Before we get to our picks for the best smart home devices, remember, Amazon, Google, and Apple each released new sets of smart home speakers over the last year. The best smart home devices let you turn lights on from a smartphone, use Alexa (or Google Assistant or Siri) to stream music to your speakers, remotely lock your doors, declutter your house, and much more. Amazons Alexa supports tons of smart home gadgets, and Amazons Echo can hook up with any and all of them to help transform your house into a smart home.
Google and Amazon pioneered smart home gadgets with their respective virtual assistants–Google Home and Alexa–whether that is with smart speakers, robotic vacuums, or AI-learning thermostats. Both are compatible with various smart home products, from lights to robot vacuums, but there are some devices that are best for Google or Amazon. If you want Nest, and know that you want a compatible smart assistant as well, Google Home is a great choice because they both work together.
Google and Amazon Smart Gadgets For Your Home
Googles smart home gadgets division, Nest, is most known for its smart thermostat, but also makes smoke alarms and CO detectors, all of which are under the Nest Protect brand. What sets Googles Nest Learning Thermostat apart from the other smart thermostats on the market is that it is simple to install, it is controlled from anywhere thanks to a compatible app, and can also be adjusted via voice commands via Google and Alexa. Anything that is connected to it can be turned on/off using either the included app, or with the help of smart-speaker assistants such as the Google Assistant or the Amazon Echo.
Having a smart speaker does not just bring the entire smart home experience to a new level thanks to the voice-activated controls, it also acts as the hub for all of your other devices if you have Google Home or Amazon Echo. From security cameras to smart light bulbs, almost any Internet-connected device you can control through an app is good enough to start you off your smart home journey.
Echo Show 8
When testing out the best smart displays for 2022, we found that the Amazon Echo Show 8 was the overall winner thanks to its security cameras (which you can toggle on and off if you do not want to feel watched over by the device), its ability to video call, and the myriad, myriad entertainment options it offers, from streaming services to more recipes than you can count.
As popular as Amazons Alexa speakers are, when we tested all of the trendiest smart speakers on the market, the Bose Home Speaker 300 came out on top thanks to its compatibility with both Alexa and Google Assistant, physical preset buttons, and its pairing with Bluetooth. When researching and testing the 2022s most popular smart home alarms, we found that Googles Nest Protect reigned supreme thanks to a wide range of models (allowing for either battery-powered or hardwired devices), its ability to pair with Android and iOS devices, and its easy, fast setup.
Samsung Smart Home Gadgets
Samsung also sells an array of add-on products to SmartThings to help expand your smart home experience, including motion sensors for lights and cameras, smart light switches, and more. Amazons smart speakers and displays also support the Zigbee smart home protocol, and some devices even come with built-in smart home hubs. Arlo bulbs are also compatible with a wide variety of smart home systems, including Alexa, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, Google Assistant, and Nest.
Engadgets favourite smart lighting products are by Philips Hue, and its LED Smart Button Starter Kit for White & Color Ambiance is an especially nice entry point, since it includes three Philips Hue LED White and Color Ambiance 60W LED smart bulbs; the Hue Hub, which lets you control up to 50 lights; the Hue Hub, which lets you control up to 50 lights; and a smart button, should you wish you could switch the lights on without having a phone nearby.
Samsungs SmartThings works with a wider range of devices, and it now has WiFi built-in, so you do not have to connect to a router; that makes it easier to position around the home to get the best connectivity with all of your smart home devices. Chamberlains smart garage hubs not only can warn you if there is fire, or if there is a buildup of CO inside the home, they can also connect with their smart thermostat, through Google Assistant, and automatically turn off the heating if that happens.
A lot of your decision comes down to what platform of smart home you prefer — you want to purchase devices compatible with your voice assistant, so that you can set up routines or operate gadgets hands-free. Check out prices Keep in mind the Echo is best for people who already commit to the Amazon Alexa ecosystem, or just want the platform with the most support for the most range of smart home devices. Apple HomePod Mini 4.0 The Apple HomePod mini speaker offers Siri voice assistant and smart home controls in a cute little sphere design, for only $99, but the Alexa provides significantly more audio capability for the same price.