Prime Early Access Sale is better than we expected - but still shop with caution

A collection of devices on a yellow backgroun with the word's "Prime Day: TechRadar deals"
(Image credit: Amazon/TechRadar)

Amazon's Prime Early Access Sale is here, but it's not what we expected - at all. Sure, at first glance it's no different from any of the mega-retailer's big sales events, serving up a bunch of savings on a bunch of different products across a bunch of categories. But (and trust us, we're surprised by this too) it's far better than we ever imagined it would be.

As with Prime Day proper, this new Amazon sale is a two-day global shopping event that offers discounts to Prime members. But while the summer event has plenty of good deals, they're hidden among countless listings for 5% off no-name headphones. And don't get me started on Black Friday deals, where there are simply so many options that you could spend all week scrolling through them and never reach the end.

Prime Early Access, in contrast, appears to be hitting the sweet spot between big savings and easy browsing, with plenty of great deals but less of the dross. And some of the deals really are pretty special. 

Want proof? Well, air fryers are in the news at the moment, no doubt due to the fact that they can save you money on your energy bills. In the US, you can currently pick up an Instant Vortex 5.7QT Air Fryer Oven Combo for just $69.99, down from $139.99 and in line with its lowest ever price. And in the UK, the InstantPot Duo Crisp + Air Fry is at £128.99, £61 off its usual price. These are both good deals, although the latter has been cut to £99 before.

Or take TVs, which are always popular. With the Qatar World Cup on the horizon, plenty of people will have their eye on an OLED set on the cheap - in which case, check out the 48-inch LG A1 - just $646 in the Prime Early Access sale. Yes, that really is an OLED TV for less than $650, making it the cheapest ever OLED TV we've seen, outside of models we wouldn't really recommend.  

Or, if you have a little more money to spend, the Sony 77-inch A80J BRAVIA OLED 4K Ultra HD Smart TV is $1,999 right now, saving you a massive $1,500. Again, that's the lowest price we've ever seen for this model. To find a 77-inch OLED TV for less than $2,000 is always rare, but to find the excellent A80J at this price is just ridiculous. 

And of course, Amazon has slashed the prices of its own devices, as it always does, bringing down the Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen) to $24.99 and the Fire TV Stick 4K also to £24.99. These prices are unlikely to go any lower on Black Friday.

Good timing

While the Prime Early Access Sale is definitely smaller than Prime Day (and a LOT more manageable than Black Friday), Amazon has been down this route before. Anyone remember Amazon Epic Daily Deals last October? No? Well that's hardly surprising, because that event was flatter than a pancake in a trouser press. The deals were less than epic and for most consumers it barely stood out among Amazon's usual daily deals.

But Amazon seems to have made more of an effort this time round, and that could be because it understands that people have less money in their pockets right now. 

Make no mistake, this new sales event comes at a welcome time. A combination of rising inflation, high energy prices and stagnant wages have left many people with less money to spend than in previous years, in both the UK and US. Any sales event that offers people the chance to buy something they actually need, but for less than usual, is to be applauded. 

Shop wisely

Of course you could say that Amazon is merely creating its own demand, in order to boost its own profits - and obviously that's true. But don't dismiss it based on that alone. So long as you only spend what you can afford, and you limit yourself to things that were already on your shopping list, the Prime Early Access Sale could well help you save money in the long term. 

The other thing you definitely need to do is to approach each deal with caution. Just because the price is reduced, it doesn't mean it's the lowest it's ever been. CamelCamelCamel is your friend here, because this brilliant website will give you a complete Amazon price history for a given product, so you can see at a glance how the current price compares to past sales. If it's not at or near its lowest value, and you don't need it right now, it's probably best to wait. 

It's also worth shopping around, even if the Amazon deal is a good one. The likes of Walmart and Best Buy in the US and Curry's and John Lewis in the UK offer deals year round too, and they may have even bigger savings.

And of course you need to bear in mind that Black Friday is just around the corner. Amazon will undoubtedly cut some prices even further during that event, although some may not change by much.

If you do decide to shop over these next two days, remember that you'll need to be a Prime member to take advantage - but you can get around that by signing up for a 30-day free Prime trial. Just make sure you cancel the trial before it ends, if you don't want to subscribe for the whole year.

Our advice: have a browse through the deals below and if you like what you see, head over to our Prime Day hub for many more. 

Prime Early Access Sale - best US deals right now

Echo Dot (4th Gen): $49.99

Echo Dot (4th Gen): $49.99 $24.99 at Amazon
Amazon's latest Echo Dot smart speaker is back on sale at half price - that's the cheapest we've seen it. In our Echo Dot review, we found it to be reasonably loud and a cheap way to get some smart home tech. You can use it to control your smart home setup, as well as play music, check the weather, set timers, and more, all with simple voice commands.

Fire TV Stick 4K: $49.99

Fire TV Stick 4K: $49.99 $24.99 at Amazon
You can save $25 on the popular Fire TV Stick 4K - it's half-price in the Amazon sale. It gives you 4K streaming, HDR video support, voice control and access to a huge range of content via Prime Video, Netflix and more. We found the interface to be super responsive when we tested it,a and gave the device 4.5/5 stars in our review.

Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker:  $99.99

Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker: $99.99 $49.99 at Amazon
There's a 50% discount on Keurig’s entry-level coffee at Amazon at the moment, taking the price back to $49.99 - which is the lowest we've seen it over the last few years (including on Black Friday). This compact single-serve coffee machine uses K-Cup pods, and it's just 5 inches wide, making it a great fit for space-tight kitchens. It has an average score of 4.6/5 from over 70,000 user reviews on Amazon.

Oral-B Pro 5000 Smartseries Electric Toothbrush: $99.99

Oral-B Pro 5000 Smartseries Electric Toothbrush: $99.99 $59.99 at Amazon
Save $50 -
With five cleaning modes said to remove double the plaque of a manual toothbrush, the Pro 5000 is the slightly cheaper version of Oral-B's Genius X above. Ordinarily half the price, there's less of a gap thanks to the sales, but still worth picking one up should you want a cheaper alternative. 

Instant Vortex 5.7QT Air Fryer Oven Combo: $139.99

Instant Vortex 5.7QT Air Fryer Oven Combo: $139.99 $69.99 at Amazon
Save $70
–  From the makers of Instant Pot comes the Instant Vortex, a smart air fryer that boasts super fast pre-heating, one-touch functionality and easy clean-up. You'll be able to air fry, bake, roast and reheat food items using this all-in-one appliance, which Amazon has reduced to almost half price as part of the its Prime Early Access sale. 

Acer Chromebook 512 Laptop, 4GB RAM, 32GB $199.99

Acer Chromebook 512 Laptop, 4GB RAM, 32GB: $199.99 $79.99 at Amazon
Save $120: This incredible deal gets you a 12-inch Chromebook for just $80. This is perfect for students and kids, and it may be the only laptop under $100 that's worth buying during Amazon's Prime Day Early Access sales.

iRobot Roomba 671 Robot Vacuum: $349.99

iRobot Roomba 671 Robot Vacuum: $349.99 $179.99 at Amazon
Save $170
–  Amazon has knocked an almighty $170 off the normal retail price of the iRobot Roomba 671 robot vacuum as part of its Prime Early Access sale. Perfect for removing debris (including pet hair) from carpets and hard floors, this particular vacuum model is compatible with Alexa devices, and boasts a full suite of advanced sensors to independently navigate under and around furniture.

Apple iPad 10.2 2021 (64GB): $329

Apple iPad 10.2 2021 (64GB): $329 $269 at Amazon
Save $60 -
This is the lowest price yet on Apple's latest baseline entry-level iPad and an absolutely fantastic bargain if you're looking to get a quality slate on a budget. While it's not the speediest tablet in the range, a decent screen, quality design, and fairly speedy chip make this the iPad that suits most people's needs the best. For streaming, shopping, and doing a few light work tasks, it's a great choice.

LG A1 48-inch OLED 4K TV: $1,199

LG A1 48-inch OLED 4K TV: $1,199 $646 at Amazon
Save $553
- This is the cheapest ever OLED TV we've seen (at least, that's actually worth buying). You get the infinite contrast ratio that OLED is famed for, and excellent image processing from LG to make sure that it looks great no matter what you're watching. And the smart TV software is great too, with all your favorite services on board. This size is ideal for a bedroom, office or smaller home/apartment – if you want the most cinematic pictures possible for this price, you won't do better.

Prime Early Access Sale - best UK deals right now

Echo Dot (4th Gen): £49.99

Echo Dot (4th Gen): £49.99 £19.99 at Amazon
Save £30
- Amazon's latest Echo Dot smart speaker is back on sale for a record-low price. In our Echo Dot review, we found it to be reasonably loud and a cheap way to get some smart home tech. You can use it to control your smart home setup, as well as play music, check the weather, set timers, and more, all with simple voice commands.

Blink Mini Camera: £29.99

Blink Mini Camera: £29.99 £19.99 at Amazon
Save £10 -
Today's deals on Amazon devices also feature the entry-level Blink Mini smart security camera on sale for £19.99. That's only £1 more than the record low price, making it a good time to buy the budget indoor camera that works with Amazon Alexa to alert your smartphone whenever motion is detected inside your home.

Fire TV Stick 4K: £49.99

Fire TV Stick 4K: £49.99 £29.99 at Amazon
Save £20
– To stream shows and movies in higher-quality 4K resolution you need to upgrade to the fittingly-named Fire TV Stick 4K. Today's deal is not the lowest price we've ever seen - it's been £7 less in the past - so this is one we'd recommend holding off on buying until Black Friday unless you really want on right now.

Fitbit Inspire 2: £89.99

Fitbit Inspire 2: £89.99 £37.99 at Amazon
Save £52
– The Fitbit Inspire 2 is a simple yet effective fitness tracker for casual athletes and people that want to be nudged towards a healthier lifestyle. It's a shame that the best premium features are locked behind a paid subscription (which you get a one-year trial of with purchase) but it'll still count your steps, prompt you to get active, and track your sleeping habits for free.

Oral-B Smart 6 Electric Toothbrush: £219.99

Oral-B Smart 6 Electric Toothbrush: £219.99 £64.99 at Amazon
Save £155
– One of the best healthcare deals we've seen during Prime Early Access is the discount available on this Oral-B electric toothbrush. For £155 less than you'd otherwise pay, you'll get five brushing modes, real time brushing feedback, gum pressure control and even a travel case thrown in for good measure. Grab this excellent toothbrush deal while you can – it's not likely to last long.

Ring Video Doorbell + Echo Show 5: £164.98

Ring Video Doorbell + Echo Show 5: £164.98 £66.99 at Amazon
Save £98
- Get a huge saving on a beginner-friendly smart home package that includes the Ring Video Doorbell and Echo Show 5. Considering that the doorbell costs £60 by itself, that's a fantastic price for the smart display along with it. Both of them can be paired up, too, so you can see, hear and speak to anyone at your front door using the smart display. It can also be used to play all sorts of entertainment, display your favourite photos, read the news, ping alerts and even control other smart devices in the home.

Nespresso Vertuo Next 11719 Coffee Machine by Magimix: £150

Nespresso Vertuo Next 11719 Coffee Machine by Magimix: £150 £68 at Amazon
Save £82
– This Amazon-exclusive Nespresso coffee machine is a whopping 54% off for Prime Early Access. For just £68, you'll get simple one-button operation, automatic capsule ejection and a five-size cup tray. Bear in mind, though, that the Next 11719 only works with Nespresso Vertuo coffee pods. 

Philips Sonicare Advanced Whitening Toothbrush: £249.99

Philips Sonicare Advanced Whitening Toothbrush: £249.99 £89.99 at Amazon
Save £160
– There are toothbrushes, and then there are toothbrushes. The Philips Sonicare Advanced Whitening Edition is firmly in the latter camp. Amazon has knocked an almighty £160 off its normal price for Prime Early Access, and for that you're getting Bluetooth connectivity, four clean modes and a charging travel case for less than £100.

Google Pixel 6, plus free Pixel Buds: from

Google Pixel 6, plus free Pixel Buds: from £599 £499 at Amazon
Save £100 -
The Google Pixel 6 is still one of the best flagship devices out there, with a fantastic camera and excellent battery life to easily get through a day of use. This deal pretty much matches the cheapest prices we have seen for this device all year and comes with the Pixel Buds included. It's a great deal if you want a top-tier device at a reasonable price. 

Marc McLaren
UK Editor in Chief

Marc is TechRadar’s UK Editor in Chief, the latest in a long line of senior editorial roles he’s held in a career that started the week that Google launched (nice of them to mark the occasion). Prior to joining TR, he was UK Editor in Chief on Tom’s Guide, where he oversaw all gaming, streaming, audio, TV, entertainment, how-to and cameras coverage. He's also a former editor of the tech website Stuff and spent five years at the music magazine NME, where his duties mainly involved spoiling other people’s fun. He’s based in London, and has tested and written about phones, tablets, wearables, streaming boxes, smart home devices, Bluetooth speakers, headphones, games, TVs, cameras and pretty much every other type of gadget you can think of. An avid photographer, Marc likes nothing better than taking pictures of very small things (bugs, his daughters) or very big things (distant galaxies). He also enjoys live music, gaming, cycling, and beating Wordle (he authors the daily Wordle hints page).