Amazon and Google might dominate the smart home market, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only companies churning out high-end products in that category. Companies like Wyze, Arlo, and even Apple have shown time and again they’re capable of competing with the two well-known companies — and they’ve got plenty of highly rated products to prove it.
If you don’t want to pick up smart home products from Amazon or Google (or their subsidiaries), here are the best smart home products to buy.
Apple HomePod Mini
Petite smart speaker
- Computational audio optimizes the experience
- Clean-sounding highs and mids
- Compact size makes it discrete
- It's the most affordable HomeKit home hub
- Siri lacks the advanced intelligence of its competitors
- Short power cord
No smart home is complete without a smart speaker, and few offer the performance and pricing of the Apple HomePod Mini. Not only does it look sleek and come in a variety of colors, but the HomePod Mini clocks at less than $100. If you’re a dedicated Apple fan (or you just love how intuitive your iPhone is), the Apple HomePod Mini makes a great central pillar of a connected smart home.
Impressive speaker that integrates with Alexa and Google Assistant
- Superb sound quality
- Dead-simple setup
- Super easy to use
- Excellent Alexa integration
- Priced well
- No threaded insert for mounting
- No Bluetooth streaming
The Sonos is a bit more expensive than the HomePod Mini, but the Sonos One produces some of the best sounds of any smart speaker on the market. You’ll also benefit from Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support that makes it easy to integrate with any other smart home products in your home. Sonos rounds out the package with a sleek design that is available in both black or white.
Wyze Bulb Color
Affordable smart lighting
- Really bright output
- Colors are very saturated
- Doesn't require a bridge
- Ridiculously low-priced
- Basic scene modes
Wyze has long been hailed as a smart home company for shoppers on a budget, but that doesn’t mean its products are cheap. In fact, the Wyze Bulb Color is just as capable as any other smart light on the market, capable of producing millions of different colors and powered by an intuitive smartphone app that makes it easy to manage your schedule and remotely control the action.
Arlo Pro 4
Easy to install security camera
- Sharp-looking footage
- Additional details with color night vision
- Doesn't require a hub to set up
- Smart security with Arlo Smart service
- Specs are similar to predecessor
- Spotlight required for color night vision
Rugged enough to withstand the great outdoors but small enough to tuck away on a shelf indoors, the Arlo Pro 4 is a versatile home security solution. You’ll be able to capture 2K video, communicate via two-way audio, and scan a large portion of your home thanks to an impressive 160-degree viewing angle. There’s even an outdoor spotlight to scare off intruders or light up dark sections of your yard. It’s a bit expensive, but no doubt you’re getting what you pay for.
Arlo Essential Wireless Video Doorbell
Smart way to view visitors
- Great software with a lot of options
- Good quality video, day and night
- Easy installation
- Cheap-looking hardware
- Prominent fish-eye effect
The Essential Wireless Video Doorbell is another premium smart home gadget from Arlo. It looks a bit cheaper than the products developed by Ring or Nest, but it offers much of the same functionality. You’ll get HD video capture, built-in night vision, two-way audio, and an easy installation process that requires no wiring. There’s also an accompanying smartphone app that lets you watch old clips and manage all your settings.
SimpliSafe 12 Piece Wireless Home Security System
All-in-one smart security system
- Beautifully designed base station blends seamlessly into home
- Set and forget installation means you’re only interrupted if there’s a problem
- Low-cost home monitoring service provides comprehensive coverage
- No contracts
- Limited smartphone integration out of the box
- Home monitoring service subscription required
It doesn’t get more comprehensive than this. The SimpliSafe 12-Piece Wireless Home Security System includes a staggering number of gadgets, such as an indoor camera, motion sensors, panic button, and more. You might spend a few minutes setting it all up, but there’s a lot of value packed into this impressive bundle from SimpliSafe.
August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
The lock works with all the main smart home hubs
- Doesn't need a bridge
- Easy to install
- Auto unlock and lock feature
- Sturdy build
- Batteries aren't rechargable
- Sticks out from the door
The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock topped our list of the best smart locks for 2022. With a sleek design, durable build quality, and an easy installation process, few products can compete with this high-end model from August. You’ll also benefit from support for Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Siri, along with a smartphone app that lets you lock and unlock the door when you’re away from home.
Smart way to monitor indoor temps
- Simple installation
- Excellent performance and feature set
- Easy to configure and operate day-to-day
- Numerous voice control and communication features
- Great speaker
- Hardware design remains a little drab
- No onscreen integration for Alexa
Although it’s one of the most expensive smart thermostats around, few others can compete with the ecobee Smart Thermostat. Not only does it give you remote control of the thermostat (thanks to a versatile smartphone app), but it can help you save money on your energy bills by detecting when you’re away from home and modifying its settings to reduce costs. It also helps that the unit comes with a bevy of additional features -- such as a variety of voice control commands and compatibility with most smart home ecosystems.
Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra
Automate your vacuuming and mopping
- Self-emptying, self-cleaning
- Simple setup
- Great mopping performance
- Decent obstacle avoidance
- Lackluster pet hair pickup on carpet
- Large dock
With iRobot and Amazon getting cozy, Roborock is your best bet for a robot vacuum that doesn’t have any ties to Google or Amazon. And the S7 MaxV Ultra is among the best in its catalog. It’s pricey (clocking in at $1,400), but it features a self-emptying base, solid obstacle avoidance, impressive mopping skills, and a vacuum that’s surprisingly quiet while in use.
The self-emptying dustbin is a particular selling point, as it means you’ll be able to let it run autonomously for weeks on end before needing to empty its dust reservoir. The vacuum itself is incredibly powerful, maxing out at 5100Pa of suction, so you can rest assured it’ll give your carpets an impressive cleaning.
Other notable features include a smartphone app to set schedules or adjust its settings, a sleek design that blends with most home décor, and a mop that can scrub floors up to 3,000 times per minute. Toss in a self-cleaning function and the ability to refuel its water reservoirs, and you’ve got a robot vacuum and mop that can hang with the best.
HomePod 2nd Gen
A premium smart speaker for HomeKit
- Great sound quality
- Incredible bass performance
- Dazzling Spatial Audio surround
- Plug and Play wireless
- Slick design
- Limited connection options
- No direct Spotify playback
The original HomePod went extinct long ago, but the HomePod 2nd Gen is here to take up the mantle. It’s much larger than the existing HomePod mini, though its larger footprint allows it to pack in premium audio equipment that can fill even the largest room with ear-pleasing sound.
Part of what makes this smart speaker so great is the Apple S7 chip, which helps automate its sound quality based on the acoustics of your room. There’s also a woofer and five beam-forming tweeters that work together to produce stunning sound that rivals premium products from Sonos, JBL, and Bose.
Apple ensured that the new HomePod played nicely with HomeKit, and it’s also been given support for Matter. And as more smart home gadgets continue to adopt the standard, expect to see Matter-support become a big selling point.
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