2018 Holiday Gift Guide to Smart Home Devices

Thinking of giving away a smart home hub for this Christmas? Here's what you need to know about the leading options.
Smart Home
Google Home Hub

It’s that time of the year again: time to start procrastinating on holiday gift giving. Luckily, technology has made it a lot easier to give gifts. As long as you know what your family and friends have in their home, you can gift them with a new smart home device. Everyone can appreciate the experience of home automation.

Google Home Hub

If you want Google to run your life, you have the option of the Google Home Hub ($149) or the Google Home Mini ($49). Both can easily interface with Google Pixel phones, Google Chromecast streaming, and a variety of other Android devices. The Google Home Hub features a large LCD display that can show you things like the weather and reminders.

Amazon Alexa

Amazon has a whole suite of Alexa products, including the Amazon Echo ($99.99) the Echo Dot ($39.99) and the Echo Spot ($129.99). These products make it easy to order from Amazon on-the-fly, while also offering traditional smart technology such as playing music, looking up search queries, and more. The Echo Spot includes an LCD display, but other Alexa-enabled products tend to be designed more like speakers.

Apple HomePod

Like the Alexa, the Apple HomePod is designed to be a high-quality speaker rather than an LCD-styled hub. The HomePod provides all of the features you’d need in a traditional smart home with high performance speakers, making them perfect for audiophiles. It also has the highest sticker price at $349.

Samsung SmartThings Hub

The Samsung SmartThings Hub can be integrated into other Samsung solutions, such as security systems. Priced at $69.99, it can be used with everything from learning thermostats to smart lights. This hub may be the ideal solution for those who are looking for a complete security and automation system at a reasonable price, though it doesn’t have the audio quality of Apple or the slick user interface of Google.

Ultimately, the hub you give away will come down to the type of technology that the person you know uses — if they’re generally a Samsung user, they may have more items they can integrate with the Samsung Hub, while if they’re a dedicated Apple fan, there’s probably a reason for it.

Once you’ve given away a smart home hub, there are all sorts of devices your loved ones can branch out into — smart lighting, smart televisions, and other smart features. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, and it’ll remind them of you every time.