Whether you’re just starting to build your smart home or have been doing so for some time, a smart display (or two) can be the ideal addition. A smart display is essentially a Google Assistant or Alexa speaker with a screen connected, which enables you to use your standard variety of voice commands while watching YouTube videos or following recipes.

The best smart displays extend the capabilities of the finest smart speakers by allowing you to sing along with your favorite playlists and albums via on-screen lyrics. Additionally, you can use the smart display to access movie and television streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, as well as browse recipes and follow along as you cook.

Smart displays are capable of much more than entertainment. You may send and receive messages, as well as audio and, on versions equipped with a camera, video calls, allowing you to stay connected with friends and family. Additionally, they enable you to operate your smart home equipment, such as turning on smart lights, turning on smart plugs, or increasing the temperature of the smart thermostat, without reaching for your smartphone. 

Most of the smart displays on the market are manufactured by Amazon and Google, which is unsurprising considering the companies’ involvement with the built-in voice assistants. However, some models from third-party brands such as Lenovo and social media giant Facebook, which sells the Portal line of smart screens, are also available.

We’ve put a range of models to the test, evaluating their audio and video quality, as well as their smart device capabilities. Here are the best displays you can buy right now.

 

Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen)

Tech Reviews - Echo Show 10 - Tech News

  • Screen size: 10.1-inch
  • Resolution: 1280 x 800
  • Speakers: 2 x 1-inch tweeters, 1 x 3-inch woofer
  • Voice assistant: Alexa
  • Camera: 13MP
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The Amazon Echo Show 10 is the company’s flagship smart display, and it lives up to all expectations.

The Echo Show 10 features an outstanding 10.1-inch HD display that enhances the appearance of everything from movies to YouTube videos. It has excellent speakers. They’re loud, clear, and pump out a ton of bass. Therefore, whether you’re listening to a podcast or the latest release from your favorite band, these speakers will always enhance the experience.

Apart from that, the Echo Show has an amazing build quality, an intuitive setup process, and a camera for video conversations. The latest model even rotates on its base to follow you around the room, always providing the optimal angle.

While Amazon’s touchscreen interface for its smart displays is not as attractive or well-integrated as Google’s, this is the smart display to get if you’re on Team Alexa.

 

Google Nest Hub (2nd generation)

Tech Reviews - google nest hub - Tech News

  • Screen size: 7-inch
  • Resolution: 1024 x 600
  • Speaker: 1 x 1.7-inch speaker
  • Voice Assistant: Google Assistant
  • Camera: N/A
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The Google Nest Hub (2nd version) can track your sleep by using built-in Soli radar technology to detect even the tiniest movements, such as the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe.

There are numerous useful features that will assist you in winding down at night and waking up the next morning, which means that the Google Nest Hub (2nd generation) will most likely reside in your bedroom. Although we discovered that sleep tracking is not as precise as with a wearable.

Apart from the sleep tracking feature, the Google Nest Hub (2nd generation) is a successor to the Google Home Hub. It’s small and lightweight, with a 7-inch ‘floating display’, Google Assistant built-in, and a noticeable absence of a camera – making it unsuitable for video chats. The audio quality is likewise lacking, but if you’re not planning to use it as your primary speaker, you’ll find it an excellent complement to your bedroom.

 

Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen)

Tech Reviews - Echo Show 8 - Tech News

  • Screen size: 5.5-inch
  • Resolution: 960 x 480
  • Speaker: 1 x 1.7-inch speaker
  • Voice assistant: Alexa
  • Camera: 2MP
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If you’re searching for an affordable smart display that makes it simple to hop into video chats, the Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) is a great option. The video capabilities of the smart display have been significantly enhanced, and the Echo Show 8 now boasts a high-resolution 13-megapixel camera. Additionally, there is a mechanical shutter that moves in front of the camera to provide additional privacy.

Compatible with Zoom, Skype, and any device equipped with the Alexa app, there are a plethora of options for connecting with family and friends around the world. Its auto-framing capability is a bit lacking, but that’s a small flaw in an otherwise capable and cost-effective device.

Amazon did not stop there with camera enhancements for its second-generation smart screen. Although the upgraded CPU enables a more responsive touchscreen, the Echo Show 8 is still best handled via voice commands via Alexa. Nonetheless, this is an excellent smart display for music, streaming, and serving as a hub for smart home devices.

 

Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd generation)

Tech Reviews - Echo Show 5 - Tech News

  • Screen size: 5-inch
  • Resolution: 2160 x 1440
  • Speaker: 1 x 1.6-inch speaker
  • Voice assistant: Alexa
  • Camera: 2MP
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The Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd generation) isn’t the greatest smart display on the market – with its limited resolution and lack of support for YouTube – but it is the most affordable option with a built-in camera.

This is essentially a downsized version of the Echo Show 10 and 8, with a much more compact 5.5-inch display housed in a significantly smaller shell. The Show 10 makes a statement in any room in which it is installed. The Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) slips into the background and is small enough to fit almost anywhere.

As with the original Echo Show 5, the Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) speakers aren’t the greatest on the market, but they sound significantly better than you may think. Additionally, you get a camera for video conversations, and the Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) adds the option hiding it with a physical camera shutter for those occasions when you want extra privacy. The latest version of the Echo 5 features a camera that is twice as good as the previous Echo 5 at 2MP.

Alexa instructions and the touchscreen display operate identically on the Echo Show 5 and the Echo Show 10, indicating that despite the significantly cheaper price, there are no gaps in features.

 

Facebook Portal+

Tech Reviews - Facebook Portal - Tech News

  • Screen size: 14-inch
  • Resolution: 960 x 480
  • Speaker: Two 5W full-range speakers, one 20W woofer
  • Voice assistant: Alexa
  • Camera: 12MP
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The Facebook Portal+ was designed for video calls. Its enormous 14-inch adaptive HD screen captures facial emotions and nuance that are not visible on smaller devices, and its 12MP camera is one of the best in any smart display. Its touchscreen is also one of the easiest to use, having a simple user interface for touch controls and hands-free operation via voice commands.

The most significant shortcoming of Portal+ is its Facebook (or Meta) branding. The organization has experienced recent data and privacy breaches, however, they claim to be taking steps to improve data security.

In comparison to other smart screens, Portal’s app selection is similarly lacking—notable omissions include Instagram, WhatsApp, and even Facebook itself. Expect to use this smart display mostly for video conferencing, which it does flawlessly.

 

Lenovo Smart Clock

Tech Reviews - lenovo smart clock - Tech News

  • Screen size: 4-inch
  • Resolution: 480 x 480
  • Speakers: 1 x1.5-inch
  • Voice Assistant: Google Assistant
  • Camera: N/A
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The Lenovo Smart Clock is a pretty specialized entry in the genre of smart displays, but it’s so adorable and appealing that we couldn’t leave it out.

This is a Google Assistant-enabled monitor, although it has a significantly different interface than the Nest Hub or Lenovo Smart Display below. You may view the time, weather, calendar appointments, and other information on the screen, but you cannot use it to watch YouTube videos or follow recipes. It is significantly more restricted in certain areas, but that is by design.

Lenovo developed the Smart Clock to do fewer functions because it is best viewed as a super-powerful alarm clock. Due to the Smart Clock’s tiny 4-inch display, you can position it wherever – even on your crowded nightstand next to your bed. You can instantly snooze alarms by slapping the top of it, the fabric body is aesthetically pleasing, and the built-in speaker is adequate for casual music listening. Additionally, this is the only smart display on this list that features a USB-A port on the rear, which enables you to plug in a cable and charge your phone while you sleep.

While most people would prefer to spend somewhat more on something like the Echo Show 5 or Nest Hub, if the concept of the Lenovo Smart Clock appeals to you, we believe you’ll be pleased with it.

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