Amazon is holding another “Prime Day” today (12th July), as it offers Prime members a range of discounts across “nearly every category” on the online shop.
“Nearly every category” is code for Amazon flogging off its clearance items from its gargantuan warehouses across the UK, although there are 80 per cent more Prime Day deals this year from Marketplace sellers and more than 30 per cent of offers are being provided by small business sellers.
The date is Amazon’s own attempt to create a Black Friday-like event in the shopping calendar, boosting its sales and its Prime membership sign-ups – customers can sign up to a free 30-day trial at www.amazon.co.uk/primeday.
What does that mean for Amazon Prime Video users?
Not that much: the deals that are offered as part of Prime Day include a selection of HD TV seasons “from £7.99” and HD movies “from £3.99” (including Deadpool for £6.99) exclusively for Prime members.
Predictably, the real offers are located in the hardware selection. Until 5pm, a “lightning deal” (temporary discount) means that you can bag a Sony 40-inch TV for £329, 28 per cent cheaper than normal, while an LG 43-inch 4K Smart TV will set you back £399.99 (33 per cent off) until 7pm.
But the best bargains are actually Amazon’s own Fire TV streaming devices, which Amazon loves to discount whenever possible. That’s probably part of the reason why Fire TV Stick is Amazon’s fastest-selling device ever in the UK, but it’s also because the stick is a genuine contender for the best streaming device currently available.
The stick includes all the major Freeview catch-up services (BBC iPlayer, My5, ITV Hub, All 4), Curzon Home Cinema, MUBI, Netflix and Amazon’s own Prime Video app – one of the only living room devices (alongside Roku) to currently offer it. Best of all is its voice search function that actually works. The Fire TV Stick is available all day for £19.99 (43 per cent off).
Amazon’s Fire TV box, meanwhile, has the same selection of streaming services, but also has a range of games available (there’s an optional games controller) and, most importantly, can support 4k streaming – and Amazon and Netflix already offer a number of original shows in Ultra HD. That’s available all day for £54.99 (31 per cent off).
The only app the two devices are missing is NOW TV, Sky’s contract-free OTT service, which is available on Roku devices and Apple TV. For a budget way to smarten up your TV, though, these are surprisingly good value with a nippy interface. You can read our full review of Amazon’s first Fire TV box here.
The other thing worth noting about Prime Day is that is the last chance to enter The Grand Tour Prize Draw for VIP tickets to a studio recording of Clarkson, Hammond & May’s new car show in the UK later this year. The prize includes travel, accommodation, £200 spending money and a chance of meeting Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. Entry is open until 23.59 on 12th July. Head to www.amazon.co.uk/GTtickets for more information.
Update: This article incorrectly said that Amazon Fire TV was the only living room device to offer Amazon Prime Video. Amazon Prime Video was added to Roku devices last November. The article has been amended to reflect this.