smart home devices

Star Trek has predicted it all: Resistance is futile; then I, Robot simply finishes off the prophecy: Artificial intelligence has won, and the age of analog is behind us. Let everything you own—and possibly even yourself, in a dystopian cyberpunk future—be enlisted in the Internet of Things. We’ve already started easy with smartphones and wearables like smartwatches and smart glasses. But now you’re comfortable, and have likely already taken it to the next level by connecting your kitchen to the Internet. Next, you’ll be ready for the final stage: Digitizing your whole house with a slew of smart home devices.

Google and Amazon have paved the way with smart home gadgets with their respective virtual assistants—Google Home and Alexa—whether it’s a smart speaker, robot vacuum, or AI-learning thermostat. The booming presence of smart home appliances proves that we as a species have succumbed to the machines; they cede us control via an app or our own voice, save us energy or money, and undertake menial tasks at home without rebelling against us. For that, we willingly give away our data to them. Below are 10 of the best smart home devices, from security-minded gadgets to better-living-minded appliances, that’ll really change our life for the better.

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Smart Speaker


Echo Studio

Smart Assistant Alexa
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Installation None
App Amazon Alexa

Smart Sleep Assistant


Smart Alarm Clock

Smart Assistant N/A
Connectivity Bluetooth
Installation None
App Loftie

Smart Thermostat


Nest Learning Thermostat

Smart Assistant Google Assistant, Alexa
Connectivity Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Installation Professional
App Nest

Smart Doorbell


Doorbell Videos

Smart Assistant Alexa, Google Assistant
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Installation DIY
App Ring

Smart Home Security


Indoor Wireless HD Security Camera

Smart Assistant Alexa
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Installation None
App Blink Home Monitor

Smart Home Decor


Lines Wall Lights Starter Kit

Smart Assistant Apple HomeKit & Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant,
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Installation DIY
App Nanoleaf Smarter Series

Smart Robot Vacuum


Roomba i3+ EVO (3550) Robot Vacuum

Smart Assistant Alexa, Google Assistant
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Installation None
App iRobot Home

Smart air purifier


Cool Formaldehyde Purifier TP09

Smart Assistant Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Installation None
App Dyson Link

Smart Soundbar


Soundbar Arc

Smart Assistant Alexa, Google Assistant
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Installation Some setup with TV
App Sonos

Smart Closet


Bespoke AirDresser Clothing Care System

Smart Assistant Bixby, Alexa, Google Assistant
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Installation None
App Samsung SmartThings

What to Consider in Smart Home Devices?
  • Assistant software: Are you a save for Google or Amazon? Or are you too above them and only able to tolerate Apple? So decide on which voice or virtual assistant you’d like as your home steward—Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple’s HomeKit, Samsung’s Bixby, and so on. Some smart home gadgets here are compatible with more than one or two assistants, but many don’t. Once you get the right one, voice control or hands-free control shall prevail.
  • Connectivity: Thankfully, most smart home appliances operate via a wireless connection, which is good. And ultimately, it boils down to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity. Thus, here’s a takeaway you should know for all wireless devices from now on: Wi-Fi is faster than Bluetooth, and provides a steady connection.
  • Installation: Do you want to break a sweat or not? And how much sweat are you willing to break? Most smart home devices require zero to little—as in just read the manual and get the device set up—installation. But for some, especially if you need to mount them, get your tool kit handy. Or call for help.

How We Pick Smart Home Devices?

These 10 different smart home gadgets are all valedictorians within their respective classes. And below are the factors that we consider as we evaluate their GPAs.

  • Look: If it doesn’t look good, it won’t cut it. Better to be smart and pretty than smart but ugly. Hence, all of our picks will blend in with your home.
  • Ease of setup: Most of our picks require little to zero effort in setting up. However, for thermostats and doorbells, installation is inevitable.
  • Control: The best smart home devices offer both app and voice control in addition to buttons or screen displays. Remote control when you’re away from home is also taken into consideration.
  • What they are: Obviously, the categories they belong to matter. Our picks of smart devices will be the main course of your home, instead of appetizers like smart plugs, smart bulbs, or smart locks. And yes, you’ll need them, even Samsung’s AirDresser smart closet.

And no, we don’t consider the price much. Not that we’re snobby, but because we firmly believe that if it’s good, you should buy it. And if it’s good and expensive, then consider the purchase as an investment with huge returns, which it likely is.

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