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WHEN THE robots take over (and, make no mistake, they will take over), we’ll be able to clearly point to when it all started. It seems everything has gone “smart” these days. From Apple AirTags and almost-pocket-sized tablets, to robot vacuums and web-connected toaster ovens, all the tech-y things in today’s most connected homes are collectively smarter than we are—almost.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade the countertop appliances in your kitchen, your home theater speakers, or the security system that protects you and your loved ones, there’s almost definitely a smart home gadget or smart home device to take it to the next level. While the best and smartest options run into the thousands—even tens of thousands of dollars—the good news is that you don’t have to take out a second mortgage or sell your prized Beanie Baby collection to upgrade your existing “dumb” appliances.
The Smart Home Gadgets Our Editors Love
That conversation got our team of expert gear testers wondering, “What are the absolute best smart home gadgets available right now?” Since the beginning of this year, we’ve been testing many of the top-rated, best-reviewed smart home devices we could get our hands on. We compared every last feature and spec, including durability, versatility, user-friendliness, and, of course, price—all to round up the very best smart home gadgets worth buying in 2023.
Home Entertainment Gadgets
The Echo is still our go-to for a simple, dirt-cheap, smart home speaker. This limited edition Star Wars set—featuring the 5th Generation Echo Dot and a special Stormtrooper holder—will operate as a go-to HD speaker with excellent Alexa voice control and connectivity, opening up your home to Amazon’s entire smart home ecosystem.
It’s everything we want in a smart TV—a bright, 55-inch, 4K UHD QLED display with Dolby Vision and integrated Roku functionality— all for less than $700.
Of course, if you want to go big for your home AV setup, you need at least a 70-inch TV. The LG 77” C1 delivers breathtaking 4K UHD images in a sleek, beautiful package. And you can score one for under $3K—considerably less than its competitors.
Sylvox proves outdoor smart TVs don’t have to cost a fortune. This budget-friendly model features a 55-inch, 4K UHD display wrapped in a rugged, waterproof housing. The best part? It looks great installed in all but the sunniest backyard locations.
Roku is still our go-to favorite streaming device. It’s easy to use, compatible with everything, and doesn’t try to push any one particular streaming service on you (like Apple or Amazon). This flagship model supports beautiful 4K HDR resolution, and the built-in search is best-in-class.
For next-level, theater-quality sound without cluttering your living room with a dozen speakers, you need a good soundbar. Sporting 11.1.4-channel audio and Alexa integration, Samsung’s HW-Q950A seriously delivers.
Take your favorite tunes, podcasts, or audiobooks with you wherever you may roam. Sonos’ Move 2 delivers big, room-filling sound in a portable, go-almost-anywhere package. With built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, it’s smarter and better connected than whatever portable speaker you’re using right now.
One countertop smart cooker to rule them all. Cosori’s Pro III is its flagship air fryer that not only air fries but roasts, broils, bakes, and more. You can control just about every feature and monitor the progress of your latest cook via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, too.
For serious home chefs, Anova’s Precision Oven is a next-level smart combi oven that delivers sous-vide-quality results without the usual water bath and plastic bag. It steams, proofs, bakes, dehydrates, broils, toasts, defrosts, reheats, and—well, you get the picture.
It’s 2023, and you deserve a robot vacuum that’s more than just a vacuum. The S7 Max Ultra hoovers up dirt, dust, pet hair, liquids, and more, then auto-mops your floors to boot. It’ll even self-empty and self-refill, so you almost literally never have to lift a finger.
Coffee is so much better when someone or something else makes it for you. Control when your coffee is made and how strong it is, all via voice commands or a few button pushes in the mobile app.
Even the lowly kitchen trash can has gone all “smart.” For germ-minded home cooks, this smart bin responds to motion and simple voice commands, like “open can,” “stay open,” and “close can.”
Home Security Gadgets
Arlo’s deceptively simple Arlo 4 Pro ticks all the boxes for everything we look for in a smart home security camera. That includes a high-res display, motion-activated video capture, and a bright, built-in security light. Plus, it’s easy to install and costs under $180.
Of course, the best smart homes are only as well-protected as their doors and locks. This next-gen lock works with traditional keys, as well as your voice, fingerprint, a built-in keypad, and the paired mobile app, so you can lock and unlock it from anywhere in the world.
Affordable, reliable, and dead-simple to install—everything we love about SimpliSafe’s $200 5-Piece Wireless Home Security System. Plus, it works seamlessly with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
For basic, budget-friendly home security monitoring, it doesn’t get any better than Wyze’s Cam V3. It boasts a color night vision display, two-way audio, and solid smart home compatibility—all for less than $35.
Keep tabs on the inside of your smart home, too. This indoor security camera records 2K video with night vision capability, plus automatic motion tracking and motion alerts track all your invited and uninvited guests.
Comfort & Convenience Gadgets
For Eight Sleep, “AI” is more than just a buzzword. Its ultra-premium Pod Cover uses next-level artificial intelligence to track your sleep schedule, sleep phases, and overall comfort throughout the night, then automatically adjusts itself to help you finally (finally!) sleep better.
The right lighting elevates any living or bedroom setup. Philips’ Hue Smart LED Bulb adds customizable color and white light with just a single bulb. Just pop open the Bluetooth app and dial in your favorite room look without even getting off the couch.
Buying all-new smart home devices gets expensive fast. Kasa’s Matter Smart Plug adds smart capability to most of your existing “dumb” appliances, complete with voice control, energy use tracking, and easy integration with a long list of smart home hubs and systems, including Alexa and Google Home.
Google’s latest Nest Hub boasts a crisp, bright display that works as a perfect smart home HQ for all your IoT-connected devices. It also doubles as a smart picture frame or a secondary display for peeping YouTube, Netflix, and other streaming services.
Upgrade your “dumb” thermostat with Ecobee’s sleek, premium alternative. Sure, it’ll control your HVAC system, but it’s also a smart speaker, a smart home security device, and an air-quality monitor. Plus, it supports a long list of third-party smart home platforms.
For those days when you want to go the gym without actually going to the gym, there’s Forme Studio. It’s a next-gen smart mirror with touchscreen, app-free navigation for accessing world-class fitness coaches and a deep library of workout classes and routines without ever leaving home.
Shop More Cool Gadgets We Love
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He’s kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South Africa, and survived a near-miss great white shark attack in Mexico. His travel advice has appeared on the websites for Forbes, Travel + Leisure, CNET, and National Geographic. He loves the great outdoors and good bourbon, and (usually) calls Tulsa, Oklahoma home. Mike also enjoys speaking in the third person.
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