The elusive beast that is Walmart isn’t following the calendar when it comes to Black Friday this year.
We’ve known for a while now that the monster big box store was switching up its Black Friday strategy — the new strategy being to treat the entire month of November as Black Friday. Instead of a single ad scan advertising items that will go on sale near Thanksgiving, Walmart dispersed a ton of special exclusive deals into three events throughout the month. Ads for the first two events (which are now over) came out together, and nearly a month later, the third and final ad hit BlackFriday.com. The last event is completely online and will begin on Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. EST. As a reminder, all Walmart stores will be closed on Thanksgiving.
By “last event,” we mean that this is simply the last in the big string of three. It’s totally possible that Walmart will resurrect some key deals from its first two events (like a $49 Instant Pot or $99 non-Pro AirPods) or throw in some surprises on actual Black Friday, so be sure to check back regularly. All sales are on a “while supplies last” basis.
Walmart’s third ad satisfies our hankering for the last of this year’s biggest items. Like Best Buy and others, Walmart is bringing back the Nintendo Switch Mario Kart bundle that only comes around once a year. But the first page of the ad showcases a deal that other retailers have yet to mention: the biggest discount on the AirPods Pro to date. As of Nov. 25, the AirPods Pro will be $169 — that’s $30 less than their lowest recorded price on Amazon ever, and $80 cheaper than their original retail price of $249. A handful of other deals are Special Buys being made available on Walmart’s site exclusively for the sale event.
Below are the best of Walmart’s Black Friday deals, chosen by us:
OUR TOP PICK: AirPods Pro — $169 (save $80)
The AirPods Pro will officially be just $10 more than the original price of the cheapest AirPods. Given last year’s lack of any real discount on the AirPods Pro, seeing their price drop consistently in the past few months — now to less than $170 — has been a hella pleasant surprise. This level of euphoric silence (achieved through scanning your environment 200 times per second) is rarely achieved with headphones that aren’t over-ear or on-ear. The battery drainage ANC causes is mitigated by the wireless charging case, which lends an additional 18 to 24 hours of juice.
OUR TOP PICK: Nintendo Switch Console + Mario Kart Bundle — $299
Trying to pin down a Nintendo Switch in stock has been a task since the first lockdown — hoping to find one on sale is setting yourself up for failure. The next best thing is the Mario Kart bundle that has been resurrected from last year. For a limited time, you’ll get the red and blue console plus Mario Kart (a must-have that retails at $49.94) for the price of the console by itself.
TV and streaming deals
OUR TOP PICK: Vizio 70-inch V-Series 4K UHD Smart TV (V705x-H1) — $478
2020 is the year of the big, cheap TV. Every retailer will likely have its own version of the 65-inch or 70-inch doorbuster, and Walmart’s is a 70-inch from Vizio for less than $500. Vizio, an increasingly powerful presence in the 4K TV market, has packed local dimming, solid imagery, and Dolby Vision into its baseline TVs — and potentially a more reliable purchase than the absolute cheapest Roku TV you can find.
This 70-inch V-Series is a Special Buy released specifically for Black Friday and doesn’t have an official discount listed. Comparing it to an almost-identical V-Series model on Vizio’s website, savings are approximately $181.99.
OUR TOP PICK: Fitbit Inspire 2 — $69 (save $30)
Fitbit returned to its roots with the release of the Inspire 2 in August 2020. It meshes the simplicity of that recognizable, skinny bracelet tracker, plus high-end hardware like a heart rate monitor. See your different heart rate zones that determine when you’ve hit fat burn or cardio mode, or your Active Zones, which determine just how hard you’re pushing yourself after switching zones. A free one-year trial of Fitbit Premium is included with your purchase.