You don’t need a screen in every room, but Nest Minis add a way for the Nest system (they all link together) to hear and respond to you when you’re away from your main hub. As WIRED’s Scott Gilberston noted in his review, don’t expect stellar sound quality for playing music. It’s a speaker designed to communicate with you, not substitute for a Sonos.
Home Max for $150 ($150 off)
It’s showing its age by now at three years old, but at this price, the Home Max is still a good option if you want a smart speaker with relatively good audio quality but have no need for a screen. WIRED senior editor Michael Calore said the Home Max sounded fantastic when he reviewed it in 2017, and if you already use Google Assistant as your AI voice of choice on your phone, then it integrates especially well with your smart home flow.
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If you’ve got the hub, you may want to build out your smart home system with things like doorbells and thermostats. The best smart home devices provide peace of mind, whether it’s bolstering security or automatically adjusting your home’s HVAC to save you money. Who would have thought eventually you could keep tabs on your home even when you’re hundreds or thousands of miles away?
Nest Hello for $179 ($50 off)
It can be a good thing to know who’s ringing before you even get up—especially if you don’t like opening the door to strangers. The Hello’s live videofeed also lets you speak with and listen to whoever’s there, and you can do so through the app when you’re not home, too. If you pay for a Nest subscription, you can store videos on the cloud, so that it doubles as a door-front security cam.
Nest WiFi Router for $139 ($30 off)
If you’re neck-deep in the Google Assistant ecosystem and want something that’ll play easily with your Google-centric smart home system, WIRED’s Scott Gilberston says the Nest WiFi is for you. It only has one Ethernet port, and it doesn’t support the faster, future Wi-Fi 6 (though not many devices support Wi-Fi 6 yet). The Nest WiFi Router’s strength is not in premium specs for heavy-user enthusiasts, but in its simplicity for the masses.
Nest Learning Thermostat for $199 ($50 off)