The smart home category received a lot of scrutiny this year, rightly, for the data gathering practices of its many players, with Amazon and Google at the front of the line. Good. All the microphones, cameras and inscrutable algorithms and privacy policies that come with their hardware and that of other manufacturers deserves a hard look. It’s for that reason that I recommend you ask yourself whether your intended recipient will really embrace any of the products below if you give them as a gift. That said, there is a lot to like about the quality-of-life features that Amazon and Google have added to their smart speakers and smart displays this year. We also appreciate the lower-cost security systems, smart cameras and other connected home products from companies such as Wyze and TP-Link. Their products work well enough to recommend and have affordable prices that make them comparatively accessible. Amazon Echo Dot (3rd-gen) with clock Tyler Lizenby/CNET The LED clock built into Amazon’s newest smart speaker might seem like an incremental update, but we like it quite a bit. It adds some at-a-glance convenience for two of the most common queries to Alexa, the time and the temperature, which you can… Read full this story
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