The Best Smart Home Devices in the UK for 2020

What is a Smart Home Device?

There are many different types of smart products and appliances including, TV’s, refrigerators, speakers, doorbells and home security, lighting and thermostats and many more. These products and appliances are connected to the internet so they can be controlled from apps on your phone or a voice command.

If you add a smart hub, which can connect to your smart home devices, then your smart products and appliances can communicate with each other. For instance, when your kids come home from school the lights turn on automatically and the door locks behind them or when you issue the command “Alexa it’s movie time” the lights will dim, and the TV will come on.

17 Best Smart Home Devices

Here are the 17 best smart devices to bring your home into the future:

1Samsung SmartThings Starter Kit

  • Starter kit includes hub, 3 sensors and smart plug
  • Hub can connect to a wide range of smart devices and brands
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control

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2Ring Door View Cam

  • Easy to install, requires an existing peephole
  • Notifies you when someone is at your door. Detects motion, someone knocking on your door and when your doorbell is pressed
  • Live view and two-way talk included. For video recording a Ring Protect subscription is required.
  • Works with Alexa for voice control

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3Echo Plus (2nd Gen) Smart Speaker & Hub

  • Premium quality sound
  • Add other Echo devices for multi-room music
  • Built in Alexa voice control
  • Can connect to any device that uses Zigbee or Works with Alexa

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4Sonos One (2nd Gen) Multi Room Speaker

  • High quality sound at any volume
  • Built-in Alexa for voice control

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5Google Home Hub Smart Display

  • Quality sound
  • 7” touch screen allowing you to see information as well as hear it
  • Built in Google Assistant
  • Can connect to over 200 products across 50 brands

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6Philips Hue Light Bulb

  • Choose from millions of different colours and 50,000 shades of white light
  • Control your lighting on your smart phone with Philips Hue great app

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7Nest Smart Thermostats

  • Compatible with almost all heating systems (gas boilers, oil boilers, condensing boilers, heat pumps, underfloor heating, OpenTherm systems)
  • Fully programmable and controllable from your phone
  • Uses your phone’s location and built-in motion sensors to avoid heating an empty house

Nest Smart Thermostats

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8Arlo Ultra 4K Security Cameras

  • Advanced image quality and ability to zoom with Arlo’s 4K & HDR resolution
  • Enhanced night vision, the video is in colour rather than traditional black and white
  • Wide angle lens gives you 180o field of view
  • Auto zoom and tracking means this camera will automatically focus on moving objects
  • Built in spot-light

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9Canary View Indoor Security Camera

  • View live activity from your smart phone
  • Alerts you to activity when you are out of your house or asleep
  • Trigger an alarm and call the emergency services from the app

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10Casa Smart Plug by TP-Link

  • Remotely control electronic devices from your phone
  • Create schedules and timers to turn on your devices
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control

Buy Now

11Yale Conexis Smart Door Lock

  • Keyless entry to your property
  • Tamper alarm
  • British Standard Insitute (BSI) approved

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12Nest Protect 2nd Generation Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm

  • Detects smoke and carbon monoxide
  • Voice alarms and phone alarms to tell you what is wrong and where the problem it
  • Silence the alarm via the app

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13Netatmo Weather Station

  • Monitor your indoor and outdoor environment
  • Access your data remotely from your smart phone, tablet or computer
  • Combine with Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit to access your data via voice control

Buy Now

14Withings Sleep Sensing Pad

  • Monitors your sleep
  • View your data (including a sleep score) in the Health Mate app
  • Can connect with other smart products using IFTTT*

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15Evovacs Robot Vacuum Cleaner

  • Anti-drop and anti-collision sensors
  • 100 minute battery life and auto-return charging
  • 4 cleaning modes: Auto, Spot, Edge and Max
  • Remote control
  • WiFi connected
  • Alexa compatible

Evovacs Robot Vacuum Cleaner

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16Smarter Coffee Machine

  • Drip coffee maker
  • Remote brew your coffee from anywhere using the app
  • Schedule Wake Up Mode and Home Mode to have freshly brewed coffee ready when you are
  • Connect to other smart home devices using IFTTT*, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

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17Samsung Smart Fridge Freezer

  • State-of-the-art refrigeration system
  • Cameras so you can view what’s inside your fridge from your phone
  • Touch screen panel for viewing calendars, making notes as well as watching TV, listening to music or browsing the internet

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Best One-Box Kit: Samsung SmartThings Starter Kit

  • Starter kit includes hub, 3 sensors and smart plug
  • Hub can connect to a wide range of smart devices and brands
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control

If you are looking for an easy way to turn your home into a smart home, then the SmartThings from Samsung would be a good choice.

It contains a SmartThings hub, three different sensors and a smart plug (power outlet). The SmartThings hub is one of the best traditional hubs out there as it connects with almost any smart devices you care to mention allowing you to easily add to your smart home in the future.

You can also combine the SmartThings hub with an Amazon Alexa (Echo Dot) or Google Assistant (Google Nest Mini) device for voice control.

Here’s a run-down of what’s included in the box:

SmartThings Hub – Connect to hundreds of devices from different manufacturers allowing you to control all your devices through the SmartThings app

SmartThings Multi-Sensor – Receive alerts if windows open unexpectedly, set connected lights to turn on and off as you open doors.

SmartThings Motion-Sensor – Receive alerts if there’s unexpected movement, set connected devices to turn on and off as people come and go.

SmartThings Presence Sensor – Receive alerts if your pet leaves unexpectedly, set connected devices to turn on and off as people come and go.

SmartThings Power Outlet – Set lights, electronics, and small appliances to turn on and off at different times of the day or when there’s movement in your house.

Pros

  • Great starter kit at an affordable price
  • One of the most compatible with other smart devices out there

Cons

  • A little ‘old-fashioned’
  • No built-in voice-control
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Best Smart Video Doorbell: Ring Door View Cam

Best Smart Video Doorbell: Ring Door View Cam

  • Easy to install, requires an existing peephole
  • Notifies you when someone is at your door. Detects motion, someone knocking on your door and when your doorbell is pressed
  • Live view and two-way talk included. For video recording a Ring Protect subscription is required.
  • Works with Alexa for voice control

The Ring Door View Cam (Video Doorbell) is easy to install in place of your existing peephole. It is battery powered so no wiring or drilling is required.

Once installed, when someone knocks on your door, presses the doorbell button or triggers the motion sensors you’ll get a notification on your phone and you will have a live view of who is at your door. If they press the button the chime will sound, and a video call will appear on your phone. This is particularly helpful if you are away from your home as you can have a two-way conversation with whoever is at your door.

The Advanced Motion Technology lets you easily adjust the built-in motion sensors to focus on and detect what’s important to you. This is helpful if you live in flats and your neighbours’ front doors are close to yours.

The Ring Door View Cam works with Alexa for voice control. When anyone rings your doorbell or triggers the motion sensors, your Echo device will make an announcement. If you have an Echo Show or Echo Spot you can also see, hear and speak to whoever is at your door via your smart hub (rather than your phone).

There is no free video storage included, if you want this you must subscribe to Ring Protect which will allow you to record, view and share the video from your Ring Door View Cam. You can get a free 30-day trial and after this it’s £2.50 per month.

Pros

  • Nice design
  • Great motion tracking
  • App is easy to use

Cons

  • Video storage requires a subscription to Ring Protect
  • Requires an existing peep hole to install
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Best Smart Speakers: Echo Plus (2nd Gen)

Smart Speakers

  • Premium quality sound
  • Add other Echo devices for multi-room music
  • Built in Alexa voice control
  • Can connect to any device that uses Zigbee or Works with Alexa

Amazon’s Echo Plus smart speakers combines great quality sound with a built-in smart home hub. You can ask Alexa to play music, read the news, tell you the weather or make a voice call.

The Echo Plus is also a smart hub and can connect to home smart devices that use Zigbee as well as any Works with Alexa home device. You can control your smart light, plugs, thermostats and more without a separate hub.

Pros

  • Great design with stylish fabric finish
  • Great sound quality

Cons

  • Doesn’t work with Z-Wave or Nest so some of your devices may not be compatible.
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Best Multi-Room Audio: Sonos One (2nd Gen)

  • High quality sound at any volume
  • Built-in Alexa for voice control

Sonos has been a market leader in high-quality, reliable (and rather expensive) wireless audio products since it began in 2002. There is a range of speakers which can be easily be connected wirelessly so you can enjoy clear sound in any (or every) room.

You can control your speakers with the Sonos app, AirPlay 2 and your voice. Sonos also supports just about any music streaming service.

Pros

  • Supports 80 different music streaming services
  • Amazon Alexa built-in so you can control your music with your voice

Cons

  • Expensive, especially if you’re creating a home sound system with multiple speakers
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Best Smart Display: Google Home Hub

  • Quality sound
  • 7” touch screen allowing you to see information as well as hear it
  • Built in Google Assistant
  • Can connect to over 200 products across 50 brands

The Google Home Hub is a smart speaker and smart hub with a screen. The sound is good enough to replace your radio or Hi-Fi and it can integrate with most smart home devices. The screen allows you to see information as well as hear it.

Pros

  • Great connectivity thanks to integration with Zigbee, Z-Wave and Nest as well as any device that works with Google Assistant.

Cons

  • Small screen
  • No camera
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Best Smart Light Bulbs: Philips Hue

Best Smart Light Bulbs: Philips Hue

  • Choose from millions of different colours and 50,000 shades of white light
  • Control your lighting on your smart phone with Philips Hue’s great app

One thing you might want to do when you start to make your home a smart home is to turn on your lights, Philips Hue smart lighting bulbs are a great choice for this. There is a broad range of lighting products available making the Hue service the perfect solution for all your home lighting needs.

This product is the Hue colour changing bulb, but standard white bulbs are also available for around £15 for a single bulb. If you already own a smart hub, make sure that you buy the Bluetooth version of the bulbs and you won’t need an extra hub. Otherwise you will also need to buy the Philips Bridge to be able to control your lights via the Phillips Hue app. It is possible to buy starter packs that comprise a bridge and two light bulbs.

You can also add other Hue accessories like dimmer switches and motion sensors.

The system is compatible with home control systems like Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomeKit.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Excellent app
  • Compatible with many different home control systems

Cons

  • Philips Bridge is required if you don’t already have a compatible smart hub
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Best Smart Thermostat: Nest Thermostat

Nest Smart Thermostat

  • Compatible with almost all heating systems (gas boilers, oil boilers, condensing boilers, heat pumps, underfloor heating, OpenTherm systems)
  • Fully programmable and controllable from your phone
  • Uses your phone’s location and built-in motion sensors to avoid heating an empty house

There are two parts to the Nest Smart Thermostat, there is the smart thermostat itself, which is fixed to the wall (replacing your existing thermostat). The other part is the heat link which communicates wirelessly with the thermostat and controls the boiler. It is recommended that you have your Thermostat installed professionally.

You can control your smart Thermostat from your phone, but you may find that it is clever enough that you don’t need to bother. Not only does it remember the various temperature setting you put in throughout the day, using its motion sensor and GPS functionality it will alter the programme based on your schedule. In other words, if you are out for the evening the thermostat is clever enough not to heat an empty house.

Pros

  • Great design
  • Simple to operate with a great app
  • Learns and adapts with use

Cons

  • Should be installed by a qualified electrician
  • No connection to radiator valves so you cannot fine tune the temperature in various rooms
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Best Smart Security Cameras: Arlo Ultra 4K

  • Advanced image quality and ability to zoom with Arlo’s 4K & HDR resolution
  • Enhanced night vision, the video is in colour rather than traditional black and white
  • Wide angle lens gives you 180o field of view
  • Auto zoom and tracking means this camera will automatically focus on moving objects
  • Built in spotlight

The Arlo Ultra 4K is a professional standard home security camera for the home. It can be used both indoors and outdoors and has a wealth of features including control via the internet and advanced image quality and zoom.

The camera is extremely high-resolution and offers colour night vision. The wide-angle lens gives you 180o field of view and has auto image correction to reduce the ‘fish-eye’ effect. The Arlo is fully controllable via the internet and has a siren that can activate automatically or be triggered from your phone.

It has great integration with Amazon’s products, including Alexa control, and the ability to display the video feed on Echo devices.

1 year of Arlo smart premier service is included, this gives you rolling 30-day recordings stored in the cloud. After this has expired you can choose to sign-up to an Arlo Smart plan, the premier service is currently priced at £6.49 per month (November 2019) or you can choose not to have a service plan. If you choose the later, you will still be able to live stream video, but these will not be stored.

The Arlo Ultra 4K is completely wire free, it just requires its base station to be connected to your router. This does mean that the batteries in the camera need to be re-charged periodically. You can purchase accessories to make re-charging easier. Arlo offer a solar panel charger which will keep your Arlo Ultra battery charged with direct sunlight or a dual charging station which will charge up to two batteries, allowing you to replace the batteries when required.

This system comes with one camera, but you can buy add on cameras for around £300 each or choose a multi-camera package from the start.

Pros

  • Great image quality
  • Fully controllable via the internet
  • 1 year of Arlo smart premier service included
  • 100% wire free

Cons

  • Expensive (but this is a professional standard product)
  • Unless you buy the additional accessories, you will need to re-charge the camera’s batteries using the lead and plug provided
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Best Home Security Systems: Canary View Indoor Security Camera

  • View live activity from your smart phone
  • Alerts you to activity when you are out of your house or asleep
  • Trigger an alarm and call the emergency services from the app

The Canary View indoor security camera is your window into your home. It has a beautiful sleek design, so it doesn’t even look like a security camera. It is also WiFi connected so you can place it anywhere in your home.

The Canary View automatically changes modes as you enter and leave your home. When all members of your household are away the Canary View monitors for activity, when motion is detected it records video and audio and sends it to your phone with an alert. From the Canary app you can trigger a 90-decibel alarm and call the emergency services. The Canary View has a person detect feature, so it won’t bother you because your pets have moved around your home.

When you are home the Canary View will automatically disarm itself according to your settings. You can also schedule it to monitor for activity whilst you are asleep.

You can view live activity anytime, anywhere.

The basic service is free and gives you 30 second motion activated video clips which are stored for 1 day. You can add up to 4 devices to your system.

You can choose to subscribe to the premium service, giving you full length motion activated videos which are stored for 30 days as well as two-way talking and desktop streaming. This costs £7.99 per month (or £79 per year) for up to 5 devices, additional devices are charged at £4.99 per month (or £49 per year) for each additional device.

Pros

  • Competitive price
  • Detects motion and sends you alerts
  • Easy to use app

Cons

  • A subscription is required to use all the features
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Best Smart Plugs: Casa Smart Plug by TP-Link

  • Remotely control electronic devices from your phone
  • Create schedules and timers to turn on your devices
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control

There are a lot of smart plugs out there but this one is a great choice. It works with any router without the need for a separate hub. You can control the devices connected to the smart plug from the free Casa app on your phone. You can also set schedules and timers to automatically power electronics on and off.

The TP-Link Casa Smart Plug is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant allowing you to add voice control.

Pros

  • Works with any WiFi router without the need for a separate hub
  • Cheap (compared to other smart products) and a great entry into the world of smart devices

Cons

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Best Smart Locks: Yale Conexis Smart Door Lock

Best Smart Locks: Yale Conexis Smart Door Lock

  • Keyless entry to your property
  • Tamper alarm
  • British Standard Institute (BSI) approved

The Yale Conexis smart lock offers the ability to unlock your doors with a smartphone, key card or tag. No key is required to open the lock from the inside, so anyone already inside your house can open the door.

To unlock from your smartphone, open the app, hit the ‘tap to unlock’ button and then just stand near your Conexis L1 lock and tap the Bluetooth button on the front to wake up your lock. Wait a few moments and the door will unlock. This can be a little bit of a faff, it is much easier to use a tag or card to unlock. Tags are also handy for times when you don’t have your phone, or it has run out of charge. The box includes one tag and one key card, but you can buy additional key cards and tags. You can also buy phone tags which are small square tags that stick to the back of your phone.

As well as physical tags, the Conexis L1 app lets you send virtual keys to people (five virtual keys are included, additional ones can be purchased from within the app). These can either be permanent keys that always give access or temporary keys that are restricted to a weekly schedule (day and time) with the option of setting a valid date range.

This is a handy way of giving a cleaner or workmen temporary access to your home but keeping them out when you want.

You can revoke virtual keys, key cards, key tags and phone tags in an instant, so you have full control of who has access to your property.

The door lock requires 4 AA batteries and will not work at all if the batteries have run out. An alert is given when the batteries are running low.

Buy the optional Z-Wave module and your Conexis L1 smart lock can be hooked up to any Z-wave compatible smart hub (e.g. SmartThings). This allows you to unlock your door from anywhere in the world (without issuing a key). You can also link your smart lock to other smart devices, for instance have the indoor lights turn off when you lock your door.

Pros

  • Easy and convenient access to your property
  • Compatible with most UK ‘lift to lock’ multipoint locks
  • Compatible with Z-Wave (additional module required) so can be integrated with smart hubs (like SmartThings)

Cons

  • You can install this lock yourself, but it is a little fiddly. It may be better to pay for a professional to install
  • Unlocking via the app is a bit of a faff, it is much easier to use tags and key cards
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Best Smart Smoke Detector: Nest Protect 2nd Generation Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm

  • Detects smoke and carbon monoxide
  • Voice alarms and phone alarms to tell you what is wrong and where the problem it
  • Silence the alarm via the app

Everyone should have at least one working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm in their home. The Nest Protect takes this basic requirement to the next level. It will alert you on your smart phone if the alarm is triggered in case you are not a home.

The Nest Protect has a split-spectrum sensor which is good at detecting both slow-smoldering fires as well as fast burning ones. It also has sensors for carbon monoxide, heat and humidity.

Like all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, a siren will sound if critical levels of smoke or carbon monoxide are detected. Nest Protect also provides spoken alerts which tell you the nature of the emergency and the room it is occurring in. The Nest Protect also runs self-checks to ensure everything is working, this includes turning on its siren (you are given advanced warning of this).

Through the Nest app you can monitor the status of the detector and silence the alarm if it goes of accidentally, for instance whilst you are cooking.

Pros

  • Detects smoke and carbon monoxide
  • Spoken alerts as well as a siren
  • Links to other smart-home devices

Cons

  • Expensive
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Best Temperature Sensor: Netatmo Weather Station

  • Monitor your indoor and outdoor environment
  • Access your data remotely from your smart phone, tablet or computer
  • Combine with Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit to access your data via voice control

The Netatmo weather station starter pack includes an indoor and outdoor unit that measures key data about your indoor and outdoor environment. Both units will monitor temperature, air pressure, noise levels, humidity and air quality (including CO2 levels). It will even remind you to air out your home if the CO2 levels are getting too high. You can analyse all the data on Netatmo’s mobile and desktop app. If you want more data, you can also purchase rain and wind gauges to add to your weather station.

The Netatmo weather station is also compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and IFTTT* so you can just ask Siri or Alexa for your weather data. You can also create automations according to your home’s indoor air quality to activate other connected products.

Pros

  • If you want data about your local environment, then this is an excellent choice
  • Battery powered and portable
  • Great design

Cons

  • Not the most essential piece of kit!

*IFTTT is short for If This Then That and is free software that allow users to create simple scripts where some type of event in one device automatically triggers an action in another.

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Best Sleep Tech: Withings Sleep Sensing Pad

  • Monitors your sleep
  • View your data (including a sleep score) in the Health Mate app
  • Can connect with other smart products using IFTTT*

Good sleep is important, and this product helps you to understand how you are sleeping. Using this data can help you to improve your sleep quality night after night.

The Withings Sleep Sensing Pad goes under the mattress and monitors your sleep. It can deduce your sleep cycles, track your heart rate as well as detect breathing disturbances and snoring. You can view all your data in the Heath Mate app and use it to learn about the parameters that impact your sleep quality.

You can connect your Withings Sleep sensor to other smart products using IFTTT*. For instance, when the pad senses you’re getting up it can turn on the lights.

Pros

  • You don’t have to wear anything, just slip the pad under your mattress

Cons

  • Expensive

*IFTTT is short for If This Then That and is free software that allow users to create simple scripts where some type of event in one device automatically triggers an action in another.

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Best Connected Vacuum Cleaner: Evovacs Robot Vacuum Cleaner

  • Anti-drop and anti-collision sensors
  • 100-minute battery life and auto-return charging
  • 4 cleaning modes: Auto, Spot, Edge and Max
  • Remote control
  • WiFi connected
  • Alexa compatible

This is a competitively priced robotic cleaner with many great features. It makes it way round your home, removing surface dust and debris, using set patterns. It has infrared sensors and bumpers to help it avoid objects or fall down the stairs. For focused cleaning you can drive it to a particular spot on the floor, select Spot Clean mode and it will spin around in a spiral, focusing on that spot for a short while. It also has a handy Edge Clean mode where you can set it to clean only the perimeter of a room.

The Deebot has around 100 minutes cleaning time per charge and will automatically return to its charging base when required.

The Deebot is controlled with an easy to use remote control. You can connect it to your WiFi router so you can control it from an app on your smart phone. It is also compatible with Alexa so you can ask Alexa to tell the Deebot to start cleaning or charging.

Unlike it’s more expensive competitors the Evovac Deebot does not have room and object scanning which means that it does take a little longer to cover the same area and sometimes misses areas or gets stuck.

Pros

  • Easily controllable via remote control or app
  • Fairly quiet
  • Good cleaning results, as long as the floor is free of clutter
  • Supports integration with Amazon Alexa

Cons

  • Gets stuck frequently and can miss sections of your floor
  • Struggles with deep pile carpets
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Best Small Appliance: Smarter Coffee Machine

  • Drip coffee maker
  • Remote brew your coffee from anywhere using the app
  • Schedule Wake Up Mode and Home Mode to have freshly brewed coffee ready when you are
  • Connect to other smart home devices using IFTTT*, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

If you are a coffee-lover this could be the smart device for you. With its integrated grinder it offers a complete bean-to-cup solution for your daily caffeine hit.

There is a simple set of controls on the front of the machine, but everything can also be controlled via an app on your phone so you can make coffee from the comfort of your bed. The Smarter Coffee Machine also has a Home Mode so it can have a brew ready when you walk through the door.

The Smarter Coffee Machine is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control (Alexa, brew me a coffee!) and can integrate with other smart home devices using IFTTT*.

Pros

  • Great tasting bean-to-cup coffee

Cons

  • Can be a little fiddly to set-up

*IFTTT is short for If This Then That and is free software that allow users to create simple scripts where some type of event in one device automatically triggers an action in another.

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Best Large Appliance: Samsung Family Hub Smart Fridge Freezer

  • State-of-the-art refrigeration system
  • Cameras so you can view what’s inside your fridge from your phone
  • Touch screen panel for viewing calendars, making notes as well as watching TV, listening to music or browsing the internet

The Family Hub Smart Fridge Freezer from Samsung is a fusion of smart technology and the latest in refrigeration design. It will help you manage your groceries as well as connect with your family.

3 built in cameras take a picture every time the doors close allowing you to view what’s inside your fridge from your phone so you can check what you have in when you’re out shopping. There are also systems to help you keep track of your grocery’s expiry dates, as well as monitor and re-order your food shopping.

The large front touch screen panel acts like a kitchen blackboard, you can call up a calendar, leave notes for other members of your household and make a shopping list. You can also watch TV or YouTube, listen to the radio, access recipes, browse the internet and get the weather forecast.

The Family Hub Smart Fridge Freezer is also a state-of-the-art refrigeration system. It has a versatile bottom-right door that can be switched between a fridge or a freezer with the touch of a button. The triple cooling system incorporates separate air flows for precise temperature and humidity control, so even with a full fridge, your food stays fresher for longer.

Pros

  • Top of the range fridge freezer with smart technology

Cons

  • It’s very expensive
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