npressfetimg-681.png

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The smart home has never been more accessible, with more affordable entry points than ever. From security cameras to smart light bulbs, pretty much any internet-connected device that you can control via an app is enough to get you started on your smart home journey. But before you dive in, we advise taking a few preliminary steps. For one, don’t try to outfit your entire smart home in one go. Not only can this be quite expensive, we think it’s generally best to buy just one or two items first to see if you like them. From there, you can figure out if you want to buy more devices, making sure that they’re compatible with one another. Below are our suggestions for the best of each smart device category, with alternate suggestions where appropriate.

Before you start, pick a voice assistant

While plenty of smart home devices are platform agnostic, there are some — smart speakers and smart displays in particular — that require you to choose your voice assistant. Currently, that means deciding if you’ll use the Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa on a regular basis. (I’ll address Siri in a moment.) They’re both compatible with various smart home products from light bulbs to robot vacuums, but there are certain devices that work best with either Google or Amazon. Nest products, for example, are more compatible with Google-powered speakers and displays. They can still work with Amazon devices, but certain features might be disabled. The same holds true with Amazon products: They work better if they’re in the same ecosystem.

So how do you choose between Alexa and Google Assistant? It really depends on your personal preferences. Do you listen to Audible, watch Prime Video and tend to do a lot of shopping on Amazon? Then you might lean toward an Alexa-powered product. Do you use a lot of Google services like YouTube and Google Podcasts? A Google-powered device might be best.

If you want a voice assistant that’s great at answering questions, Google Assistant tends to be better than Alexa. Amazon’s helper, on the other hand, currently supports more smart home products. The company’s smart speakers and displays also support the Zigbee smart home protocol, and some devices even have built-in smart home hubs. Both Google and Amazon devices can sync with your calendar, though Google’s tend to work better with Google services. Plus, if you already have an Android phone, you might be more comfortable with Google Assistant anyway.

But what about Siri? Apple’s assistant is an option as well, but it doesn’t have the same level of device support as Google and Amazon. The HomePod mini and the (now discontinued) HomePod are the only Siri-compatible speakers on the market at the moment, too. That said, it’s not too hard to find HomeKit-compatible gear as more third-party companies add support for it, but you currently have a smaller pool of devices to choose from.

Engadget picks

Best smart speaker: Sonos One

Nathan Ingraham

Our recommendation for the best smart speaker is the Sonos One. It’s compact enough to fit in most areas in your …….

Source: https://www.engadget.com/best-smart-home-devices-154557162.html

Leave a Reply

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