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Image credit: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

Amazon's holiday bestsellers include smart plugs and toothbrushes

There were some real head-scratchers among the hits.
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Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

Amazon has published its customary holiday stats... and they're not as predictable as you might think. While the company spends much of its time crowing about its own device sales (which, as usual, are mostly meaningless without concrete numbers), it also reveals some decidedly unusual gadget shopping habits. For one thing, smart plugs were oddly dominant: a TP-Link plug was the best-selling smart home device worldwide (including in Amazon retail stores), while the Wemo Mini Smart Plug was one of the top-selling wireless gadgets in the US. This isn't to say that other smart gadgets didn't thrive (Philips Hue ruled the home improvement space), but people were clearly bent on upgrading their wall outlets.

The hottest tech in other categories was decidedly strange at times, too. For instance, the best-selling beauty items were led by toothbrushes -- Philips' Sonicare Diamond rechargeable brush was the top worldwide item, while Oral-B's Black Pro 1000 was one of the US leaders. Robotic vacuums were "among" the bestsellers, as well. Hardware buying habits even spilled over into Amazon's digital media businesses, with an Instant Pot cookbook ruling the Kindle nonfiction charts.

This data doesn't completely reflect the technological zeitgeist, since people will frequently go elsewhere for specific devices (such as Apple, Google and Microsoft). However, it's a reminder that the biggest tech isn't necessarily the flashiest. In many cases, it's simple but functional products that make your life noticeably easier.

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