Are you tired of your regular smart speaker? Do you want something more? Then that’s where smart displays come into the picture.
Just like your smart speakers, smart displays are mainly controlled with voice commands, but this time you have a touch screen display that can display information about your daily schedule, the wheater, the traffic, and recipes. In essence, it is a smart speaker with a display attached, which adds a whole new dimension to user experience.
You can use a smart display for a Verity of things. The decision is yours to make. You can use the screen as a digital photo frame to display memorable photos of you or your family, or instead, use it as your cooking partner that guides you on recipes.
If you are a considerable media consumer, smart displays can be used to watch videos from services like YouTube and Amazon prime as well as listening to your favorite songs while the screen displays the album’s cover or lyrics.
Being an assistant based device, Smart display can also double down as a smart home hub, which you use to control smart home devices like smart lights and thermostat with either your voice or with the touch screen.
Although not all smart displays come with an inbuilt camera, the ones who do have a camera can be used for video calls to your family and friends. And some even allow you to use the camera as a security cam for your home.
In this buyer’s guide, I will be listing the best smart display you can get for your home.
Google nest hub max (Overall Best)
The Google nest hub max is the direct successor to the Google nest hub. This time Google decided to fix some crucial issues we complained about with the Google nest hub.
Before cooking, you can ask the Google assistant for a recipe and get a step-by-step guide, or use it to have a video chat with your beloved friends and family. The nest hub max itself is an excellent device. The design, display, speakers, and features are all top-notch.
Talking about the design. The Nest hub max has a sleek and modern design. It took the design from the original nest hub and made it way better. At the front is where you get the 10-inch LCD screen with a max resolution of 720p (1280 X 800), which is much larger than the 7-inch display on the original nest hub.
At the back of the device is where you will find the two 18mm tweeters and a 75mm woofer speakers covered with the Google trademark clothing. And above the speakers, you get a three-button layout, consisting of the power button, and volume buttons and a button to cut of power to the mic and camera.
The display of the nest hub max is one of my favorite aspects of this device. Images and videos from the 10-inch 720p screen were crisp, clear, and colors were well-balanced. The screen was also big and clear enough to be seen from the other side of my living room( not a big living room, though).
Another feature that sets the screen apart is the Ambient feature Google added, which changes the intensity of the screen according to your current lighting.
During the daytime, your screen will brighten up, and when the moon takes over, the screen will be dimmed to match the ambient. This makes the images look a lot more like a framed picture instead of a screensaver.
You also get hands free gesture controls with the nest hub max. You can easily pause/play music and videos, as well as stop alarms by raising your hand to the screen like you are giving a stop sign, which comes in helpful when your hands are messed with flour.
With clean hands, the touch screen was responsive and fast during regular day-to-day usage, no issues here. The speaker on the nest hub max is a significant step up from the nest hub.
Media consumption, like music and videos, was satisfying. The highs and mids were clear and loud, and the lows were deep and punchy, the speaker sounds easily filled my living room space, although it still can’t be compared with a dedicated speaker like the Sonos speakers. Again, I was impressed with the sounds I was getting.
If you have a family, the nest hub max allows up to 6 people to create profiles. Meaning that you, your partner, and kids can all have a profile with different face and voice recognition settings, so when someone says “Hey Google, read my to-do list,” the response from the Google Assistant will be relevant to the person.
I also found using the Google assistant on the nest hub max more interactive and exciting. I found myself playing trivia games and asking the Google Assistant funny and weird questions. It is undoubtedly a great way to relax when bored. Here is a list of 200+ Easter egg commands to try with the Google Assistant.
The Nest hub max also works as a smart home hub. It can be used to control lights, thermostats, cameras, and sensors that are compatible with the Google assistant. It also allows you to create Automation, like a Good night Automation, “Which turns off all your lights and arm your security cams.”
Thanks to the camera ok the nest hub max, you can also use Nest hub max as a security cam for your home, which starts recording whenever it detects motion or a loud noise.
From the App, you can live stream your home from anywhere, and clips recorded within 24 hours, to extend the video history and unlock other cool features you will need to subscribe to the Nest Aware subscription plan, which are $5 ($50 a year) for five days video history, $10 ( $100 a year) for ten days history and $30 ($300 a year) for 30 days video history.
My main issue with this camera is that it does not have a physical shutter button ( So I won’t be placed in my room) and the fact that it does not have Night vision.
But apart from that, the Google nest hub max is an excellent smart display with a Clean and bright screen, Good Sounding speakers, and A Great smart home Hub. You can get it from Amazon for $299
- 10inch clear touch screen
- Clear and loud audio
- Sleek Design
- Supports up to six user profiles
- It does not support Netflix and Amazon prime videos.
- No physical shutter cover.
Amazon Echo Show 2nd Gen
Amazon released the Echo show (2nd Gen) as the direct successor to the well-accepted Echo show. The new echo show was aimed at fixing most of the main issues from the original echo show, as well as upgraded features from the previous version.
The design of the 2nd gen is a complete overhaul from the last show echo, Which I can say is for the better. The new design looks attractive and pleasing to the eye.
At the front, you have a 10-inch touch screen with a resolution set at 720p (1280 x 800) with rounded corners, above the screen you have a 5mp camera for video calls and can double down as a security cam.
Turn to the back you have two speakers position at both sides of the device beneath the cloth cover, which looks more pleasing, at the top you have your regular button, but this time we don’t get a shutter cover as we had in the original echo show.
You can use the echo show to ask Alexa for information about the weather, traffic, sports updates, play trivia games with Alexa, and Alexa will respond to you with her voice and also display it on the screen.
The echo show shares the same screen size and resolution with the Google Nest hub max, which is 10-inch set at 720p. The images and videos from the Echo Show were clear and detailed, and color reproduction was also sound.
It being an Amazon product give you the ability to watch Amazon prime videos on it. The speakers on the new echo show are much Louder and clearer in sound, with the highs clear and the lows were deep. It was able to fill up my living room area.
You can listen to music from Amazon Music or third-party partners like Spotify, Tunein, and Deezer. You can still watch YouTube with the echo show but only through the Amazon a browser.
Smart home integration is where the echo show 2nd gen beats the nest hub max. Most smart home devices manufacturers are compatible with Alexa, with tons of devices having there dedicated Alexa skill.
The echo show also has an inbuilt ZigBee hub for controlling all your ZigBee smart home devices. Meaning you can use the echo show to control some smart home devices like (Phillips hue) directly, and therefore eliminating the need for getting a dedicated hub.
You also can create Automation and routines with the echo show, for example, a “movie Automation, that turns on the TV then, dims the lights,” and so much more. If smart home integration is essential to you, then, I will recommend going for the echo show.
- Attractive design
- A clear and bright 10-Inch screen
- Powerful speaker sound
- works with Amazon prime videos.
- Built-in Zigbee hub
- Does not support Netflix
- Watching Youtube only works with a browser
- No physical shutter closer
JBL Link View
The JBL name is a brand well known for there impressive line up of speakers. And with that, JBL decided to dive into the smart display market with the JBL link view. The link view is also the first JBL Speaker with the Google assistant.
The link view aimed to have the best speaker in a smart display, but it still could not beat the Google nest hub max. Still, the audio from this device is respectable, Highs were clean, and lows were deep. Place this in your living room, and you can throw a mini get-together party.
The link view’s design is quite unique compared to other smart displays. The Link view design was centered around the speakers. At first glance, you will notice the two 51mm speakers and an 8-inch touch screen sandwiched in-between them. You then have a curved back with the JBL logo at the center, at the top of the speaker is where you have a three-button set-up.
The screen on this device is an 8-inch touch-screen with a resolution set at 720p. Although it’s a smaller screen when compared with either the nest hub max and echo show, the screen was still big enough for all my media and assistance needs.
The Google assistant on the JBL made for a great sue chef as it guides you step-by-step when cooking. The link view is also splash-proof, so for messy cooks like me. You don’t need to worry whenever you mistakenly spill water on the device, which gave me the confidence to bring it a little closer to me when cooking.
Being a Google Assistant-powered display, you can use the JBL Link view as a hub for controlling your smart home devices, integration with nest devices, and Google Assistant compatible devices were smooth and easy.
Being a non-Google device I expected Netflix to work on the Link view, but rather it was not, well let’s not even talk of Amazon prime video. You still get easy access to YouTube and music streaming services apart from Apple music.
One big drawback of this device is the fact that the Link view can not be battery powered. This means extra wires around your home, and when your power goes off, the device will go off too. If you are looking to reduce the number of wires in your home and go wireless, you can read this article.
The link view is an excellent smart display with impressive speakers, great display, and unique design. Although I didn’t like the fact that it didn’t support Netflix or Amazon prime video and also I wish the screen could have been bigger. But the fact that it has a physical camera closer made the Link view the ideal choice for my room.
- Speaker produces Loud and rich sound.
- Sharp and clear display.
- Compact Size.
- Powered by the Google Assistant.
- It is not battery-powered.
- It does not support Netflix, Amazon prime video, and Google movies.
Lenovo Smart Display 10
- High-Resolution 10inch screen
- A beautiful design
- Powered by the Google assistant
- Supports Youtube, Youtube TV, And HBO Now.
- Video calls are limited to Google Duo.
- Controlling content with voice is not perfect.
Amazon Echo Show 5:
- Affordable price
- A compact and attractive design
- Smart home integration
- Physical shutter closer.
- Limited uses
- Low Display Resolution
- No Youtube App.
Google Nest Hub:
- Responsive touch-screen
- Low Price
- Sleek, compact design
- Easy smart home integration
- No Camera
- Not the best sound quality