Ten years ago, smart homes were expensive, with the original Nest Learning Thermostat ($220 at Amazon.com) clocking in at $250 and the original Amazon Echo (3rd Gen available now for ₹9,999 at Amazon.in) costing $180. So the prospect of setting up a voice assistant-driven home – filled with connected lights, cameras, doorbells and various sensors – was untenable for many consumers.
The New Gens
But it’s 2020, and smart homes are more affordable than ever. Not only can you get an Alexa-voiced device for $20, but you can get all the things Alexa controls for super-cheap prices, too. In fact, you can make an Alexa-powered smart home for less than the original Echo cost. Here are the cheapest and best products to do it.
Amazon Echo Dot
The best, cheapest smart speaker Amazon offers is the ever-solid Echo Dot. Their newest generation has impressive sound quality and all the smarts of the higher end speakers. Not only is the Dot a reasonable $50, but you can also catch it on sale for $25 often.
Amazon Echo Show
The $90 Echo Show 5 brings all the visual smarts of Amazon’s other smart displays on a compact screen that fits in on your bedside table. You can find it on sale for $50 fairly often, and it gives you a screen to display the feeds of smart cams – not to mention controlling smart devices with the tap of a finger, rather than voice commands.
Amazon Echo Flex
Amazon offers a number of other devices that add Alexa to you cars, home and other spaces, and one of the best of these is the Echo Flex, a $25 plug that brings Alexa to any place with an outlet. It brings all the smarts of the voice assistant, plus a modular design that allows the use of motion-sensing and night light attachments.
The Wyze Cam
The Wyze Cam is one of the best super-cheap devices out there, with a tiny $20 price tag and an impressive set of features. With the second version of the camera, you can check your live feed on Amazon smart displays.