There really is something awesome about being able to control a myriad of products in your home without needing to use a remote or get up a flip the right light switch, or even change the thermostat. With these smart home products, you can create systems in your home, and then create personalized routines based on when you leave the house for work and get back home for the day. Maybe you want to cut down on energy costs or make sure your home is safe while you’re away, smart home products are really useful and easy to set up.
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For more amazing first ideas, make sure you check our 2020 Holiday Gift Guide.
Best Smart Speakers
Smart speakers are taking over the home, as these are the best accessories to get started in the world of smart homes. Being able to ask Alexa or Google Assistant a quick question if your hands are full is really a convenience that cannot be understated. Or you can just use the smart speaker to turn on the lights and control other aspects of your home.
If versatility is the name of the game, then you can’t go wrong with the Sonor One. Picking one up will make you want another, and then you’ll want to spring for a Sonos Soundbar.
Bose Home Speaker 300
Bose has been in the sound game for years and years, and it still kicks out great options like the Home Speaker 300. Amazon Alexa is built-in, but also works with the likes of Google Assistant and even Apple AirPlay 2.
Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)
Amazon finally updated its Echo Dot with an all-new design, moving away from the iconic shortened cylinder and instead, providing something that looks like a mini bowling ball. Nonetheless, this is a great way to get Alexa in all of the rooms in your home, and makes for easy controlling of your other smart home products.
Amazon Echo (4th Gen)
For the sake of cohesiveness, the new Echo features the same design as the smaller Echo Dot. But what you’ll get in a bigger package is Dolby Digital audio quality, along with a built-in Zigbee hub for all of your smart home products.
If you’re looking for a bit more oomph than what the Sonor One delivers, the Sonos Five will take your smart speaker experience to the next level. The speaker delivers exceptional audio, though it doesn’t offer Google Assistant or Alexa integration
JBL Bar 5.1
Movie nights will never be the same when you connect the JBL Bar 5.1 to your existing home theater system. JBL includes a 10″ subwoofer, along with a built-in Chromecast and support for Apple’s AirPlay 2. Thre’s even 4K pass-trhough with HDR 10 and Dolby Vision, providing you with the best sound quality you could ask for.
Best Smart Displays
There are smart speakers, and those are great, but smart displays turn things up a notch. Put one in the kitchen to use as a digital cookbook while being able to watch a video of how a dish is made. Put one on your desk to act as a smart digital photo frame, all while being able to enjoy the smart features of having a smart speaker with a display.
Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen)
Amazon finally updated the Echo Show with the 3rd generation, and brought with it an all-new deisgn. The 10.1-inch display will show off your favorite pictures when not in use, or you can hop on a video chat thanks to the built-in 13MP camera. Plus, the Echo Show acts as a smart home hub with Zigbee integration.
Amazon Echo Show 5
Those wanting a smart display without needing to take up a bunch of space will enjoy Amazon’s Echo Show 5. This smart display measures in at 5.5-inches, while still making it easy to get some help from Alexa, or answer the video doorbell, whenever you need it.
Google Nest Hub
The Google Nest Hub is perfect for those who want the combination of a smart speaker along with an interactive display. Whether it’s to use as a digital photo frame, or to keep an eye on your security cameras, the Nest Hub is pretty much perfect.
Lenovo Smart Clock Essential
Those who want a smart speaker that doubles as an alarm clock will love the new Smart Clock Essential from Lenovo. The speaker itself is just fine for the nightstand, but also shows off the weather, time, and date, all at a glance.
Best Smart TVs
The television is the most important aspect of any good smart home, as you’re going to want to unwind with good ole’ movies at the end of the day. But these smart televisions are so great that there are even some with dedicated gaming modes that will enhance your gaming experience just in time for the launch of Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen consoles.
Hisense H8 Quantum Series
Get one of the best TV’s on the market with the Hisense H8 Quantum Series. This 4K ULED TV looks absolutely phenomenal and is powered by Android TV, so you won’t have to go and grab a streaming device just to enjoy your favorite streaming services.
Toshiba Fire TV 2020
Toshiba and Amazon have released a new version of the Fire TV, and this one features a 1080p resolution, and has Amazon’s Fire TV interface built right in. And with the included Voice Remote, you can have Alexa do all of the heavy lifting for you when it comes to trying to find the right movie or to just check the weather.
Samsung is known for creating some of the best smartphone displays, but the company’s televisions are right up there amongst the best. The Q50T series comes in a variety of sizes, while being powered by Tizen for your smart tv needs and sporting a QHDR display panel for even better colors and more details.
If you’re gearing up for the release of the PlayStation 5, you might want to grab this X800H TV from Sony. The two devices will work flawlessly together, thanks in part to the X1 HDR processor and dedicated game mode for a smooth and responsive gaming experience.
While LG smartphones have been met with mixed reactions as of late, the company’s television division continues to be some of the most impressive options. The UN7300 series is powered by WebOS for your smart TV needs, while sporting a quad-core 4K processor and HDR10 Pro for the best video playback.
Best Streaming Devices
If you don’t have a smart TV, or don’t really enjoy the existing interface, you can grab a streaming device to change things up. There are a multitude of options to choose from, with Google, Roku, and Amazon leading the way.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
The all-new Fire TV Stick is 50% more powerful than previous iterations, while providing integration with Dolby Atmos for the best sound quality you can get. The included Voice Remote, makes interacting with Alexa a breeze, so you can ask Alexa to turn on the smart lights, or find a new movie to watch.
Instead of buying a soundbar and a separate streaming stick, why not combine both with the Roku Streambar. This all-in-one streaming device offers Dolby Audio, while supporting 4K streams and offering a quick and easy installation process.
Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite
With Amazon’s new Fire TV Stick Lite, this is the most affordable way to bring the Fire TV experience into your home. The Voice Remote Lite features a button at the top to ask Alexa some questions, but you will miss out on 4K and Dolby Atmos support.
NVIDIA Shield TV
If you’re looking for the best Android TV streaming device, look no further than the NVIDIA Shield TV. Stream your favorite movies in 4K, load up your own personal movie library, or sit back and game with NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW streaming service.
There’s nothing more important than the security of your home and the people you live with. In order to keep yourself protected, it’s important to find a smart home camera that will work for you. With options that can be placed around the inside of your home and the outdoors, you can create a smart security system that is unparalleled.
The Arlo Essential features Color Night Vision, doesn’t need any wires to be connected, and even has motion detection. Plus, there’s a spotlight atop the camera sensor if you need to illuminate the area to get a better view of what’s going on.
Ring Indoor Cam
This compact camera from Ring is perfect for indoor use, but is not completely wireless. In addition to being able to link it with multiple Indoor Cams, this camera includes a two-way microphone system if you need to have a conversation with others in the home.
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Wyze Cam Pan
Wyze’s Cam Pan is rather unique in that it features night vision, 2-way audio, works with Alexa or Google Assistant, and can be transformed into a webcam. The company released a special version of the software which makes it possible for you to use this as a webcam, although you will lose the smart security cam features you may have originally purchased it for.
Google Nest Cam Indoor
Those entrenched in Google’s ecosystem and want a new security camera will enjoy the ease of use provided by the Nest Cam Indoor. The camera records 1080p video, offers 2-way talk, and even mobile intelligent alerts.
It has taken some time for smart thermostats to reach the peak of their popularity, and some of that has to do with the HVAC industry itself. Times have changed, and many folks recommend having a smart thermostat installed in the home. This can reduce energy costs, along with allowing you to create schedules that will turn the temperature lower when nobody is home, and then back to normal before you walk in the door.
The newest Nest Thermostat comes in three different colors, and is programmable to your needs. With an Energy Star certification, you are sure to save some money on your monthly energy bills, along with having the ability to control everything from your phone.
With the ecobee SmartThermostat, you’ll be able to not only keep your home comfortable, but have the added benefit of built-in Alexa integration. Installation is easy to perform, and after completed, you’ll be able to enjoy more than 20% of energy savings.
Ecobee’s Lite Smart
Thermostat may not be as feature-rich as the standard version, but it is still compatible with many of the smart sensors to control other rooms. The company also claims you could save more than 20% annually on your heating or cooling costs.
Emerson Sensi Touch
Emerson’s Sensi Touch is a favorite in the HVAC industry thanks to how easily it can be installed and set up. Installation can be done in 30 minutes or less, and you may even be able to find some utility rebates to save even more money.
Smart Plugs / Switches
Having a smart plug can instantly turn your dumb lamp into a smart one. Plug the lamp in, setup the smart plug, and then enjoy the freedom from not being forced to reach for the light switch, or use your phone to turn off the lights if you forgot to when you left the room.
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TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug
Forget the hub or dealing with a smart bulb as you can just plug a light into the Kasa Smart Plug and control it from your phone. Create a timer or schedule, control with your voice via Alexa or Google Assistant, and you can even use IFTTT actions to create routines.
Samsung SmartThings WiFi Plug
If you're in a Samsung home and want to make it a bit smarter, then the Samsung SmartThings WiFi Plug fits the bill. This is compatible with Bixby, Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, making it easy to turn various accessories on or off without needing to get up.
TP-Link Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug
It's one thing to have smart plugs around your home, but what if you want to have a few connected devices outside? TP-Link's Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug solves the problem, with the ability to control the outlets with Alexa or Assistant, along with having a remote control and even a timer to recognize when the sun is coming up or going down.
If you’ve ever checked out the setups for a tech-enthusiast, chances are that you’ve seen some smart lights in some form or fashion. Whether it’s as simple as having a couple of smart bulbs to turn on when you enter the room, or getting something like a Nanoleaf set to add some personality to the room, these smart lighting kits are great for everyone.
Philips Hue Starter Kit
Trying to get into the world of smart lights? This starter kit from Philips Hue is perfect with three smart bulbs, a smart button, and the Hue Hub to keep everything connected.
Sengled Smart Light Bulb Starter Kit
Sengled offers some great smart light options, and this smart light kit works with Alexa or Google Assistant. This kit includes two smart bulbs and the smart hub to get everything up and running.
LIFX Smart LED Bulb
LIFX's claim to fame is that its smart light bulbs will work without the need of a hub. This is the most basic bulb offered, and works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant.
eufy Lumos Smart Bulb
Anker's sub-brand, Eufy, is turning into one of the best smart home brands on the market. The Lumos Smart Bulb Kit features two soft white smart bulbs, with a brightness of 800 lumens and connects via an app on your smartphone.
If you're looking for a unique way to decorate the walls in your home, the Nanoleaf Canvas is the way to go. This kit features nine panels, are touch-sensitive, and you can arrange them however you want to, provided that they are all connected together.
Amazon Echo Glow
Sometimes the kids want to get in on the smart light fun, and the Echo Glow delivers as a mulit-color smart lamp. Pair it with any of your Alexa devices and control the light and brightness with the sound of your voice.
YEELIGHT Smart LED Bulb
This smart LED bulb from YEELIGHT can not only be controlled with your smartphone, but it also has built-in Wi-Fi, removing the need of a hub. Plus, there are more than 16 million colors to choose from.
Routers are smarter than ever, and it’s important to cover every square inch of your home with Wi-Fi. Mesh networks make it so you won’t ever have to deal with “dead zones” in your home, let alone the benefits of using this in conjunction with your computer or console gaming setup.
eero 6 Mesh Router
The new eero 6 mesh router offers speeds up to 900 Mbps and can cover up to 1,500 square feet. Get rid of those deadspots in your home, while also using the eero 6 router as a Zigbee smart home hub to connect and control your smart home devices.
Netgear's Orbi Mesh Wifi System is capable of handling up to 3Gbps of speed, while covering up to 5,000 square feet between the rotuer and satellite extender. The Orbi features parental controls, and is pre-loaded with Netgear Armor for network-wide anti-virus for an unlimited number of devices.
Google Nest WiFi
Google has jumped into the mesh WiFi game with the Nest Wifi, and this kit can cover up to 4,400 square feet of your home. Plug in the router and extender and get everything set up in just minutes, then enjoy great Wi-Fi connections from wherever you are.
The RT-AX92U Tri-Band router may look like something out of the future, but that's part of the fun. This router system takes advantage of the company's AiMesh technology to create a mesh network with compatible routers, while providing strong connections even if you are using this router by itself.
Best Smart Vacuum
When it’s time to clean up the house, you don’t always want to have to vacuum on a daily basis. That’s where a smart robot vacuum comes into play, as it can do the cleaning while nobody is home, leaving your floors like spotless.
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iRobot Roomba 675
If you're looking for an entry-level or basic smart vacuum, iRobot is here to save the day with the Roomba 675. There are three different cleaning stages, along with the ability to clean multiple surfaces and there's an even an edge-sweeping brush.
The Eureka Groove Robot Vacuum is another solid option for basic smart vacuums with its three cleaning modes, and the ability to schedule and control the robot from your phone. Plus, this option also has climbing wheels in order to easily transition from hardwood to carpet.
Roborock S6 MaxV
Those looking for a high-end smart vacuum, it doesn't get much better than the Roborock S6 MaxV. There are two cameras to help identify and avoid objects and obstacles while being able to either vacuum or be used as a mop.
Phandroid’s 2020 Holiday gift guide
While the list above highlights a few of our favorite gadgets of 2020, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of 250 products in 19 different categories to make it easy for you to find the best gifts for your family members, friends (or yourself) this holiday season. We’d also like to thank MediaTek for sponsoring the Chromebooks, Smart Home, and Smart Speakers & Displays sections of our 2020 Holiday Gift Guide.
Note: the article contains affiliate links that help support Phandroid and its writers.