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Best Smart Home Gifts for 2022

Looking for the best devices to make your home (or the homes of loved ones) smarter? Look no further.

This story is part of Gift Guide, our year-round collection of the best gift ideas.

We tested all the major home devices -- from Wi-Fi routers to smart speakers and smart lights-- and these are the best ones you can buy right now. There are still plenty of smart options that are available for everyone. We'll keep this list updated if any new favorites emerge.

Want to finally take the plunge, transforming your house or the house of a family member's into a truly smart home? These are the gadgets for you.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Amazon's signature smart speaker saw a serious update this year. Between its new sphere-like design, top-notch sound and a smarter-than-ever Alexa voice assistant, the new Echo is easily worth the $100 price tag. As usual, Alexa can control your smart home gadgets, play music, listen for break-ins, call other Echo owners and plenty more. If you get a pair, you can also make them work together in stereo to make music sound even better, and if you get an Amazon streaming device, like a Fire TV Stick, you can use the Echo speakers for surround sound when you're streaming the latest shows.

The new Echo brings other small-but-smart updates to the midrange speaker: a Zigbee receiver and Amazon Sidewalk Bridge. The Zigbee receiver means you can connect your voice assistant to more smart devices, such as light bulbs, without the assistance of an additional bridge device. And the Sidewalk Bridge will basically help extend the range of smart devices on your network. Read our Amazon Echo (2020) review.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Asus ZenWiFi AX brings full support for Wi-Fi 6, the fastest version of Wi-Fi, stable mesh performance and more, all for hundreds of dollars less than the competition. For $450, you get excellent performance throughout your house, and in our real-world testing, we saw it finish with a whole-home average download speed of 271Mbps, or about 90% of the test house's capabilities. Read our Asus ZenWiFi AX review.

Read our Asus ZenWiFi AX review.

 

Chris Monroe/CNET

August has long been one of the most compelling smart lock developers in the industry because of its clever retrofit design and solid engineering. But the newest version of August's lock is smaller and smarter than ever before: It has Wi-Fi built into it rather than relying on a bridge device, its mechanics are smoother than ever before and it works with Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. Although at $220 it's a little pricier than some competitors, the new August Smart Lock won't leave you disappointed. Read our August Smart Lock review.

Read our August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review.

 

Arlo

Arlo brings its best-in-class performance and feature set to an outdoor camera with super simple setup and a well-designed app. Although at $250 it's a little pricier than some of the competition -- especially our other favorite, the Wyze Cam -- Arlo's Floodlight Camera performs impressively. If you're looking for a high quality security device for a reasonable price, you can't do much better than Arlo. Read our Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera review.

Read our Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera review.

 

Wyze

Wyze raised eyebrows when its first $20 smart cam dropped a few years ago, and its third-gen version -- which can be used outdoors or indoors -- should frankly still raise eyebrows. This is an incredible deal for the smarts you get: free 14-day video storage, integration with Amazon and Google voice assistants, so you can throw video streams onto your smart displays and much more. Although the price now hovers around $30, the Wyze smart cam still remains one of the cheapest on the market. Read our Wyze Cam (2020) review.

Read our Wyze Cam (2020) review.

 

Julie Snyder

Oxo's 8-Cup Coffee Maker is a great countertop appliance that'll brew quick, hot coffee without scorching your grounds. What's more, it costs only $200, which is less than its closest competition. The whole device is compact and sturdy, and the carafe won't drip when you pour it. If you or a loved one is crazy about high-quality coffee, this is the gift to get. Read our Oxo Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker review.

Read our Oxo 8 Cup Coffee Maker review.

 

Google

Google's Nest Hub, even two years after its initial release, is a fantastic smart hub that brings all the smarts of Google Assistant to a screen. That means you can stream YouTube videos, play music, control your smart home gadgets and display security camera feeds, all with a simple voice command or swipe of a finger. The Nest Hub also displays photos nicely, so it will fit right in with your other countertop decor. Read our Google Nest Hub review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The Echo Show 8 (meaning it has an 8-inch screen) is the best Amazon smart display for the price. It can do most of what the Nest Hub can, though it doesn't have easy YouTube streaming and it won't cooperate well with Google services like Gmail and Calendar. But the Echo Show 8 tracks Amazon orders, and it has a camera and shutter, for video chatting and privacy, respectively. Read our Amazon Echo Show 8 review.

Read our Amazon Echo Show 8 review.

 

Megan Wollerton/CNET

Two years ago, our SimpliSafe review said the system was "one of the most affordable monitored security services you can buy, and it's also one of the easiest to set up and use." That is still true today. SimpliSafe isn't the best system to use if you want to integrate with your other smart home platforms, like HomeKit or Works with Google Assistant, but on its own, it's a fantastic system. While it starts at $180, you can get packages with more pieces that work for your particular needs. Read our SimpliSafe Home Security review.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The floodlight camera isn't the only device worth checking out from Arlo: The Video Doorbell is also one of the best on the market, recently dethroning the Nest as our favorite connected doorbell. Between its solid price tag, 180-degree viewing angle and built-in siren, the Arlo doubles as a security device and doorbell. Read our Arlo Video Doorbell review.

Read our Arlo Video Doorbell review.

 

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