The best smart displays of 2022

What to look for in a smart display in 2022

Buying a smart display these days is incredibly easy. Companies like Google, Amazon, and even Facebook make incredible products, and you’ll be happy with most of the displays currently on store shelves.

However, all these products are targeted at a specific audience. Some are equipped with massive screens and premium cameras for clear video calls, some are devoid of cameras at an affordable price, and others are still trying to be jack-of-all-trades. There are a few things you should consider before embarking on your journey to find a smart display for your home.

First of all – do you need a camera built into your smart display? If you plan to use this device for video calls, you will need a good camera, but it will cost more. On the other hand, if you want to turn your display into the center of your smart home, you probably won’t need a camera and can save a lot of money.

It’s also important to identify your current smart home ecosystem. Many smart displays work well with Google Assistant or Alexa, but it would be a shame to pick up a shiny new gadget only to realize it won’t connect to the rest of your setup. Compatible voice assistants and smart home ecosystems are listed in the specification center, making it easy to make sure they fit your needs.

After answering these questions, take a look at our favorite smart displays. Whatever your needs, one of these highly rated products is sure to serve you well.

Best Smart Display Overall: Google Nest Hub (2nd generation)

Google Nest hub on table with pots

The second version of Google’s Nest Hub is without a doubt the best smart display on the market. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, as the Nest Hub lacks a camera for video chats, but if you don’t mind that omission, there’s a lot to love about the tiny gadget.

One of the biggest improvements to the second generation Google Nest Hub is the inclusion of Soli and its Sleep Sensing technology . It also uses quick gestures and voice control for touchless operation.

Apart from these outstanding qualities, it does everything you would expect from a smart display. You can watch videos from Netflix and YouTube, listen to music through Spotify, or use it as a digital photo frame with a bright 7-inch display.

Despite the Google Nest Hub’s long list of features, you’ll be happy to know that it’s still available more than ever – the best smart display is available for $100.

Best Budget Smart Display: Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd generation)

Amazon Echo Show 8

If you’re looking for an affordable smart display that lets you easily connect to video chats, check out the Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd generation) . Significant improvements have been made to the smart display’s video features, and the Echo Show 8 now features a bright 13-megapixel (MP) camera. There is also a mechanical shutter that slides out in front of the camera for more privacy.

With compatibility with Zoom, Skype, or any device with the Alexa app , you have no shortage of ways to connect with family and friends around the world. Its auto-framing capabilities are a bit lackluster, but that’s a minor complaint about a reliable and economical device.

Amazon also didn’t stop at improving the camera for its second generation smart screen. The new processor delivers a more responsive touch screen, although the Echo Show 8 is still best controlled by voice via Alexa. However, it’s a great smart display for music, streaming, and as the hub of a smart home.

Best Smart Display for Video Calling: Facebook+ Portal

Facebook Plus portal on the table

Facebook Portal+ was created for video calls. Its massive 14-inch responsive HD screen captures facial expressions and nuances that aren’t visible on smaller devices, and its 12-megapixel camera is among the best on any smart display. Its touch screen is also one of the easiest to use, with a clean touch UI and voice commands for hands-free operation.

Portal+’s biggest downside is the Facebook (or Meta) branding. The company has had recent data and privacy breaches, although the company says it is making changes to better protect personal information.

Portal’s app library is also missing compared to other smart displays – notable omissions include Instagram, WhatsApp, and even Facebook itself. Don’t expect to do anything other than video chat with this smart display, though thankfully you can do just fine.

Best smart display for Amazon Alexa: Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd generation)

Echo show 10 on the kitchen table

For people who love Amazon Alexa, there is no shortage of great products, but there is nothing better than the third generation Echo Show 10 . The star of the show is the motorized 10.1-inch HD screen that allows it to turn and follow you around the room. Its motorized base is a bit bulky and you’ll need quite a bit of room to comfortably fit the Echo 10, but that’s a small price to pay for the added utility.

Built-in Alexa makes it easy to control actions and can even act as a Zigbee smart home hub  to create an entire smart home ecosystem. Apps like Netflix, Amazon Music, and Spotify will also be available to you, though its sound is a bit lacking due to its hefty price tag.

Best smart display for Google Home: Google Nest Hub Max

Google Nest Hub Max on the counter

The Google Nest Hub Max is one of the most expensive products in the Google Nest line, and for good reason. Its sleek design places a gorgeous 10″ touchscreen front and center, though it’s supported by a 3″ woofer for incredible audio and a 6.5MP camera for clear video calls. It also allows you to use quick gestures to control an action if you don’t want to use voice commands with Google Assistant.

Video calls via Google Duo or Zoom are possible on the Nest Hub Max, but its app library also consists of Spotify, Pandora, Netflix, and YouTube TV. It doesn’t have perfect app support, but the Nest Hub Max does have an extensive catalog of other popular software.

And when you’re not using one of the dozens of apps, you can turn the Nest Hub Max into a digital photo frame to show off your favorite memories.

Best Smart Display for Apple Homekit: Apple iPad

Man using an iPad with a case

Oddly enough, no smart display on the market is Apple Homekit compatible. However, if you don’t mind purchasing a few extra accessories, you can easily turn a standard iPad into a makeshift smart display.

The standard 10.2-inch tablet already looks a bit like a smart display, and its True Tone Retina display is actually one of the prettiest screens on this list. It can also stream music or video through any app in the Apple App Store catalog , making it a versatile “smart display”.

Because the iPad can’t support itself, you’ll need an extra stand, although our list of the best iPad stands makes this easy.

It won’t look as pretty on the kitchen table as the Echo Show 10 or the Google Nest Hub Max , but if you’re building an Apple Homekit smart home, there’s no other option. But with the A13 Bionic processor, 12MP ultra-wide front camera, and stereo speakers, iPad won’t lack features.

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