Smart Heating and Cooling
Ecobee Smart Thermostat With Voice Control
The Ecobee Smart Thermostat With Voice Control is the company’s fifth-generation model, and as is the case with each Ecobee release, it offers more features than its predecessor. Enhanced Alexa and multimedia support, more powerful audio components, and dual-band Wi-Fi are just a few examples of what this thermostat has to offer. Throw in a user-friendly app, lots of third-party support, and an easy installation process, and you’ve got one of the best smart thermostats you can buy.
At just $129.99, the Nest Thermostat is the company’s most affordable model to date—and arguably the most attractive. Like the $250 Nest Learning Thermostat, it lets you control your heating and cooling system by phone or voice, set temperature schedules, and remotely monitor your energy consumption. The main difference is that it doesn’t automatically learn your temperature preferences and set up a schedule, but you can still do so manually. That makes it a strong alternative to the Learning Thermostat for nearly half the price, and our Editors’ Choice winner for affordable smart thermostats.
GE Energy Star 115-Volt Electronic Room Air Conditioner (AHC08LY)
The GE Energy Star 115-Volt Electronic Room Air Conditioner AHC08LY is an 8,000-BTU Wi-Fi-enabled window unit that you can control with your phone or with your voice. It offers support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri voice commands, and it works with other smart home devices via Apple HomeKit and IFTTT applets. It also uses your phone’s location services to cool down rooms in your home before you arrive, and offers flexible scheduling options and energy usage reports. You’ll pay a bit more for this model than you will for a non-connected AC, and you might need some assistance installing it, but the GE AHC08LY is hands-down the smartest room air conditioner we’ve come across.
Yeelight Smart LED Bulb
We’ve reviewed a lot of smart light bulbs, and while we’ve yet to find one that does it all, the Yeelight Smart LED Bulb comes pretty darn close. It’s dimmable, offers 16 million colors, and connects to your home network wirelessly, without the need for a hub or bridge. It supports Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, and Alexa, Google, and Siri voice commands, and it’s relatively affordable. It also offers a user-friendly app that lets you configure lighting effects and create lighting schedules. All of this makes it one of the best deals around for affordable smart bulbs.
Best known for its ultra-affordable home security cameras, Wyze entered the smart lighting arena with the aptly named Wyze Bulb, a tunable white LED that is one of the most affordable bulbs we’ve come across. Despite its rock-bottom price, it offers plenty of features including built-in Wi-Fi, support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, adjustable white color temperatures, scheduling options, and interaction with other smart home devices.
Smart Kitchen Appliances
Connected countertop ovens are steadily becoming more common, with a variety of microwave-sized smart appliances out there that can bake, broil, sear, and reheat, among other varieties of food preparation. The Brava Oven is one of the most expensive models we’ve tested, but it’s also the most advanced. It can cook food in ten different ways, has lots of automatic cooking presets for both ingredients and meals, and features built-in cameras for watching your food cook on your smartphone.
Anova Precision Cooker Wi-Fi
Sous video cooking sounds complex, but it’s actually a simple process that makes it easy for anyone to prepare meals perfectly. You seal food in plastic and immerse it in a water bath heated to a precise temperature, made possible by immersion circulators like the Anova Precision Cooker Wi-Fi. Thanks to both onboard controls and Wi-Fi connectivity, you can control the cooking process using the Anova itself, or from anywhere with your phone. It couldn’t be easier to use, and it all but guarantees perfect results, making it an Editors’ Choice for smart cooking appliances.
Traeger Ironwood 650
Whether you’re a barbecue novice or a professional pitmaster, cooking with the right grill can mean the difference between failure and success. With the Traeger Ironwood 650, you never have to worry about things like flare-ups, uneven cooking temperatures, or constantly feeding wood into a smoker. Fueled by real hardwood pellets, the Wi-Fi-enabled Ironwood 650 can be used for barbecuing, roasting, and smoking, and it’s easy to use.
Robot Vacuums and Mops
iRobot Roomba s9+
The Roomba s9+ takes what we like about the i7+ and puts it in a new shape that’s better at reaching difficult areas, with four times the suction power. And with plenty of sensors and camera-based navigation, it learns the layout of your home over time. It’s the most expensive robot vacuum we’ve tested to date, but its powerful suction, smart navigation, and ability to empty its own dustbin makes it one of the best ones you can buy and an Editors’ Choice for high-end models.
iRobot Braava Jet m6
Robot vacuums are great, especially if you have a lot of carpeting or throw rugs, but if you have mostly hardwood or tile, you might want to consider a robot mop instead. With long battery life and the ability to cover 1,000 square feet in a session, the Braava Jet m6 is suitable for both apartments and larger homes. And if you have a mess that doesn’t require mopping, that’s OK, because the m6 sweeps too. It can even detect carpets and map out your home, so you can send it to specific rooms.
Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI
The Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI can both vacuum and mop your floors, and boasts artificial intelligence and visual interpretation (AIVI) technology that allows it to automatically identify and avoid obstacles. It also has a neat Visual Butler feature that lets you view live video of your home from wherever you are, and it works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can start and stop cleaning with your voice. It’s expensive, but it’s one of the most feature-rich hybrid floor-cleaning robots we’ve tested.
Smart Health and Fitness Devices
Starting at $2,495, the Peloton Bike+ builds upon its predecessor with a new digitized Auto Follow resistance system that automatically adjusts to match your instructor’s cues during on-demand classes, so you can focus on your output and climbing the leaderboard instead of fiddling with a knob. This feature, combined with an upgraded sound system, allows for a more immersive at-home cycling experience than ever. That, plus a rotating touch screen and Apple GymKit integration for easy Apple Watch pairing, make the Bike+ a compelling upgrade over the six-year-old original.
Suited for everyone from beginners to advanced lifters, the Tempo Studio smart strength training machine uses 3D sensors and artificial intelligence technology to suggest the appropriate weight you should be lifting for each move, count your reps, and offer real-time feedback about your form to keep you honest and safe. Like Tonal, it offers on-demand workouts with knowledgeable, motivating instructors. And with a larger screen, form corrections, and live classes, Tempo exceeds Tonal in many ways, and undercuts its price significantly.
If you’re trying to lose weight, or you want to put on muscle, a smart scale can help you track your progress and stay motivated. The Wyze Scale connects with your smartphone and does a lot more than just tell you how much you weigh. It tracks 12 metrics, including your BMI, body fat percentage, body water percentage, heart rate, muscle mass, protein level, and weight up to 400 pounds. It keeps your data private and offers a mode for those who are pregnant or wearing a pacemaker, earning it our Editors’ Choice for affordable smart bathroom scales.
Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed
There are many ways to track your sleep these days, from fitness trackers to smartwatches, but perhaps nothing is better suited for the job than your mattress itself. At least, that’s the idea behind Sleep Number’s 360 Smart Bed, which incorporates biometric sensors to help you snooze better. You use an app on your smartphone to view your sleep trends and health metrics, and to gain insight on how you can sleep better. It’s a hefty investment, but if you have the money to spend, the 360 Smart Bed is a comfortable, effective, and highly customizable way to improve your quality of sleep.
Smart Outdoor Gadgets
Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller
The Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller gives you control over eight or 16 zones depending on the unit you get, with a master valve terminal for systems that have one. It won’t water the lawn if it’s raining, and you can turn it on and off remotely with your phone. Plus, it integrates with lots of other services and devices like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings.
Worx Landroid M 20V
As with every robotic lawnmower we’ve reviewed, the Worx Landroid M 20V Cordless Robotic Lawn Mower (WR140) does not come cheap, but it’s one of the least expensive models out there and it does an excellent job of mowing and trimming your lawn. It also has GPS and Wi-Fi radios and works with a slick mobile app that lets you control it from anywhere. In addition to starting and stopping the mower and adjusting cuttings schedules, the app lets you monitor the mower’s progress and will send status alerts to let you know what it is currently doing and if there are any issues. It’ll even tell you where the mower is in the event that someone decides to liberate it from your property.
Article Provided By: PC Magazine
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