Dozens of new smart home devices launch every fall, and the end of 2020 was no different, with new products from Amazon, Google, Apple and smaller brands. For Amazon in particular, the newis one of the best home integration products we've seen in years, and that means the potential for a well-oiled smart home working in concert is higher than ever as we enter the new year.
Over the years, I've helped set up dozens if not hundreds of smart devices at the CNET Smart Home -- and I've often associated with them. Between light bulbs, speakers, video doorbells and TVs -- not to mention pricey smart shades -- building a smart home can quickly run into five-figure territory. Luckily, the days of $180 and are over. will cost a cool $100, and plenty of other services and devices announced at its will clock in lower than that. You can find on sale all the time, and some of CNET's favorite smart cams on the market . In fact, with smart spending, you can just about build yourself a largely automated home for under $200 total.
Yes, in 2021 you can get all the things Alexa controls for super low prices. Here are the best ones. We update this list periodically.
The cheapest smart speaker Amazon offers is the ever-solid third-gen Echo Dot. Sure, there's a new Dot available, but its improvements are marginal, so whichever device is cheaper is probably the way to go. This Echo 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 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 $25 often.
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. You can find it on sale for $65 right now, and it gives you a screen to video chat, play games, watch videos and even stream the feeds of security cameras.
Amazon offers a number of other devices that add Amazon Alexa to you cars, home and other spaces, and one of the best of these is the Echo Flex, a $25 plug that brings Alexa integration to any place with an outlet. Setup is easy through the Amazon Alexa app. Once you do that, the smart speaker brings all the smarts of the Alexa voice assistant, plus a modular design that allows the use of motion-sensing and night light attachments.
The Wyze Cam is one of the best super-cheap devices out there, and it just got an update for 2020. With a tiny $20 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 better than ever.
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.
The Wyze Cam is available for preorder now, and slated for shipping as early as mid-November.
Another surprisingly affordable smart home gadget from Wyze is the $8 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 (thought the features are a little more spare than Philips Hue), and they work nicely with Amazon's smart home ecosystem.
Two categories where prices still hover over $100 are smart locks and doorbells. Wyze has a $100 smart lock that we haven't reviewed yet, and Ring sells a $100 early model of its smart doorbell, but the best products in the categories (from August's Smart Lock to Arlo's Video Doorbell) tend to hang around $150.