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Today, I am bringing you my newly updated 2nd-annual list of the best smart home gifts for 2020— tech gadget gifts your whole family will love to give [and get!]
I have spent the better part of last year [and now this one] scouring the web for the best-of-the-best [top-rated and reviewed] smart home products. We’ve looked at thousands of smart speakers, appliances, electronics, apps, entertainment systems, gaming consoles, security systems, and many other tech gadgets.
And we’ve analyzed what’s trending for 2019 to bring you what’s currently the best of the best.
Only the Best Smart Home Gifts
Did you know that a recent study from Gfk [as reported on IoT Innovation website] said that in the United States, more than half — 51 percent — of consumers selected smart homes as the technology they were most excited about.
We’re excited too.
Without further fanfare, let’s take a look at some of the best smart home gifts you can buy right now!
#1 All-New Amazon Echo Show [2nd-Gen]
If you’re new to Amazon Echo devices then you may not know that the All-New Echo Show is an Echo with a touchscreen that works with Alexa. In our opinion, this is the best of smart speakers. Why? You get the best of both worlds with the video screen. Plus, the 2nd generation of the Amazon Echo Show is a marked improvement over its predecessor. It features an updated design, a larger screen, and some serious improvements to sound quality. You can read our popular review comparing the 2nd and 1st generation Echo Show here.
The below video from Engadget does a nice job summarizing Echo Show’s improved features.
Some cool things you can do with the new Show:
You can also ask Alexa to call you an Uber, and you’ll see the Uber map showing the location of your ride on screen in real time. Neat!
#2 LaMetric Time Wi-Fi Clock
The 2nd item on our list of best smart home holiday gifts is the LaMetric Time Wi-Fi Clock. This is SO much more than an LED clock. As we like to say in Boston, it’s a “wicked smart” dashboard you can use to track dozens of notifications including tweets, likes, website visitors, news, weather, and dozens of others! What’s more, setting up the notifications you want is easy using an app and customization widgets on your smartphone.
Check out Techmoan’s very thorough review of LaMetric Time.
Here are just a few things you can get on LaMetric Time:
I bought one of these for each of my two boys for Christmas this past year. And they love them. My 17-year-old especially loves seeing his SnapChat and text messages fly across the screen.
OK, ok, so this is not a “best smart home gift, “technically. BUT the Roav Viva Pro by Anker does sit right outside your home in your driveway or garage. I have tested this as well as the new Echo Auto device. They both let you take Alexa with you when you go on the road, but I like this slightly better as it gives you a few more options for connectivity. You can read my review comparing the two here if you like. You can ask Alexa to play music, give you directions [Google Maps or Waze], read audiobooks [Audible], listen to tunes [via Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, or Tunein], check your calendar, find nearby restaurants and business, make telephone calls, and much more. For me, the navigation capabilities alone are worth their weight in gold. No more fumbling around with “Passenger” mode in the Waze app or begging Siri to cooperate!
Additionally, with smart home tech integration, you can ask Alexa can do things like turn on the driveway lights, turn on your home thermostat, or open your garage door. And you get to do all this from the comfort of your heated car seats! It works with your existing smartphone and plays through your car speakers.
#4 Logitech Harmony Elite Universal Remote
Next on our list of best smart home gifts and gadgets for 2019 is the Logitech Harmony Elite universal remote control. The Harmony Elite gives you total control of both your home entertainment and smart home devices. In fact, you can use to control many of the devices listed here. Best of you can consolidate down up to a whopping 15 remotes into just this one. Harmony’s support for over 270.000 devices from 5,000 brands practically guarantees it will work with the devices you already own today. You can read a nice review of the Logitech Harmony Elite on our partner site here.
Thanks to Undecided with Matt Ferrell for the helpful video review. We really hate those remote codes too, Matt.
#5 Amazon Fire TV Cube
Amazon FireTV Cube is more than a way that you can control your TV with your voice. You also get all of the benefits of Amazon’s smart speaker. In addition to asking Alexa to turn on the TV, change channels, tune to your favorite movie or shows, you can also check the weather, listen to the news and more even when the TV is off.
Also, Amazon Prime members get access to thousands of movies and TV episodes including “Thursday Night Football” and Prime Originals like “Mr. Robot” and “Sneaky Pete”.
I have one of these new in the box that I am waiting to open so I can do an “unboxing” video on YouTube. Can’t wait to actually use this!
🎁Related: Want even more smart home gifts in Alexa devices? Don’t miss A+ Alexa! 19 Awesome Amazon Echo Device Gifts
#6 August Smart Lock Pro
The August Smart Lock Pro tops the list of my personal favorite best smart home gadgets to give as gifts this year. Yes, I am going to gift this to myself! LOL. The Smart Lock Pro is an easy to install locking mechanism that converts your existing door lock to a smart lock. The round-shaped lock is installed on the inside of your door replacing your existing locking mechanism. Most people can get the lock installed in 15 minutes with minimal effort.
Check out this video review from Erin Lawrence [sigh] of Best Buy Canada that shows how easy it is to install this lock.
The Smart Lock Pro package includes a sensor that can tell if your door is ajar. Additionally, a wi-fi bridge allows remote access to the lock when you are out of range of a Bluetooth connection. However, we think the main benefit is that you will no longer have to fumble for keys when trying to enter your docile. You can unlock/lock your door using Siri, the Smart Lock Pro app, or smart speakers like Amazon Alexa. You can also configure the Smart Lock so the door unlocks automatically when you are in close proximity to it! This requires a bit of set up but is the ultimate in convenience. Just think—no more fumbling around for your keys —especially when your hands are full in the dark of night! You can see it at August over here.
#7 Vintar 16-Color Motion Sensor LED Toilet Night Light
The Vintar 16-Color Motion Sensor LED Toilet Night Light is nightlight—for your toilet! This inexpensive little gadget not only makes your bathroom cooler, but it will also make it easier for you to pee in the middle of the night. 😮 It automatically lights up when you enter the bathroom based on a proximity sensor that detects body heat. It installs easily over the side of the bowl, and you can set a variety of colors. You can also control the level of brightness, and the company offers a “100% Satisfaction Guarantee.” For this old man, my frequent trips to the bathroom at night just got a little more fun.
#8 Etekcity WiFi Smart Plugs /Outlets
With so many smart plugs to choose from, deciding on a brand for your crib can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why we have done the work for you in this updated smart plug blog post. The Kasa Smart Plug Mini is an affordable, stable smart home plug that works consistently to control your smart home devices. Unlike other smart plugs, Etekcity WiFi Smart Plug does not require a separate hub. A few of the lower-priced smart plugs we have tested have had major problems with consistency. This is not the case with these outlets. These plugs work great with Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT.
In addition, you can track power usage for connected devices to figure out which ones use the most energy. You can then cut down on usage to save money on your next electric bill. This is one of the best smart home holiday gifts you can buy to help cut your expenses. Here’s a little “plug” of my own: if you do end up buying this the other products we review, please use our links. That way we can keep providing you with reviews like this one. 😉
#9 ovostella Dimmable Multicolored Smart Light Bulbs
For less than half the cost of other leading brands, ovostella Dimmable Multicolored Smart Light Bulbs are a great addition to your smart home lighting. The bulbs work equally well with Amazon Alexa and Google Home or Mini for voice control. With over 16 million color options, you can create a mood that is right for any nighttime (or daytime) activity. Every color is dimmable so you always get the right amount of light to meet your needs. Best of all, no separate hub is required which will also help you keep the costs down.
#10 wyze Cam HD Indoor Smart Home Camera
Whether you are looking for an outstanding baby monitor or a way to spy on your kids (or the dog), the affordable Wyze Cam Indoor Camera is one of the best indoor video cameras available. The camera includes night vision which makes it excellent to monitor a baby’s room or any other room in your house even at night. Moreover, the 1080 pixel resolution is super sharp and you have a variety of options to view the video feed including your smartphone or desktop. Finally, the camera also includes 2-way audio which could make a super-cool video intercom system if you add a second camera to the mix. The camera is also compatible with Alexa for voice control. This is a super affordable smart home gifts and gadgets option that has a lot of wow factor. I gave this to my sister for Christmas, set it up for her in about 10 minutes, and it was the star of the show at our annual Christmas brunch! Check out my review of Wyze vs Blink, Ring, Netvue & Ezviz: 11 Best Budget Wifi Cams! [Under $50/$100/$200].
Thanks to Reed and the gang at Smart Home Solver for this outstanding review.
#11 Amazon Echo Sub
“Bass, how low can you go? “ With the new Amazon Echo Sub Subwoofer, the answer is LOW—and deep. The Echo Sub adds a new dimension of sound quality to your Echo setup. Ideal for music aficionados, the sub delivers “down-firing, 100W deep bass sound through a 6″ woofer.” It is important to note that this works with your existing Echo devices and does not contain its own Alexa capabilities. You can pair the Sub with a single Echo device or multiple Echo devices for more of a stereophonic effect. Currently [October 2018], Echo Sub only supports music playback.
#12 Nest Learning Thermostat
Another great smart device that has really taken off over the past year is the Nest Learning Thermostat. The Nest helps you save on heating and cooling costs while keeping room temperature just the way you like. I plan to buy the 3rd-Generation of the product in the next two months before the code weather really sets in. I often forget to turn my electric heat down when I leave my apartment in the winter. The Nest will remember to do this for me saving me some serious coin. You can read my review of the Nest Learning Thermostat alongside other smart thermostats with Alexa here.
Here’s a video introduction to the 3rd Gen Learning Thermostat from Nest.[/x_video_embed] [/x_video_embed]
The Nest will also help me put my heat on a timer for optimal delivery for my home office throughout the day. Then it automatically lowers the heat in the evening when I like my apartment much cooler. It also gives weather and outside temperature which is neat.
#13 iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum
Next on our list of best smart home holiday gifts for 2018 is the iRobot Roomba 960. This is the Cadillac of robot vacuums from the Cadillac of robot vacuum makers. While a bit pricier than some of the other iRobot models and other robot vacuums out there, it does an outstanding job on ridding your carpets and floors of dust, dirt, grime, and pet hair.
With an automatic recharge and resume feature, this little fella can do a whole lotta lickin’ and keep on tickin’. Also, it’s compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home for voice control. Customers rave about how good of a job it does on whole-house coverage of tough messes and pet hair. It’s no wonder why this little fella from the innovators at iRobot is Amazon’s Choice. This is one of the best smart home gifts for a gift out there.
#14 AeroGarden Bounty Wi-Fi
You don’t have to travel to Mars (like Matt Damon in the movie The Martian] to grow your own veggies and herbs indoors. In fact, all you need here on planet Earth is a hydroponic system. We like the AeroGarden Bounty Wi-Fi from Miracle-Gro.
Ideal for beginners, it allows you to grow up to nine plants year around. Best of all? You can monitor and control your entire growth operation using the AeroGarden smartphone app. The app automatically sends reminders to add water and adjust nutrients as needed for the best yield. AeroGrarden comes with a generous Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit to help get you and your green thumb started off right. If you know someone who loves gardening, the AeroGarden Bounty may be a perfect gift.
🎁 You can also read our review of some other popular hydroponics systems here.
#15 AmazonBasics Microwave
Next on our list of the best smart home gadgets is a cool new microwave. While some analysts find it odd that Amazon introduced its new AmazonBasics Microwave smart appliance among a flurry of new Echo and FireTV options, we get it. A microwave that works with Alexa? I mean come on why wouldn’t you go there. Best of all, Amazon has this product priced less than most “dumb” microwaves, so why not. You can just say, “Alexa, reheat a slice of pizza,” and Alexa will start reheating with the appropriate power and time settings. There is also an Alexa button on the front of the microwave. When pressed, you can skip the “Alexa” wake word, and just say “reheat my coffee.” Convenient! The microwave also has all of the basics you would expect: multiple power levels, child-safe lock, timers, and more.
#16 Bose Headphones with Alexa
Take your smart home with you on the go with the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones now with Alexa built-in. You can take calls, voice Alexa commands and play your favorite tunes and streaming media services. You can also personalize the level of ambient noise you allow in, making these among the safest headphones out there. You can check out all the color options [black, silver, and white] on Amazon’s product page.
#17 Philips Hue Go Smart Table Lamp
Last but not least on our list of best smart home gifts for 2019 is a cool smart light. While we feel Philips smart bulbs are overpriced, we think the Philips Hue Go White and Color Smart Table Lamp is pretty, ahem, colorful and bright. The multicolored lamp is wireless, portable, and rechargeable for up to three hours. This means you can take it with you wherever you want some mood lighting. This might be in your living room or bedroom, or maybe outside on a deck or patio or even in a screen porch or tent. Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant, the smart lamp will help you achieve that perfect ambiance for your connected lifestyle. You can set 16 million colors and shades of white light using your favorite voice assistant or the Phillips Hue app. Check out our recent review where we dare to ask whether smart lights are worth the expense here. Oh, and if you want some cool living room decor and lighting gifts, check out this post.
Best Smart Home Gifts – Your Turn
We hope you enjoyed reading our review of 17 of the best smart home gifts for tech gadgets you can give as gifts.
So, what do you think of these smart home technology gift gifts? Will you be giving one or more of these products as a gift in the near future? Or perhaps, like me, you may be getting a little gift for yourself? 😉
Seriously, we would love to know what you think of these or if there are other products you feel we should have on our list.
Please leave a comment below with the product name, and we will take a look. If it meets our criteria, we very well may include it a future review.
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About the Author
Tim Brennan, Technical Writer & Blogger
Tim Brennan [a.k.a. "Tec Timmy"] is a senior technical writer with over 20 years of experience writing for companies and organizations in and around Greater Boston, including GE and MIT. In addition to actively writing for this smart home blog, Tim is also a regular contributor over at UniversalRemoteReviews.com. Tim holds a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University. Brennan is a father to two sons, an active blogger, a Star Wars nut, and loves a good taco🌮. There is a strong chance he is developing a crush on Amazon Alexa. You can learn more about Tim here.