Best Smart Home Devices
The best smart home devices in 2021 can automate your home for unmatched convenience, comfort, and utility.
Smart Home devices work best with a Smart Speaker to control them
Smart home devices are more than just another high-tech marvel for tech geeks. They have very important uses and functions that all homeowners can benefit from. For example, smart home devices often allow remote operation so that owners can operate these devices even when they are away.
Here are the best smart home devices for 2021 that you simply cannot do without.
Eufy Video Doorbell 2K
- No monthly payment
- crystal clear 2K resolution
- Battery function available
- Recharge means downtime
The Eufy Video Doorbell has to be one of the best smart bells that money can buy. Now your doorbell need not be as dumb as a doorknob. And that matters since with a smart doorbell, you can handle visitors without leaving your couch.
The wireless Eufy doorbell shines with its performance, reliability, and cost-effectiveness. It leads the competition with its crystal clear 2K video resolution. This level of detail, together with the 4:3 aspect ratio, means that you can identify the person at the door without a fuss.
This doorbell works nicely even when the property is not your own. Thus even if you live in a rental space, you can still install the smart doorbell without disturbing the original doorbell.
The smart doorbell uses wireless connectivity and communicates with the help of a router. You can keep it out for months at a time – up to about six months – and expect reliable operation.
No need to pay any subscription for the high-quality 2K video. 16 GB online storage is available to store footage recorded on the doorbell cam. That means around 2 weeks’ worth of footage is stored online at no extra cost to you.
To make the deal even sweeter, you can also integrate the device with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for added versatility.
If you like the idea of a doorbell that works as advertised, with no overhead costs, that puts you in control, and gives you awesome 2K footage, then the Eufy is certainly a strong contender for your next smart doorbell.
Amazon Echo Studio Smart Speaker
- Superb Dolby Atmos audio
- Costs less than Google and Apple speakers
- New built-in Alexa functions
Bigger than the average smart speaker.
Although affordable, the smart speaker generates really slick audio.
For years, users had to contend with smart speakers that did not sound great. But that has now changed. You now have great sound together with smart functionality in one neat package – the Amazon Echo Studio.
Amazon has rolled out its finest speakers yet in the shape of the Echo Studio. It appears that Amazon has leveraged its grand economies of scale to launch a device this cheap. There can be no other explanation for such a cool smart speaker at this price point.
The speaker has the assistant tech and smart home features. Its 3D audio will bring your favorite songs to life. But if that is not enough for you, then you have the option of hooking up the speaker with Amazon Fire TV for truly immersive sound quality.
The Amazon Echo Studio also works as a ZigBee hub. As a result, it can connect with a myriad smart home device and easily fit into any smart home seamlessly out of the box.
Google Nest Hub Display Speaker
- superb screen
- sleek design
- quality speaker
- no support for Netflix
The Google Nest Hub Max is a brand new entrant to the realm of display-led speakers. It is bigger than its predecessor Google Nest Hub which was originally called the Google Home Hub.
Basically, it is a smart speaker that sports a screen. But that’s not all. It also has a front-facing camera with which the device can double as your smart home camera.
With the versatile Google Nest Hub, you can control and manage many smart devices like smart plugs, thermostats, and smart lights from all kinds of brands, thereby obviating the need for different and disparate apps.
The rich audio is immersive enough for the device to sound like a mini Hi-Fi. Google Assistant works smoothly and feels responsive. The large display lets you watch your favorite videos from YouTube while you work in the kitchen.
Thus, while you do mundane chores, you can have a good time in your kitchen with rich audio and video content courtesy of the Google Nest Hub Max.
Philips Hue Smart Bulb
- great app
- easy installation
- strong support
- somewhat costly
When revamping your humble abode into an ultra-high-tech smart home, you must replace the old bulbs. But that’s easier said than done. But with the Philips Hue smart bulb, the job is a cinch.
To install Philips Hue smart bulbs, you might have to buy the Philips Bridge, just check when you’re purchasing. This device is a hub of smarts for these smart bulbs.
The major advantage is the reliability of the system. It is also versatile since it can work with all sorts of standards. Thus, you can integrate this smart bulb system with Samsung SmartThings, Nest, and Apple HomeKit.
The really nice bit is that the smart bulb system is consistently upgraded. Hence, quite recently, you will find exciting new additions to the family of Philips smart bulbs like Philips Hue Play Light Bar, the Lightstrip Plus, and the Edison-style smart bulbs.
These bulbs have amazing capabilities like casting special light effects to add to the fun of watching films or playing games.
Nest Thermostat E
- saves money
- easy to use
- awesome design
- reading frosted display can be tricky
The Nest Learning Thermostat is the first thing that comes to mind when talking about a smart thermostat.
The reason for this is that Nest is a trailblazer and pioneer in the field of smart thermostats. It was the earliest brand to leverage machine learning for smart heating and cooling. The company did not look back and fast forward now; it is the undisputed market leader in this segment.
Nest now has a new product offering that is cost-effective and highly functional. The Nest Thermostat E is proof that you do not have to buy exorbitantly smart home devices for quality performance.
Some redundant features have been done away with this upgrade, while most of the useful features have been retained. This is all available now in one economical package – the Nest Thermostat E.
By and large, you will find that the Thermostat E is the most suitable choice for a wide range of cooling and heating applications.
Do you have a high-end HVAC system loaded with cutting-edge features? The Thermostat E can sync nicely and greatly enhance its performance. The Thermostat E is a fine choice for just about any smart home with heating and cooling systems.
Arlo Pro 3 Smart Security Camera
- loads of features
- easy installation
- elegant design
- subscription necessary for good performance
Arlo is the prime choice for those worried about home security. The wealth of features that this smart camera sport makes it a viable choice for smart home owners who are really smart. For example, you can control the camera via the Net, and the built-in Siren raises the alarm when needed.
Although the smart cam does not boast a 4K resolution, it still suffices with its 2K image resolution. The field of view extends to 160 degrees. Much like other available smart security cams, this one also has night vision and 2-way sound. Smart features like motion tracking and automatic zooming allow for some pretty decent performance. Thus, the camera can pick things up that may be of interest.
Zoom goes up to 12x. HDR support is also available.
The Arlo 3 can seamlessly integrate with all of your smart homes. There is support for Amazon Alexa as well as Google Assistant. It also works with HomeKit. Although the latter function is really cool, sadly you will have to pay extra for it.
The free trial extends to 3 months. After that, you have to pay $3 per month per camera under the basic plan. If you choose to go without the plan, you will lose key functions like cloud recording and object detection – the functions that really make this device useful.
The Arlo 3 is a nice upgrade over the illustrious Arlo 2. All in all, the Arlo 3 is a top choice for smart home owners who need an intelligent, reliable, and feature-rich security camera.
Belkin WeMo Insight Smart Plug
Effective energy monitoring
Strong smart home integration
The Belkin WeMo Insight Smart Plug doesn’t merely switch devices on and off when needed. It does a lot more. The smart plug tracks energy consumption and reliably approximates how much operating the device (to which the smart plug connects) will cost you.
This works great if you are keen on saving energy and lowering your bills. You can feel good about being more environmentally friendly.
The plug is a bit cumbersome. However, the cost savings from lowered bills is worth the bulkiness.
The major downside is that the app needs improvement. But despite that, the smart plug impresses with its strong performance.
The smart plug seamlessly integrates with a wide array of smart devices and systems like the Samsung SmartThings, Works with Nest, Google Assistant, Alexa, and IFTTT.
August Smart Lock Pro
- Highly compatible
- Automated functions
- Robust solid build
As smart homes keep getting smarter, ‘dumb’ devices are on their way out. However, many users still want to hold on to certain older hardware. For example, users don’t want a full replacement for the old-fashioned lock and key. They still want to retain their older keys.
Such situations call for the installation of the August smart lock. The smart lock can easily fit onto the existing deadbolt – no need to replace it. You also get to keep your old keys. You can do all this while reaping the benefits of the smart lock.
The August may be the best in the business as far as retrofit-capable smart locks are concerned. However, the model is on the more expensive side of things. Together with the WiFi adapter, the smart lock calls for a fair investment that is worth it.
If you share your space with someone who wants to retain keys or you are renting, then the August smart lock is the natural choice with its slick ability to coexist with your old-school door hardware.
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Detector
- Inconspicuous design
- Integrates easily with Nest devices
- Easy installation
- Not much else besides detecting smoke
The Nest Protect Smart Smoke Detector can raise the alarm and send you an emergency message anywhere in the world.
Nest is best known for its peerless smart thermostats. However, Nest also shines with its unmatched smart smoke detectors.
The Nest Smart Home Detector easily connects with the rest of your smart home.
The really nice thing is that the detector itself sports subtle aesthetics, making it pleasing to look at. Besides good looks, the Nest smart home detector connects easily via IFTTT and WiFi.
No matter where you are in the world, the Nest smoke detector will fire off an alert message to you so that you are warned.
Although the app and device both work nicely, let’s hope you don’t need it, ever.
The best smart home devices for 2021 are not just fancy gizmos trick you into parting with your cash. These smart gadgets purvey a host of some very useful features for which we have a real need besides convenience.
The smart home devices for 2021 mentioned above can connect nicely with most available smart home ecosystems like Z-Wave, ZigBee, IFTTT, Amazon Alexa Platform, Samsung SmartThings Google Assistant, Apple Homekit, etc.
Endless hours of experimentation, professional work, and personal investment in Home Theatre, Hi-Fi, Smart Home Automation and Headphones have come to this.
Former owner of Headphones Canada, a high-end headphone specialty retailer.
This post was last updated on 2023-03-21 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.