Best Smart Home Gift Ideas iMore 2020
Smart home tech wasn't super mainstream a few short years ago, but now in 2019, it accounts for some of the most popular consumer gadgets on the market. Whether you're shopping around for a smart speaker, light bulbs, or anything else in between for that perfect gift, we've got a few top picks that you won't want to miss out on.
- Perfect smart home companion: Google Home Hub
- Pays for itself: Ecobee3 Lite
- Apple speaker: Apple HomePod
- A smart home essential: Philips Hue Lights
- Small but mighty: Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen)
- 21st century doorbell: Nest Hello
- Keep an eye on things: Arlo Pro 2
- The most powerful Echo: Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen)
- The door lock you deserve: August Smart Lock Pro + Connect
- Get a few of these: Wemo Mini Smart Plug
- Plays well with others: Sonos One
- Spruce it up: Philips Hue LightStrip
The Google Home Hub is tiny, adorable, and one of our favorite smart home gadgets of the year. Its 7-inch LCD display is a joy to look at, the Google Assistant is just as powerful as ever before, and the helpful Home View feature gives you a central location for monitoring all of your other smart home tech.
One of the most important smart home gadgets you can buy is the Ecobee3 Lite. It's a smart thermostat that you can control via your phone, and the more you use it, the more it learns about your energy usage to help save money on your monthly energy bill. It works with Apple HomeKit, has a really sleek design, and can be installed in around 30 minutes.
If you live in the Apple ecosystem, the HomePod just makes sense as a smart home gadget you should probably own. Available in white and space gray, the HomePod kicks out phenomenal sound, supports voice commands with Siri built-in, and thanks to a recent price drop, is now considerably more affordable.
Philips' Hue Lights are the go-to option for a lot of smart home enthusiasts, and if you've yet to get in the smart lighting game, this starter pack is a great first purchase. It includes two A19 bulbs and the hub that you need for controlling them. You don't get any fancy colors with this package, but you can dim the lights and schedule them to automatically turn on and off.
Own a lot of Alexa devices or want to finally check out this whole smart speaker thing for yourself? Either way, it's hard to say no to the Echo Dot. The 3rd Gen model has a fantastic fabric design, the best speakers of any Echo Dot yet, and has all the power of Alexa in a tiny form factor that won't put too big of a dent in your wallet.
The Nest Hello isn't the most affordable video doorbell on the market, but it is the smartest. It's pretty easy to install, has great video quality, and can send off smart notifications to all your devices when it sees that someone's at the door. Recently, it got support for two-way talking using the Google Assistant. Just keep in mind you'll need a Nest Aware subscription for access to all of the smart features.
One of the most powerful smart security cameras on the market is the Arlo Pro 2. Arlo Pro 2 records in full 1080p HD, is weather-resistant, supports 2-way audio, sends alerts when it detects motion and sound, and much more. This package includes the base station and two cameras. You can use it indoors or outdoors and add additional cameras down the road if you want more.
The Amazon Echo Show is one of the biggest and baddest smart displays around. It has a gorgeous 10.1-inch HD screen, seriously impressive speakers, and support for video services like Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. If you're invested in the Alexa/Amazon ecosystem, this is a fantastic addition that we think you'll have a lot of fun using.
This is, without a doubt, one of the most advanced smart locks on the market. It can be controlled remotely from virtually anywhere, alerts you if your door's not securely closed + locked, and constantly tracks all activity with a 24/7 feed that's accessible via the August app. It can even automatically lock as you leave the house and unlock when it detects you're approaching it.
The Wemo Mini is one of our favorite smart plugs on the market. You can control it anywhere from the Wemo app or with the Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri if that's more your jam. The Wemo Mini can be scheduled to automatically turn on and off at certain times, and thanks to its compact size, you can have two stacked on top of each other in most outlets.
The Sonos One is one of the most versatile smart speakers on the market. It currently has Amazon Alexa built-in, has AirPlay 2, and later this year, it'll get support for the Google Assistant, too. It works with just about every music/podcast streaming service imaginable, can be used as a standalone speaker, paired with another Sonos One for dual surround sound, or added as part of a home theater system with the Sonos Beam.
Another great piece of smart tech from Philips is the company's LightStrip. As the name suggests, this is an 80-inch strip of LED lights that you can put pretty much anywhere. They can show off a multitude of colors, are controllable via your phone or favorite smart assistant, and can do things like light up green when your favorite team scores or go red if an alarm is set off.
The Google Home Hub, an all-time favorite
I've picked up a lot of smart home tech over the last couple of years, but without a doubt, the Google Home Hub is one that's stood out as something special. It's far from the only Google Assistant smart device in my apartment, but it's the one I enjoy using the most.
The Home Hub sits on my desk as a little companion for me throughout the day. It's there to answer questions as I ask them, can stream YouTube videos went I want background noise, and offers easy access to control all of my smart lights, switches, and thermostat. Tying all of this together is the whimsical design that looks ten times better than any other smart display I've seen.
Get the HomePod if you're all-in on Apple
Alternatively, if you're someone that lives and breathes Apple and like using the company's products exclusively, you might be happier with something like the HomePod.
The Apple HomePod is more expensive than the Google Home Hub and lacks a display, but what it does offer is seriously impressive sound. When it comes to smart speakers, this is easily one of the best-sounding you can buy. Along with that, it also comes with a unique design, built-in Siri support, and easy access to your tunes if you rely on Apple Music for your streaming needs.
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