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Best cheap Alexa devices of 2022

Get all the perks of Alexa at a fraction of the price.

You don't have to spend a fortune to integrate these smart home products into your home. Over the years, I've helped set up dozens if not hundreds of smart devices at the CNET Smart Home -- and I've written about the price tags often associated with them. Between light bulbs, speakers, video doorbells and security cameras -- not to mention pricey smart shades -- building a smart home can quickly run into five-figure territory. 

But the days of $180 Amazon Echo speakers and $200 smart cams are drawing to a close. Amazon's Echo Dot speakers cost a cool $50, and they're usually significantly discounted. Blink cameras -- also from Amazon -- are similarly cheap, costing as little as $35 before discounts.

The question is, which devices should you buy to have an Alexa-powered smart home without blowing all your money? Here are the best ones on the market. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

The cheapest smart speaker Amazon offers is the Echo Dot, and the fourth-gen version, which came out in 2020, is still a solid gadget. This speaker has impressive sound quality for the size if you want to play music (Spotify Premium, Amazon Music, Apple Music and more), along with voice control and all the smarts of the higher-end, more expensive speakers. Place Echo devices in different rooms of your house for multiroom audio. Not only is the Amazon Echo Dot a reasonable $50, but you can also catch it on sale for much less.

Read CNET's review of the Echo Dot (2020).

 

Chris Monroe/CNET

The $130 Echo Show 8 is an Alexa-compatible display that marries all the voice assistance of a speaker to the touch controls of a tablet. The second-gen version, launched in 2021, includes a 13-megapixel camera that will follow you around the room while video chatting. No, it's not technically the cheapest Echo smart display, since the Echo Show 5 is $40 cheaper. But this device really gives you the screen size to use it often as a display -- not just a fancy clock. Plus, you can regularly find the nearly as good first edition on sale for much less.

Read our Echo Show 8 review.

 

Read more: Amazon Echo tip: Put one in every room of your home

Wyze

The Wyze Cam is one of the best super-cheap devices out there, making it the unbeatable affordable security camera system. With a small price tag and an impressive set of features, including weatherproof housing, sharper night vision, a wider field of view, a functional siren and more, the third-gen Wyze Cam is still the top-tier option to keep your home safe and secure on a budget. 

In addition, with a single voice command you can throw the Wyze Cam's feed onto an Alexa-powered smart display, like the Echo Show 8. 

Read our Wyze Cam (2020) review.

 

Read more: How to use Alexa commands with your home security camera

Chris Monroe/CNET

Another surprisingly affordable smart home gadget from Wyze is its original, white LED Bulb, which you can control with Amazon Alexa. It connects directly to a Wi-Fi network, so no smart home hub is necessary. These smart bulbs give you many of the smarts of a Philips Hue or Lifx bulb (though the features are a little more spare than Philips Hue) and they work nicely with Amazon's smart home ecosystem. You can get two white bulbs for $15, or color-changing ones for about $10 each.

Read our Wyze Bulb review.

 

Ring

Ring's wired video doorbell is a super affordable smart buzzer. For $60, you get a Ring doorbell with live streaming, two-way talk and motion alerts. If you subscribe to Ring's $3-a-month service, you can get cloud storage, motion zones and a few other perks, too. While other developers have made super-cheap buzzers, this is the most reliable one we've tested -- and you can even find it on sale for under $50 if you keep an eye out during popular shopping seasons.

Read CNET's review of the Ring Video Doorbell Wired.

 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

One category where prices still hover over $100 is smart locks. Wyze has a $100 smart lock that CNET hasn't reviewed yet, but many of the best smart locks -- including August's Smart Lock -- tend to be around $150 or more.

Read our August Smart Lock (2017) review.