The best smart home gadgets for 2024

The number of smart home devices on the market today is intimidating to say the least. With so many companies in the game now, and different IoT standards and voice assistants to consider, it can get confusing to even know where to start building a smart home ecosystem from scratch. But we at Engadget can help: before you dive in, we recommend not trying to outfit your whole home in one go. Not only can this be quite expensive, but also we think it’s generally best to buy just one or two items first to see if you like them. You should also pick a preferred voice assistant and stick with it. Below are the best smart home gadgets you can get right now, plus some advice on how to choose the right voice assistant for your needs.

Best smart home gadgets: Smart speakers

Best smart home gadgets: Smart displays

Best smart home gadgets: Smart lights

Best smart home gadgets: Security cameras

Best smart home gadgets: IoT gear

How to pick the right voice assistant before you buy

While plenty of the best smart home devices are platform agnostic, there are some — smart speakers and smart displays in particular — that require you to choose your voice assistant. Currently, that means deciding if you’ll use the Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa on a regular basis (I’ll address Siri in a moment.) They’re both compatible with various smart home products from light bulbs to robot vacuums, but there are certain devices that work best with either Google or Amazon. Nest products, for example, are more compatible and have more functionality with Google-powered speakers and displays. They can still work with Amazon devices, but certain features might be disabled. The same holds true with Amazon products: They work better if they’re in the same ecosystem.

Amazon Alexa

So how do you choose between Alexa and Google Assistant? It really depends on your personal preferences. Do you listen to Audible, watch Prime Video and tend to do a lot of shopping on Amazon? Then you might lean toward an Alexa-powered smart home device.

Google Assistant

If you want a voice assistant that’s great at answering questions, Google Assistant tends to be better than Alexa. Amazon’s helper, on the other hand, currently supports more smart home products. The company’s smart speakers and displays also support the Zigbee smart home protocol, and some devices even have built-in smart home hubs. Both Google and Amazon devices can sync with your calendar, though Google’s tend to work better with Google services. Plus, if you already have an Android phone, you might be more comfortable with Google Assistant anyway.


But what about Siri? Apple’s assistant supports voice commands as well, but it doesn’t have as many compatible devices as Google or Amazon. The HomePod mini and the full-sized HomePod are the only Siri-compatible speakers on the market at the moment, too. That said, it’s not too hard to find Apple HomeKit-compatible gear as more third-party companies add support for it, but you currently have a smaller pool of devices to choose from.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

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