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Which smart devices under $100 are best?

There are many devices available that can help us in a multitude of ways. Some of them are almost smarter than we are. Take smart lights, for example. They let you change their color and brightness based on the time of day to improve your vision. Smart thermostats can automatically adjust the temperature of a room for both comfort and energy efficiency. And smart hubs tie everything together. You don’t need all of these devices to make a major difference in your daily life, but it sure helps.

In this article: Amazon All-New Echo Dot, Google Nest Hub (Second Generation) and Roku Streaming Stick 4K+

What is a smart device?

You can be forgiven for thinking a smart device is something intricate and hard to explain. In reality, a smart device is anything that can connect to the internet. What matters is how a device leverages that connection.

For example, a smart washing machine can use its connection to be operated remotely from your phone, wherever you are. Smart hubs let you use your voice to control your home, all but eliminating the need to even lift a finger. Smart TVs can stream all your favorite content.

What do I need to use a smart device?

To enjoy these opportunities you need a fast, stable internet connection. Some devices have LAN ports for hardwired connections, but most have to use your Wi-Fi. Additionally, some devices require you to have accounts with the manufacturer or their related smartphone apps, most of which are free.

Best smart hubs under $100

Best Amazon All-New Echo Dot

Amazon All-New Echo Dot

This is Amazon’s latest smart hub and uses its Alexa AI assistant. Many smart devices are natively compatible with Alexa, making this hub a top choice for any smart home. Sold by Amazon

Best Google Nest Mini Second Generation

Google Nest Mini (Second Generation)

Amazon’s chief competition in the smart hub and AI assistant space is Google, and its assistant is simply called Google Assistant. Nearly as many devices are natively compatible with Google as Alexa, and this hub is a cheaper point of entry. Sold by Home Depot

Best Google Nest Hub Second Generation

Google Nest Hub (Second Generation)

This smart hub adds a screen to the experience so you can pull up recipes in the kitchen, watch videos and even make video calls. It’s among the few smart hubs with a screen for $100 or less without going on sale. Sold by Home Depot

Best Apple HomePod Mini

Apple HomePod Mini

This is Apple’s entry into the smart hub space. It works best when interacting with other Apple products and doesn’t have as much native support as Google and Amazon’s offerings. It still makes for a great speaker, though. Sold by Staples

Best smart lights under $100

Best Aphyni Smart Ceiling Light Fixture

Aphyni Smart Ceiling Light Fixture

This smart fixture uses the wiring already in place with your old fixture. It has a light source for colors against the wall and a main bright light that beams straight down. It’s compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. Sold by Amazon

Best GE Lighting Cync Smart Light Strip

GE Lighting Cync Smart Light Strip

This light strip is 80 inches long and can display lights in the full color spectrum. It bends easily and uses removable tape to adhere to surfaces. It’s compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. Sold by Amazon

Best GHome Smart WB4 Smart Light Bulbs

GHome Smart WB4 Smart Light Bulbs

This four-pack of bulbs each has 16 million colors and a warm white light to choose from. They’re changeable through an app or with your voice if you have an Alexa or Google Assistant hub. Sold by Amazon

Best Govee Smart Light Bar

Govee Smart Light Bar

This light bar can be set horizontally or vertically and is controllable with Alexa and Google Assistant hubs. It’s popularly placed behind TVs and synced to what’s on the screen. Sold by Amazon

Best Kasa Smart Light Bulbs

Kasa Smart Light Bulbs

This two-pack of bulbs comes in 800-lumen or 1,000-lumen varieties. The bulbs can be synced with many smart management apps and with Alexa and Google Assistant. Sold by Amazon

Other best smart devices under $100

Best Amazon Smart Thermostat

Amazon Smart Thermostat

This is Energy Star certified to help you save energy and the sleek white face blends in with many wall designs. You can access full energy tracking information with the Alexa app. Sold by Amazon

Best Google Nest Thermostat

Google Nest Thermostat

This thermostat’s big feature is being able to learn your habits so it can eventually run almost entirely without your input. It has a black face but offers seven exterior colors. Sold by Amazon

Best GHome Smart Mini Smart Plug

GHome Smart Mini Smart Plug

This smart plug comes in packs of one, two, three, four, six and eight. They can turn any device into a smart device — just leave whatever’s plugged in at the on position and use your smart system to give it power or take it away. Sold by Amazon

Best Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max

This streaming stick turns any TV into a smart TV, giving you the ability to control the power, volume and what’s on with just your voice and a smart hub. It’s meant to be used with Alexa. Sold by Amazon

Best Google Chromecast 4K

Google Chromecast 4K

This is Google’s best streaming stick, letting you stream your favorites in 4K. It comes with Google TV, an organization method for keeping all your streaming accounts under one digital roof. It’s meant to be used with Google Assistant. Sold by Home Depot

Best Roku Streaming Stick 4K+

Roku Streaming Stick 4K+

This is among the best streaming sticks that aren’t tied to either Alexa or Google Assistant, letting you use your preference in peace. The remote has a microphone so you can choose to avoid Alexa and Google Assistant altogether. Sold by Amazon

Best Blink Video Doorbell

Blink Video Doorbell

This video doorbell upgrades your home security for not a lot of money. It can be powered via battery or by wiring it through your current doorbell’s power system. It comes in white or black. Sold by Amazon

Best Amazon Echo Auto First Generation

Amazon Echo Auto (First Generation)

This Amazon Alexa device can elevate what your car can do. It can place hands-free calls, bring up directions and use your phone as a screen. It connects to your speaker system with Bluetooth or an auxiliary cord. Sold by Amazon

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

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