Best Smart Screen
- Google Nest Hub 2nd Gen
Best Smart Security System
- Ring Alarm Pro Kit
Best Smart Security Camera
- Arlo Pro 4
A good smart home device is as much a fun toy as it can be a genuine addition to your household, offering convenience, the occasional bit of info and help, and of course a fun version of things that are otherwise a little hard to enjoy, such as writing shopping lists or checking the weather.
Very few people really need a smart home device, but they are fun to have, and if you are ready to invest in a top-of-the-line option in this sector, you can change your home in a lot of unexpected ways. We’ve compiled a list of incredibly useful and interesting smart home devices for you to pick your next digital roommate from – just don’t expect them to pay rent!
- Gestures allow hands-free control
- Improved bass and more affordable than 1st gen model
- Sleep sensor tech tracks light, sound, respiratory rates and submillimetre movements
- Compatible with Netflix, Spotify, Philips Hue, YouTube and more
- 7” touchscreen
The Google Nest Hub is the best smart home device with a screen that Google offers. The second generation is a vast improvement over the first, being significantly cheaper with much better speakers and improved specs all around. A point of appeal is definitely the recycled components – a large section of the outside shell of the device is made from recycled plastic, making the device a lot more sustainable than many of its competitors.
The sleep sensing feature is an incredible feat of technology and, when we tested it, could not be fooled. It could tell the difference between someone trying to pretend to sleep and actually being asleep. The feature is optional, so you can turn it off or not even calibrate it if you don’t want to, however, if you do, you have access to some of the most sophisticated sleeping tracking currently available. The same technology also plays part in the Nest Hub’s gesture recognition that works without a camera and is still fairly reliable. Overall, the Google Nest Hub is the ideal device to function as a central control piece for other smart devices or as a standalone smart display.
- Complete security system including router and security sensors
- Seamlessly expandable with additional sensors and Ring devices
- WiFi backup and local processing and storage
- Reliable security features and privacy options
- Four door/window sensors, motion detector, range extender, and keypad included in the package
- Compatible with ring cameras, video doorbells, backup power packs, and more
The full ring alarm pro system is more than its components – it’s a well-working smart security system. It’s capable of detecting open doors and windows, can connect to a huge range of different devices, and can ideally fit into your home. The installation is quick and easy, and unlike some other devices, the Ring pieces have a little more leeway for setup options. For example, the Ring door sensors can be set up to fit doors with a slight gap that would register a door as permanently open even when it isn’t.
Another cool feature is that the Ring Alarm base station functions as a router, meaning you have to have one less box sitting at home than with competing models. It offers built-in WiFi6, backup WiFi in case of power outages, and of course common integrations such as Alexa Guard Plus, and more. Unlike a lot of security setups, the Alarm Pro comes with built-in local storage and processing, something that you usually have to pay extra for – not so here.
- Siren & spotlight feature
- Two-way-talk ability
- 2k resolution
- 160-degree field of vision
- Subscription service for smart notifications and AI features
The Arlo Pro 4 is one of the best security smart devices you can get. On top of having an incredibly good camera and being fully weatherproof for outside use, it offers a variety of convenience features such as facial recognition, animal and vehicle recognition, motion zones, and more, though some of these features depend on whether or not you have the very affordable subscription service the company offers.
The camera can be mounted on just about any surface, isn’t affected by rain or (reasonable) winds, and even eclipses more well-known brands such as Nest when it comes to performance. The camera connects to WiFi directly rather than needing a hub to connect to – and it’s battery operated! One charge according to the manufacturer should last between 3 and 6 months, and in order to recharge, it needs to be on a charger for less than 6 hours. That’s a little above average for cameras of this type, and helps establish the Pro 4 as one of the best smart home cameras you could put on your house!
- Unique device
- Wall-mountable screen
- Enhanced voice processing and understanding
- 15.6-inch, 1080p HD touchscreen
- Physical camera shutter and mute button
- Visual ID facial recognition
The Echo Show 15 is a surprisingly unique device in a relatively saturated market – the wall-mounted screen is a new take on interactive touchscreens and smart devices. Not only does it offer a great number of customisation tools that make the experience unique for each user, the Show 15 also features a series of functions that are unique to it, such as the customisable widgets and the local-processed facial recognition services it provides.
Custom Sounds a not yet active feature on the device will allow users to have the Show listen for sounds unique to their household, and program functions according to that. An example would be setting up a push notification when the device registers the sound of a doorbell – a good feature for deaf users who can’t hear the doorbell, for example. Of course, on top of that, the usual Alexa skills and functions are also all available, making this screen a great addition to any Amazon-powered smart household.
That was our roundup of the best high-end smart home devices in 2022. Have you recently bought a high-end smart home device? What sold you on it and what has your experience been with it so far? Let us know down below.