Alexa has been everywhere, and this is not to be overlooked. Amazon has created a vast array of smart products since the 2014 release of its first voice-enabled Echo smart speaker. These include smart speakers, smart displays, and many, many more. And it keeps growing each year.
Amazon unveiled several new gadgets, Alexa features, and Alexa products last year. These included the Echo Show 15, Amazon Smart Thermostat, and Halo View fitness bands, as well as the highly anticipated Astro robot. There are also several new ring products.
Simply put, Alexa is still the most popular smart home integration tool today. Amazon's voice assistant has recently been enhanced to allow for even greater integrations, including smart TVs, smart thermostats, smart bulbs, and home security systems and cameras. That's why we've compiled a list of the top smart home products here for you to consider.
Alexa-compatible products to help you navigate the ever-expanding ecosystem of voice-controlled smart home gadgets.
Amazon Echo, fourth-gen, is the best Alexa device (and smart speaker overall) The third-gen Echo Dot by Amazon with Clock was the previous favorite Alexa speaker. However, with the 2020's product line, the flagship fourth generation Echo speaker is the winner.
The spheroidal speaker costs $100 more than the $50 fourth generation Amazon Echo Dot. However, the improved sound quality and interesting smart home features make it worth the extra cost.
The shape of Amazon's Echo speaker is unique. The third-gen Echo had a marginal improvement in sound quality over its predecessor. However, the fourth-gen Echo's ball-shaped design has a noticeably higher audio output and decent bass for a speaker of its price.
The fourth-gen Echo comes with a Zigbee receiver built-in, carrying over an Amazon Echo Plus feature. The new Echo can be used as a smart home connection point for compatible smart plugs and lights. This means that you can use the Echo as a hub without needing to purchase additional hardware.
Although the Echo Dot's shape is the same as the Echo speaker, the improvements over the previous Echo Dot are not very evident. The Echo Dot costs $50. However, you can often find the third-generation Echo Dot on sale for $30.
Best smart camera: Wyze Cam v3 (2020)
Like its predecessors, the third-generation Wyze Cam costs just $36, but it is our favorite smart home camera overall due to its low price. It has weatherproof housing, better night vision than the predecessor, a larger field of view, and more -- including a 14-day storage option and a microSD card slot to allow for local storage.
You can use a voice command to bring the Wyze Cam feed to your Echo Show smart screen.
Best video doorbell: Ring Peephole Cam
Amazon's Ring has created a new product, the $150 Peephole Cam. The Peephole cam replaces traditional peepholes by being mounted to your door frame or another location. This Amazon Alexa compatible device makes it ideal for apartment dwellers who don't want to have to wire a device or mess up their door frames for installation.
This doorbell is unique among the many other options for apartment dwellers. It's unlike any of Ring's competitors.
The best smart display: Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd generation)
Amazon's latest smart display is the Amazon Echo Show 8. You get an 8-inch display with the highest resolution Echo Shows yet, a camera shutter, and all the smarts from previous Amazon smart displays for $110.
The Echo Show 8 comes with an integrated Alexa speaker. This smart display can be used to ask Alexa to do your bidding. It can play music, tell jokes, or relay the weather. It also supports advanced compatibility with Alexa-enabled security cameras, because it is a smart display.
Ask Alexa to answer the front door when someone rings your Ring Peephole Cam. You can also see the live feed on Show 8 and talk directly to the person from the smart display.
The Best Smart Lock: August Wi-Fi Smart lock
August's WiFi Smart Lock is a fantastic smart lock. You don't have to install complicated hardware because it retrofits to standard deadbolts. You can access your smart lock remotely using the Android or iOS apps via Wi-Fi without needing an August Connect module.
The product also includes a DoorSense sensor that detects whether the door is open or closed. This attaches to your Wi-Fi Smart Lock. The app will tell you if your door is locked or open, and also whether it is unlocked or locked.
August Wi-Fi Smart Lock can be used with an Alexa smart speaker to lock and unlock your doors.
The best smart thermostat: Amazon Smart Thermostat
Amazon's Smart Thermostat for $60 is a great value. The device works with Alexa so you can get the most out of your Echo Show or Echo speaker. The thermostat is simple, so even those who don’t have one will love it. It looks great on a wall, feels great, and you’ll save around $50 per annum with its energy-saving settings.
Best smart bulbs: Wyze Bulb
Wyze is known for its super-low prices. The Wi-Fi-connected smart bulb is no exception. You can buy a 2-pack of bulbs for 26$ that is connected directly to your internet. They can also be controlled with Alexa. Connect it to the Wyze app, and it's ready to go.
This light bulb can produce a wide range of white light from daylight-white to candlelight-like. It produces a brighter light than other bulbs, even though it is less expensive.
The best DIY home security system: Ring Alarm Pro
Ring Alarm Pro is a great DIY home security system that integrates well with Alexa. The Ring Protect Plus subscription includes Alexa's security feature, Guard Plus, for free. This means Alexa can listen out for glass breaking and footsteps while you are away and will notify you if anything suspicious.
The Ring Alarm Plus has many great features beyond its Alexa integrations. It includes a Wi-Fi 6 gateway, backup Internet, local processing and storage (a first by Ring), professional monitoring, and much more.
An eight-piece system is $300 and subscriptions start at $3 per month to $20 per month -- which is still a bargain compared to some of the best competitors. This system is an incredible value.
Best smart plug: TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini
The TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini, which costs just $18, is a well-known brand. This smart plug connects directly via Wi-Fi to a wall outlet. It converts nonsmart lamps and fans into smart devices.
You can connect devices using the TP-Link App. Or, you can use Amazon Alexa to control them by speaking. To control all devices connected to the Plug Mini smart plug, say "Alexa, turn off the reading lamp".
Did our list of the best smart devices help you get closer to the smart home of your dreams? There's so many products for so many aspects of your smart home, but making the right choice of smart home products is critical. Check out some of our other articles for more help with finding the right smart home devices!
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