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Isaiah Rogers
Isaiah Rogers

Best Buy Smart Home [REPACK]

Best Buy and Vivint Smart Home have partnered to offer a range of smart home products at more than 400 Best Buy stores starting this summer, along with in-store expert advice from Vivint, and design and installation services.

best buy smart home

Given that activity, Best Buy's move to brand smart home products with an established partner in the sector makes a lot of sense. It's a natural move for a retailer that said it sold more than 55 million connected devices last year, while also providing in-home, in-store and online technology services nearly 16 million times. Meanwhile, Vivint has more than 1 million customers and has installed more than 15 million smart home devices in North American homes, the partners said. Vivint and Best Buy also were named the No. 1 and No. 2 Top Smart Home Integrators, respectively, in the 2017 CE Pro 100 List, and Vivint was called the No. 1 smart home services company by Strategy Analytics.

Among retailers' smart home efforts, Best Buy's partnership with Vivint may most resemble Lowe's partnership with b8ta, as both programs have major service and in-store components to them. Best Buy's program with Vivint also bears some resemblance to its store-within-a-store partnerships, though in the announcement the retailer didn't refer to it with that language.

That may not have been a conscious choice, but if it was, it may have something to do with Best Buy co-branding in this case with Vivint. It remains pretty early in the smart home race to predict how these efforts will pan out, but if Best Buy is attaching its name to this particular smart home effort, it must mean business.

Whether you're looking to turn your lights on from your smartphone, stream music to a speaker using Alexa (or Google Assistant or Siri,) lock your doors remotely or vacuum your floors without lifting a finger, the best smart home devices provide complete convenience.

The well-designed Nest Cam (battery) has a simple shape and is one of the easiest home security cameras to install, thanks to its magnetic base. Its 1080p camera captures sharp images day and night, and its microphone and speaker made conversations a breeze. That's the main reason we consider it the top choice among all the best security cameras we've tested.

Philips Hue White starter kit includes two bulbs and a hub to connect them to other smart home devices. While you can't change these bulbs' colors, you can adjust their brightness (up to 800 lumens), and add up to 50 to a single hub. Philips' bulbs also work with a wide range of smart home systems, including Alexa, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, Google Home, and Nest. In fact, there's all sorts of things you can do with Philips Hue bulbs, check out these 9 things you never knew you could do with smart lights.

Philips Hue lights also have an app, Philips Hue Sync, which lets users synchronize their smart bulbs with multimedia content on their Mac or Windows PC. For example, you can set your lights to flash and change color in time with music, video and movies being played on your computer. Users can also modify the color schemes and themes to suit their tastes. For $30 more, you can upgrade your starter kit to include 4 bulbs instead of 2.

There wasn't much to improve on in our August Smart Lock Pro review, but the company went ahead and tweaked its original to make it smaller and easier to use. As our new top pick among the best smart locks, the the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is 45 percent more compact than its predecessor, so it looks less obvious on your door. It also has Wi-Fi built in, so you can skip the August Connect bridge for linking your lock to your home network.

Everything we enjoyed about the August Pro is still here: An easy installation process, features such as DoorSense (which lets you know if your door has been left open), and compatibility all the leading smart home systems, from Alexa to Google Assistant to Xfinity. And, the August Wi-Fi lets you keep the keys from your existing deadbolt.

The Nest Doorbell (battery) gets almost everything right, and that's why it's not just one of the best smart home devices but the best video doorbell we've reviewed. The video doorbell's 3:4 vertical aspect ratio means you can see more of your front door; it can work either wired or on battery power alone, and it has a lot of great features, such as the ability to recognize familiar faces, packages, animals, and vehicles.

The $25 Wemo WiFi Smart Plug is one of the best smart home devices and our top choice among the best smart plugs. It's more compact than competing options out there, even its predecessor the Wemo Mini. And while it doesn't have energy monitoring like some other smart plugs, the Wemo WiFi Smart Plug does work with all the major smart assistants.

The Nest Protect is the top choice among the best smart smoke detectors. When it picks up on something in the air, it sounds an alarm and lets you know what room in your home triggered the alert. Plus an LED ring on the bottom of the alarm changes color in case of an emergency, giving you and the people you live with a visual cue.

What we like most about the Nest Protect is how well it integrates with some of the best smart home devices. When you use smart home routines, your smart smoke alarm can automatically turn on your lights, making it easier for you to get out of your house. However, these routines only work for those who have converted their Nest account to a Google Assistant account. It also does not natively work with Alexa.

If you have a wide variety of smart home gadgets, you'll need a central system to integrate and control them all. While it has its imperfections, we found the Samsung SmartThings hub to be the best of the lot. It works with a wide range of devices and now has Wi-Fi built in, so you don't need to plug it into your router; this makes it easier to place in your house for the best connection to all your smart home devices.

Because the SmartThings hub has both Zigbee and Z-Wave antennas, you can pair it with several of the best smart home devices. Using the companion app, you can arrange dozens of scenes and automations. It also has a comprehensive home monitoring component, which can send you an alarm, record video, turn on lights, play sounds, and unlock your doors in the event of an emergency.

MyQ will work with most brands of garage door openers made after 1993 that have standard safety sensors, according to Chamberlain. Currently, MyQ works with Nest, SmartThings and Xfinity Home smart home systems. The one thing it doesn't do, though, is work with Alexa.

The Roborock S4 Max is the best robot vacuum overall for its affordable price, good feature set, and ability to keep your floors clean. It picked up an average of 94 percent of kitty litter on carpet and hardwood floors, and did even better with Cheerios and dog hair. It was in a virtual tie with the Roomba S9+, which costs more than twice the S4 Max.

The S4 Max was fast to map our home, and it was a fairly simple matter to create rooms in the app and then direct the robot vacuum to clean individual areas. You can even set specific times to clean rooms. As an Amazon exclusive, the Roborock S4 Max can run out of stock periodically, but it's worth picking up when it's available.

All of the best smart home devices above are top picks within respective categories. We compare and contrast each gadget to similar options, taking variables like price, ease-of-setup, voice assistant compatibility and appearance into account. For example, the third-generation Amazon Echo is our favorite smart speaker overall because it has the best sound for the value, and represents its category on this list. The same goes for the Nest Cam and fifth-generation Ecobee.

When you have a lot of smart home devices, you want to be able to control them from one place. A smart home hub can talk to all of those devices, so that you can use a single app to control everything. What's more, a smart home hub will let you create interactions between your various smart home devices. For example, you can program your smart lights to turn on automatically if you unlock your smart lock, or open your garage door.

The more smart home devices you add to your home, the more you're going to need one of the best smart home hubs. A smart home hub acts as a centralized spot from which you can control all of your various devices, be it lights, locks, garage door openers, thermostats, cameras, and more.

More importantly, a smart home hub lets you connect all those smart home devices together. For instance, when you lock your smart lock, a smart home hub can tell your lights to turn off, and your thermostat to go into eco mode. It's a key gadget for creating an automated smart home.

For most people, the best smart home hub will be the 4th Generation Amazon Echo. You can connect it with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Bluetooth and Amazon Sidewalk, and, through the Amazon Alexa app, you can create routines that can activate your smart home devices through triggers, such as you leaving or arriving home. Alexa Guard can also turn on smart home devices if your Echo hears a fire alarm or a window breaking. And, because the Echo is a smart speaker, you can also control your smart home devices by talking to Alexa. It's also been updated to support Matter.

If you're looking for more deeper integration among your smart home devices, the best option is the Aeotec Smart Home Hub, which works with Samsung's SmartThings platform. It allows for more granular control from one device to another, and lets you create more sophisticated routines. It's also very easy to use, and will be updated to support Matter this year.

In the first quarter of 2023, the Homey Pro ($399, available for preorder (opens in new tab)) will start shipping. This hub will have Wi-Fi, BLE, Zigbee, Z-Wave, 433MHz, IR, Matter and Thread connectivity, will support more than 50,000 smart home devices, as well as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. It will also show you how much energy your connected devices are using, and will have advanced automation features. Its estimated shipping date is April, 2023. 041b061a72


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