We are looking for the absolute best smart display you can have in your home or away.
We're not biased.
I'm Iyaz Akhtar with our expert, Andrew Gebhart.
We're gonna judge these smart displays on five different factors.
Sound quality, touch interface, features, smart home controls, and value.
Here are our four competitors the JBL Link View, Amazon Echo Show 8, Nest Hub Max and the Nest Hub.
Okay, Andrew, what why these four what happened to the Facebook portal on Facebook portal.
That's trying to get in on the fun So they're very talkative.
So let's explain again why these are the four night, everybody be quiet.
Now they've settled down.
So these are the best smart displays out there depending on your needs, whether you're looking for sound quality or smart home controls, which we'll go into in more detail.
But smart displays can fit a wide variety of criteria depending on what you're looking for.
And these are all standout options and they're all really good in their own right.
So these are the best of a pretty diverse field.
Our first round is sound quality.
We've got a display made by a speaker company.
How did that do?
Yes, it's really good.
Going to shop.
JBL knows how to do sound?
It turns out JBL knows how to do sound.
So the JBL link view has the best sound quality of the bunch.
It's really like booming and nice full sound.
Believe it or not, the Amazon Echo Show 8 even though it's a little smaller than like the Nest Hub Max, the Amazon Echo Show 8 sounds great.
Amazon has really tinkered and refined their own sound quality.
So this one sounds good too, JBL is obviously the best of the bunch.
This one's good.
The Nest Hub Max is good.
It's maybe a little disappointing that this is keeping up even though it's smaller, and then the nest hub, you're not going to go to that one for sound quality.
It's so it's so tiny.
It's fine for how big it is.
But for sound quality you you're gonna want the JBL.
To talk a little bit about music streaming services.
We've got three Google devices on Amazon.
So obviously we have a different selection of streaming services.
Based on which device you go with, right?
So because these three, so the Nest [UNKNOWN], the Nest Max, the JBL link view all work with Google Assistant, they all have the exact same selection of streaming services.
So, Spotify, Pandora, Google music, youtube music.
All work on all of them.
Amazon you're gonna have a similar selection of third party streaming services.
So Spotify and Pandora works here too.
And then obviously the big difference is that amazon music is on here versus Versus Google and YouTube over here.
You also get Apple Music on an Amazon device if you have Apple Music
If you have Apple Music, so right so all of them do a pretty good job with the third party, the popular third party services.
But Amazon might have that one advantage if you're an apple thing.
And they can all use Bluetooth to connect to your phones.
If you got any other service they can play on these.
So the winner in sound, we're going to say it's JBL.
The JBL link view is the winner.
Now let's explain why Andrew is the experts on smart home devices.
Andrew Gephardt is a multi platform journalist, he's been with CNET for over half a decade.
In those years Andrew has seen the smartphone category grow with more and more products getting smarter.
Andrew does his best to figure out what is worth buying while testing in the CNET smart home.
The Smart Home is a living lab which allows for immersive testing.
Outside of that Andrew enjoys rooting for the Detroit Red Wings.
And mispronouncing the word bagel.
Let's go on to round two.
That'd be touch interface.
Again, we've got a display made by a speaker company.
So how did that do?
[LAUGH] It actually is still Find the JBL link view is still fine, because the touch interface, they pretty much works with Google.
And so it's almost exactly the same as these two, which is the Nest Hub and the Nest Hub, Max and apartment.
So this is based on an Android things, software, which is their software designed for IoT devices.
Whereas these guys are based on the Chromecast interface.
So even though they look very similar, the software is just a little bit different.
And these can be a little bit smoother.
And these are going to get updates faster because it's the nest hub Max and its nest hub, their first party devices from Google.
So they're going to get devices, just they're going to get updates, just a little bit quicker.
Than the JBL Link View, but they're pretty similar.
Well this one's called the Show.
And this one's called the Show.
So does it show off well?
Actually, so Amazon was the one that had the very first smart display, the Amazon Echo Show, and it wasn't great.
It was hideous!
So A, it was really ugly.
And then B, the actual touch interface There just wasn't a whole lot you can do.
And Amazon's made a lot of really good strides here in recipe help and in showing you info when you ask about the weather or everything like that, thus.
And so it's gotten a lot better and it's closed the gap because This was Google's first smart display and when the nest hub rolled out, it was great, it nailed recipe assistance.
It nailed showing you stuff on the screen.
When you actually give a command.
You'll see the words pop up so you know how it's processing.
And it's just done a really good job of coming out of the gate hot in terms of smart displays.
Amazon's caught up, I still prefer the Google interface to the Amazon one.
I mean, you can get a smart speaker for all kinds of assistant work, but these have displays, are people watching videos on these?
What is the actual usage of, I guess a display on a smart display.
Of the actual display.
So Videos shirt.
And you know these guys have YouTube Amazon doesn't.
But the other thing to really do it's not even so much about videos it's about getting that extra piece of information especially if you're like a visual learner.
If you recipe help is one of my favorite uses of the devices and if you are using these in the kitchen, you will actually see the steps laid out for you.
You can see the ingredients laid out for you and you can scroll really intuitively, it can follow along.
So I think they're great devices in the kitchen.
And then let's say you're looking for a place to eat.
A smart speaker can list off places, but these, you can actually like look at pictures and look at the menu so it can be that much more helpful.
A nd the touch interface can help with the swivel.
And who do you got as a winner?.
So this one is a tie between the Nest Hub and the Nest Hub max because they're exactly the same.
So the exact same touch interface and the JBL is not far behind because it's the same basic principles.
And actually the show eights good here too, and Amazon's done a lot to.
To catch up, I still kind of prefer this.
The next time shares of victory with a big buddy, the nest hub max on to our third round.
And that is features.
We've got three Google devices and one from Amazon.
What sets these guys apart?
So this is where you get into the nitty gritty of you're gonna get a little bit more for the price if you pay up.
Because the nest hub Max has a lot going on, it actually has a full Nest Cam built in so you can use it as a security device.
There's cool gesture controls, like if it's playing a video, you can hold up your hand and it'll pause the video and then you can hold your hand again.
And it'll keep going not using the camera for that knowledge.
[CROSSTALK] That's Google's other thing.
No it's using the cam and The cam can recognize your face and show you personalized notifications.
And then it can also follow you around if you want to make video calls.
So it's similar to that trick that the facebook portal debuted only not on a facebook device.
Try not to snicker about the portal.
Let's talk about video chat in a bit on this, these devices Most of them have cameras, one doesn't.
So if you are really concerned about privacy, the nest hub is probably the choice for you because no camera whatsoever.
It's still an always listening device, but you can mute it.
And then this guy has no physical shutter.
It's just a hard switch.
The mic and camera are off That turns off both the mic and camera when you flip it.
From mic and camera or back on.
[LAUGH] There we go.
This guy or these two both the Amazon Echo show eight and the JBL link view have a little bit of an edge there because they actually have physical shutters that go over the camera
So that's something to consider if you're concerned about privacy is that there's no physical shutter here.
But in theory, the hard switch is enough.
I know some people just feel better if there's going to be a physical shutter.
Yeah, I mean, this physically cannot see past the shutter versus this.
What's this telling you?
Am not watching.
Trust me, [LAUGH]
Who do we have as a winner?
In terms of features, this has the most robust list.
It's really cool.
I mean, this one has a cool thing where you can do sunrise alarms.
So it'll the screen will start getting brighter before you wake up in the morning.
But this just has a whole lot going on with that Nest Cam and the facial recognition and all that.
So I'm giving this one to the nest hub max.
The winner of this round otherwise known as this is the nest hub max Let's talk about smart home controls.
Having one device to control all your gadgets used to be really messy used to be just things didn't work together, you had to do different apps, whatever.
How are things now with these displays?
So smart speakers started to help that right because then you had just this one device in the center, and you'd have to share access to apps with everybody in the family.
And then smart displays have taken that next step because they all have these control panels to access your smart home devices.
So you can do touch controls on the smart home devices In addition to the voice commands you would give a smart speaker?
Is that much different than using the app that would be associated with any of these devices?
No, it's actually organized pretty similar to the apps in just about every way.
And on all of these.
The difference is it's a universal device that anyone in the family can use as a control center.
And you don't have to worry about sharing access to the app.
So your spouse Can't use the phone.
So when it comes to lots of different smart gadgets, which one has like the best ecosystem, obviously three or Google's, they probably all work with the same devices.
Amazon's been in the game for a long time, which one is ahead?
So, Amazon has the widest list of devices.
Amazon's assistant works with just everything.
But Google Assistant has done a really good job of catching up.
And in terms of functional breath, they're equivalent because any major device brand that you can find in a store or that you're looking for in the smart home, it's gonna work with both.
So who do we have as the winner?
So I'm giving the win here to the Nest Hub.
Because the organization of the Smart Home control panel on these devices is a little bit better than Amazon's the way it organizes things by room, the way you can use your touch controls.
To manipulate things is just really great here.
And again, similar to what I was saying on the touch interface, Amazon's caught up a lot.
But the nest hub is still the best.
And Google Assistant still does that touch interface the best.
And the desktops the easiest to use and was the first one to sort of do this.
You're picking the hub over the max over the link.
Yeah, I'm going with the nest hub.
And the winner is the nest hub.
Let's go to the final round.
And that's value.
Value is not just the price, it's the experience for the money.
What kinda experiences are you getting with these devices?
So you're gonna get similar experiences with all three Google devices from the nest hub to the nest next to the JBL link view, which is why in terms of value Then nest hub is the one that's gonna win because it's cost significantly less than the other two.
And it has a very similar price to the show eight which is a nice value for an Amazon Echo smart display.
And it's why it's our favorite Amazon Echo smart display.
Still Really hard to argue with the nest hub which has a price of $130.
You can always find it on sale for less than that.
And then you get all the cool touch interface stuff.
It does a really good job of showing off your pictures.
Both of these do but they not only adapt the brightness of the screen, but the warmth Of the pictures that are showing-
It looks so much more natural.
It looks like an actual picture in a frame.
It's really impressive.
So you get all of that for a really nice price.
Does the Echo Show do anything like that?
Are you are you looking at a giant glowing box in the nighttime?>> It's not that.
It is A pretty good adaptive display that just doesn't have quite that same level of adaptive warmth over here.
So, yes, it can adapt brightness.
It's pretty good at going through your own pictures.
It's just not quite at the same level as the Nest Hub.
And the Nest Hub's kinda like the Amazon Echo Dot.
It's almost like on discount.
You can get like two for like a dollar for some reason and it makes no sense.
It should not be that cheap.
But it's a great device.
So in value it's the winner.
In value, it's the winner.
The winner of this round is the Nest Hub.
Now after all five rounds of competition, The best smart display is the Nest Hub.
Let's recap, here's what makes the Nest Hub the winner and deserving of a chicken dinner.
Intuitive touch interface, great smart home controls, beautiful pictures, and a price that's really nice.
And do you have any last words to add?
Sure, so the next steps might pick it's a great device.
But depending on what you're looking for in a smart display, you might wanna go with, say the JBL link view if you really want nice sound and again, the touch interface is just about the same So, go get that sound quality if you want it and then the Amazon Echo Show 8 is Amazon's best smart display and it doesn't really good job with a lot of that touch interface stuff too.
So the battle between This too is really close, we have to pick one so we pick that one but if you prefer Amazon, nothing wrong with that [UNKNOWN] It's really good.
Thank you to [UNKNOWN] and you great viewers let us know what you think of the results we love hearing from you.
From all of us here, we wish you the best