With Mother’s Day less than a week away, now is the time to order something if you haven’t already. Fortunately, choosing the perfect gift has been made easier as the holiday coincides with lots of irresistible deals on the latest Apple tech. We’ve rounded up the absolute best discounts that we can find on the Apple AirPods (2nd Gen), AirPods Pro, Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 5, iPad 10.2, and iPad Mini so you can fulfill mom’s wish without breaking the bank.
Apple AirPods (2nd Gen) — from $136
What’s the difference between the first and second generation of AirPods beside the wireless charging case upgrade? Not much, to be honest. They look exactly the same, although there are some notable improvements underneath the hood of the second-gen, including the H1 chipset, longer talk time, and support for voice-activated Siri. They also remain ridiculously easy to operate and set up for iOS devices, although the lack of waterproofing or workout features is baffling considering the price point (you can take the Galaxy Buds to the gym, and they cost less). Right now, you can get the AirPods 2 with the standard wired charging case for $136 (down from $160) at Verizon and $170 (down from $200) for those with a wireless charging case.
Voice-activated control is now possible with the AirPods 2. You can thank Apple’s new H1 chip for this, alongside lower gaming lag, and its “50% faster” connection for phone calls — although we didn’t really notice any difference compared to other true wireless earbuds, including the original AirPods. Despite all these extremely welcome new additions, it’s hard to forgive Apple for the fact that it still hasn’t made the AirPods sweatproof. For that, you’ve got to pay a premium price for the Airpods Pro, which also boast active noise canceling. When it comes to sound quality, the AirPods 2 fall under the “Not bad” category. It reminded us a lot of the wired EarPods. It’s far from terrible, and we do appreciate the softness and warmth it lends to certain songs, but that’s not exactly what you’re looking for when you’re listening to hip-hop, rap, and other beat-driven genres. You get a modest update with the AirPods 2. If you’re an iPhone user, these are the best true wireless earbuds to get, especially if you’re after convenience. If you already have the old AirPods, you don’t need to buy these.
AirPods with Charging Case — $136, was $160:
AirPods with Wireless Charging Case — $170, was $200:
— $225, was $250
It’s probably pretty obvious that we weren’t all that impressed with the standard AirPods. There are just several other true wireless earbuds out there that offer better value for your hard-earned money. So when Apple announced it was going to release the souped-up AirPod Pro, we were naturally skeptical. Will they be able to deliver this time and improve on all the areas that the AirPods failed at? The answer is a resounding yes. The AirPods Pro are shockingly good and a huge win for Apple. Their sound quality has improved tremendously, their noise-canceling is spectacular, and they’re extremely comfortable to use even for a long time. The only problem we foresee is their questionable long-term battery life. Right now, you can score the AirPods Pro at Verizon for $225 instead of $250 – a cool $25 off.
The AirPods Pro inherit the original AirPods’ controls which means they’re ridiculously easy to operate and, as expected, Siri is always listening and ready to obey your every command. As with most true wireless buds with active noise-canceling, you have the option to either shut noise out or let it all in. Apple calls the latter feature “Transparency Mode” and activating this allows sounds from the outside world to arrive in a very natural way, almost as if you’ve taken the buds themselves out. Noise-canceling is decidedly top-notch and almost on par with what over-ear ANC headphones offer. Last but certainly not least, the AirPods Pro deliver a pretty impressive sonic performance. Their sound signature is terrific, rich in subtle details with some zesty treble, rounded-up by a full-bodied bass. We tip our hats to the Apple AirPods Pro. These are absolutely the best true wireless earbuds that you can get if you’re an iOS user. Get them for $225 at Verizon today.
– $179, was $199
Syncing the Apple Watch Series 3 to your iPhone via Bluetooth allows you to receive real-time notifications and music playback control. You can get notified of calls, text messages, and social media alerts even if your phone is tucked away in your bag. This smartwatch doesn’t have a built-in eSim card, though, so you cannot make phone calls on your wrist. For that, you need to spend a few extra bucks and get the cellular version.
The Apple Watch Series 3 is a very reliable fitness tracker. It boasts a gamut of health-centric sensors, including a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, and gyroscope. With this watch you can track a multitude of activities, including walking, running, swimming, and cycling. When you’ve been sitting for too long, this watch will remind you to get off your feet and take a brief walk. It also helps you relieve pent-up stress through the Breathe mindfulness feature. All health stats and metrics are aggregated in the Activity app. Even though it’s not the latest or the most feature-packed Apple Watch, the Series 3 is great value for your money. It is currently on sale on Best Buy for just $179.
— $250, was $330
The standard iPad’s bezels are still obscenely large (slimming them down would have made it look a tad more contemporary), but this tablet now boasts a bigger 10.2-inch screen compared to the previous model’s 9.7-inch display. In comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6’s trimmed bezels look fetchingly modern, and so do those of the iPad Pro. None of this means that the iPad feels cheap, though. It has a nice substantial weight to it, plus it sports a 100% recycled aluminum enclosure which is good for the environment. Instead of Face ID, which remains exclusive to the iPad Pro and the latest iPhones, you get Touch ID, although that’s not exactly a deal-breaker for most users. What sets this apart from the older iPad 9.7 is support for the Smart Connector so you can use it with Apple’s Smart Keyboard (sold separately).
Strangely, the iPad 10.2 didn’t get a processor upgrade, unlike the rest of the iPad lineup, which now boasts the A12 Bionic chipset. However, this tablet’s A10 Fusion processor still packs plenty of power. Multitasking with several apps open won’t be an issue, and navigating the new iPadOS is buttery smooth. The previous iPads ran with just a slightly altered version of the iOS, but the iPadOS is an entirely different beast. You have the ability to use multiple apps in the Slide Over menu, a revamped home screen layout that includes the Today View widgets, desktop-grade Safari, and multi-window apps. You can now even use Split View on the same app, like having two Google Docs open side by side. Despite its shortcomings, the iPad 10.2 is the best tablet that you can buy on a limited budget. It is powerful, has a fantastic operating system, and serves up solid battery life. You can get it with 32GB of memory at Best Buy for just $250 instead of $330.
— $349, was $399
The biggest difference between the Series 5 and the previous Apple Watch iterations is its always-on display. It will always show the time and you no longer need to raise your wrist in order to wake the screen up. This might sound a tad silly and inconsequential, but having to raise your hands quite unsubtly isn’t appropriate at all times, so we appreciate the slight upgrade. Workout stats are also immediately shown as soon as you start exercising. For example, do some push-ups and the Watch will automatically display the corresponding metrics. There are plenty of watch faces to choose from, with designs that range from the elegant to the quirky. And if you’re thinking that the always-on display will take a serious toll on the battery life, don’t fret. It’s possible to get a full day and a half out of a single charge. Recharging takes about an hour.
The Series 5 also has an internal compass, an even more powerful S5 processor, and a much larger storage capacity. The interface is fun and simple to use. Using the digital crown to zoom in and out of the app screen is great, and the haptic feedback provides an impressively tactile experience. All your basic fitness-tracking needs are covered, plus a few more. It takes care of steps, calories, hourly movement, relaxation, VO2 Max data, hours spent standing, and workout tracking for a range of sports including swimming and biking, and it even handles more unusual activities like yoga and elliptical training. The Apple Watch Series 5 is nearly perfect and is the best smartwatch that you can buy right now. Get it at Best Buy for $349 instead of $399.
— $349, was $399
The iPad Mini sports a nearly identical design to its predecessor. The bezels are still as chunky as ever, which is baffling considering the rest of the world’s gadgets, including the iPad Pro, have moved on from this outdated design trend. Nevertheless, the iPad Mini is still the best tablet that you can get for its size. It offers speedy performance, fluid software, and a gorgeous display. It’s also the most affordable option in Apple’s tablet lineup. Right now, you can purchase the iPad Mini with 64GB of memory on Amazon for $349 instead of $399 – a cool $50 of savings.
This tablet is powered by the same chip that’s inside Apple’s latest iPhones — the A12 Bionic processor — which is still one of the fastest mobile processors on the market. It won’t perform as well as the latest iPad Pro’s A12X Bionic chip, but it’s still impressively fast. If you’re looking to do some light editing work on Adobe Photoshop or Premiere Rush, you won’t encounter any problems, although the tiny screen might be an issue. With a tiny 7.9-inch screen and a product weight of just 0.66 pounds, the iPad Mini is ideal for those who travel a lot and don’t want their hands to grow weary with prolonged use. Get one for $349 on Amazon today.
Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.
- Best cheap Apple deals and sales for May 2021
- Best cheap wireless headphone deals for May 2021
- Best cheap AirPods deals for May 2021: AirPods and AirPods Pro
- Best cheap Apple TV deals for May 2021
- The best iPad (2018) screen protectors