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The smartest smart home devices you can buy right now (winter 2018)

The sale of amateur voice speakers around the globe worldwide has recorded tremendous growth only last year, and the same can be said for the smart home sector as a whole. The technology that underpins the products will continue to improve with price reductions, and new categories will continue to grow, but there are many things worthwhile to invest right at this point.

In view of this, and to ensure that you do not end up with gifts (or are gifted) this season, we've prepared a list of the best smart home devices you can buy. Whether you want to soak your fingers in the water with a cheap Google Home Mini or dive into the depth with smart lights, cameras, thermostats and ringtones, we have covered.

Smart speakers controlled by voice

Best – Google Home Max
Budget Selection – Google Home Mini / Amazon Echo Dot

This first category is often a gateway to other smart home products, and it almost entirely depends on your ecosystem selection. In the US, as in many other countries, there are two different camps – Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. If you choose the one above, there are a number of Google home editing devices at different points, from Home Mini, an old-fashioned, home-made original home, to the best home audio maximum for more than pretty pennies. The home center has arrived as part of a new product category with many of the same features, but later we will get there.

If you go along the Amazon Road, there are similar strings of Echo speakers to suit any need. Echo Dot is a great entry-level unit that can be sold cheaply at $ 29 during sales, and then there are regular Echo, Echo Plus, and even the new Echo Sub, so you can add bass. The choice of the product here most often refers to the price – get the most expensive one you can really afford. If music is a key concern, only Home Max or Echo Plus with Sub will really make their melodies justice, but if you want to be able to set the odd question and control some other connected devices, Home Mini or Dot will only make money punishment.

If you want something with the skills of Alexa or Google Assistant, but built from a company that knows a bit more about sound, including headphones and headphones, as well as speakers, take a look at our guide to the best audio products you can buy right now.


  • Home Mini49 dollars $ 29 (until February 2)
  • At home – 129 dollars
  • Home Max – 399 dollars


  • Echo Dot – $ 29.99
  • Echo – $ 69.99
  • Echo Plus – 149.99 dollars
  • Echo Sub – 129.99 dollars

Smart displays

Best – Easy Leno Display (10 ")
Budget – Google Home Hub

This category has grown to its own last year's post, now that Google has entered the field of the game. Smart screens are essentially a Smartphone Smart Speaker (almost literally with the look of the Google Home Hub). The original Echo show is out of the year, but the first generation was indecent and expensive. The new model looks and sounds better, but has more competition in the Google Assistant Assistant Assistant.

Google's home Hub (above) is the cheapest among them, so it's a good place to start, but Lenovo, JBL, and now LG also have options with cameras for video calls and louder speakers. With the biggest screen (10 inches) and probably the most beautiful design, Lenovo is probably the best bet.

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

Amazon Echo show

  • The second generation – $ 229.99
  • First gene – 129.99

Easy display

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

JBL line view – $ 249.99

LG WK9 ThinQ View

  • FRYS – $ 296.99
  • BiH – $ 246.99

Media stickers

Best – Nvidia Shield TV
Budget – Roku Express

Another new category for this year, for which we could not find space on any other list, is a media streamer. Cheap Google Chromecast is an obvious choice in this space for years, and while it's still fine, there are definitely some better options out there right now, especially if you prefer a physical remote. At the end of the budget, here's the excellent Roku Express, which has a good time with the Google and Amazon apps. If you're heavily bound in the Amazon Premier, Fire TV Stick is just as good, and now there are 4K options that beat the more expensive Chromecast Ultra in terms of features.

If you want the ultimate experience of streaming the media, you will want Nvidia Shield television – it's the best Android TV box (see Ryan's rating if you do not trust me). It handles 4K HDR video content, but it is also capable of streaming gaming device. So if you are overweight for a slightly more expensive edition with the added gaming controller (already comes with a remote control), you will have access to a wealth of entertainment options that rival ATV boxes simply can not overwhelm them.

As a bonus select, why not breathe new life into the old sound system with cheap Chromecast Audio? Connect them through a 3.5mm jack and you can now stream music from a variety of services to your reliable old speakers.

Nvidia Shield TV

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


  • Express – $ 29.99
  • Streaming stick +$ 59.99 49.99 dollars


  • Fire TV stick – 39.99 dollars
  • Fire TV stick + – 49.99 dollars


  • Chromecast Audio 35 $ 15 dollars

Smart hubs

Best – Samsung SmartThings Hub
Extravagant choice – Logitech Harmony Elite

When Google Home or Amazon Echo is not enough for you, it may be the answer. They can combine various prototypes for a smart home such as Z-Wave and Zigbee, which gives you more flexibility than the default WiFi setup. Samsung SmartThings Hub was our top choice this year, and remains the number one thanks to the cheaper third generation device that was launched this year and is still winning the competition.

You may have noticed that there is no budget solution here, and this is because it really is not anything cheaper than the SmartThings Hub that we think is worth buying. If you already have Nvidia Shield TV already, you can turn it into a center with the Samsung SmartThings Link dongle and save yourself a few pennies. If money is not an object and you do not need sensors over Zigbee or Z-Wave, you may be interested in Logitech Harmony Elite, which connects a hub with a powerful universal remote control that can be used to control the whole entertainment system via IR, plus some smart home devices.

Samsung SmartThings

  • Hub – $ 69.99
  • WiFi router with built-in center – $ 119.99
  • Link (for Nvidia Shield) – $ 39.99

Logitech Harmony Elite$ 349

Smart lights

Best – LifX +
Budget – IKEA Trådfri
Extravagant choice – Nanoleaf Cloth or LifX Tile

Connected lights are a useful, inexpensive introduction to the smart home, with many decent options that work with different protocols. Often there is not much between the different brands, most of which can be controlled only with Google Home Mini thanks to WiFi connectivity. Our favorite is LifX +, because it offers more than 16 million colors, but it also improves the night vision of your security camera by providing extra infrared light. If you want something cheaper, the Philips Hue starter kit is a good choice from the mid range, plus it uses ZigBee, so it will continue to work even if your internet gives up. IKEA icons, ipsum switches and switches now work with the help of Google Assistant, so they are a great choice for the budget, although you need to pay $ 30 for Gateway, so it can only be worth it if you want more smart lights and plugs in your home of cheap.

However, we can do better than simply illuminate your home effectively, but with some more elaborate products for creativity. The highest-ranking last year, Nanoleau Aurora (above) is still impressive, but there are some attractive new options. Nanoleaf now has a flat, lightweight square that can be adjusted and reacted to sound. LifX also has similar square boards, as well as light beads of rays and Z LED strips – no corner or crevice in the dark should be left in your home. For gamers there, Philips Hue Play can create ambient lighting to enhance your gaming sessions.


  • Mini White Single –
  • + Single – $ 79.99 $ 59.99
  • Tile kit – 249.99 USD
  • Beam – 149.99 dollars

Philips Hue

  • One bulb – $ 14.99
  • Starter Pack with a bridge – $ 99.99
  • Play (single) – $ 69.99
  • Play (pair) – $ 129.99

IKEA Trådfri


Connectors and switches

The best connector – Wemo Insight
Budget Connection – IKEA Trådfri
Best switch – Ecobee Switch +
Budget switch – Switchbot

If your lights or other devices are not of the smart variety, you can improve their IQ by including them in a smart output. Take this as a fun example of what you can do with your smartphone. They range from basic Wi-Fi plug-ins that can be turned on or off with the Google Assistant Voice command on more sophisticated options like the Wemo Insight Plug that can tell you how much power you use. If you get a smart cable like Kasa from TP-Link, you get six smart places in one. As with the lights, IKEA now offers alluring budget options – especially useful if you already have the Portal.

Another way to turn on and turn off your electronics is to use a smart switch. Just like Philips and IKEA, they also make switches that go with their light collections, but the best is the Ecobi Switch +. It may look a little like an intercom but this luminous basically has Amazon Alexa integrated to be used to control other things around the home.

At the end of the budget, the ingenious SwitchBot is a cute little robot (above) that can be attached to pre-existing silent switches to turn them into memory. It's not the most elegant solution, but it's pretty clever. There is also a light center that looks like a cloud (below), which is what all hubs should look like if you ask me.

Belkin Wemo

  • Plug – $ 29.99
  • Insight plug – $ 49.99


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

IKEA Trådfri

Ecobi Switch + – $ 89.95


  • The button – $ 29
  • Hub – $ 49


Best – Ecobee4
Budget – nest thermostat E.

Not much has changed in the world of smart thermostats, with Ecobee4 still the best from there. It's enabled with Alexa, like Switch +, and comes with more sensors to put around your home for optimum temperature measurements. If you need something to connect using the Google Assistant, the nesting thermostat is your best option, but Nest Thermostat E is the best choice for those who are on the budget.

For those of you who do not live in a home or apartment with channels with thermostats, there are other options for controlling your ductless AC or heat pump. Both Sensibo and Cielo Breez are good options with the help of Google Assistant.

There are also products that will help you regulate more than just the temperature in your home. Netatmo has two interesting products in this area – the Health Care Center trainer measures humidity, air quality, noise and temperature. The more expensive meteorological station is looking at the same metrics with modules for internal and external work, while taking into account internal ventilation and external barometric pressure.

Ecobee4 – $ 239


  • Thermostat E – 169 dollars
  • Learning thermostat – $ 249


  • Healthy Home Trainer – $ 99.99
  • Meteorological station – $ 179.99


Cielo Breez

Security cameras

Best without a plan – Arlo Pro 2
Best with the plan – Cam NQ's nest
Budget – Amcrest

Using connected devices so that we do not have to get off the sofa to turn on the lights, is very good and good, but security in the home is the most reliable use. The Arlo Pro 2 had several initial problems when it first came out, but now leads on the road without a plan, thanks to cameras with batteries that can be located anywhere. If you are ready to pay a monthly subscription, Nest's Cam IQs are full of features, with internal modules offering 4K. "Round 2" on Logitech is a good alternative to mid-range cameras, but if you do not really want to break the bank, Amcrest has a number of cheaper cameras that will still give you peace of mind.

Arlo Pro 2 (2-cam system) – $ 434.99


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

Logs Circle 2 – 149.99 dollars

Amcrest ProHD– $ 59.98


Best – Skybell Trim Plus
Budget – Arlo Audio Doorbell

How the ads will trust us, burglars always first the ring of the door first to see if anyone is at home. Then we present the solution – a smart bell. Something with a camera is the safest option, allowing you to see who is on the door, and then have a two-way conversation with them. Skybell Trim Plus is one of the best, although features among the main players are quite equal – it offers free cloud recording, unlike many rival products in a similar price bracket. If you already have products from a ring, nest or august, they have many similar rings to restore your lineup. If you want some of the smarts for less money, you can get a first-generation first-generation video star for just $ 100. Alternatively, why not try just the sound of a door like this from Arlo. You receive a phone call to your phone when it rings so you can respond faster, plus if you already have three-cameras, you can use it as a video source for the best of both worlds.

Skybell Trim Plus – 199.99 dollars


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

Nest Hi – 229 dollars


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

So you have a smart security camera and door, but you still use an old-fashioned metal key to enter your house as a person from the past – who are you? It's clear that you need a smart lock, and there are some good people out there. Rita last year reviewed this smart Lock on Nuki and said it was the best choice outside of the United States. They have since released a new version. August smart locks are fully equipped and look best in my opinion, so the Smart Lock Pro + Connect WiFi bridge with integration with Alexa is my best choice. Similarly, the nest has teamed up with Yale to lock with Google Assistant smartphones, and Schlage also has an option that works with Google and Alexa settings. The third general regular August Smart Lock without the bridge can be about $ 125 now, making it a good budget option.


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

Node x Yale Lock – $ 279

Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt – 199.99 dollars


Alarm systems

Best – SmartThings ADT
Budget – ring alarm

In this category there was not much movement in the past year, with Samsung's joint effort with the security company ADT and Nest Secure yet two of the best options out there, while the Wink Lookout works well as an alternative to the budget. The ring also released its own alarm system this year, which could be worth checking to see if you're already tied to that ecosystem – it's also far cheaper than its competitors.

Samsung SmartThings ADT starter kit– 199.99 dollars

The nest is safe – 399 dollars

See the sight – 199 dollars

Ring alarm – 199 dollars

For more tips on the best gadgets to buy this season, check out the rest of our 2018 shopping guides, including Best Phones, Best Audio Products, and Best Chromebooks.

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