These Are the Best Smart Displays and Assistants You Can Buy Right Now

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The Best Smart Displays for Calls, Music, and TVPopular Mechanics; Google

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Smart displays are changing how we interact with our homes, thanks to the “internet of things”—the digital interconnectedness of our everyday devices and objects. Now, you can control your heating, security, lighting, internet and even your fridge with any capable smart hub.

These smart hubs first arrived in the form of smart speakers, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Nest. Now, they’ve evolved to integrate screens—a major shakeup that drastically improves smart assistants’ usefulness. Most smart displays combine the features of a Bluetooth speaker and a tablet with the smart hub functionality we’ve come to depend on.

Check out our recommendations for the best smart displays available now, including advice on how they can help make life easier.

Best Smart Displays

What to Consider

While most smart devices have some degree of portability, smart displays are generally locked to a specific room, so the room you choose will largely inform which model you should invest in.

Here are a few ideas for deciding where to mount or place your smart display.

  • Bedroom: for tracking sleep, using as an alarm clock, or checking weather and calendar events

  • Kitchen: for streaming music, displaying step-by-step recipes, or video calling

  • Entryway: for controlling the thermostat or securing the house

Another consideration is that while most smart displays run off your main power supply, some options are battery-powered, so you can move them around as needed.


Smart displays can connect to and control compatible smart devices such as lightbulbs, thermostat controls, video doorbells, and many more. You’ll need to ensure your devices are compatible, but most smart displays we recommend feature Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa connectivity as the standard.

Many are also compatible with the Zigbee network, an alternative to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth geared for smart home tech. Some advanced smart displays even have features like gesture controls and cameras that track you as you move around the room so you aren’t rooted to the spot during video calls.


You can’t have a smart display without a screen, and these come in various shapes and sizes. Most have a touchscreen, but you should ensure the interface is built to handle your commands (whether voice or touch) with minimal lag.

If you want to stream video, ensure your display has a capable resolution (at least HD, a.k.a. 720p) and a bright screen.


We can’t ignore one common concern regarding smart displays: privacy. With options that include camera tracking and microphones, you may be looking for a device that does the job without feeling so “Big Brother.” To that end, you may opt for one without a camera or one with a physical switch that covers the lens.

How We Selected

We undertook thorough research when selecting the products in this feature, calling on our previous reporting on smart devices to ensure we only recommend brands we trust. We also delved into a range of review sites such as Tom’s Guide, PCMagazine, and TechRadar to corroborate our impressions. We examined customer reviews to find the most user-friendly, capable, and helpful smart displays on the market.

Nest Hub Max Smart Display

With a 10-inch screen and dual speakers, plus a subwoofer, the Google Nest Hub Max is great for streaming video and playing music. It also features a slim base, making it suitable for a kitchen windowsill or work surface, though it’s still one of the largest models we recommend.

This is a strong contender from Google, with a multitude of functions. It can display your Google Photos library and sense the brightness and tone of your room to adjust the display accordingly, so it’s never too dark or bright.

Even better is its facial recognition system, which detects registered users and provides relevant notifications for that individual. Finally, the Max doubles as a sentry, with a 6.5-megapixel Nest security camera that alerts you if it detects movement or sounds. You can even check in on a housebound pet while you’re away.

With its clean, good looks and excellent media playback, we think the Max is ideal in the kitchen as an entertainment device or recipe prep assistant. One minor niggle is that it doesn’t feature a physical camera cover for times when privacy is paramount, though optional covers are available.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Nest Hub Max Smart Display</p><p>$189.99</p><p></p>

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Nest Hub Max Smart Display


Smart Clock 2 with Wireless Charging Dock

Some people don’t need the hassle of dealing with a full-fledged smart display and its dozens of widgets and apps. If all you want is a multifunctional device that still has a few handy tricks in its arsenal, meet the Lenovo Smart Clock 2—a nightstand clock, nightlight, phone charger, smartwatch charger, and Google Assistant, all in one.

With a tiny four-inch display, the Smart Clock 2 is incredibly compact, making it perfect for smaller nightstands. We also love the convenience of wireless charging, so having a detachable pad that can charge both a phone and a smartwatch is appealing.

Sadly, it won’t win any awards for music playback as its speaker is fairly underpowered. There’s also no video streaming or camera to speak of, but you can display your Google Photos, so you can cycle through stills of your loved ones even though the resolution isn’t great.

The Smart Clock 2 is perfect if you’re looking for a compact, basic display at an affordable price.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Smart Clock 2 with Wireless Charging Dock</p><p>$68.88</p><p></p>

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Smart Clock 2 with Wireless Charging Dock


Echo Show 10 Smart Display with Alexa Voice Assistant

Want to multitask while video calling? The Echo Show 10 features a motorized base that moves and tracks with you as you move throughout the room. This does mean it needs to be placed more than six inches from any obstructions for this feature, so putting it flush against a wall or corner isn’t an option.

Additionally, if you’re not used to a self-moving camera, the motion tracking may feel unnerving, even though you have to command it to follow you—this setting isn’t automatically on. There is a physical camera cover to help maintain privacy.

The Show 10 is also the only current-gen Echo device that uses the Zigbee smart home hub network, a system that’s more efficient than Wi-Fi and more reliable than Bluetooth, to communicate with a range of devices. It also reportedly offers a more secure home network thanks to data encryption.

With its large and bright screen, strong 13-megapixel camera, and solid sound, the Echo Show 10 is ideal for just about anything, including Alexa connectivity and video calls. However, be prepared to fork out extra compared to others on this list.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Echo Show 10 Smart Display with Alexa Voice Assistant</p><p>$249.99</p><p></p>

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Echo Show 10 Smart Display with Alexa Voice Assistant


Echo Show 8 Smart Display

The second-generation Echo Show 8 hasn’t tried to reinvent itself too much from its previous iteration. Instead, Amazon has kept the status quo of offering an affordable smart display with mid-range specs. However, the Show 8 comes into its own during video calls. It uses a 13-megapixel wide-angle camera to keep you centered in the frame, leaving you to get on with things like meal prepping.

However, with an eight-inch screen, it’s smaller than many on this list, so video streaming isn’t super immersive, even if the music playback is adequately capable. That said, people like it for its diminutive radio box design and balance between quality and affordability.

One drawback is that it’s missing integrated Zigbee hub functionality, meaning there may be some devices the Echo Show 8 might not be compatible with. For a second-gen smart display, we think this is a considerable oversight.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Echo Show 8 Smart Display</p><p>$129.99</p><p></p>

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Echo Show 8 Smart Display


Nest Hub Smart Home Display with Google Assistant

Don’t be alarmed, but the second-generation Nest Hub is really keen on watching you sleep. Its Motion Sense feature utilizes a Soli radar chip to detect changes in body movement, lighting, temperature, and snoring, giving you a rundown of your sleep quality each morning.

And while this feature only tracks the person closest to the device, we commend Google for trying something new—and helpful, especially for the health conscious or anyone tracking their sleep. However, be aware that the company is set to charge for this feature from 2024, when it’ll be bundled with paid FitBit subscriptions.

The Nest Hub also features gesture control, though some users have reported that this isn’t as intuitive as they’d expect. In another bold move, the Nest Hub does not feature a video camera. That might be a dealbreaker for some, but for those wanting the utmost privacy, particularly in the bedroom, this might be a welcome omission.

With its dashing good looks, strong user interface and excellent Google Assistant, the Nest Hub is a decent smart display. That said, we’d have chosen more power in its speakers and full HD screen resolution to stick the landing.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Nest Hub Smart Home Display with Google Assistant</p><p>$83.00</p><p></p>

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Nest Hub Smart Home Display with Google Assistant


Echo Show 15 Smart Display

The massive Echo Show 15 will turn heads whether you mount it on a wall or atop a table. It even works when oriented in portrait or landscape. With a whopping 15.6-inch screen running 1920 by 1080 pixels, it’s capable of showing a wealth of information, doubling as an interactive noticeboard and a smart streaming TV.

The noticeboard is a key part of the Echo Show 15’s appeal. With a customizable display featuring various widgets, users can display the weather, their calendar, sticky notes, to-do lists, and more.

The Echo Show can also run several TV apps, including Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+. Thanks to its decent pixel count, images are crisp and clear, although we weren’t blown away by the sound, which lacks punch due to its slim design. For video calls, the camera on the Echo Show 15 is a disappointing 5 megapixels, which lags behind the Echo Show 8’s 13 megapixels—but it does come with a physical camera shutter button for privacy.

Despite these drawbacks, if you find yourself juggling lots of plates and have the budget for it, the Echo Show is the ultimate family organizer that can help you keep on top of your day.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Echo Show 15 Smart Display</p><p>$279.98</p><p></p>

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Echo Show 15 Smart Display


Smart Display With Google Assistant

The 10.1-inch Lenovo Smart Display has a somewhat wacky design, featuring an off-centered wedge and a warped wooden panel at the rear. This weird shape means users can turn it on its side for use in portrait video calling using Google Meet and the 5-megapixel camera.

That said, portrait mode doesn’t work with this model’s apps, so you’ll have to adjust it back to landscape when you’re done with your call. As with any Google-partnered device running Google Assistant, there’s a range of apps and widgets at your disposal, such as Home and Chromecast.

Within Lenovo’s product is a decently sized full HD screen that is sharp and clear—one of the Smart Display’s strongest features. However, there’s no color matching to blend into its surroundings like other Google Hubs, only automatic brightness adjustment.

Additionally, its sound, while passable, lacks oomph and bass, which is disappointing for a model not that far off the price range of the premium Google Nest Hub Max.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Smart Display With Google Assistant</p><p>$249.99</p><p></p>

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Smart Display With Google Assistant


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