Tech

Should You Buy a New TV on Amazon Prime Day?

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day, CNET’s guide for everything you need to know and how to find the best deals.

Here’s the main thing you need to know: Prime Day sales on inexpensive Amazon Fire TVs are generally excellent, but if you want a bargain price on a different TV then your options might be better if you wait until Black Friday.  

That said, Amazon Prime Day is coming up, so if you’re in the market for a new TV, it’s still worth paying attention to the sales. The giant retailer’s annual summer extravaganza won’t have the sheer variety of brands and price drops as Black Friday, or the holiday season later in the year, but if you don’t want to wait for a new screen it’s the next-best thing.

That’s because TV prices follow a predictable pattern. In spring and summer the new 2022 models are first introduced, and that’s when prices are at their highest. The first big opportunity for price drops in a year is often Prime Day, but it’s just a few days long and after it’s over TV prices will remain relatively high until late fall, when the Black Friday sales start. Those sales typically last longer and are spread out among more retailers and brands. 

If you’re considering a new TV on Prime Day here’s some trends to watch for, based on my years reviewing TVs and tracking sales. They’re not set in stone, but they can give you some guidelines going in.

Amazon Fire TVs will predominate

Amazon Fire TV 43-inch 4-Series


Amazon

Prime day deals often feature Amazon’s own gadgets, from Echo speakers to Ring doorbells, and that group includes smart TVs that run Amazon’s own Fire TV system. Featured on brands including Toshiba, Insignia and Hisense, Fire TV is also available on Amazon-branded TVs including the Fire TV Omni and 4-Series. All could receive steep discounts on Prime Day.

Prime Day TV sales will likely include a few non-Fire TV screens too. Samsung, LG, Sony and TCL TVs could get discounts, but they probably won’t be as steep as those offered on Fire TVs. That’s because Amazon tends to favor its own products, especially those that cater to its own ecosystem. That said, many compatible TVs have Alexa voice built-in, including most Samsung and LG TVs, and nearly all smart TVs run the Prime Video app.

Expect lots of smaller, less-expensive TVs

If you’re in the market for a high-performance models such as an OLED TV, or even a midpriced LCD with a few extra bells and whistles like next-gen console gaming support or full-array local dimming, don’t hold your breath. Those features are largely absent on Fire TV models (with one exception) and the non-Fire TVs on sale during prime day are often relatively entry-level too. Sure you might see some exceptions, particularly on 2021 TVs to clear inventory, but smaller, cheaper TVs are the rule.

Check Best Buy, Walmart, Target and other retailers too

Amazon’s competitors also hold sales around Prime Day to hitch a ride on the buzz. Many of them offer TV deals too, and since they don’t have a Fire TV ax to grind, they often feature a wider variety of brands, sizes and feature sets. 

Inflation is a wild card in 2022

TV prices rose for the first time in almost a decade last year and that was before the current spike in inflation. That doesn’t mean you won’t find deals and discounts on TVs during Prime Day and Black Friday, but it could mean prices are a bit higher than in the past. If you don’t find a deal you like on a Prime Day TV, it could be worthwhile waiting until those sales later in the year to pull the trigger. 


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