Nest is a smart home company that is owned by Google, and that will play a big part in the company’s play against competitor Amazon, which recently purchased smart home company Ring.
The Nest family has been gearing up for its new role in taking on Ring with the recent release of several new products, expanding its line to include a full suite of compatible smart home products that can rule any house. With these developments, I thought we could revisit the product line, and meet the new, growing Nest family.
The Nest company started with smart thermostats, but now includes so much more. Today, their thermostat line includes the Nest Thermostat, the Nest Thermostat E, and the Nest Temperature Sensor. The Thermostat is now in its third generation, and automatically programs itself after just a week of use. The Thermostat E is the light version, and is able to adjust your home’s temperature when you’re away. The Temperature Sensor allows you to control the temperature in each room individually.
Nest offers a variety of indoor and outdoor cameras, including the new Cam IQ line. The Nest Cam line allows for HD home monitoring and the ability to talk and listen – which can be super helpful in scaring away people that try to steal things form your porch or try to break into your house. The Cam IQ line is the premium version, and integrates with Google Assistant, so it works as a digital smart home speaker as well.
Nest added a new product to their family: the Hello video doorbell. This product can send live HD video to your phone, allow you to speak to people at your door, and can also trigger screenshots even if the doorbell isn’t activated. The company plans to eventually integrate home lights with the Hello doorbell so that welcome guests can see, and so that thieves are deterred.
Nest also released the Nest Secure alarm system, which integrates with its other smart home products. The system includes a hub, sensors, and a tag which allows you to arm and disarm your home without a passcode.
Another new product from Nest is the Nest x Yale Lock. Nest and Yale partnered to product this smart home product that is key-free and that can be managed from the Nest app. Owners can monitor who enters and leaves their home, issue temporary passcodes, and control home security remotely, from anywhere.
Smoke and CO Alarms
The Nest Protect is the smoke alarm of the future, made for smart homes. This alarm is able to tell you what the problem is – from just smoke to actual fire to CO – and also where the problem is. It is also able to test itself, and can send you alerts if something is wrong. If it goes off and you’re just cooking, you can easily quiet it using the app, instead of awkwardly running over and waving a towel around frantically while cursing a lot.
Three big names in technology – Amazon, Google, and Apple – now officially have smart home speakers available to purchase. Each speaker, at its core, has the same basic end goal: become a fully integrated part of the household. That being said, each brand is going about that end goal in a slightly different way. If you’re starting to research the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, here are a few of the more obvious differences to consider in your early stages:
Each smart home speaker brand has its own line of products. The Amazon Echo is the most robust, while the Apple HomePod line currently leaves a bit to be desired.
The Amazon Echo line offers six different models – some are just speakers, some have screens. The Echo is a speaker only, and is available in six different colors. The Echo Plus is also a speaker-only, but can serve as your smart home hub. It is available in three colors. The Echo Dot is a mini version of the Echo, and comes in two colors. There is also one Echo that is focused on being a camera, the Echo Look. There are two versions with screens, the Echo Show and the smaller Echo Spot.
Google Home comes in three models, the Home Max, the Home and the Home Mini. The Home Max is a serious speaker, with dual 4.5” woofers and custom tweeters. The Google Home is the flagship product – a standard smart home speaker that works on voice commands. The Google Mini is, obviously, the mini version of the Google Home speaker.
The Apple HomePod line currently has just that – one HomePod model. And it was the last to market. By all accounts, the speaker itself is great, but there is no variety for a buyer. If you want multiple speakers in your home, there is no “mini” option – you’d have to buy full version speakers (see the “Price” section below to see why this is a bad option).
Price. The make it or break it factor for many when deciding which smart home speaker to buy. If you’re on a budget, you can immediately cross the Apple HomePod off your list (sorry). The speaker retails at $350 – each.
Amazon, with the most available models, has the biggest price range. The Dot starts at $50, while the premium model, the Echo Show, runs about $230. You could buy the Echo Show, and a couple Dots for the price of one HomePod. If you go with the original Echo, you’ll pay about $100, while the Echo Plus runs around $150.
The Google Home also has options for any budget. The Min is on par with the Dot, priced at $50, while the Home is priced a little higher than the Echo, at $129. The Home Max, though, takes the cake in price – running at $400. I guess it is justified because the speaker is built for sound, and can replace your other home speakers. But, still. That’s a hefty price.
Good luck with your smart home speaker journey! Once you have your smart speaker let us know if you’re one of these 5 Types of Smart Home Users!