Today, we’re bringing you our 1st-annual list of the best smart home gifts gadget gift ideas to give [and get!] in 2019.
We have spent the better part of last year [and now this one] scouring Amazon for the best-of-the-best [top-rated and reviewed] smart home products.
We’ve looked at thousands of smart speakers, appliances, electronics, robots, 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.
Best Smart Home Gadgets Gift Ideas 2019
In this article, we share what we feel are the best smart home gifts and gadgets you can give for any occasion in 2019. And we’ll include a variety of products that will satisfy just about any budget requirement.
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 holiday gifts you can buy right now!
Idea #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 the 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.
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!
Idea #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:
Idea #3 Amazon Echo Auto
OK, ok, so this is a “best smart home gadget gift, “technically. BUT it does sit right outside your home in your driveway or garage. I literally can’t wait for Amazon’s new Echo Auto. After it starts to ship early this year, you will be able to take Alexa with you when you go on the road. You can ask Alexa to play music, give you directions [Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze], read audiobooks [Audible], 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.
The Echo Auto is expected to be released later this year. It is currently available by invitation only. You can request an invitation on Amazon’s Echo Auto product page.
Tip: Right now invitation-only customers save 50%. There’s no telling how long this discount will last. Act now if you can.
Idea #4 The Neeo Thinking Remote
February 2019 Update: Neeo recently sold the company and will no longer be selling this remote. 🙁 We recommend that you take a look at the Logitech Harmony Elite remote instead. It is the next Idea on our list.
For years, the smart remote control landscape has been dominated by one vendor’s product line, Logitech Harmony. However, Newcomer Neeo has been gaining market share lately with the Neeo Thinking Remote. We have been lucky enough to have been working with Neeo, and we are currently actively testing their latest remote. So far, we are impressed. The product also has excellent reviews on Amazon. The heart of the Neeo Thinking remote system is the included hub that comes with the product. Neeo calls its hub “The Brain.” The Brain Works with all major smart devices and smart lights from Philips HUE, LIFX, IKEA, TRÅDFRI, and others; with entertainment products like Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One; and with smart home sensors & devices on Z-Wave, Wifi, and many more.
The Neeo also features a super thin bezel 3″ touchscreen display. The crisp display feels a lot like a smartphone and even beats Apple’s pixel standard with a very high-density display of 291 pixels per inch (PPI). Set up is relatively easy using Neeo’s iOS or Android App.
Idea #5 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. We’re slightly torn between recommending the Neeo Thinking Remote vs Logitech’s Harmony Elite universal remote control. Ultimately, it comes down to a design difference and personal preference in terms of the features that you want. The Elite is a mature product and has a very large customer base. Many who own the Elite love it and swear by it. There are also extensive forums managed by Logitech that you can use to get most questions answered about the product.
Some benefits of the Harmony Elite over the Neeo Thinking Remote include broader device support, backlit physical buttons, and fewer bugs. Customers have also complained about issues with the Neeo when it comes to smart thermostat integration and Sonos integration. Still, these are both cool products that will control most if not all of your smart devices and eliminate the need for multiple remotes. We suggest that you read our review comparing the Neeo and Elite before making a decision.
Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control, Hub and App, works with Alexa Price: $279.99 With its sleek and sophisticated design, beautiful full color touch screen, and physical buttons for common functions, the Elite is the 'ultimate' remote.
Idea #6 August Smart Lock Pro
The August Smart Lock Pro is at top of my personal gift list 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 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!
Idea #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.
Idea #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. The Etekcity WiFi Smart Plug 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. 😉
Idea #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 the 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.
Idea #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!
Idea #11 Amazon Echo Sub
“Bass, how low can you go? “ With Amazon’s new 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.
Idea #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.
Here’s a video introduction to the 3rd Gen Learning Thermostat from Nest.
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.
Idea #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.
Idea #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. You can also read our review of other popular hydroponics systems here.
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 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.
AeroGarden Bounty Wi-Fi with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit Price: $247.00 The Bounty Wi-fi lets you manage setup through harvest using your smart device. It also includes two additional pods and a stronger grow light.
Idea #15 AmazonBasics Microwave
Next on our list of smart home holiday gifts 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.
AmazonBasics Microwave, 0.7 Cu. Ft, 700W, Works with Alexa Price: $59.99 The AmazonBasics Microwave adds Alexa to this affordable appliance making your microwave experience a little easier and a lot more fun.
Idea #16 Xbox One X 1TB Video Game Console
What can we say about the Xbox One X 1TB Video Game Console that hasn’t already been said? This is the creme de la creme of video game consoles. Any video game junkie who doesn’t already have one of these puppies would love to receive one as a gift. You can play all the latest 4K games like Halo, Fortnight, Minecraft, Forza Motorsport 7, Super Lucky’s Tale, Crackdown 3 and Sea of Thieves. The Xbox One provides true 4K gaming with 2160p frame buffers, High Dynamic Range and Spatial Audio. Oh, and you can play 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and video too.
Idea #17 Philips Hue Go White and Color Portable Dimmable LED Smart Light Table Lamp
Last but not least on our list of best smart home gifts and gadgets 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.
Best Smart Home Gadget Gift Ideas 2019 – Your Turn
We hope you enjoyed reading our review of 17 of the best smart home gifts and gadgets for 2019.
So, what do you think of these smart home technology gift ideas? 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 is Founder and CEO of Writeinteractive, Inc., a services firm that helps companies solve technical content challenges. He is also an owner of smart home technology site and blog oneSmartcrib.com. “Tek Timmy” became obsessed with smart home tech after purchasing Amazon Alexa. “One of my biggest pet peeves in life is that so much tech just doesn’t work the way it should. Alexa is the clear exception and hopefully a sign of things to come.” he said. When he’s not crushing on Alexa, Brennan is a father to two sons, and he manages the day-to-day operations of Writeinteractive. He is also an active blogger, obsessive Star Wars fan, and an SEO fanatic. Tim holds a B.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston.
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Keywords: best smart home gadget gift ideas 2019 tech technology home automation