Jul 16th, 2020 publishUpdated   Jul 19th, 2020, 10:34 am

It’s really great to have a digital assistant in your pocket whenever you need to ask a question, send a message, or make a call. For some time, we only had Google’s smart displays to take advantage of, but more and more manufacturers have thrown their hat in the ring to help you keep control over your smart home. And what makes this even more awesome is that there are different sizes available for just about every room in your house so that you’ll get Google Assistant everywhere.

Google Nest Hub

While it’s touted as the “best digital photo frame” the Nest Hub offers so much more than just showing off your pictures. Naturally, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the greatness of Google Assistant, all in a compact and unique design. On the back, you’ll find a built-in mute switch but won’t find a camera, which is great for those with privacy concerns. Another huge benefit is that you can pair the Home Hub with other Assistant-enabled spears so that your music or podcasts can be playing in every room of your home.

The Good

  • Great integration with Google Photos
  • Automatically adjusts to the color and lighting in the room
  • Multi-room audio available

The Bad

  • Only two built-in microphones
  • Touch controls can be finicky

$90 from Google

Google Nest Hub Max

The Home Hub Max is the big-screened Assistant that you’ve always wanted. There’s a 10-inch display, with a fairly-slim bezel surrounding it which houses the various sensors, including the 6.5MP camera for video calls. Naturally, you’ll want to watch a video or two on here, so just ask Assistant to start playing it, or Cast it from your phone to the Home Hub Max. And when it comes to sound, you won’t be disappointed with the dual 10W speakers paired with the 30W woofer.

The Good

  • Gorgeous 10-inch display
  • 6.5MP camera built-in
  • Stereo speakers

The Bad

  • Quick Gestures are tough to master
  • No auxiliary input

$229 from Google

Lenovo Smart Clock

If the Google Home Hub is the best digital photo frame, then the Lenovo Smart Clock is the best alarm clock you can get. Despite having a tiny display, it’s just big enough for you to be able to interact with it when needed, and there’s even a USB-A port on the back for charging your phone. The 6W speaker may seem a bit underwhelming, but it will get the job done when you’re listening to music and podcasts or listening back for Google Assistant’s answer to a question.

The Good

  • Perfect for the nightstand
  • USB port on the back for charging needs
  • 6W speaker

The Bad

  • Display is too small for viewing content
  • No audio input

$65 from Amazon

Lenovo Smart Display 7

Unveiled back at IFA 2019, the Lenovo Smart Display is set to take over your home with its unique designated impressive package. As the name suggests, you’ll get a 7-inch display, but there’s also ambient white balance tuning so that the display will blend in with the surroundings and not stick out like a sore thumb. The Smart Display 7 has a few advantages over the standard Home Hub thanks to the included 2MP camera, Bluetooth 5.0, and dual 5W speakers for better audio. If you can get past the speaker facing you, then this is the perfect smart-home companion.

The Good

  • Dual 5W speakers
  • Microphone and camera buttons for privacy
  • Bluetooth 5.0 built-in

The Bad

  • Speaker placement is a bit awkward
  • Only 4GB of onboard storage

$100 from Best Buy

Lenovo Smart Tab M8 with Google Assistant

Also unveiled at IFA 2019, the Lenovo Smart Tab M8 offers a way for you to get both a smart display and a tablet, all in a single package. The tablet measures in at 8-inches, and only has a 1200 x 800 resolution to go along with a middling MediaTek processor and just 2GB of RAM. But the Smart Tab M8 has a great 5,000mAh battery and Lenovo includes a charging dock that transforms the Smart Tab M8 into a Google Assistant Smart Display.

The Good

  • Dual, Dolby Atmos-tuned speakers
  • Up to 18 hours of battery life
  • Smart Charging Dock included

The Bad

  • Just 2GB of RAM
  • Touch controls can be finicky

$100 from Walmart

JBL Link View

Outside of the Home Hub Max, many smart displays feature middling speakers that won’t really excite anyone who wants to listen to some music. The JBL Link View sports an 8-inch touchscreen display, 5MP selfie camera, and an IPX4 water and dust rating, making a perfect companion for the kitchen. But the real star of the show are the dual-10W speakers to go along with the two 2″ drivers. This combination turns the Link View into one of the best smart displays for those who want to bump some music or watch some old concerts.

The Good

  • Best speakers for a Smart Display
  • 8-inch High-resolution display
  • PrivacySwitch to mute microphone and cover camera

The Bad

  • Only running Bluetooth 4.2
  • No Ethernet

$200 from B&H Photo

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