Year in Review: Best Smart Devices of 2018

Smart devices are everywhere now with many of them working in conjunction with either a Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Apple Siri. We got everything from smart home hubs to smart headphones. With so many options available to you now, what were the best of these smart devices this year? Below are 5 stand out items we really liked this year!

Best Smart Video Doorbell

This was definitely a hard decision to make, as it came down to both Ring and Nest. Both brands are backed by some heavy hitters in Amazon and Google. Ultimately we are going with the Ring Doorbell 2. While the Video Doorbell 2 isn’t there top of the line model, it is the most affordable and most flexible. We’d love to say maybe the Ring Doorbell Pro or the even the Nest Hello Doorbell. The fact is not everyone may be able to hard wire a doorbell, and the additional cost takes some points away. The Ring Doorbell 2 though can be hardwired or run on batteries. When you add in this fact plus its feature set closing matches that of the Doorbell Pro, this is the most accessible doorbell if you are looking to get your start!

Website: www.ring.com
Price: $199.00


Best Google Assistant Enabled Headphones – JBL Everest 710GA

This was a toss up really between the LG Tone Platinum SE and the JBL Everest 710GA, but ultimately I went with the JBL unit mainly because they sounded better and the touch panel to enable the Google Assistant was pretty slick. The JBL Everest 710GA are over the ear units so they’re much more comfortable than in-ear units in my opinion and the also help cut out more of the outside noise if you want to get away from it all. Not only that, these look pretty darn good too.

Website: https://jbl.com/
Price: $249.95


Best Alexa Enabled Speaker – Cavalier Maverick

In my opinion, the best Alexa speaker isn’t even an Amazon made speaker. It’s made by Cavalier and they’re called “The Maverick”. These are premium speakers made of aluminum, fabric, and leather. These are also one of the few speakers that features both WiFi and Bluetooth. Like actual Amazon Alexa speakers, you have mostly full access to Alexa with the ability to turn off the always listening feature. WiFi allows you to stream music from a variety of services, though you can switch to Bluetooth mode if you want to just stream music from your smartphone. This thing isn’t cheap, but I believe they are well worth the money if you want a high quality, Alexa Enabled device that also sounds terrific.

Website: https://cavalieraudio.com/
Price: $199.99


Best Google Assistant Enabled Speaker – Google Home Hub

This year there have been ton of Google Assistant devices popping up. Everyone from Lenovo to JBL to Google themselves have put out something with Google Assistant inside. But the one that definitely caught our attention was that of the newly released Google Home Hub. The first device to the Google Home line with a screen, the Home Hub has a great mix of price to size to audio quality. It is able to blend into the decor of the home and has enough sound volume and quality for small rooms or as part of larger Google speaker group. Perfect for the night stand or dresser in the bedroom. When you add in the screen as well, you get the best of both worlds as you are able to see information in addition to just listening to it.

Website: https://store.google.com
Price: $149


Best Smart Home Hub

With the smart home becoming more mainstream and more people wanted to take steps to make their home smarter, tons of companies are getting into the act. From Google expanding its Home line with the Google Home Hub which can control a lot of devices in your home, to Amazon and its Echo line trying to do the same. There is also Apple is trying as well with their HomeKit solutions. But what home hub takes the cake with us this year….Still on top to us here is the Samsung SmartThings Hub. SmartThings has been around for some time now and they just keep getting better. If you are truly trying to make your home a smart one, you need a SmartThings Hub at the center. Their v3 has a better price and continues to work with a wide range of other smart home devices. Add in the fact that if you want to use Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa, you can with this hub!

Website: www.smartthings.com
Price: $69.99