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October 08, 2018

 

This year has been great for smart home devices, here are our top 5 picks

Are you ready to dive into the Internet of Things to automate your home? Using a smart system is no longer just about asking Alexa to tell you the weather or play that new song -- now, you can use smart devices for much more, from security cameras, controlling the temperature in your home and making your life easier and secure in the place you spend most of your time. We selected the best smart home devices we've tested just for you.

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 AMAZON ALEXA 1

Amazon Alexa

With more than 7,000 third-party integrations, Alexa is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive smart home ecosystems available today.

Plus they also have it in a variety of products, such as Echo, Amazon Fire, thermostats and many more. You can use Alexa to speak to apps like Spotify just as easily as you can ask her about the weather. It can also be used to give commands to devices from Phillips, Samsung, Nest, and Schlage. To keep it simple, you can think of it like this, Alexa is a device to control your other smart devices. To know if Alexa will work with a certain device, just look for the ‘Works with Amazon Alexa’ tag.

Ultimately, Alexa’s ability to integrate and speak to most other smart devices and apps (Alexa has the most third-party integrations of any smart system) makes her one of the best choices for your smart home.

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ecobee4

Ecobee4

The Ecobee4 allows you to control air temperature with voice commands, but unlike other smart thermostats, it also works as its own Amazon speaker (rather than simply working with an Amazon speaker), so it can do everything your Alexa or Assistant can do, including play music, shop, and control other devices. Of course, if you already own a smart speaker, you might want to consider a cheaper thermostat option.

Ecobee4 integrates seamlessly with apps and other home ecosystems like Alexa or Apple HomeKit. Plus, it’s able to control the room you’re in, rather than the room it’s installed.

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philip hue

Philips Hue Bulbs

The Philips Hue bulbs enable you to control both intensity of light -- dimming or brightening on-command -- and the color of your lights. You can create special color-coordinated moods (i.e. choose the “relax” theme on your app for a specific room you’re in, or sync it with your music). You can also set color-coordinated alarms, ensuring you wake up every morning to a bright bedroom.

These bulbs work with most smart home systems, making them arguably the most flexible option. If you don’t want color, you can also purchase Philips Hue White.

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AMAZON fire tv cube

Amazon Fire TV Cube

Fire TV Cube is the first hands-free streaming media player with Alexa, delivering an all-in-one entertainment experience. From across the room, just ask Alexa to turn on the TV, dim the lights, and play what you want to watch. 
It has a built-in speaker so you can check the weather, listen to the news, control compatible smart home devices, and more. 
There is a new version coming out at the end of October, so be sure to wait for it since it promises to give more uses, increase compatibility with more devices as well as fix some issues. 
We are also going to have some accessories for it soon, so be sure to stay tuned.

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nes hello august dorbell 1

August Doorbell Cam Pro vs Nest Hello

For the last one we could not decide, so we want to hear what you think, let us know by replying to this email.

August Doorbell Cam Pro

August's clever HindSense feature includes a couple of seconds of video before the motion is detected, so it's more likely to capture a usable image. It integrates tightly with August's excellent Smart Locks, Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, among other smart home systems — the most of any of the doorbells we tested.

Nest Hello

Nest's Hello video doorbell looks great and works consistently well. Its optional facial recognition feature and advanced integrations with the Nest Cam IQ Indoor and Google Home speakers set this smart buzzer above the rest.

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I hope that you will use some of the devices and make your home smarter in 2018. Have I missed something? Is there another genius product that I should add to the list?

 


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