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The best tech and gaming deals for Amazon Prime Day 2018

Daniel Howley
Technology Editor

Amazon Prime Day 2018 has arrived, bringing a host of deals on items from smartphones to TVs and everything in between. I’ve been browsing the hundreds of gadgets on sale to give you, dear reader, the best chance of saving your hard-earned cash — and definitely not because I was shopping during work hours.

In previous years Amazon (AMZN) took some heat for touting Prime Day as Christmas in July, but then offering deals on items that made it look more like a cut-rate garage sale. But so far, 2018’s Prime Day looks like it’s mostly living up to the hype. It’s not exactly Santa sauntering in through the front door in Bermuda shorts levels of awesome, but this year’s sale has at least some offerings that are worth your attention.

Smartphones

No, you’re not going to get an iPhone X on the cheap during Prime Day, but you will be able to snag a few handsets at great prices this year.

The Essential Phone, made by the man who brought you the Android operating system, is down from $499 to just $249. The handset has a beautiful design and simple interface that makes it the antithesis of the bloated look of Samsung’s offerings.

The Android-powered Essential Phone is on sale for $249.

If you’re not scared off by the government’s warnings against using Huawei phones, then the Mate 10 Pro is for you. The smartphone, which has been knocked down from $799 to $499, packs a dual-camera setup and excellent display, making it Huawei’s best phone yet.

Huawei’s Mate Pro 10 brings two cameras and a gorgeous display to Prime Day.

Finally, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, one of my favorite phones, is marked down from $949 to $649. The handset, which sports a massive 6.3-inch display and includes the S Pen stylus, is an impressive deal. However, it will soon be replaced by the Note 9 — so shop wisely.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 is on sale for $649.

Gaming

Gamers might be getting the best deals of anyone this Prime Day. From VR to consoles, there’s plenty to get excited about.

First up, Facebook’s (FB) Oculus Rift with touch controllers is marked down from $399 to $349. VR hasn’t quite taken off yet, due to a lack of compelling titles and requirement that you have a beefy PC to power such systems. But if you’re thinking about jumping in, this should be your starting point.

Thinking about getting into VR? Then the Oculus Rift is a good place to start.

There’s not much I can say about “Persona 5” other than simply telling you to buy it. Marked down from $41 to $29, this Playstation exclusive lets you become a high school student who has to battle demons alongside his friends while working part-time and acing his finals. It’s wonderful.

If you can play ‘Persona 5’ and not fall in love with its music, you’re not human.

Fans of the the long-running Dragon Ball series would be doing themselves a disservice by missing out on this deal on “Dragon Ball FighterZ.” Spike your hair and blow past your limits as your recreate some of the most iconic scenes from the quintessential anime.

‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’ will let you live out every battle from the long-running series with plenty of spiky hair to go around.

The best racing game you can buy is “Forza Motorsport 7,” and on Prime Day you can get this Xbox One exclusive for $30 off. Speaking of Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox One, you can snag the Xbox One S for $229 down from $299. With an extra $70 to spare, you can even buy a new game, too. 

The Xbox One S starter bundle is marked down to $229.

Not to be left out of the Prime Day madness, Nintendo’s (NTDOY) own New 3DS XL is also on sale. The go-to mobile game system, the New 3DS XL is my personal cure for the morning commute blues. And for $149 down from $199, it’s not a bad deal.

The New 3DS XL is just the handheld you need to get through your daily commute.

Computers

Don’t expect to find many practical laptops or desktops on sale during Prime Day; those deals will come around during back-to-school season. For now, enjoy the fact that you can save a few bucks on some seriously powerful gaming rigs. The 17-inch MSI GV72 laptop, marked down from $1,499 to $1,399, features a high-powered Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and an Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics chip. It’s gaming nirvana on the go.

MSI’s laptop will give you plenty of power to handle today’s hottest games. But don’t expect to play on the highest settings.

Need a little more oomph for your machine? Then CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme is the beast to check out. Packing an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and an Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics card with 8GB of RAM, this thing will rock your world. And with a price marked down from $1,799 to $1,649, it’ll save you some cash, too.

CyberpowerPC’s Xtreme Gamer desktop is the setup I want in my home.

Smart home

It’s Prime Day, so you know Amazon is going all out with deals on its smart home devices.

The company’s second-generation Echo can bring Alexa voice capabilities into your home for $69, down from $99. That’s a deal worth checking out.

The second-generation Echo is perfect for the person looking to start their own smart home system.

If you’re in the market for a new streaming device, look no further than Amazon’s Fire TV. With 4K, HDR compatibility and a price that’s marked down to $34 from $69, it’s the best deal in streaming right now.

The First TV is so cheap, it’s hard to pass up even if you’ve already got one.

Better still is the Fire TV Cube, which marries a Fire TV streaming device with the power of an Echo in one piece of hardware that connects directly to your TV. It’s your best bet if you’re trying to decide between a new Fire TV or an Echo. And for $89 down from $119, it’s a great price.

Want a Fire TV and an Echo? The Fire TV Cube is what you’re looking for.

Televisions

I love buying a new TV. It’s the screen I look at the most. When I can get the one I’ve wanted at a steal of a price, I love it even more.

There are a number of low-priced TVs on sale for Prime Day. But if you’re shopping for the main television in your home, I suggest spending the extra cash on something you’ll enjoy for years to come.

The 55-inch LG C7 OLED features an OLED panel, which provides deeper blacks and brighter whites than traditional LED screens. That means images will look more realistic and colors more vibrant. At $1,696 it’s not cheap. But considering it’s down from $1,996, you should definitely consider it.

This LG OLED TV is still pretty expensive, but the technology is worth it.

Sony’s X850F doesn’t use an OLED panel, but at 65 inches and down from $1,798 to $1,498, this big-screen TV could make a great fit for your home. Provided you have the room, that is.

Sony’s TV doesn’t offer OLED technology, but it’s sure to impress.

Happy shopping!

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Email Daniel Howley at dhowley@oath.com; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowleyFollow Yahoo Finance on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn