8 Best Smart Home Devices You Can Buy
1. Amazon Echo Plus
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Probably the best smart home hub at this moment the Amazon Echo Plus is a tempting buy. Many people believe Amazon kick-started the smart home revolution that has dominated our lives for the past few years with it’s Echo speaker, inspiring similar devices from Google, Apple and Samsung. The 2nd Generation Echo Plus is their best Echo so far offering thousands of voice commands to help you play your favourite tunes (via Amazon’s best quality Echo speaker yet) or tell you the weather, the Echo Plus also comes with its own smart hub meaning you don’t need any other hubs for your smart home devices. Of course, most home gadgets are also compatible with Alexa too!
2. Nest Learning Thermostat E
In the ever-growing competitive market of smart thermostats, the Nest Thermostat E manages to come out on top. With all the features of the original Nest, this new version is made from better quality materials and offers a ‘less vivid’ display. Working seamlessly with other Nest devices such as Nest Protect and Nest security cameras, other smart home devices can also be connected to the Nest E. The Nest E of course can be connected to a large range of home heating systems and is very simple to use, the Nest E also learns your family’s heating routines and makes heating your house much cheaper to run.
3. Phillips Hue
Smart lighting has to be high on any homeowners list, Phillips has been leading the market for years with their Hue range. With a revamped app adding even more functionality to your home lighting. With Alexa and Google Assistant voice control Hue can also be controlled with many 3rd party apps. Hue can be integrated with other systems such as HomeKit and SmartThings, and the range of bulbs available is ever-growing, Hue is the king of smart lighting at the moment!
Sonos, like Amazon and Phillips, was at the forefront of smart home tech and now has a great reputation for reliable, high-quality wireless audio tech. Sonos is expensive, but if you can afford it, it is a must, you can start small and add as your budget allows. Every speaker offers a deep, rich audio experience making every track you play sound its best. Of course Sonos is compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa and can connect to cloud music services such as Spotify and Deezer.
5. iRobot Roomba I7
There are many smart vacuum cleaners on the market at this time, Neato, Dyson, Eufy and many more brands are there to offer a smart vacuum option to your home. iRobot’s Roomba is still the leader in the market offering the best in navigational intelligence and cleaning. The I7 has a bigger dirt collection bin and its compact low profile design looks great. It copes well with hard surfaces and carpets, and the accompanying app allows you to name each room in your house and tell the I7 to ignore any rooms you don’t want to be cleaned.
6. Smarter Coffee
If you love coffee and want the best coffee maker money can buy, this is the gadget for you. Smarter Coffee works with Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT already way ahead of any other smart coffee makers out there. The accompanying app, of course, allows you to control everything you could want to, for example, Smarter Coffee can make your coffee from your bed when you wake up in the morning.
7. Google Nest Mini
Google’s new Nest Mini smart speaker improves on its predecessor, the Google Home Mini, in a few ways.
Google improved the audio quality in the Nest Mini, giving its bass output more oomph. It also added a wall mounting notch to the underside it, if that’s what you’re into. An interesting new presence detection method that uses the speaker and microphone to determine your proximity to the Nest Mini helps it trigger LED indicators that help you make better sense of the otherwise obscured physical volume controls.
That’s all fine, but the thing that puts the Nest Mini over the edge is the machine learning chip embedded inside the tiny speaker. With that chip, Google says the Nest Mini can learn what commands you give to it most often, and it will then begin to process those commands locally, rather than on Google’s servers.
Anything that helps to keep control of your smart home inside your home is worthwhile. Letting you still issue certain voice commands even if the internet goes out, and improved response times are great, too. For all of that, the machine learning chip puts the Google Nest Mini at parity with the Amazon Echo Dot and its distinct audio-input jack.
NutriBullet keeps it simple with three power levels, a pulse setting and 1,200 watts of power. It performed well in all of our tests. Smooth batters, finely crushed ice, frothy smoothies and good grated cheese (our torture test) were all easy to achieve. A reasonable $100 price tag means you won’t have to break the bank to get a good blender.
More powerful than the Ninja and Oster models below, NutriBullet gets the job done quickly. The 64-ounce jar is plenty big enough for most recipes. The blender comes with a handy recipe book and a tamper to make sure all your ingredients contact the blades. It’s also dishwasher safe and comes with a one-year warranty. NutriBullet easily takes the top spot in our blender battle.