From the Cheapskate: That's the lowest price I've seen yet on this notification-savvy wrist companion -- and it actually looks like a watch. Plus three bonus deals, including a Motorola G4 Play for $64.99?!
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
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This again. Because at this price, it's too good to pass up.
Today only, and while supplies last, Meh has the Martian Notifier smartwatch for $25, plus $5 for shipping. It's available in your choice of red, white or black, and it originally sold for $130. Amazingly, these are new, not refurbished.
Here's what I've always loved about the Notifier: It actually looks like a watch, so the dork factor is very low -- no one will actually know it's a smartwatch unless you tell them. And if you grow tired of the color, you can easily swap wristbands.
Also, true to its name, the Martian is all about notifications. When something happens on your phone -- a call or text message comes in, a calendar alarm goes off -- the Notifier vibrates. At the same time, the OLED screen displays a scrolling ticker with information about the notification: who's calling, the contents of the message and so on. And thanks to Martian's Android and
apps, you can customize the vibration patterns for lots of different notification types. Even high-end watches from the likes of
don't let you do that.
I'll turn you over to CNET's review for a more in-depth look at the watch. It rightly points out a few imperfections, including the proprietary charging cable (#nerdrage) and splashproof -- not waterproof -- design. To that list I would add the very small display, which makes for challenging reading, especially with longer messages.
On the other hand, the Notifier cleverly relies on two batteries: one for the watch itself (which runs for up to two years), another for the display and notification system (good for about a week between charges). Even if the latter runs out, the watch keeps on ticking.
On occasion I've seen Pebble Time watches selling for as little as $60, a deal that's really hard to pass up. But if you prefer a watch that actually looks like a watch and don't care about custom faces and all that, the Notifier is a killer deal at $25.
Bonus deal: My new mission in life is to get everyone to use some kind of smartphone mount in their car, the idea being to keep the screen up near eye level and more easily accessible. In the past couple weeks I've shared magnet mounts and dashboard mounts, but today we're looking at another option. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Vanksy is offering its universal cigarette-lighter gooseneck mount for $10.99. That's after applying coupon code M4WGAV98 at checkout.
It features dual 2.1A USB ports and a cradle that can hold phones of up to 6.3 inches. Before you buy, however, think about where your cigarette lighter is located and whether you'll be happy with the subsequent position of your phone. In Mrs. Cheapskate's van, for example, this wouldn't work at all -- the lighter ports are down by the floor. But if yours is close to, say, chest height, this might be ideal.
Bonus deal 2: I remember when the CardNinja arrived on the scene a few years ago. I liked the idea -- a stick-on card-or-cash pocket for the back of your phone -- but wasn't willing to pay $20 for it. For a limited time, Amazon has the CardNinja in steel gray for $7.95. (I know the holidays are still two months off, but great stocking-stuffer item!) Many of the other colors/patterns sell for $10-12.
Alas, for me, using one of these would interfere with my other beloved ninja product -- the Ninja Loop -- but if you've tried one before and liked it, let me know in the comments.
Watch this: Motorola Moto G4 Play is a budget phone you'll like
Bonus deal No. 3: I'm kind of scratching my head over this one. Ending soon, Best Buy has the Motorola G4 Play prepaid smartphone for Verizon for $64.99 shipped (plus tax). That's way below Amazon's deal on the unlocked version, which is $99.99 but saddles you with lockscreen offers and ads. Otherwise the phone would run you $150.
So if you're already using
and need a backup phone, replacement phone, extra phone, etc., the G4 Play offers amazing bang for the buck. Read CNET's review (and watch the video above) to learn more.