Best Smart Home Devices of 2022

Best Smart Home Devices of 2022

Smart home devices have become increasingly popular, offering convenience, security, and energy efficiency. From connected thermostats and lighting to security cameras and smart locks, these devices are convenient, easy to use, and can be controlled remotely. In our Media & Tech Lab, we test and rate the latest innovations in smart home technology, evaluating their functionality, ease of use, and connectivity to other devices.

Over the past year, our team has tested more than 200 smart home devices, including smart locks, smart plugs, smart lighting, and smart thermostats. Our testing revealed that these smart devices are convenient and easy to use, but many also have some drawbacks.

We looked at factors like their ability to connect to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB, their ease of use, including setup, installation and troubleshooting, and how easy it was to connect the device to other devices. We also evaluated their compatibility with digital assistants like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Samsung SmartThings.

Taking into account the pros and cons of each device, these are the best smart home devices you can buy in 2022, according to both testing and popular reviews.

Echo (4th Gen) | Spherical design with rich sound, smart home hub, and Alexa | Charcoal

The Echo Dot is the quintessential pint-sized Amazon echo. It has the same sound quality as the third-generation Echo, but the Dot is a little easier to set up and way more compact. Like the original Dot, the Dot (4th gen.) does an excellent job of making Alexa sound natural. It also has a handy mute button, and because the Dot connects to the Home hub over Wi-Fi, it doesn't rely on Bluetooth, which means the Dot works even if the speakers for your speakers aren't connected. The Echo Dot also has a built-in speaker for audio playback, and if the home hub isn't nearby, the Dot will connect to Alexa through your phone, radio, or computer. The Echo Dot (4th gen.) also makes it easier to pair with compatible smart devices, controls compatible smart lights, and has better privacy controls.

Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen, 2021 release) | HD smart display with Alexa and 13 MP camera | Glacier White

The Echo Show 8 is an excellent connected display for Amazon's smart home ecosystem. Its combination of smarts and aesthetics make it one of the best-looking devices we've seen. Its upgraded camera, which auto-centers you in the frame, is one of the best we've seen, and its camera and screen perform well in bright outdoor light. It's perfect for casual TV watching, and it's great for cooking, too. However, its sound quality is weaker than we expected, and Alexa's smarts don't always live up to expectations. There's also the matter of video playback, which requires Amazon's Fire TV. Also, the Echo Show 8's microphone is not as good as the microphone on the Echo Plus, which did a better job of capturing our commands.

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