With a growing number of smart home hubs on the market, you can expect a lot of buzz about the best of the bunch, with the vast majority of the features coming from the top three smart home vendors.
Today, we’re looking at what’s really at the top of the line, with an in-depth look at some of the best smart home platforms available.
We’ve taken the time to break down the pros and cons of the top five smart home devices available, and the biggest difference between the top and bottom tier is the price.
If you’re on the fence about a smart home product, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s a rundown of all the major smart home products, with prices as of January 6, 2017.1.
Google HomeThe Google Home is a versatile home automation and speaker control platform that is ideal for home automation, home security, or just for a great sound system.
With an Alexa-powered speaker, it comes in two flavors: the $149 Google Home 3 and the $99 Google Home 4, both of which are the best bang-for-your-buck options.
If a home automation solution doesn’t have the Google Home, you’ll find a good alternative for about the same price.
We’d also recommend the $199 Google Home 5 if you’re looking for a less bulky alternative.
The Google Home doesn’t come with Alexa, so you’ll have to spend a little more to hook up the speaker.2.
Alexa-enabled smart home thermostatsAmazon Alexa-ready smart thermostat thermostants are the most popular, and with Amazon, you get a good selection of smart thermonuclear devices with their own Alexa voice control, like the Amazon Echo Dot and Amazon Echo Plus.
The Echo Dot has a very powerful thermostatic function, which you can use to keep your home in good working order.
The Alexa-controlled thermostant is very simple to set up and use, and you can set it to automatically turn on and off based on the time of day.
If there’s a power outage, Alexa will tell you right away.
We recommend you use the Echo Dot over the Echo Plus to get the best performance out of the Echo system.
Alexa can be used with most smart thermo-fixtures, including the Nest thermostators and a range of other devices.3.
Nest CamAmazon’s Nest Cam is a great smart home device that gives you an inbuilt digital camera and a smart camera app.
The Nest Cam also lets you control the Nest Thermostat with the Alexa-compatible Echo Dot.
If the thermostator has a range, you might want to consider using the Nest Cam over the Nest device if you want a range that doesn’t go as high as the thermo system.4.
Nest Learning ThermostatsWe’ve been using Nest Learning thermostates for a while now, but they’re getting a lot more attention lately thanks to Alexa and other smart home gadgets.
Nest Thermidor is a more affordable version of Nest Learning, and if you already have a Nest Learning system, you should get the Nest Learning Cam for about $79.
Nest is available in a variety of sizes, including Nest Learning Pods, Nest Learning Laptops, Nest Thermos, Nest Hue and more.
If Nest Learning is the only thermostable you have, you could consider the Nest Plus.5.
Nest ChargeOne of the big benefits of using a smart thermos is that you don’t have to plug it in all the time.
Nest has always been a leader in smart home solutions, so it makes sense that Nest Charge would be an obvious addition to the mix.
The Charge can be controlled via an Alexa or Google Home device, and Nest is very upfront about what it can and can’t do.
It’s also an affordable smart thermist that will last you for a year.6.
Amazon Echo Spot The Amazon Echo is the top-of-the-line smart home speaker that also happens to be the best for watching TV.
The Amazon Alexa-connected Echo Spot is the best value speaker out there, and it has a built-in Alexa voice command that’s easy to use.
It even comes with a dedicated speaker for watching movies, music and TV.
You can also control it from your Android phone or tablet.
If your Nest thermos has a wired range, the Amazon Alexa can’t be controlled, but the Echo Spot can.7.
Nest Chromecast Amazon’s Chromecast has a great range of smart speaker options, including Amazon’s own Alexa-equipped Chromecast, and all of the Chromecast apps are free.
Amazon has been very open about the Chromecasts hardware specs, and they’re pretty good for a low price.
They have great audio quality and are easy to set-up.
If, like us, you’re already using an Alexa smart home hub, we’d recommend you pick up a Chromecast to get more