Display Looking to upgrade your smart-home setup even more? Consider a smart display, which allows users to manually control all of their connected devices from one convenient place. You might be wondering what a smart display can do that an Amazon Alexa- or Google Assistant-powered speaker can’t.
Thanks to a touch-screen panel, a smart display is much more interactive than a smart speaker, while keeping all of the same basic functionalities. Learn more about our three top-rated smart display picks below:
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BEST FOR MOST SMART HOMES
The Amazon Echo Show 8 is the best smart display for most consumers. The Alexa-powered product has a high-quality 8-inch touch screen that’s neither too big nor too small, powerful stereo speakers, a camera with a built-in privacy shutter (meaning you can cover the camera when you don’t want to use it), and a reasonable price. PCMag also concluded that the Echo Show 8 “offers a nearly perfect balance of price, performance, and size.”
The screen of the Echo Show 8 allows users to watch news, get the latest weather reports, follow cooking recipes, keep tabs on your security cameras, and stream Prime Video content, among many other things. Equipped with a duo of 2-inch speakers and passive bass radiator, the smart display sounds surprisingly great for its size.
The built-in camera of the Echo Show 8 will allow you to make free video calls with other Echo Show owners. Amazon offers an optional stand for the device, which allows you to adjust the angles of its display and camera to your liking. If you’re an Amazon user looking to get the most that a smart display can offer, then we think the Echo Show 8 is the best option for you.
THE BIG-SCREEN PICK
The Google Nest Hub Max is the most feature-packed smart display worth your attention today. Key features of the product include a vibrant 10-inch touch screen, powerful stereo speakers, a built-in Nest smart camera, and the tech giant’s fantastic virtual assistant. You can order this smart display in two colors: charcoal and chalk.
The display of the Hub Max has an ambient light sensor, which automatically adjusts its brightness and color temperature depending on the lighting conditions in the room. While testing the product, I enjoyed it for watching news, streaming live games on YouTube TV, and improving my cooking game, among other things.
The big screen also doubles as an excellent photo frame. You can effortlessly sync Google Photos and showcase your favorite memories on the Nest Hub Max.
The built-in 6.5 MP camera is handy for making Google Duo video calls, as well as for monitoring your home while you’re away. The Verge observed that “no other smart display offers this kind of extended functionality.” The Hub Max can also use its camera to recognize the faces of household members and show personalized onscreen content, including notifications. Dubbed Face Match, this feature takes minutes to set up.
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THE COMPACT PICK
The Amazon Echo Show 5 smart display is a smaller device with a price tag to match. Priced below $100, the gadget not only serves as an intuitive smart home command center, but it’s also a perfect replacement for your old alarm clock.
The 5.5-inch touch screen of the Echo Show 5 is suitable for performing countless tasks, but too small for binge-watching your favorite Prime Video series. The sole full-range speaker of the device is perfect for waking you up and keeping you informed about your daily life, but not for rocking out to your favorite tunes. If you’re planning on streaming music frequently, consider a bigger Echo Show with built-in stereo speakers.
The Echo Show 5 has a camera for making free video calls with other Echo Show owners. We like that Amazon has equipped the camera with a privacy shutter. Thanks to an optional stand, you can easily adjust the display and the camera angles of the smart display.