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Top 9 Smart Home Gadgets

There’s no doubt that the future is “smart”. With so many devices around us becoming connected, it’s no wonder that the smart home market is booming. If you’re looking to get in on the action, we’ve compiled a list of the best smart home gadgets you can get in 2022. We’ll take a look at each product in detail and help you decide which one is right for you.

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Top 9 Smart Home Gadgets

1. Sonos One

As the first smart speaker developed by audio experts Sonos, Sonos One combines smart functionality with impressive audio quality, making it one of the best smart home devices on the market. It is also the first smart speaker to feature both Google Assistant and Alexa support. Full Review

  • Alexa and Google Assistant Support
  • Apple Airplay 2 Support
  • Touch controls

As the first smart speaker developed by audio experts Sonos, Sonos One combines smart functionality with impressive audio quality, making it one of the best smart home devices on the market. It is also the first smart speaker to feature both Google Assistant and Alexa support. Full Review

2. Philips Hue White and Colour Ambiance Starter Kit

There is currently no bigger name on the smart lightning scene than Philips Hue. The Philips Hue White and Colour Ambiance Starter Kit is easy to set up and works seamlessly with Alexa, Google Assistants, and HomeKit. And the best part? The lights are configurable with a whopping 16 million+ different colours. Full Review

  • Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit support
  • White and coloured light
  • Bluetooth and Zigbee communication protocols

There is currently no bigger name on the smart lightning scene than Philips Hue. The Philips Hue White and Colour Ambiance Starter Kit is easy to set up and works seamlessly with Alexa, Google Assistants, and HomeKit. And the best part? The lights are configurable with a whopping 16 million+ different colours. Full Review

3. Google Nest Cam (battery)

Google Nest Cam is a battery-powered security camera that can be placed anywhere in your home (or outside) and will ping an immediate alert to your phone if it detects any motion. And with two-way audio support, you can even talk to whoever is on your property from the Nest app. Full Review

  • Facial recognition
  • 1080p resolution
  • 130° field of view

Google Nest Cam is a battery-powered security camera that can be placed anywhere in your home (or outside) and will ping an immediate alert to your phone if it detects any motion. And with two-way audio support, you can even talk to whoever is on your property from the Nest app. Full Review

4. Eve Energy

Eve Energy is an easy-to-use smart plug that will allow you to control the electrical devices in your home from your smartphone and monitor your energy consumption. It can be controlled via the Eve app, the HomeKit app, and Siri and also uses Thread smart home technology for internet connection. Full Review

  • Energy consumption monitoring
  • Apple HomeKit integration
  • Thread and Bluetooth support

Eve Energy is an easy-to-use smart plug that will allow you to control the electrical devices in your home from your smartphone and monitor your energy consumption. It can be controlled via the Eve app, the HomeKit app, and Siri and also uses Thread smart home technology for internet connection. Full Review

5. August Wi-Fi Smart Lock

If you are looking to upgrade your home security system with a smart lock, the August Wi-Fi smart lock is one of your best options. It is the first in the August lineup to feature built-in Wi-Fi, and it has a more compact size than before. It is also compatible with all the leading smart home systems. Features include everything from auto lock and unlock to guest access and smart alerts. Full Review

  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Compact size
  • Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit integration

If you are looking to upgrade your home security system with a smart lock, the August Wi-Fi smart lock is one of your best options. It is the first in the August lineup to feature built-in Wi-Fi, and it has a more compact size than before. It is also compatible with all the leading smart home systems. Features include everything from auto lock and unlock to guest access and smart alerts. Full Review

6. Amazon Echo Dot With Clock

The Amazon Echo Dot with Clock is one of the most affordable Alexa smart speakers that you can also use as a bedside alarm clock. It comes with a built-in LED display that shows the time and any alarms and timers you’ve set up. Full Review

  • LED display with time
  • Amazon Alexa integration
  • Minimalistic design

The Amazon Echo Dot with Clock is one of the most affordable Alexa smart speakers that you can also use as a bedside alarm clock. It comes with a built-in LED display that shows the time and any alarms and timers you’ve set up. Full Review

7. Nest Learning Thermostat

The Nest Learning thermostat stands out for its ability to learn your heating and cooling habits and adjust itself accordingly without you having to do anything — hence its name. With its location-based features, the Nest Learning thermostat can also spot when you are not at home and set itself to an Eco temperature to help you save energy. Full Review

  • Eco temperature
  • Hot water control
  • Support for Google Home and Alexa

The Nest Learning thermostat stands out for its ability to learn your heating and cooling habits and adjust itself accordingly without you having to do anything — hence its name. With its location-based features, the Nest Learning thermostat can also spot when you are not at home and set itself to an Eco temperature to help you save energy. Full Review

8. Ring Video Doorbell Wired

As suggested by its name, the Ring Video doorbell is a mains-powered doorbell that sends an immediate notification to the Ring app whenever someone is at your doorstep. It also lets you view a real-time feed from the doorbell's camera through the Ring app. Full Review

  • Live view
  • 1080p HD video
  • Advanced motion detection

As suggested by its name, the Ring Video doorbell is a mains-powered doorbell that sends an immediate notification to the Ring app whenever someone is at your doorstep. It also lets you view a real-time feed from the doorbell's camera through the Ring app. Full Review

9. Amazon Echo Show 8

The second generation Echo Show 8 comes with an 8-inch screen, excellent sound quality and an array of Alexa voice control functionality at only half the price of the larger Echo 10 and the newest Echo 15. Perhaps its best feature is the improved 13 MP camera, allowing for much sharper video calls and live camera footage. Full Review

  • 13 MP camera with auto-framing
  • 8-inch HD touchscreen
  • Alexa voice control

The second generation Echo Show 8 comes with an 8-inch screen, excellent sound quality and an array of Alexa voice control functionality at only half the price of the larger Echo 10 and the newest Echo 15. Perhaps its best feature is the improved 13 MP camera, allowing for much sharper video calls and live camera footage. Full Review

Detailed Reviews

Sonos One
Sonos One

Best smart speaker

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  • Excellent sound quality
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Six internal microphones for easier voice control
  • Multi-room audio support

Sonos One is a compact yet powerful smart speaker with built-in Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice control. With support for both, users can choose their preferred voice assistant rather than being limited to one or the other.

On top of that, Sonos One supports Apple’s AirPlay 2, so you can also control it with your iPhone or any other Siri-enabled device. Voice control is facilitated by the six internal microphones that are able to pick up your voice even when loud music is playing.

With Alexa and Google Assistant built-in, you can use Sonos One to automate a number of daily tasks, as well as direct each request to any other product in your Sonos system.

Despite its compact size, the Sonos One is one of the best-sounding smart speakers in its price range, capable of filling any room with rich and immersive sound. The speaker features two Class D audio amplifiers and the tweeter/mid-woofer driver combination.

You can also easily connect two units to create a stereo pair or even pair up the speaker with other Sonos devices over Wi-Fi for a multi-room setup. The speaker also integrates with hundreds of streaming services, including Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, and Audible.

Sonos One is currently priced at £182 and is available in black and gloss white colour. Overall this smart speaker offers excellent value for money and will definitely be a valuable addition to your smart home setup.

  • Quick and easy installation
  • Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri voice control
  • Lights can be synced to the content of the screen
  • Over 16 million colours to choose from

Philips Hue is the go-to name for smart lighting, and for a good reason. Its smart lights are easy to set up, compatible with all the voice assistants and come in a huge range of options, including white and colour LED bulbs, light strips and bars, ceiling pendants, wall-mounted lights, and even outdoor lighting.

This Philips Hue White and Colour ambiance starter kit includes three colour-smart bulbs, a smart switch, and a Zigbee-powered Hue bridge that allows full control of the lights.

Set up is straightforward — simply install the bulbs into your existing light fitting and connect the Hue bridge to your Wi-Fi router via Ethernet. In addition, the Philips Hue smart lighting system is scalable, so you can always pair more lights to your lighting setup, and in fact, up to 50 at once.

From the Hue app, you can turn the smart lights on or off, adjust their brightness (up to 800 lumens) and colour hue, and group them into rooms and zones. The app also includes several pre-set scenes for some stunning mood lighting, but you can also create your own custom scenes and choose from an incredible 16 million different lights while doing so.

Perhaps the most exciting feature of the colour-capable smart lights is the ability to sync them to the content on your PC or TV screen. So whether you use it to sync the lights to the action of a movie or the beat of the music, this feature is sure to add a new dimension to your entertainment experience.

However, voice assistant control is what brings the Philps Hue lights to a whole new level. Once paired with a compatible Echo, Google Nest, or Apple HomeKit device, you can control your smart lights hands-free with the Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri voice assistants.

The Philips Hue White and Colour ambiance starter kit is available for £169.99, but there are also cheaper white-only options starting at £69.99 if you don’t need the extra functionality of coloured lighting.

Google Nest Cam (battery)
Google Nest Cam (battery)

Best home security camera

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  • Suitable for both indoors and outdoors
  • Includes three hours of event video history for free
  • HD 1080p video quality
  • Night vision

If you are looking for a smart camera to increase your home security, the Google Nest Cam is one of your best options. The camera records clear HD video during the day and black and white video at night and will send an alert to your smartphone whenever it detects motion.

All recorded footage is uploaded and stored in the cloud, and you can access up to three hours’ worth of event video history entirely free. With two-way talk, you can also communicate with whoever is on your property via the Nest app on your smartphone.

For just £5 a month, a Nest Aware subscription will allow you to store up to 60 days’ worth of video and give you access to several advanced features, such as familiar face detection. This feature will allow you to assign names to people, and you will receive an alert whenever they are in the camera’s 130-degree field of view.

Part of what makes the Google Nest Cam so appealing is its incredibly simple installation. The camera features a magnetic base, so you can simply snap it into place, and the fact that it is battery-powered means you can place it anywhere you want.

Moreover, the Google Nest Cam is weather-resistant, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. For outdoor usage, you can also hardwire the camera into your home, eliminating the need for recharging.

The Google Nest Cam is available for £159, placing it in the mid-price range for smart home security cameras.

Eve Energy
Eve Energy

Best smart plug

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  • Capable of monitoring energy consumption
  • Thread wireless network technology support
  • Compact design
  • Compatible exclusively with HomeKit

Eve Energy is a HomeKit-compatible smart plug that can be controlled with Eve’s own app, the Home Kit app, or Siri. When plugged in, this smart plug allows you to control and automate any device connected to it by switching it on and off remotely or setting schedules for it to switch on and off automatically. It is a simple but incredibly useful gadget that can help you add smart functionality to the not-so-smart devices in your home.

The Eve Energy smart plug connects over Bluetooth, but if you own a HomePod Mini or an Apple TV, you can also use Thread wireless networking technology to control the smart plug even when you are not at home.

One of the biggest selling points of the Eve Energy smart plug is that it also monitors how much power the plugged-in device uses over time. Based on that and the electricity rate, the app projects the annual cost of powering certain devices in your home, allowing you to gain a clear view of how much you are spending.

At £34.95, the Eve Energy smart plug is one of the most affordable yet useful smart home devices you can buy, especially if you are invested in the HomeKit ecosystem.

  • Compatible with multiple smart home platforms
  • Compact design
  • Built-in Wi-Fi connection
  • Easy to install

If you want to add an extra layer of security to your home, the August Wi-Fi smart lock is one of the best smart gadgets for the purpose. It is the first one in the August lineup to come with built-in Wi-Fi, removing the need for an August Connect bridge for remote control. It also has a compact and discreet design and is almost half the size of its predecessors.

The August Wi-Fi smart lock supports Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri for voice commands, and it also integrates seamlessly with a whole range of other home control systems, including Nest, Logitech, SimpliSafe, Xfinity, and others.

Installation is a breeze — the lock simply attaches to your existing deadbolt on the inside of the door, allowing you to keep using the same key. Once set up, you can control the lock remotely via the August Home app, send virtual keys to people to give them guest access, and get notifications when someone locks or unlocks the door.

August’s signature auto-unlock feature is also present, where your door automatically unlocks as you approach. Other features include auto-lock, which automatically locks your door as soon as it is shut, and DoorSense, which tells you whether your door is securely closed when you are not at home.

At £356, the August Wi-Fi smart lock is on the pricier side, but it is one of the most secure and well-designed smart locks on the market.

  • LED display with digital clock
  • Affordable
  • Amazon Alexa voice control
  • New and improved design

The fourth generation Echo Dot with Clock is one of Amazon’s most affordable smart speakers, also doubling as a bedside alarm.

Its distinctive feature is the built-in LED display that gives it much more usability and visual appeal than the standard fourth-generation Echo Dot. The display shows the time, the outdoor temperature, as well as any active timers or alarms you’ve set up. Tapping the top of the Dot will snooze the alarm, and you can also tell Alexa to turn off the display altogether if you prefer sleeping in total darkness.

Unlike the first Echo Dot with Clock, this model features a spherical design with a fabric finish available in grey and white and a compact size that will fit nicely on your nightstand.

Aside from the LED display addition, the Echo Dot with Clock retains all the same features as the standard fourth-generation Echo Dot, including the blue Alexa light ring and the 1.6-inch speakers inside. The speakers offer good audio quality, but if you prefer, you can also connect a different speaker via the 3.5 mm port on the back of the device.

Like all Echo speakers, this one also uses Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, which you can use to play music from supported streaming services, control other smart gadgets in your home, make hands-free calls to other Alexa devices, and so on.

The Echo Dot with Clock typically retails for £59.99, but Amazon often has sales where you can get it for much less. Even at full price, this smart speaker is still one of the most affordable ways to add an Amazon Echo to your home.

  • AutoScheduling
  • Motion sensors
  • Farsight display
  • Voice control with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa

Google Nest is often credited for starting the smart thermostat trend with the introduction of the first Nest Learning thermostat, and this third generation is considered their best yet. It comes with a larger and sharper display than previous versions, and it also includes a Heat Link that connects to your boiler, allowing you control of both the heating and the hot water in your home.

However, what makes this smart thermostat stand out the most is its ability to monitor your daily habits and adjust the heating accordingly. So, for instance, if you go to bed at 10 pm every night, after a few days of usage, the Nest Learning thermostat will start turning itself off at around that time, helping you save more energy without you having to do anything.

If you want a more manual approach, you can also control the thermostat and set your own schedules via the accompanying app. As a Nest product, this smart thermostat works with Google Assistant, but it also offers Amazon Alexa support.

Through a combination of its motion sensors and your phone’s GPS, the Nest Learning thermostat can also detect when you are not at home, in which case it will automatically switch to Eco temperature to save energy.

This third generation of the Nest Learning thermostat also features a Farsight display that can be easily read from afar and shows useful information, such as the time, the weather or the current temperature, when you are nearby.

The Nest Learning thermostat retails at £219, but it is currently available on Amazon for only £170. That is a reasonable price, especially considering Nest’s claims that this thermostat can save an average UK household between 8.4% and 16.5% on annual heating bills.

Ring Video Doorbell Wired
Ring Video Doorbell Wired

Best smart video doorbell

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  • Very affordable
  • Easy to set up
  • 1080p HD video quality
  • Amazon Alexa voice control

The Wired Video Doorbell is Ring’s most affordable and smallest model yet. As its name implies, it is a mains-powered doorbell that sends a notification to your smartphone when the doorbell is pressed and lets you converse with whoever is at your doorstep using the built-in speaker and microphone.

Like most smart security cameras, the Ring Wired Video Doorbell will also alert you with a notification to the Ring app whenever it detects motion in its field of view.

For such a small device, the Wired Video Doorbell offers an impressive set of features, including 1080p HD video, night vision, live view, two-way talk, Alexa integration, as well as customisable motion zones.

A Ring Protect subscription (£3.49/month or £34.99/year) will also give you the ability to save recordings and activate the People Only mode, so the Ring app will only alert you when it detects motion caused by people.

Perhaps the biggest selling point of the Ring Wired Video Doorbell is its affordable price. At only £49.99, it is one of the most affordable smart video doorbells on the market while still offering all the essential features that you would expect from a reputable brand like Ring.

Still, note that this model does not work with your existing doorbell chime, so you will need to purchase a separate Ring chime or get the Ring Doorbell + Chime bundle if you want to hear audio alerts in your home.

  • Upgraded 13 MP camera with pan and zoom capabilities
  • MediaTek MT 8183 octa-core processor
  • Very Affordable
  • Alexa integration

The second generation of Amazon’s Echo Show 8, released in 2021, combines the best features of the Echo Show lineup into one reasonably priced smart display.

For the same price as the first generation, this version features a 13 MP wide-angle camera that can also automatically pan and zoom on faces, keeping the subject centred within the frame during calls. Like before, the camera also comes with a built-in shutter for privacy-conscious users.

These camera improvements make the second generation Echo Show 8 the best smart display for video calls you can buy right now.

This smart display is also powered by a MediaTek MT 8183 octa-core processor, another major upgrade over the previous generation, resulting in better responsiveness and faster transitions.

The Echo Show 8 retains the 8-inch touch-sensitive screen and the dual 2.0-inch speaker drivers of the previous generation. As with any other Echo device, at the heart of the Echo Show 8 is Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant that can be used to perform a variety of tasks, from playing music and streaming videos to hands-free Amazon shopping and video calling.

Coming at £119.99, the second generation Echo Show 8 is half the price of the Echo Show 10, which costs £239.99. Compared to this newer model, the Show 8 lacks a larger 10-inch rotating screen and improved speakers.

However, if you feel like these upgrades are not worth the huge price difference, the Echo Show 8 is the better value smart display for you, especially if high-quality video calls are your top priority.

How to Make Your Own Smart Home

 — Buyer’s Guide —

While purchasing a few off-the-shelf smart gadgets for home is a good start, it is the connection between these gadgets that will make your home “smart.”

However, not everyone is ready to invest in a fully-fledged smart home system. If you want to dip your toes into the world of connected devices without spending a lot of money, there are still some options available to you. Here are a few ways you can smarten up your home without breaking the bank.

Start With a Smart Lightning System

For most people, a smart lighting system is the entry point into the world of smart homes. Not only are they relatively affordable, but most of them are super easy to install and offer the convenience of being controlled with a single voice command.

But not all smart lighting systems communicate via the same protocol, so picking the right one for you can be tricky.

The most common of these protocols are Zigbee and Wi-Fi. The biggest difference between the two is that Zigbee smart lights need a separate controller, such as a hub or bridge, to communicate with each other, while Wi-Fi smart lights can be controlled directly. The most popular Wi-Fi-enabled smart lights come from brands such as LIFX, TP-Link, and Cree.

While they can be set up in seconds, the tradeoff with Wi-Fi smart lights is that you will not be able to control them if your Wi-Fi goes down. In addition, they cannot be scaled properly, as having too many bulbs connected to the same router can slow down your network connection. So, unless you only plan on having a few smart lights, Zigbee is the preferable choice.

The latest generation of the Philips Hue smart lights also includes Bluetooth connectivity. As a result, you can control them from your smartphone, with no separate hub required. The Philps Hue White and Colour Ambiance Starter Kit from our list of smart devices also belongs in that category.

Choose A Smart Speaker

Smart speakers are must-have smart home gadgets that provide easy access to the most popular voice assistants, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Siri. With its Echo and Nest speakers, Amazon and Google are the undisputed leaders in the smart speaker market, and with its HomePod mini, Apple doesn’t lag behind.

While Siri is mostly restricted to Apple devices, there are many third-party smart home products that come with Alexa or Google Assistant built-in.

You can link these products to any of the Echo or Nest smart speakers or displays (depending on which voice assistant they support) and have them serve as a central hub for your smart home, from where you can control everything from smart lights to smart security cameras.

For instance, if you own a Ring Video Doorbell, you can connect it to an Alexa smart display, like the Echo Show 8, and every time the doorbell is pressed, a live feed from the camera will broadcast directly to the smart display.

An increasing number of smart gadgets, such as the Sonos One, the Philips Hue smart lights, and the August Wi-Fi smart lock, come with support for more than one voice assistant, allowing users to choose which one they prefer.

Invest in a Smart Plug

Smart plugs are some of the cheapest but most useful smart home devices you can invest in. They allow you to turn any ordinary appliance, such as a lamp or coffee maker, into a smart one that you can control with your voice or smartphone.

All you need to do is plug the smart plug into a wall outlet, download the appropriate app and connect your appliance. And since they don’t require any special installation, they are the perfect way to dip your toes into the world of smart homes without spending too much or putting in much effort.

The Eve Energy smart plug is one of the best you can buy right now, but keep in mind that it is exclusively HomeKit compatible. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for Google and Alexa-based smart homes, such as the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip, the Philips Hue Smart Plug, or the Amazon Smart Plug.

Improve Your Home Security

From smart security cameras to video doorbells and smart locks, the smart home market is flooded with gadgets for improving your home security. Smart security cameras are typically very easy to install and will send an alert to your phone whenever they detect motion or sound. Those meant for outdoor use are also weather-resistant and safely store all recordings locally or on the cloud.

The Google Nest Cam, our top pick for the best security camera, can be used both indoors and outdoors and stores up to three hours’ worth of event video history for free. However, you can also check out our compilation of the best outdoor security cameras for more choices.

Video doorbells work similarly, but they are hardwired into your existing doorbell and notify you whenever someone is at your doorstep. Smart locks have also been gaining popularity in recent years for their ability to lock and unlock your door remotely and give virtual keys to guests.

But, separate security gadgets can end up costing you a lot. If you want to cover all aspects of your home security at once, a DIY home security system, such as the one offered by SimpliSafe, is your best option.

Compatibility

Most importantly, before investing in any of these smart home gadgets, make sure you choose which voice assistant you want to control your home with — Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri, and stick to compatible devices.

If you already have one of these voice assistants in your home, make sure your new smart home devices work with that particular voice assistant. There is nothing worse than having a bunch of different smart gadgets that can’t interact with each other and all use different smart home systems.

Wrap Up

These are only some of the best smart home gadgets that can make your life easier, save money, and help keep your home safe. If you are just getting started with building a smart home, we recommend starting with one of the more affordable and easy-to-install devices from our list and then adding more along the way.

Just make sure they are all compatible with the same smart home platform, and you will be on the right path to turning your smart home dream into a reality.

FAQ

What are the pros and cons of smart homes?

The main pro of having a smart home is the convenience and peace of mind it provides. For instance, you can control all the lights in your house with just your voice or set up rules so that your security system is automatically armed when you leave the house.

The main con of having a smart home is the cost of the initial investment since, compared to regular home gadgets, smart home gadgets are significantly more expensive.

What is the most affordable smart security system?

Some of the best and most affordable smart security systems you can buy are the SimpliSafe Home Security system, the Vivint Smart Home, the ADT Command, and the Ring Alarm Pro.

What are the best smart home devices?

The best smart devices are the ones that fit your specific needs. For example, smart plugs are some of the most useful and cost-effective smart home gadgets for their ability to turn any ordinary appliance in your home into a smart one. Smart lights and speakers are other good choices, especially for people who are just starting to build their smart homes.