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The best smart displays from Google, Amazon, and others
Are you looking to smarten up your home? Smart speakers are a great way to do that, but you can take things a little further and go all out on one of the best smart displays out there. Today we’ll tell you all about these and give you some of our favorite options.
Why buy a smart display?
Smart displays offer all the benefits of an intelligent speaker. This means you can do things like ask for the time, control certain smart home products, set timers, get random information, and more. Smart displays can also take things a step further, thanks to the included screen. The visual element can provide more information than audio.
For example, when asking for the weather, you can visualize more than a day’s data and get a view of the whole week’s climate. You can also view notes, reminders, alarms, calendars, recipe instructions, news, and even product information for shopping. In addition, they make it possible to visualize your smart home controls to get a better idea of what’s going on at home. It’s also possible to make video calls instead of relying on voice alone. Not to mention the ability to enjoy movies and other forms of video content for entertainment.
Related: Amazon Alexa vs. Google Assistant
Smart displays tend to cost more than speakers, and they’re bulkier. These are also much more functional and convenient for day-to-day use, though. Furthermore, they can often include more advanced features, such as doubling as security cameras or operating as charging hubs for other devices.
The best smart displays:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best smart displays regularly as new ones launch.
Google Nest Hub Max
The 2nd-generation Google Nest Hub Max comes with all the great things we loved about the first iteration, and then some. It’s easily one of the best smart displays available today, and it’s definitely the top option for Google Assistant smart screens.
The design is the same, featuring a clean and simple look that will look great in any room. There’s a 10-inch touchscreen with a 1,280 x 800 resolution, a couple of 18mm 10W tweeters, and a 75mm 30W woofer. The 6.5MP camera can be used for video calls using Google Duo, Google Meet, and even Zoom. It can also work as a security camera using Nest Aware.
Furthermore, the device comes with Chromecast support, video streaming capabilities, picture frame support, and everything else Google Assistant offers. The device has it all and can become your one-stop solution for all your smart home and digital assistant needs.
Google Nest Hub
Those who don’t need all the fancy features in the Nest Hub Max might find the 2nd-generation Google Nest Hub to be a more convenient alternative. It’s also much cheaper, but there are some sacrifices to be had. The device comes with a smaller 7-inch 1,024 x 600 display. It also only has a single 1.7-inch speaker and lacks a camera.
All that said, the Nest Hub has its benefits. For starters, it’s much smaller and more discrete. You can still watch videos and make regular calls on it, or use it as a photo frame. The most significant benefit over the bigger version is the implementation of Sleep Sensing, though. This feature tracks and analyzes your sleep using motion and sound.
Did we mention it’s much cheaper? We did, but we should emphasize this point. The Nest Hub Max costs well over half the price of the Nest Hub. The savings are real.
Amazon Echo Show 8
Of course, Amazon can’t be left out when listing the best smart displays on the market. We’re starting with the Echo Show 8, which finds a good balance between size, affordability, and features.
The device has plenty to offer, and some might say it’s a better deal than the Nest Hub. It has a larger 8-inch HD touchscreen, a 13 MP camera, and a couple of 2-inch speakers. The camera can be used for calls and security. The smart display can also tap into Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, and more.
Of course, you’ll have to live with Amazon Alexa, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many believe it to be a better, more fluid digital voice assistant. And the service is compatible with a vast library of connected services.
Amazon Echo Show 10
The Amazon Echo Show 10 isn’t just a larger version of the 8-inch version. This iteration takes things to a whole new level. Aside from being one of the best smart displays, it’s also the coolest.
The main reason is that the screen can rotate and face your direction whenever called upon. It will also follow you during video calls, and can keep an eye on any room area when used as a security camera.
Aside from those fancy features, the Amazon Echo Show 10 comes with a pretty standard set of features. The 10.1-inch screen has a 1,280 x 800 resolution. It also comes with a couple of 1-inch tweeters, as well as a 3-inch woofer. It has the same 13MP camera with auto-framing. One noteworthy addition is the built-in Zigbee smart home hub.
Amazon Echo Show 15
Now, if you want to get serious about your Amazon Alexa smart display, you have to go with the Amazon Echo Show 15. It offers the largest screen in the Echo Show family, featuring a Full HD 15.6-inch panel. It also comes with two 1.6-inch speakers.
This also happens to be the only mountable Echo Show device, and it can be used either in landscape or portrait orientation. This makes it easy to access all your services, get recipes, watch videos, keep notes available, and more. It also has a lovely frame look, which will make it a perfect digital photo frame.
The only real downside is that it only has a 5MP camera. That’s OK, considering the price stays the same as the Echo Show 10’s, though. There had to be a sacrifice somewhere.
Facebook Portal Go
Facebook Portal devices haven’t quite generated as much traction as their competitors, but they’re actually some of the best smart speakers out there.
For starters, this is the only device in this list that comes with a built-in battery, making it a much more mobile option. It doubles as a Bluetooth speaker too, which means you might not need to buy multiple smart displays or speakers if you get the Facebook Portal Go.
The unit still comes with Amazon Alexa. Other features include a 10-inch HD screen, a 12MP camera, two full-range speakers, and a woofer. You also get video call support for Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Zoom.
Facebook Portal TV
Do you really need yet another screen in your home? Think about it; the chances are you already have a huge one in your living room, and likely the bedrooms too. Facebook Portal TV makes it possible to turn any TV into one of the best smart displays.
This small device docks on top of your TV and connects to it via HDMI. It then smartens your television and adds the Facebook Portal interface to it. Of course, this means you get all the benefits of Amazon Alexa, as well as connectivity to plenty of apps, streaming services, video calling, and more.
The unit features a 12MP camera, eight microphones, and an included remote. You’ll definitely need the latter, as your TV will lack a touchscreen to control Facebook Portal with.
Are you wondering how else you can make your home smarter? We have an excellent guide to help with that.