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Get Smartomi Q5 totally wireless Bluetooth earbuds for $21.19

That's a serious bargain for 'buds like this. Plus: Turn your iPhone into a 360-degree camera for $40.

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. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Twitter!

There's not a wire to be found between these 'buds.


Howdy, cheeps! In case you're wondering about yesterday, I opted out of doing a regular deal in favor of sharing Virgin Mobile's updated $1-phone-service deal -- which originated as a how-to post. That's why there was no bonus deal. But I did share a bonus deal via Twitter -- another reason you should follow me on Twitter!

Not a fan? Then how about Facebook? I just created a Cheapskate page, and if you like and/or follow it, you should see my posts in your feed. This is totally experimental; I've never used FB this way, and I'm still figuring out how best to leverage it for Cheapskate purposes. Hopefully each day's deal post will appear there (as if by magic!), and as with Twitter, I'll occasionally share bonus deals, personal recommendations, etc.

While I fiddle with that, I bring you a rerun of a really popular deal from a few months back. Same product, lower price -- and hopefully some feedback (in the comments) from folks who bought last time.

Cut the cord. No, the other cord.

I maintain that it's time for a new word, be it portmanteau or sniglet. See, when I say "wireless earphones," what comes to mind is "no wire between the earphones and your mobile device."

But today's deal... no wires between the actual earbuds. So they're wireless, but not in the traditional sense. Come on, language, give us something we can use!

Let's table that for a moment. For now, this: You can get the Smartomi Q5 True Wireless Bluetooth Headphones for $21.19 when you apply the promo code 3TOJDKAW at checkout. I have it on good authority that the seller has plenty of inventory -- but I'll go ahead and add the usual "while supplies last."

Given that Apple AirPods sell for $159 and offer a similarly "true wireless" experience, one can't help but feel a bit suspicious about a product that's less than one-seventh the price.

First things first: AirPods rely on a custom wireless technology (Apple's W1 chip), so in theory they're better than Bluetooth at working outdoors and keeping a consistent connection between the two 'buds (a challenge given that your big fat head is in the way).

Second, the AirPods are good for about five hours on a charge, and you recharge them just by dropping them into their carrying case. Battery life here is "close to three hours," according to Smartomi, and there's no charging case. Instead, you use a dual-tip Micro-USB cable.


Presto! Instant 360-degree photos. (Video support coming soon.)


So, yeah, that's the reason these are cheaper than others I've featured here before. You do get a drawstring case, at least.

As for fit, sound and all that, the user reviews tell an important story. There are 373 at this writing -- five times more than last time -- with an average rating that's still 4.4 stars. But I'd really like to hear from you: If you grabbed the Q5 last time around, please let me and your fellow cheapskates know what to expect!

Still, if you've been wanting to experience totally wireless (look-ma-no-wires? wire-a-no-no? iPhone 7-friendly?) earbuds but not wanting to spend $159 for the privilege, this is an awfully low cost of entry.

Bonus deal: I don't know why it's called NoMatterWhat, but there's a new product called NoMatterWhat, and it does something pretty cool: It clips onto your iPhone 7 or 7 Plus so you can take 360-degree photos.

Specifically, it adds wide-angle lenses to both the front- and rear-facing cameras. Using the NoMatterWhat app, you get instant 360s. (No more slowly turning in a circle, snapping frames as you go, like a sucker.)

Currently the company is accepting preorders for late-September delivery. The NoMatterWhat costs $39.99, plus $3.99 for shipping -- but Cheapskate readers can get free shipping by applying promo code CNET10 at checkout. I know it's not much, but, hey, four bucks is four bucks.