Best Smart Displays of 2019

Smart displays enable you to stay connected with your home, family, and friends. Whether you want to be able to make video calls, check up on your pets during the day, or control your security system with the sound of your voice, there’s a smart home display out there for you.

 Best All-in-One Google Display

Google Nest Hub Max

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Our Rating

  • Built-in Google Assistant
  • 10″ HD touchscreen for video calls and streaming videos
  • Built-in Nest Camera with Face Match technology
  • Doubles as a smart home hub
 Best All-in-One Amazon Display

Amazon Echo Show (2nd gen.)

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Our Rating

  • Built-in Alexa and Amazon services
  • 10.1″ HD touchscreen for video calls and streaming videos
  • Doubles as a smart home hub
 Best Value Smart Display

Amazon Echo Show 5

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Our Rating

  • Built-in Alexa and Amazon services
  • Compact and multifunctional
  • Affordable

Best Smart Displays of 2019

  • Google Nest Hub Max

    Best All-in-One Google Display

  • Amazon Echo Show (2nd gen.)

    Best All-in-One Amazon Display

  • Amazon Echo Show 5

    Best Compact Smart Display

The Best Smart Displays of 2019

Best All-in-One Google Display

1. Google Nest Hub Max

Our Rating

Our take

For a does-it-all smart display that works well with your other Google and Android devices, the Google Nest Hub Max is our top choice. It includes a built-in Nest Cam for surveillance or video calls; its large HD display is perfect for YouTube videos (or for looking up recipes while you’re cooking). It also serves as a smart home hub, packs in a capable pair of stereo speakers, and can display photos when not in use.

Key features

  • Built-in Google Assistant
  • Smart home hub
  • Stereo speakers
  • 10-inch HD touchscreen display
  • 6.5MP camera with FaceMatch technology
Best All-in-One Amazon Display

2. Amazon Echo Show (2nd gen.)

Our Rating

Our take

For the best multifunctional smart display with access to Alexa and the rest of Amazon’s best services, opt for the Echo Show. Use it as a camera for surveillance or video calls, or stream music and video from Amazon Prime services. The 5MP camera is perfect for video calls. You can also use it as a security camera or pair it with your Ring devices.

Key features

  • Built-in Amazon Alexa
  • Smart home hub
  • Stereo speakers
  • 10.1-inch HD touchscreen display
  • 5MP camera
  • Microphone/camera off button
Best Value Smart Display

3. Amazon Echo Show 5

Our Rating

Our take

The Echo Show 5 stands out from other smart displays because of its convenient size, versatility and value. It’s a good choice for a multifunctional smart display on a budget because it includes all of the headlining features – camera, Alexa support, touchscreen display – at a relatively low price. Plus, its compact size is easy to handle and its optional clock display is a nice addition.

Key features

  • Built-in Amazon Alexa
  • Mono speaker
  • 5.5-inch touchscreen display
  • 1MP camera with privacy shutter
  • Microphone/camera off button

4. Lenovo Smart Display 10″

Our Rating

Our take

Lenovo offers a large, multifunctional smart display similar to the Google Nest Hub Max or the Echo Show, but with a different form factor that makes it feel more like a TV. Instead of hiding speakers at the bottom or back of the display, it mounts one powerful speaker to the left of the screen. It also has an attractive wood backing. Buying tip: If the price tag is too high, Lenovo offers a similarly appointed 8-inch size that starts at $100 less.

Key features

  • Built-in Google Assistant
  • Large mono speaker
  • 10.1-inch HD touchscreen display
  • 5MP camera with privacy shutter

5. Google Nest Hub

Our Rating

Our take

The Google Nest Hub is a smaller, camera-free version of the Nest Hub Max. You can’t use it for surveillance or video messaging, but you don’t need to worry about camera privacy, either. While it’s not technically a smart home hub (it doesn’t support Zigbee or Z-wave devices) it does have built-in compatibility with a number of popular home automation brands.

Key features

  • Google Assistant
  • Mono speaker
  • 7-inch touchscreen display

7. Lenovo Smart Clock

Our Rating

Our take

This miniature smart display is the intelligent clock that you need to start and end your day. You can program your ‘Good Morning’ and ‘Good Night’ routines to automate actions from compatible devices (turn on lights, lock your doors, play music, etc.) Google Assistant can automatically fetch local traffic, weather information, and more with your alarm each morning. Since it’s designed for bedroom placement, there’s no camera.

Key features

  • Google Assistant
  • Mono speaker
  • 4-inch touchscreen display

8. Portal from Facebook

Our Rating

Our take

Facebook’s answer to the smart display technology takeoff is the Facebook Portal. This device allows you to stay connected to your family and friends with Facebook accounts. The relatively large screen and clear camera allow you to video call and chat loud and clear. When you’re not using the camera and microphone you can disable both with a simple tap, though the company has been under fire for its privacy practices.

Key features

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Stereo speakers with rear woofer
  • 10-inch HD touchscreen display
  • 13MP smart camera with privacy shutter
  • Microphone/camera disable switch

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The Best Features to Look for When Buying a Smart Display

Voice Assistant Support

Do you want to talk to Google Assistant or Alexa? Built-in voice assistants are a headlining feature of smart displays. If you have a strong preference for one assistant over the other (or Google vs. Amazon operating systems) then choose a display that supports your favorite.

Smart Home Hub

Some displays double as a smart home hub, which means they support technology protocols that connect and control various smart home devices in one place. You may benefit from a smart home hub if you own many smart home products from different manufacturers (and some smart home devices require them). If you only have a few devices that can already communicate with your smart display, you probably don’t need a hub.

Screen Size & Video Streaming

If you want to use your smart display for reading, cooking or streaming videos, a larger screen size is preferable. Also, note that some manufacturers only support their own video apps. For example, Amazon’s Echo lineup supports the Prime Video app, though you may be able to access other streaming services via browser. The Google Nest Hub Max is your go-to for YouTube.

Camera

With a camera and built-in microphone, you can send video messages and calls. Some devices even have a security camera functionality through a smartphone app so you can check up on your family, house and pets when you’re away.

Speaker

Many smart home displays – especially the more compact ones – don’t have powerful speakers. If you’re not an audiophile (or you already have a good set of wireless speakers) you probably don’t need a high-quality speaker. Look for high-quality stereo speakers if you plan on using your smart display as a main source of music in your home.

Privacy

One of the benefits of smart home displays is the ability to connect with your friends and family over video or voice calls and messages, but you may be concerned about your privacy. Many smart displays have privacy features that allow you to turn off the camera and microphone when you aren’t using them.

Smart Display FAQs

best-smart-displays

How do smart displays work?

Smart displays are essentially tablets with built-in virtual assistants (i.e. Alexa or Google Assistant). Equipped with touch screens and voice control, you can usually control it by speaking to it or navigating manually. You can set alarms, play music, and some even have video call capabilities. Different models pack in additional features such as smart home automation, security cameras, stereo speakers and custom displays to showcase the time or your photos.

Is there a smart display that works with Siri?

You might be wondering why none of our top smart displays work with Apple’s Siri, one of the world’s most popular virtual assistants. Well, Apple keeps its Siri technology for its own products, and the tech giant has not released a smart display as part of its HomeKit suite. However, it’s possible to use an iPad to control your HomeKit to function in a similar way to the smart displays listed above.

Where should I place my smart display?

Place your smart display in the room that you think you’ll use it in the most. If you plan on using it as an alarm, asking it about the weather or to give you news updates, you may want to consider putting it in your bedroom. For privacy’s sake, we recommend one with a camera shutter or off button if you plan on putting it in your bedroom. If you plan to use it to search for recipes, listen to music, and video call your family and friends, your kitchen might be a better place for it. Many people appreciate having a smart display in the kitchen to read recipes and watch cooking videos.

Can I use Amazon Alexa to control my smart display?

Some smart displays work with Amazon Alexa. The others work with Google Assistant. Both have very similar functionalities, but if you prefer to use Amazon Alexa, make sure you carefully read the features of the devices that you are considering.


Safety Team

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Safety Team