That might not make a difference to everyone, but especially for audiophiles, it gives you an easy, cheap way to add Alexa-based smarts to your existing speaker hardware. Amazon may have introduced the smart display with the Echo Show, but Google refined the concept with the Nest Hub (formerly the Home Hub) both in terms of its design, and in the way it leverages its voice assistant. You get the same Google Assistant features in the Nest Hub that you get with the Google Home speaker line, along with a screen interface that gives you just the right amount of visual feedback. Google prudently opted out of including a video camera on the Hub itself, getting ahead of some privacy concerns, and likely prompting Amazon to include a manual video shutter on its new, smaller Echo Show 5 display. If you really want a Google-based smart display that allows for video chatting, a few third party options can make that happen. Even without it, the Nest Hub is the best, most affordable marriage of a voice assistant and a display interface on the market. Chris Monroe/CNET We often point to smart plugs as the entry point for anyone interested in trying out a connected home device. They're cheap, they're simple to install, and they perform a function that's pretty easy to grasp, toggling power on and off remotely. You can find a lot of smart plugs out there. TP-Link's Kasa Mini is our favorite.
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