is a big drop from the £155 / $199 price that they usually retail for – if you get them ‘Factory Renewed’ (ie, with the box already opened).

But then Amazon Prime Day popped up and we saw the purple variants of these coming in for just $139 in the Prime sales, making them $11 cheaper than we anticipated:

The other thing to consider is that, while the SoundSport Free headphones are for exercise… they’re not the best for the job. In our list of the best true wireless earbuds, we rate the Jabra Elite Sport earbuds as a much better buy, and they’re down in price too.

Sound quality might not be as high as the impressive Bose, but they’re overall a great choice, even if they are nearer $150.

If you’re a Bose fan though, this is a cracking SoundSport Free price to look at – and could be a smart way to get them for cheaper.

Sadly this deal is not in the UK – but that renewed deal is still live if you want to check it out.

(Image credit: Bose)

Bose SoundSport headphones| were £155 now £119.99 at Bose
If you’re looking for some half-decent sound from wireless earbuds, these will go beyond that and offer actual good noise into your head. The fit is a bit open and they can protrude somewhat – but for this price, it’s rather incredible (if you’re OK with the nature of what you’re getting).View Deal

 TechRadar is scouring Amazon and all the major retailers’ websites to round up all the top deals on Amazon Prime Day – and we’ve put all the best Prime Day deals in one easy-to-navigate page to help you find the offers that matter to you. 

We were wrong: this Bose SoundSport Free discount WAS beaten on Amazon Prime Day

The Bose SoundSport Free headphones are true wireless earbuds from a respected brand – but they’re usually a little on the expensive side. 

We posited a month ago that they could get a decent price drop on Amazon Prime Day this year, but we’d thought we’d found a far cheaper way.

Directly from Bose, you could get a pair of SoundSport Free for the deal price of £120 / $150, which is a big drop from the £155 / $199 price that they usually retail for – if you get them ‘Factory Renewed’ (ie, with the box already opened).

But then Amazon Prime Day popped up and we saw the purple variants of these coming in for just $139 in the Prime sales, making them $11 cheaper than we anticipated:

The other thing to consider is that, while the SoundSport Free headphones are for exercise… they’re not the best for the job. In our list of the best true wireless earbuds, we rate the Jabra Elite Sport earbuds as a much better buy, and they’re down in price too.

Sound quality might not be as high as the impressive Bose, but they’re overall a great choice, even if they are nearer $150.

If you’re a Bose fan though, this is a cracking SoundSport Free price to look at – and could be a smart way to get them for cheaper.

Sadly this deal is not in the UK – but that renewed deal is still live if you want to check it out.

(Image credit: Bose)

Bose SoundSport headphones| were £155 now £119.99 at Bose
If you’re looking for some half-decent sound from wireless earbuds, these will go beyond that and offer actual good noise into your head. The fit is a bit open and they can protrude somewhat – but for this price, it’s rather incredible (if you’re OK with the nature of what you’re getting).View Deal

 TechRadar is scouring Amazon and all the major retailers’ websites to round up all the top deals on Amazon Prime Day – and we’ve put all the best Prime Day deals in one easy-to-navigate page to help you find the offers that matter to you. 

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Facebook scam-busting service goes live

Scammers are being targeted by a new tool for UK Facebook users that allows the reporting of fake adverts.

The feature came about after Martin Lewis, founder of the MoneySavingExpert website, sued over his name and photo being used on fake Facebook adverts.

In return for dropping the legal action, Facebook agreed to donate £3m to set up an anti-scam programme.

That money has been handed over to Citizens Advice to build a new service to help victims of online fraudsters.

The charity has set up a telephone helpline for any type of online scam – not just ones involving fake ads. Face-to-face consultations will even be offered to serious cases – where someone falls into debt or mortgage arrears, for example.

Citizens Advice says it expects to help 20,000 people in the first year of the new service, and warned anyone can be scammed.

There is no typical profile of victims, the charity said, and scams are becoming more and more sophisticated. Some common red flags include:

  • something which seems too good to be true – or much cheaper than it should be
  • being asked to pay quickly, or in an unusual way – maybe through money transfer or through vouchers
  • someone contacting you out of the blue
  • being asked for personal information such as a password or Pin
  • an advert using celebrity images or endorsements that seem fake or unlikely

Inside Facebook, a specially-trained team has been set up to investigate adverts reported through the new tool.

From Tuesday, Facebook users in the UK should be able to click the three dots in the top corner of every advert to see more options. On top of the usual ones, there will now be the option to “send a detailed scam report” after choosing to “report ad” and selecting “misleading or scam ad” as the reason.

“Scam ads are an industry-wide problem caused by criminals and have no place on Facebook,” said the company’s vice-president for Northern Europe, Steve Hatch.

Taking advantage of loss

A few years after her husband of 30 years died, Amanda – not her real name – joined an online dating site at the urging of a friend.

After a while, she started exchanging emails with someone who seemed interesting. A few weeks later, “he asked if I could send him some money”, she said.

“He had not been paid and needed to travel back home from Ireland. I never thought much of it and transferred him the money.”

The pair continued to build up “a nice friendship over the months” – and he asked for some money on a few other occasions.

But something did not feel right – and Amanda decided not to message him any more.

A few weeks later she got a new message from the dating site – with the same picture, but a different name and location.

“That’s when I realised that the person I had been speaking to was probably not the one on the picture,” Amanda said.

Over the course of a few months, she had transferred around £2,500 to whoever was really on the other end of those emails.

“I think that maybe some of the men join the site knowing that there will be women like me who genuinely want a friendship and use that and take advantage of our loss,” she said.

‘Negligent behaviour’

The tool – and the dedicated team to examine the reports – are unique to the UK as a result of the lawsuit taken by Mr Lewis.

The journalist and TV presenter took the legal action against Facebook after a series of ads ran with his face and name, claiming he backed questionable investment schemes.

His website recommends what it believes are the best-value financial products for different purposes. Mr Lewis claimed the fake adverts on Facebook damaged his reputation.

His defamation case, he said, was “bizarrely the only law I could find to try to make big tech firms understand the damage their negligent behaviour has caused”.

“Millions of people know a scam when they see it, and millions of others don’t. So now, I’d ask all who recognise them to use the new Facebook reporting tool, to help protect those who don’t,” he said.

If you or someone you know has been scammed, Citizens Advice recommends you:

  • immediately tell your bank if your financial information might have been stolen
  • reset your passwords
  • update your anti-virus software
  • report the scam to Action Fraud
  • contact the Citizens Advice Scams Action service on 0300 330 3003 or through the live online chat facility on its website

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Why I just bought AirPods for Amazon Prime Day even though I don’t ‘need’ them

Confession: I bought the Apple AirPods 2019 on Amazon Prime Day, even though I technically don’t need them. After all, I have the original AirPods from late 2017.

There are several reasons I made the purchase today after much pondering. Sure, it has new features like touchless ‘Hey Siri’ and wireless charging. But the perks that swayed me to upgrade are all minor in comparison.

Here are the three reasons I bought new AirPods and how much I paid for them during Prime Day 2019.

1. AirPods on sale today for Amazon Prime Day

I’ve been waiting for Amazon Prime Day 2019 to roll around to buy a lot of things. I mean I’ve been rationing supplies like trash bags, laundry detergent, and even heavy duty sponges – all on sale and finally bought today. I need new sunglasses, but I didn’t get them until today either. I’ve saved $50 on supplies in the end.

This same purposely procrastination applied to ‘AirPods 2’ with wireless charging. I didn’t need them right away, so paying $30 less for the version with wireless charging 16 weeks after they first launched made a lot of sense to me. 

Here’s how much they cost on sale for in the US and UK.

Note in the US: I saved an extra $9.01 by choosing No-Rush Shipping option. Amazon may be doing this for two reasons: AirPods are going to be very popular today and everyone from Amazon employees and UPS drivers are going to overloaded shipping everything else sold over the course of the next two days. It gives them a reprieve from getting a popular item out to you. To Amazon, that must be worth $9.01.

The upgraded AirPods 2019, without wireless charging, are also on sale today, too. They contain the touchless ‘Hey Siri’ feature and slightly longer battery life.

2. I’m selling my old AirPods while they have value

If I’m going to sell my AirPods, it has to be in 2019 to be worth anything of value. In time, the battery life will fail and audio volume will diminish. It’s good enough for someone else to enjoy for another year or two (probably a family member since I wouldn’t want to overcharge a stranger for something that has finite life).

I’m a big believer in getting rid of old tech to fund the purchase of new gadgets. It’s how to funded the purchase of the iPhone XS Max, Apple Watch 3 and MacBook Pro. Advice: Get rid of things while they still have value attached to them.

3. Refreshed battery life is the key reason

My current AirPods from 2017 still last roughly four hours between charges, which is still impressive, in my opinion. It’s longer than other people I’ve talked to who have told me about battery life issues.

Having a refreshed battery life that goes a full five hours between charges will give me exactly what I need on longer cross-country flights. Someone in my family will find four hours, and eventually three hours, just fine for their purposes.

Other smaller reasons I bought AirPods

  • I’ve been using wireless charging more ever since the iPhone 8 launched with the feature. It’s nice to just drop it on a Qi charging mat and forget about it without having to plug a Lighting cables into the AirPods case.
  • I don’t expect the official ‘AirPods 2’ to launch next year – at best. So now is the right time to get the AirPods 2nd gen. During their first big sale, but not right up against the release date of the AirPods 2.
  • I imagine finding the ‘Hey Siri’ feature useful in New York City. The mic on AirPods picks up speech better than other true wireless headphones I’ve tested. And I’m always carrying things in my hands. Asking to Siri to play a specific song hands-free while walking the NYC streets is going to be a bit, how Apple says, magical.

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Today’s Dell Black Friday in July Mega Deals offers huge savings on the XPS 13 and other great laptops

Dell’s alternative to Amazon Prime Day 2019, the Black Friday in July event has more “Mega Deals” in store for us today, July 16, with some epic savings to be had.

Excitingly, yesterday’s best deal – a £500 saving on the new Dell XPS 13 (our pick for the best laptop) – is still live, so if you missed out yesterday, then you’ve still got a chance to snap up this ridiculous deal.

Every day this week will bring new deals – and we’ll post the best ones so you can quickly and easily snap up the bargains before they sell out.

With each deal only lasting a day, you’ll want to act fast – especially considering the prices on offer.

Here’s our pick of the best Dell Black Friday in July Mega Deals for July 16:

These deals end 11:59 tonight, July 16. While Dell will be lining up more deals for July 17 (and the rest of the week), if you see a deal you like, it’s worth snapping up quickly.

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Amazon’s Alexa might be the first thing you see in a future version of Windows 10

If you’ve chosen to enable Amazon’s Alexa on Windows, you’re in for a bonus: In the future, you may get to talk to Alexa—and not Cortana—while your PC is locked.

Microsoft celebrated Amazon Prime Day by announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18362.10005, a small build in the 19H2 or “Slow” ring. Those updates are part of what you might call the “patch” feature update that’s due this fall, rather than the “new feature” release, or 20H1, due sometime in the spring of next year.

What’s interesting, of course, is that most people would consider talking to Alexa on the lock screen a feature, rather than a fix. (Right?) Alexa is already available as an app for Windows. But Alexa is also a part of Windows, and can be invoked by saying “Hey Cortana, open Alexa.” (Always-on, listening assistants may pose a risk to privacy, as we’ve pointed out.)

By putting Alexa on the lock screen, a Windows 10 PC (with the lock screen enabled) would essentially be an Alexa smart speaker, even when the PC is in sleep mode.

So far, though, we’ve always assumed Cortana’s primacy within Windows. That may end. Build 18362.10005 includes the option of “a change to enable third-party digital assistants to voice activate above the Lock screen.” These options are off by default, and Microsoft won’t necessarily roll them out to everyone right away—or even turn them on after it pushes the update to your PC.

The new build also includes a fix to allow OEMs to reduce the inking latency based on the hardware capabilities of their devices, rather than being stuck with what the operating system decides should be the latency, based on the available hardware.

We’ve wondered about what will happen to Cortana after Javier Soltero, Cortana’s chief, announced his departure from Microsoft last year. But, really? An Alexa-powered Windows PC? The world is changing.

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