Should you buy smart home gadgets on day one?

This story is part Amazon Prime DayCNET’s guide to everything you need to know and how to find the best deals.

Amazon Annual First day the sale returns on July 12 and 13, and some offers are already online approaching the event. Unsurprisingly, this includes a handful of deals on Echo speakers and other Amazon devicessome of which are already marked at historic lows.

If you’re an avid Alexa user and want to extend the footprint of the assistant throughout your home, you’ll obviously want to take a look at these deals, but other smart home makers will likely be too. Of the game. Of smart lights at robot vacuum cleanersodds are you’ll be able to find Prime Day discounts across a variety of categories and from competing retailers like walmart, best buy and Target figure to be in the mix with smart home sales of their own.

That said, when it comes to smart home gadgets, the absolute best discounts of the year usually come in November, when Black Friday unleashes a flood of deals aimed at holiday shoppers. Your best bet is to save all major purchases for later – but Prime Day can still be a great time to expand your smart home setup with a new device or two, or to try something completely different. Here’s what you need to know when shopping.

Read more: Best Cheap Alexa Devices of 2022

Prime Day pick-ups are slimmer than Black Friday

Don’t get me wrong, we’re definitely going to see some discounted smart home tech for Prime Day, and some of these deals could be quite tempting indeed. You can already find great deals on smart plugs, smart screens, self-draining robot vacuum cleaners and more, many of which are driving prices for these products to the lowest levels we’ve seen all year.

Historically, however, the best sales of the year come close to the holiday shopping season, especially Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday in late November. Simply put, there is a much, much larger number of buyers willing to spend; in turn, this means that a much higher number of manufacturers are going all out to compete for your dollar.

On top of that, your Prime Day selections are going to lean heavily towards the Amazon side, with many of the best discounts reserved for echo speakers and other Alexa-enabled devices. That’s not all Alexa, though. Echo stuff aside, a good number of these third-party devices will work in Google Assistant smart homes and, in some cases, Apple HomeKit smart homes as well. Meanwhile, other retailers like best buy and Target working to counter-schedule Amazon with its own summer sales could provide additional variety among brands and devices. Still, for the most part, Prime Day’s smart home deals are still going to lean towards Alexa. This may be exactly what you are looking for, but it may not be.

At the end of the day, a deal is a deal, so if there’s a smart home gadget you’ve been wanting to add to your setup and you find it at a nice discount in the next few days, feel free to hit the trigger. But if it’s a major purchase and you’re trying to find the best price of the year, consider holding your fire for Black Friday, when you’ll likely have more options to choose from (and the potential better savings too).

Try to avoid impulse purchases

It happens to the best of us – you don’t buy anything specific, but a big sale is coming and you don’t want to miss it. You see a great deal on a neat product you hadn’t even considered for your home, and all of a sudden it’s on its way to your door. I understand.

With smart home gadgets, however, you’ll want to try and put a little more thought into your purchase. For starters, many smart home gadgets won’t work with all platforms (Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, SmartThings, etc.), so you don’t want to buy something only to find out it doesn’t work. with other devices in your home. And impulse buys will always be somewhat misguided when we’re talking internet-connected tech looking for a place in your home.

Your best plan of attack is to enter Prime Day with a plan. All the offerings aside, was there anything specific you wanted to add to your smart home setup? Maybe you’d like to try out a smart lock that works with your voice assistant of choice, or maybe you’re a smart light user who’d like to add a few extra bulbs to your setup. Either way, understand your options before the sale, then keep your eyes peeled.

Matter, a new universal smart home standard with broad industry support, is set to launch later this year after several delays.

Artwork by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Matter will be a thing, but not quite yet

One of the next big things to pay attention to in the smart home will be Question, a future Wi-Fi-based standard that promises to act as a universal language for gadgets and smart home platforms. All the biggest names are on board, including Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsungand many, many moreso there’s a good chance that Matter’s efforts to standardize smart home connections will have a significant impact once they arrive.

Originally slated for a 2020 release, Matter understandably faced multiple delays due to supply chain shortages and a global pandemic, and the launch is now scheduled for this fall. Some devices including Echo speakers, Nest devices, Apple TV systems, Philips Hue bridges and others could flip the switch on Matter with a simple software update, but we also expect to see lots of new devices touting support for the standard, too.

Assuming Matter launches on schedule, I wouldn’t expect to see too many of these new devices this year. A stellar start to the CES 2023 tech conference seems more likely — an executive involved in the Matter rollout recently told me that January’s tech showcase could be something of a release party for the standard. Time will tell, but at this point I wouldn’t worry too much about trying to incorporate Matter into your Prime Day shopping strategy.

look at this: Matter’s smart home platform could help your devices play together in 2022

Get off the beaten track

One last thing: you don’t need to buy new smart home gadgets on Prime Day to upgrade your smart home. With a wide variety of homewares marked for the occasion, there’s room to get creative in choosing devices that work well with your existing setup.

Here is a simple example. Got an old smart plug in a drawer that you don’t use? Keep an eye out for deals on desk fans or heaters with a physical dial you can leave in the “On” position (devices like these work great with smart plugs that can turn them on and off automatically ). Or maybe someone gifted you a smart sous vide device for your kitchen – Prime Day might be a great time to pick up a sous vide sealer or kitchen torch to go with it.

I’ll be keeping an eye out for sneaky sales of home-adjacent smart gear like this as we sift through thousands of deals to watch for the best Prime Day deals and discounts. If I spot something interesting, you can read all about it in our previews of offers, so stay tuned for those.

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