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The Best Smart Home Devices You Can Buy Now (Winter 2018)



The worldwide sale of intelligent speech assistants has grown tremendously in the last year alone, and so has the whole of smart homecare. The technology on which the products are based will continue to improve with falling prices, and new categories will become more important, but there is plenty worth investing in at this moment.

With that in mind and to make sure you win If you did not give (or gift) a dudel this holiday season, we've put together a list of the best smart home devices you can buy. Whether you want to dip your toes in the water with a cheap Google Home Mini or dive into the deep with smart lights, cameras, thermostats and doorbells, we've got it all.

Voice Controlled Intelligent Speaker

The Best – Google Home Max
Budget Choices – Google Home Mini / Amazon Echo Point

This first category is often the gateway to other smart homes products. and it depends almost entirely on your choice of ecosystem. In the US, as in many other countries, there are two different camps – Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. If you choose the former, there are a number of Google Home devices at different price points, from the wallet-friendly Home Mini to the aging original home, to the audiophile, agreeable Max, which costs more than a penny. The Home Hub was part of a new product category with many of the same features, but we'll come back to that later.

If you go down the Amazon route, there is a similar array of echo speakers that will adapt to your needs. The Echo Dot is a great entry-level device available for $ 29 during sales hours. Then there's the regular echo, echo plus, and even the new echo sub, so you can add some bass. Product selection is usually about the price – the most expensive you can afford realistically. If music is a central concern, only the Home Max or Echo Plus with Sub will really live up to your music genre. However, if you only want to have the opportunity to ask the odd questions and control other connected devices, a Home Mini or Dot is the right choice Just fine.

If you want something with Alexa or Google Assistant features, but are built by a company that knows a little more about sound, including headphones and earphones, as well as speakers, take a look at our offerings Guide to the best audio products you can buy now.

Google

  • Home Mini $ 49 $ 29 (until February 2)
  • Homeland – $ 129
  • Max at home – $ 399

Amazon

  • Echo Point – $ 29.99
  • Echo – $ 69.99
  • Echo P L US – $ 149.99
  • Echo Sub – $ 129.99

Smart ads

Best – Lenovo Smart Display (10 ")
Budget – Google Starter Hub

This category has changed from the last post of this Google post to a own developed has entered the playing field. Smart displays are essentially a smart speaker with a glued-on screen (almost like the look of the Google Home Hub). The original Echo Show was more than a year on the market, but the first generation was meaningless and expensive. The new model looks better and sounds better, but there is more competition in the Google Assistant Smart Display area.

Google's own Home Hub (above) is the cheapest among them, so this is a good start. Lenovo, JBL and now also LG have options for video calls with cameras and louder speakers. With the largest screen (10 inches) and probably the most beautiful design, the Lenovo is probably the best choice.

Google Home Hub – $ 139 from Google, $ 149 elsewhere

Amazon Echo Show

  • 2. Generation – $ 229.99
  • . 1 Gene – 129.99

Lenovo Smart Display

  • 10 inch – € 249.99
  • 8-inch – $ 199.99

JBL Link View – $ 249.99

LG WK9 ThinQ View

  • FRYS – $ 296.99
  • B & H – $ 246.99

Best – Nvidia Shield TV
Budget – Roku Express

Another new category for this year, for which we could not find a seat in any other room List, is Media Streamers. The cheap Google Chromecast has been the obvious choice in this area for years, and while it's still fine, there are definitely some better options right now, especially if you prefer a physical remote. In budget, there is the excellent Roku Express, which works well with both Google and Amazon apps. If you're strongly committed to Amazon Prime, a Fire TV stick is just as good, and both now have 4K options that outperform the more expensive Chromecast Ultra in terms of features.

If You Want For the Ultimate Media Streaming Experience, You Should Want An Nvidia Shield TV – It's The Best TV For Android TV (See Ryan Again If You Want Me not to believe). It handles 4K HDR video content, but is also a capable device for streaming games. So if you clunk up for the slightly more expensive edition with the added gaming controller (which already comes with a voice remote), you'll have access to a wealth of entertainment options that rival ATV boxes just can not beat.

As a bonus, why not breathe new life into an old sound system with a cheap Chromecast Audio? Connect them via a 3.5mm jack plug, and you can now stream music from a range of services to your trusted old speakers.

Nvidia Shield TV

  • with remote control – $ 179.99
  • with remote control and controller – $ 199.99

Roku

  • Express – $ 29.99
  • Streaming Stick + $ 59.99 $ 49.99

Amazon

  • Fire TV Stick – $ 39.99
  • Fire TV Stick + – $ 49.99

Google

  • Chromecast Audio $ 35 $ 15

Smart Hubs

Best – Samsung SmartThings Hub
Extravaganza – Logitech Harmony Elite

If a Google Home or Amazon echo is not enough for you, then it could be a hub The answer is not enough You can combine various smart home protocols such as Z-Wave and Zigbee, which makes them more flexible than a standard WLAN configuration. Samsung's SmartThings Hub was our # 1 choice this year and remains # 1 thanks to a cheaper third-generation device that hit the market this year and is still the competition.

You may have noticed that there is none Here's the budget, and that's because there really is nothing cheaper than the SmartThings Hub, which we think is worth buying. If you already have an Nvidia Shield TV, you can turn it into a hub with the Samsung SmartThings Link dongle and save yourself a few pennies. If money is not an object and you do not need sensors via ZigBee or Z-Wave, you may want to consider a Logitech Harmony Elite that connects a hub to a powerful universal remote that lets you control all your entertainment with IR. plus some smart home devices.

Samsung SmartThings

  • Hub – $ 69.99
  • Wi-Fi router with integrated hub – 119.99 US dollars
  • Link (for Nvidia Shield) – $ 39.99

Logitech Harmony Elite $ 349

Intelligent Lights

Best – LifX +
Budget – IKEA Trådfri
Extravagant Pimple – Nanoleaf Canvas or LifX Tile

Connected bulbs are a useful, inexpensive smart home with many decent options that work with different protocols. Often there is not much between different brands, most of which can only be controlled with a Google Home Mini thanks to the WiFi connection. Our favorite is the LifX +, as it offers more than 16 million colors and enhances the night vision of your security camera with additional infrared light. If you want something cheaper, a Philips Hue starter kit is a great choice for the middle class. It also uses ZigBee, so it works even if your Internet goes down. IKEA's cost-effective bulbs, dimmers and switches now work with Google Assistant. They are therefore a good choice for the budget. However, you must spend $ 30 on the gateway. So it's worth it only if you want more Smart Lights

We can do better than just lighting your house effectively, but with some more complicated products designed for creativity. The Nanoleaf Aurora (above) last year is still impressive, but there are also some attractive new options. Nanoleaf now has the canvas, a light square that can be adjusted and respond to sound. LifX also has similar tile squares and beam bars and Z-LED strips. There are no corners and edges in your house in the dark. For the players out there, the Philips Hue Play can create a backlight to enhance your gaming sessions.

LifX

  • Mini White Single –
  • + Single – $ 79.99 $ 59.99
  • tile kit – $ 249.99
  • Beam – $ 149.99

Philips Hue

  • Single Lamp – $ 14.99
  • Starter Pack with Bridge – $ 99.99
  • Play (single) – $ 69.99
  • Game (Pair) – $ 129.99

IKEA Trådfri

Nanoleaf

Plugs and switches

Best Connector – Wemo Insight
Budget Connector – IKEA Trådfri
Best Switch – Ecobee Switch +
Budget Switch – Switchbot

Other Gadgets Are Not Included intelligent variant. You can improve your IQ by connecting it to a smart power outlet. Take this as a fun example of what you can do with a smart plug. They range from simple Wi-Fi connected plugs that can be turned on or off with a Google Assistant voice command, to more complex options like the Wemo Insight Plug that let you see how much energy you're consuming. If you get a smart power strip like the TP-Link Kasa, you get six smart power outlets in one. As with the lights, IKEA now offers tempting budget options – especially useful if you already have the gateway.

Another way to turn your electronics on and off is to use a smart switch. Philips and IKEA also have switches that fit their light collections, but the best is the Ecobee Switch +. It may look a bit like an intercom, but this light switch basically has Amazon Alexa, so it can be used to control other things in the home.

On budget, the ingenious SwitchBot is a bewitching little robot (above) that can be hooked up to pre-existing, dumb switches to make it smart. It's not the most elegant solution, but pretty clever. There is also an illuminated hub that looks like a cloud (below). That's the way all hubs should look if you ask me.

Belkin Wemo

  • Plug – $ 29.99
  • Insight Plug – $ 49.99

TP Link

  • Mini Smart Plug – $ 15.82
  • Kasa Powerstrip – $ 79.99

IKEA Trådfri

Ecobee Switch + – $ 89.95

Switchbot

  • button – $ 29
  • Hub – $ 49

Thermostats

Best – Ecobee4
Budget – Nest Thermostat E

In the world of intelligent thermostats, not much has changed, the Ecobee4 is still the best. It's Alexa-ready, like the Switch +, and has multiple sensors that you can place in your home for optimal temperature measurements. If you'd like to include something in the Google Assistant, the Nest Learning Thermostat is the best option, but the Nest Thermostat E is the best choice for budget travelers.

For anyone who is not in a house or apartment with thermostats with ducting, there are other options for controlling your ductless AC or heat pump. Both Sensibo and Cielo Breez are good options for assisting Google Assistant.

There are also products that allow you to regulate more than just the temperature in your home. Netatmo offers two interesting products in this area: The Healthy Home Coach measures humidity, air quality, noise and temperature. The more expensive weather station will take into account the same metrics as interior and exterior modules, taking into account the internal ventilation and the barometric air pressure.

Ecobee4 – $ 239

Nest

  • Thermostat E – $ 169
  • Thermostat learn – $ 249

Netatmo

  • Healthy Exercise Bike – $ 99.99
  • Weather Station – $ 179.99
    Sensibo

    Cielo Breez

Surveillance Cameras

Best without plan – Arlo Pro 2
Best with Plan – Nest Cam IQ
Budget – Amcrest

The use of connected devices that We do not have to get up from the sofa to turn on the light, everything is very good and good, but home safety is probably the most valuable use case. The Arlo Pro 2 had a few teething troubles the first time it came out, but it's the no-plan area thanks to its battery-powered cams that can be placed anywhere. When you're ready to pay for a monthly subscription, Nest's Cam IQs provide many features. The indoor modules offer 4K. Logitech's Circle 2 is a good mid-range single-cam alternative, but if you really do not want to break the bank, Amcrest offers a range of cheaper cameras that can still give you peace of mind.

Arlo Pro 2 ( 2-Cam System) – $ 434.99 [19455910] Nest

  • Cam IQ Indoor – $ 299
  • Cam IQ Outdoor – $ 349

Logi Circle 2 – $ 149.99

Amcrest ProHD – $ 59.98

Door Bells

Best – Skybell Trim Plus
Budget – Arlo Audio Doorbell

As the commercials make us believe, burglars always ring first when someone is at home. Then the solution will be presented to us – a smart doorbell. Something with a camera is the safest option, with which you can see who is at the door, and then have a conversation with them. The Skybell Trim Plus is one of the best, although the features among the main players are pretty much the same – unlike many competing products in a similar price range, it offers free cloud shots. If you already have Ring, Nest or August products, they have very similar doorbells to complete your lineup. If you want some of the smarts for less money, you can purchase a first generation Ring Video Doorbell for as little as $ 100. Alternatively, you can also try out an audio doorbell like this one from Arlo. When the phone rings, you will receive a phone call so that you can answer faster. If you already have a porch camera, you can use it as a video feed for the best of both worlds.

Skybell Trim Plus – Ring

  • Video Doorbell – $ 99.99
  • Video Doorbell 2 – $ 199.99
  • Video Doorbell Pro (with cloud storage) – $ 249.99

Nest Hello – $ 229

Castles

Best – August Smart Lock Pro + Connect
Budget – August Smart Lock

So you have a smart security camera and a doorbell, but you're always use another old-fashioned metal key to enter your house like a man from the past – who are you? Of course you need a smart lock, and there are a few good ones. Rita reviewed the Nuki Smart Lock this year and says it's the best choice outside the US. Since then they have also released a new version. The smart locks from August are fully equipped and look the best in my opinion. That's why the Smart Lock Pro + Connect WLAN bridge with Alexa integration is my first choice. Similarly, Nest has teamed with Yale to obtain a Google Assistant ban, and Schlage also has an option that works with Google and Alexa setups. The third-generation regular August Smart Lock without Bridge is now available for about $ 125, making this option a good budget.

August

  • Smart Lock Pro + Connect – $ 232.95
  • Smart Lock – $ 124.87

Nest x Yale Lock – $ 279

Beat Connect Smart Deadbolt – $ 199.99

Nuki

Alarm Systems

Best – SmartThings ADT
Budget – Ring Alarm

There was not much movement in this category last year. Companies ADT and Nest Secure are still two of them best options, while Wink Lookout is well suited as an inexpensive alternative. Ring also released its own alarm system this year, which is worth checking to see if you're already involved in this ecosystem – it's also far cheaper than its competitors.

Samsung SmartThing's ADT Starter Kit – 199.99 $

] Nest Secure – $ 399

Wink Lookout – $ 199

Ring Alert – $ 199

Other Best Gadgets to Buy These Gadgets At Christmas time, check out the remaining 2018 purchase guides, including Best Phones, Best Audio Products and Best Chromebooks.


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