The Best Smart Home Systems of 2021
In 2021, smart home systems are more impressive and all-encompassing than ever.
Utilizing a smart system isn’t restricted to Alexa to inform you of the weather or play that new Drake song –currently, you’ll be able to utilize smart devices to grill chicken at your next family barbecue, flip the lights off in the front room while you’re watching a movie, or vacuum your floors.
Your home gadgets provide a sense of convenience, however, they can additionally tackle more serious tasks, like acting as your home security system when you’re out of the city. In other words, they aren’t only for fun any longer — they also fulfill some substantial needs.
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Best Smart Home Systems
When looking to purchase a smart-home system, you want to look into reviews and their integrations.
While the reviews will show you how good or bad the technology is, the integration information will show you several products you can connect your system to.
As you’re researching integrations, you should additionally contemplate any smart devices you already have that might be compatible or incompatible with the system. Today, the best home systems are powered by state-of-the-art technology and offer a long list of third-party integration possibilities. For example, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant connect to smart thermostats like Nest or Ecobee — not just thermostats made by their own companies.
If your devices all connect well together, work well, and are easy to use, your savvy home experiences will run much more smoothly.
Here are four major smart home systems that we tend to advocate.
1. Amazon Alexa
With more than hundreds of millions of compatible gadgets, Alexa is undoubtedly one of the most extensive smart home ecosystems out there. While you have likely heard of utilizing Alexa in Eco-speaker form (“Alexa, what’s the climate today?”), you might not know that Alexa is now designed into plenty of other smart products, including thermostats and TVs.
Alexa makes every aspect of your smart home easy to access and manage. You can utilize Alexa to address applications like Spotify just as easily as you can ask her to turn off the lights. Since Amazon’s ecosystem is one of the most prevalent in the business, most smart products integrate flawlessly with Alexa, including products made by Philips, Samsung, Nest, and Schlage — Alexa can currently shut your garage, lock your doors, and change your home’s temperature. To know if Alexa will work with a specific gadget, just look for the ‘Works with Amazon Alexa’ tag.
Ultimately, Alexa’s ability to integrate and speak to most other smart devices and apps makes her one of the ideal choices for your smart home.
2. Google Assistant
If there’s any true challenger to Alexa, it’s Google Assistant. Even though Google Assistant has fewer third-party integrations, it can often answer queries and complete orders Alexa can’t, thanks to Google’s major ownership of the search engine space. Google Assistant has an accuracy score of 92.9% while Amazon Alexa scores at 79.8% (ZDNet). Ultimately, Assistant wins when it comes to understanding how individuals normally talk.
For instance, if you tell the Assistant “I don’t like this song” on Spotify, it will skip to the next one, while Alexa will simply tell you, “Thumbs up and down don’t seem to be supported on Spotify.” Small differences like this could influence you towards Google since it’s often more supportive(and less literal) than Alexa.
Assistant can also integrate with products from most major brands, including Philips, Belkin, August, Nest, and mainstream applications such as Spotify and Uber.
3. Wink Hub
Wink Hub is touted as the “first smart home hub designed for the mainstream consumer.” Unlike Alexa or Assistant, Wink doesn’t have any brand loyalty, allowing you to pick and choose different smart product brands and merge them seamlessly with one another.
Wink Hub 2 supports smart home protocols including Bluetooth LE, Kidde, Lutron ClearConnect, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, and more. If you’re looking to create an integrated smart home with kitchen and wall appliances in sync, this might be your suitable choice. You can also download the Wink Hub app and manage commands, like light switches or garage doors, from your phone on the go.
4. Samsung SmartThings Hub
This Samsung system unites a wide variety of smart devices from different brands including smart thermostats, Wi-Fi routers, lightbulbs, and security devices. Users with the smart system get a SmartThings Hub wall mount and can get full access to the smart devices connected to the hub through the SmartThings IOS or Android app.
Samsung’s SmartThings Hub has been growing its smart-device offerings for the past few years. The Hub’s product lineup includes the addition of the SmartThing Wi-Fi plug, SmartThings Light Bulb, and SmartThings Cam.
Through the SmartThings Hub, you’ll be able to additionally set compatible smart devices to do various actions like turning on or off when you go into or out of space. While you can give voice commands to the SmartThings wall hub or app, you can also additionally integrate Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant into the system.