Choosing the Best Smart Home Devices for the Holidays of 2019

Best Smart Home Devices
Spread the love

What if all the devices in your life could connect to the internet? Not just computers and smartphones, but everything: clocks, speakers, lights, doorbells, cameras, windows, window blinds, hot water heaters, appliances, cooking utensils, you name it. And what if those devices could all communicate, send you information, and take your commands? It’s not science fiction; it’s the Internet of Things (IoT), and it’s a key component of home automation and smart homes.

Home automation is exactly what it sounds like: automating the ability to control items around the house—from window shades to pet feeders—with a simple push of a button (or a voice command). Some activities, like setting up a lamp to turn on and off at your whim, are simple and relatively inexpensive. Others, like advanced surveillance cameras, may require a more serious investment of time and money.

There are many smart home product categories, so you can control everything from lights and temperature to locks and security in your home. They also happen to make fantastic gifts, whether you’re shopping for the holidays or buying a housewarming present. Here’s a rundown of the best products we’ve tested for every room of the house.

Amazon Echo Family

Amazon Echo Family

The Amazon Echo is a Bluetooth speaker powered by Alexa, Amazon’s handy voice assistant. Alexa works with a number of smart home devices directly, as well as with If This Then That (IFTTT) to control plenty of others via “recipes” you can create yourself. It’ll take some work, but you can use Alexa to control most of the gadgets in your house by the sound of your voice. If you already have a favorite speaker, the inexpensive Echo Dot can connect to it and add Alexa functionality. And if you want a touch screen to see search results and make video calls, check out the Echo Show or Echo Spot.

Wink Hub 2

Wink Hub 2

Our current Editors’ Choice for home automation hubs, the Wink Hub 2 works with devices that use Z-Wave, Zigbee, Lutron Clear Connect, Kidde, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. It is also for the future. That includes just about everything in the smart home spectrum, from Philips Hue lighting and the Netgear Arlo camera, to Google Home. It’s the most reliable, widely supported hub we’ve tested.

Brilliant Control

Brilliant Control

The Brilliant Control is a unique wall switch that uses Wi-Fi to connect to and control various smart devices in your home. It has a 5-inch color touch screen with user-friendly button controls that let you play music, control lighting, set thermostat temperatures, and see who is at your door, among other things. It works with many popular smart home platforms including Ecobee, Nest, Philips Hue, Ring, and Sonos, and it has built-in Amazon Alexa voice support that allows it to do almost everything an Echo device can do. It’s fairly pricey and requires wiring knowledge to install, but it’s a smart addition to a high-tech home.

Logitech Harmony Elite

Logitech Harmony Elite

Don’t like talking and prefer controlling things the old fashioned way: by pushing buttons? The Logitech Harmony Elite is the ultimate universal remote for a reason: it controls a lot more than just TV and stereo. The pricey unit connects with the included Harmony Home Hub to control other Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Z-Wave, or infrared devices in your house.

iHome iSP6X SmartPlug

iHome iSP6X SmartPlug

While we’ve yet to find a smart switch that does absolutely everything, the $29.99 iHome iSP6X SmartPlug comes pretty close. It lets you easily controls gadgets and appliances from your smartphone, while delivering an unparalleled level of third-party smart home integration. Not only does it support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice control, it also works with Apple HomeKit, Nest, Samsung SmartThings, and Wink. It lacks energy monitoring, but makes up for it with robust scheduling options, an intuitive app, and painless installation.

iSmartAlarm iCamera Keep Pro

iSmartAlarm iCamera Keep Pro

The iCamera Keep Pro from iSmartAlarm ($199.99) is a full-featured home security camera that not only works as a standalone device, but can be incorporated into aniSmartAlarm DIY security system. The camera is full of useful features including a powerful 1080p image sensor, motion and sound detection, mechanical pan and tilt, time-lapse and event-triggered video recording, and a motion-tracking feature that allows the camera to follow a person around the room. Throw in free cloud storage, an SD card slot for local storage, and support for IFTTT integration, and you’ve got a killer indoor security cam.

Wyze Cam V2

Wyze Cam V2

When we reviewed the original Wyze Cam, its performance, features, and very affordable price earned it our Editors’ Choice award. With its latest iteration, theWyze Cam V2, the folks at Wyze Labs made some improvements, including motion tracking, enhanced audio capabilities, and a more powerful CMOS sensor. It’s still the smallest home security camera we’ve tested and an incredible bargain at $19.99.

SkyBell HD

SkyBell HD

A different take on the home security camera, the SkyBell HD is a video doorbell that lets you see and speak with whoever is outside. It may look like the originalSkyBell Video Doorbell we reviewed back in 2015, but that’s where the similarities end. This version delivers highly detailed video at 1080p with color night vision,and captures several of seconds of footage prior to a triggered event. It also integrates with numerous third-party smart home devices, and comes with free cloud storage for recorded video, a rarity in this category.

SimpliSafe Home Security System

SimpliSafe Home Security System

If you prefer a DIY approach to smartening up your home security, check out the SimpliSafe Home Security System. SimpliSafe finds the sweet spot between a basic self-monitored DIY security system and a professionally installed and monitored solution. The system is easy to set up and use, and keeps your home safe from intruders and environmental threats like fires and floods. It’s a seamless solution that succeeds quite well at what it sets out to do—secure your home simply and flexibly, letting you monitor everything remotely with (or without) an affordable monthly plan.

Source from: www.pcmag.com


Check the releated smart home device: Xiaomi Mi Smart Water Kettle Review.

Related

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *