Best Smart Home Devices Guide & Reviews of 2020

It’s time to say goodbye to 2019 and hello to the newest wave of automated accessories and deals. This review of the best smart home devices is a good reminder that the future is here, and it’s more efficient than ever. It’s easy to see why more people are streamlining their gadgets for more security and peace of mind.

What We Did to Find the Best

Home automation systems help to modernize a property as well as ramp up its safety. This adds peace of mind for families and individuals while cutting down on crime in that neighborhood. At the end of the day, these things just make life easier.

  • Features

    0-10

    monitoring period, 24/7 alerts, disaster protection etc.

  • Support

    0-10

    telephone, email, chat, and other channels

  • Price

    0-10

    monthly fee, money-back, trial period

  • Ease of Use

    0-10

    installation, maintenance, service support

  • Trust Score

    0-10

    BBB.org and Trustpilot (positive, negative reviews)

To compile this list, it was important to analyze the smart home devices on key metrics like features & equipment, customer support, cost, ease of use, trust score (positive and negative reviews). From there, each supplier earned a score from 0 to 10 for each metric. Then the average value is calculated, and the total estimations contributed to their position on this list. Readers can trust this review because it scoured dozens of client surveys, consults, blog posts, and articles.

1. Amazon Echo Dot: Third Time's the Charm

Total Score 9.5/10

Amazon Main
Amazon Echo Dot
Amazon Echo Dot Speaker
  • Features & Equipment9.0/10
  • Customer Support9.5/10
  • Price10/10
  • Ease of Use9.0/10
  • Trust Score10/10
BBB Rating A-
Best for Sound Quality

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

90 days

This review refers to the third-generation Echo Dot. This smart home device brings new capabilities, including over 50,000 vocal commands, and works as a command center for the entire system. It’s compatible with Amazon Alexa and dozens of other third-party apps. It also boasts 360° audio thanks to a built-in microphone.

Pros:

  • Built-in speakers
  • Convenient size
  • Dozens of integrations
  • Low cost
  • Smoke/CO2 detection
  • Thousands of vocal commands
  • Two-way communication

Cons:

  • Lacks a secondary power source
  • No cameras
  • Not as effective alone

2. August Smart Lock: Never Lose the Keys Again

Total Score 9.2/10

August Main
August Smart Lock
August Lock
  • Features & Equipment9.0/10
  • Customer Support9.5/10
  • Price8.0/10
  • Ease of Use9.5/10
  • Trust Score10/10
BBB Rating A+
Best for Remote Security

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

NO

These days, smart home gadgets include things like temperature sensors, glass break alerts, and light modules. This nifty product is a prime example of how automation can make life easier. The security lock installs in minutes and can go right over the existing deadbolt. With the app, users can automatically secure the building or allow access to a guest. It’s battery-operated and senses when the door’s open or closed. The digital log lets parents see when family members entered or exited the household, which can be a good way to manage teen curfews.

Pros:

  • Bluetooth-enabled security lock
  • Convenient, small size
  • Google Assistant compatible
  • Positive client reviews
  • Reliable privacy settings
  • Quick set-up
  • Voice recognition

Cons:

  • Connectivity
  • Ease of use
  • Pricing

3. Ring Video Doorbell 2: Better the Second Time Around

Total Score 8.8/10

Ring-Review
Video Doorbell 2 Silver
Video Doorbell 2 Black
  • Features & Equipment9.5/10
  • Customer Support9.5/10
  • Price8.0/10
  • Ease of Use9.0/10
  • Trust Score8.0/10
BBB Rating C
Best for Front Door Detection

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

This company is a good place to find many top smart home devices, but its video doorbell is a standout. It conveniently integrates with Amazon Alexa for quick updates and notifications. Clients will find it easy to read automatic text alerts when someone triggers the doorbell. With the built-in mic, they can access the two-way audio feature and chat before getting to the door. Using it in the dark is no problem, thanks to the night vision feature.

Pros:

  • 160° field of view cameras
  • Built-in mic
  • Hardwired or battery-powered
  • Image quality
  • Live-stream footage
  • Mobile compatibility
  • Quick set-up

Cons:

  • Cost
  • Do-it-yourself set-up
  • User support

4. Sonos One: Stellar Sound Every Time

Total Score 8.8/10

Sonos Main
Sonos One
Sonos One Speaker
  • Features & Equipment9.0/10
  • Customer Support9.0/10
  • Price8.0/10
  • Ease of Use8.0/10
  • Trust Score10/10
BBB Rating A+
Best for Household Sound Quality

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

100 days

This is one of those smart home gadgets for music lovers. Clients will have fun using vocal commands to adjust the hi-fi speaker, or they can use the accompanying mobile app. It works with Amazon Alexa and Echo, as well as 30 other streaming services for simple, hands-free listening. Plus, users can sync multiple speakers up to create their in-house surround sound system. This product is sleek and small, and can even function in the bathroom since it has no issues with humidity.

Pros:

  • Alexa built-in
  • Compact design
  • Hi-fi functionality speakers
  • Humidity-resistant
  • Positive client reviews
  • Voice recognition
  • Works with 30 services

Cons:

  • Cost
  • Limited capabilities
  • No cameras

5. ADT Pulse: A Trusted Name in Surveillance

Total Score 8.8/10

ADT Main
ADT Pulse
ADT Pulse System
  • Features & Equipment8.5/10
  • Customer Support8.0/10
  • Price10/10
  • Ease of Use8.0/10
  • Trust Score9.5/10
BBB Rating A+
Best for Full Integration

DIY instal

NO

Trial Period

30 days

ADT is already known as a competitor in providing the best smart home devices. Well, its smart home devices are still some of the best in 2020. The Pulse plan comes with 24/7 professional monitoring and the ability to review the recorded history at any time. Users can sync it with intelligent light bulbs, doorbells, Alexa, Echo, and more. They can also access the system from their phones for remote arming and disarming. Be aware that it requires a Premium plan ($52.99/month).

Pros:

  • 24/7 monitors
  • Expert installation
  • Event history
  • Image/video footage available
  • Instant notifications
  • Mobile app
  • Third-party syncing

Cons:

  • Monitoring costs extra
  • Pricing
  • Requires a contract

6. Samsung Smart TV: More Than A Television

Total Score 8.6/10

Samsung Main
Samsung Smart
Samsung Smart TV
  • Features & Equipment8.0/10
  • Customer Support8.5/10
  • Price8.0/10
  • Ease of Use8.5/10
  • Trust Score10/10
BBB Rating A+
Best for Family Entertainment

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

7 days

A TV might not be the first thing people think of when they imagine smart home devices, but this one’s worth checking out. With this television, individuals can channel surf or read the TV guide without interrupting their current program. They’ll always get a pixel-perfect picture in 4K on a 65 or 75-inch display. Set-up is simple: plug it in and get started, thanks to the One Connect Box. Alternatively, families can put it on the ambient setting, so it blends into the room and looks pretty as a picture.

Pros:

  • 4K image quality
  • Ambient setting
  • Connectivity
  • Large display
  • No wires
  • Quick install
  • Spoken commands

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Glitchy
  • Poor customer support

7. Philips Hue White LED: Radiant & Reliable Lighting

Total Score 8.6/10

Philips Hue Main
Philips Hue App
Philips Hue Family
  • Features & Equipment7.0/10
  • Customer Support8.0/10
  • Price10/10
  • Ease of Use8.0/10
  • Trust Score10/10
philips-logo-sidebar
BBB Rating A-
Best for Hands-free Lighting

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

7 days

This sleek and modern bulb emits a soft white color that doesn’t overpower the room. It’s also ENERGY STAR-certified, will work for up to 15,000 hours, and is a great addition to a home automation system. Bluetooth app control and vocal commands allow users to modify light settings wherever they are. Also, Hue works with Google Assistant and Amazon products, and syncs with other Philips products.

Pros:

  • Affordability
  • Bluetooth compatibility
  • Energy & money-saving
  • No wires
  • Sets a comfortable mood
  • Spoken commands
  • Third-party integration

Cons:

  • Glitchy
  • Tricky set-up
  • Works with Google Home, not Assistant

8. Nest Hello: A Must-Have for Families

Total Score 8.4/10

Nest Hello Main
Nest Hello Video
Nest Hello Video Doorbell
  • Features & Equipment8.5/10
  • Customer Support8.5/10
  • Price8.0/10
  • Ease of Use8.0/10
  • Trust Score9.0/10
nest-logo-sidebar
BBB Rating B-
Best for Child Safety

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

The Nest is a smart home device that comes from the warehouses of Google. It’s got a handy weatherproof coating and a 160-degree field of view. Combine that with the ability to read and recognize faces, and it’s a great value. Clients can grant access to visitors via the mobile app as well as connect the gadget to Amazon Echo, IFTTT, and more. The speaker allows them to give pre-recorded messages to guests when they’re away. It comes with a two-year warranty, and clients can use it with the Nest Thermostat.

Pros:

  • Continuous recording
  • Expandable
  • Facial recognition
  • Night vision
  • Remote access
  • Third-party syncing
  • Wide field of view

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Installation
  • Requires doorbell wiring

9. Nest Thermostat E: Continually Learning

Total Score 8.3/10

Nest Thermostat Main
Nest Thermostat
Nest Thermostat History
  • Features & Equipment8.0/10
  • Customer Support8.0/10
  • Price8.0/10
  • Ease of Use8.5/10
  • Trust Score9.0/10
nest-logo-sidebar
BBB Rating B-
Best for Energy Saving

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

This is one of those smart devices that has an official certification behind it. The Google Nest thermostat is backed by ENERGY-STAR and uses the customer’s phone to detect their presence. That means that people can modify the Nest’s temp even when they’re away. Several sensors throughout the house allow it to read the temperature of each room and adjust accordingly. Clients will like being able to set it to turn on, off, or change temperatures at specific times of the day.

Pros:

  • 30-day trial perio
  • Energy-saving thermostat
  • Individual room sensors
  • Mobile compatibility
  • Recognized certification
  • Remote monitoring
  • Sleek design

Cons:

  • 24V hook-up only
  • A bit expensive
  • No manual mod

10. Ecobee4: Go Green, Save Green

Total Score 8.1/10

Ecobee Main
Ecobee Thermostat
Ecobee Thermostat Whit You
  • Features & Equipment8.5/10
  • Customer Support8.5/10
  • Price8.0/10
  • Ease of Use8.5/10
  • Trust Score7.0/10
ecobee-logo-sidebar
BBB Rating F
Best for Energy Saving

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

Ecobee may be a little-known brand, but it has one of the best smart home devices of 2020. This thermostat boasts several impressive integrations, including Google Assistant, HomeKit, and IFTTT. Another feature that people will like is that it has Amazon Alexa and a speaker built-in. The touchscreen display is intuitive and seamless, allowing users to access dozens of mobile and web apps.

Pros:

  • Compatible with several third-party apps
  • ENERGY STAR-certified thermostat
  • Intuitive interface
  • Sets up in minutes
  • Temperature sensors
  • Touchscreen
  • Vocal recognition

Cons:

  • Design
  • Expensive
  • Poor BBB rating

Best Home Automation Systems of 2020 (Pricing & Features)

For an easy side-by-side view, take a look at this table that shows all of the home automation systems at a glance. Individuals can take a look at the features that matter most to them and see which gadgets rise to the top.

Provider Total Score Price BBB Rating DIY instal Trial Period Battery Backup Detection Range Energy Saver HD Quality Integrations Mobile Alerts Night Vision Two-Way Audio Voice Commands
1. Echo Dot 9.5/10 $22+ A- YES 90 day No N/A Yes N/A Yes Yes No Yes Yes
2. August Lock 9.2/10 $119 A+ YES NO No ~10 ft No N/A Yes Yes N/A No Yes
3. Ring Doorbell 8.8/10 $199 C YES 30 days Yes 30 ft No 1080p Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
4. Sonos One 8.8/10 $169 A+ YES 100 days No ~10 ft No N/A Yes Yes N/A No Yes
5. ADT Pulse 8.8/10 $99 A+ NO 30 days No 30 ft No 720p Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
6. Samsung TV 8.6/10 $599.99+ A+ YES 7 days No N/A Yes 4K Yes Yes N/A No Yes
7. Philips Hue 8.6/10 $27.99+ A- YES 7 days Yes N/A Yes N/A Yes Yes N/A No Yes
8. Nest Hello 8.4/10 $229 B- YES 30 days Yes 15 ft No 1080p Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
9. Nest Therm 8.3/10 $139 B- YES 30 days Yes 50 ft Yes N/A Yes Yes N/A No No
10. Ecobee Therm 8.1/10 $199.99 F YES 30 days Yes 45 ft Yes N/A Yes Yes N/A No Yes

Factors to Consider When Building a Smart Home Device

Creating the ideal integrated system takes time, so be sure to use these tips to get started. Consider the following factors to ensure that the project is affordable but also accessible.

1. System Preference

It’s best to have a product that works together with an automated system or hub, rather than functioning on its own.

2. Blackouts

Just because the power goes out, it doesn’t mean that the entire system needs to shut down. Look for cellular or battery backup.

3. Connectivity & Security

Not only does the network need to be strong, but it should be encrypted so hackers can’t get in.

4. User-Friendliness

There’s no point in having advanced technology if it’s not intuitive and responsive.

5. Equipment & Other Costs

Be sure to consider the initial fee as well as additional charges for installation or activation.

The Best Smart Home Device Features To Look for

Now that the basic idea is covered, here are the key benefits to look for in any automation system. Things like being able to turn the gadget on and off with a single word or investing in a product for long-term savings. It makes a world of difference.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Best Smart Home Hub?

    First, it’s a good idea to narrow down the categories of smart home gadgets. For instance, there are cameras, lights, and entire control panels. Moreover, these options aren’t one-size-fits-all. Consumers should consider their primary concerns when shopping around. They may value live-streaming footage, or perhaps they want accurate motion detection. Others may prefer the ability to control their appliances while they’re out of town. This list is the best place to start the search.

  • Are Smart Home Devices Safe?

    Yes, especially since most smart home systems come with unique privacy settings and customized modes that give consumers power over their systems. Lots of accessories are password-protected, and others encrypt user data to prevent hacks. That said, it’s always important to practice common sense and refrain from giving out passcodes and other sensitive details.

  • Do Smart Homes Require a Hub?

    Not all the time. Some of the best home automation kits work without a primary power source or panel. They may function together with other appliances or on their own. It depends on the provider or brand. On the other hand, some units require a hub to allow all of the accessories to communicate with each other.

  • Can Smart Home Devices be Hacked?

    Yes, but this is very uncommon in 2020. These days, the large majority of smart home products have encrypted passwords and advanced privacy protection. Plus, those that have 24/7 monitoring have the extra backup of expert technicians. To prevent hackers, families should keep passcodes to themselves and change the default settings once they receive the kit.

  • What is the Benefit of a Smart Home Hub?

    Some home automation devices work on their own, but others require connection with a hub or base station. This is like the brains of the entire operation and can serve as an all-in-one product. It’s convenient because it can sync with the system’s other appliances to create a more robust protection plan. That said, it’s not always necessary to purchase a base, as many items can work fine by themselves.

  • Are Smart Homes a Good Idea?

    Yes, especially as more products and services go online. Today, there are plenty of ways for people to make their properties work for them. For instance, intelligent bulbs and lights can ensure that individuals use energy wisely. Moreover, surveillance cameras and motion detectors keep young kids safer. Plus, all of this is accessible straight from a phone.

A Last Look at 2020`s Winners

These 10 home automation devices are worth checking out, especially for those who want to feel safer in the new year. Not only can these appliances make life easier, but they can help reduce bills and make monotonous tasks a bit more enjoyable. Whether someone is living alone or with a large family, there’s a perfect kit waiting for them.



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