Thinking of buying a new TV? With this year's Prime Day deals about to kick off (on June 21, to be exact) you may be weighing up whether now is the time to plunge in and use that up carefully-accumulated TV budget.
Amazon Prime Day is an annual event that usually happens halfway through the year – and while in 2020 it was delayed until October, this year sees things return to a usual time frame, and Amazon will no doubt be hoping to reel in budget buyers with a fleet of discounts across its electronics goods.
Prime Day TV deals often see vast amounts knocked off good TVs, and even smaller savings here and there can be the difference between something that's in and out of your budget. But the time of year that Prime Day usually lands means that you're much more likely to get certain kinds of deals than others – and it's worth thinking about why.
A great time to buy older screens – but not new ones
It's a curious time for those looking for a new TV. New screens from the biggest TV brands are still trickling into the market, with TV ranges from the likes of Samsung, LG, and Sony generally launching around May, with lower-end sets coming a little bit later.
Those wanting to make sure they get the latest and greatest screens will have to foot a large bill for the privilege, though, as new 2021 TVs are at their most expensive right after launch.
In just a few months, that could change, as some RRPs start to drop or new screens start getting discounts in the Black Friday deals. Last year's LG CX saw a number of successive price cuts in late 2020 that kept its RRP in the headlines, and likely kept up sales momentum – and we could see a similar pricing strategy from LG this time around.
Of course, you'll have to wait until November to see whether you get what you're after in the Black Friday sales – and you might have missed the boat on a good Prime Day deal in the meantime.
If you're buying a TV in the Prime Day sales, then, it's likely going to be a 2020 screen – as retailers like Amazon will be keen to shift stock of older models while shoppers are still interested and before they start to feel too long in the tooth.
That has some advantages, as any discounts applied for Prime Day will be on top of a reduced RRP, a year after a screen has launched. However, it means you won't be getting the latest specs.
If you're a gamer with a PS5 or Xbox Series X console, you'll probably want HDMI 2.1 support, and whatever gaming-centric features you can get – VRR, ALLM, dedicated game modes, and the like. While we started to see these things appear in earnest in 2020 TV ranges, it's only in 2021 ranges that those specs have been consolidated across mid-range and premium screens.
Sony, for one, offered very piecemeal HDMI 2.1 support in last year's range, despite its gaming arm releasing the PS5 that same year.
So if you want one of the best gaming TVs, you might want to wait until the Black Friday sales – though if you see a 2020 TV with HDMI 2.1 support on sale for Prime Day, or aren't too fussed about the latest specs, this weekend should be a good time to buy. Just make sure you're getting what you need for your current (or eventual) gaming setup.
If you're waiting to buy an OLED TV – just take the plunge
OLED TVs occupy a frustrating price point at times – rarely dropping below the $1,000 / £1,000 / AU$2,000 mark, and often going up to several times that for high-end sets.
We're now at a point, though, where some OLED screens sit around $900 / £900 for a 55-inch size, and can even dip below that in a good sale. Prices will only keep dropping in the coming years, but it's glacially slow enough that we wouldn't really recommend waiting much longer to get your hands on one, especially if you spot a good Prime Day discount.
If you see a budget OLED going for just $800 / £800, or even a mid-range model for $1,200 / £1,200, there's little sense in waiting any longer.
The LG G1 Gallery Series OLED could have repercussions down the line, with its OLED evo technology eking another 100 or so lumens out of its display, but it'll likely take a couple of years for this technology to come to more affordable models.
TechRadar is rounding up all the top deals in the run up to the Amazon Prime Day 2021 sales period, and we’ve put together a hub of all the Amazon Prime Day 2021 news you'll need to prepare yourself for the discount period.
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.