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Smart Home

Get a 5-pack of remote-controlled electrical outlets for $21.48

Time for a little old-school smart-home tech. The bundle includes two remotes as well. Plus: four bonus deals!

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.


etekcity-programmable-outlets.jpg
Etekcity

Smart-home tech is expensive and often a pain to set up and use, right?

Not if you go old-school: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Amazon has the five-pack of Etekcity Zap wireless remote-controlled electrical outlets for $21.48 shipped. That's after applying coupon code RBDU6EYQ at checkout.

These are exactly what they sound like: outlets you can turn on or off with the press of a button.

They're ideal for lamps, but can also be used for appliances, outdoor holiday lights and "vampire" devices you don't want sucking down electricity even when they're off.

Each outlet gets paired with each remote via a simple "learning" procedure. Because they rely on RF technology, they have great range -- about 100 feet, according to Etekcity.

I've used these myself; they work extremely well. I think my only complaint is that the remotes lack "all on" and "all off" buttons, which would be nice if you wanted to, say, turn on all the lamps in a room with just a single press.

Anyway, you don't have to take my word: nearly 6,000 (!) Amazon customers collectively rated the kit 4.7 stars out of 5, and those reviews have a Fakespot grade of "A" (meaning those are real people).

This might not be as high-tech as a "smart" outlet, but here you're getting five outlets for about the price of one you can control with your phone. What's your preference?

Josh Miller

Bonus deal: The Huawei Honor 8 scored a lot of fans in 2016, offering pretty amazing bang for the buck. Other unlocked midrange phones are starting to catch up, but it's still a compelling choice -- especially at this price.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, Newegg has the Huawei Honor 8 GSM phone bundle for $239.99 shipped when you apply promo code EMCREBE72 at checkout. That bundle includes not only the phone -- the Sapphire Blue model with 32GB of expandable storage -- but also a Huawei accessory gift box and Monster Ncredible Ntune on-ear wired headphones (a top-rated set that sells for $30 elsewhere -- not $100, Newegg). The Honor 8 originally sold for $400, goodies not included.

The phone is packed with impressive features, including a dual-lens camera, a rear fingerprint reader that's also a programmable button, a 5.2-inch HD screen, USB Type-C and Android 6.0. It's compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile and all other GSM carriers.

Bonus deal No. 2: Game time! Endless Space was one of the top-rated sci-fi strategy titles of 2012, offering challenging nonlinear 4X gameplay "that you can potentially replay for years to come," according to GameSpot's review.

For a limited time, Steam is offering the Endless Space Collection for just $1. It includes the game and a boatload of DLC, the combined value of which is $119.99! Just take note: The consensus among reviewers and players alike is that this is a hard game, one that takes a long time to learn and master. If that's your cup of turn-based tea, then this is the best buck you'll spend all day.

Bonus deal No. 3: Game time, part 2! One of my favorite boardgames is also one of my favorite phone and tablet games. It's normally $7.99, but for a limited time, you can get Ticket to Ride (for Android and iOS) for just $1.99. One caveat: I do agree with some of the reviewers that online multiplayer can be frustrating owing to occasional midgame glitches.

The EarPods with Lightning connector.

James Martin/CNET

Bonus deal No. 4: OK, just because the iPhone 7 lacks a headphone jack doesn't mean you can't use wired 'phones. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Daily Steals has the Apple Earpods with Lightning connector for $17.99 shipped when you apply promo code EARPDS2 at checkout. These are new, Apple-branded earphones with a full, one-year Apple warranty. I have to say, I've long been a fan of the Earpod design, which I find comfortable -- especially for running, as they don't fall out, but do allow for ambient noise (like approaching cars). Apple charges $29.99 for the exact same product.