Smart Home Gadgets: Smart Displays in Comparison: Five control centers with screens for your smart home

Google Assistant or Alexa – those interested in a smart display including a voice assistant currently don’t have much more choice.

Smart Home Gadgets: Smart Displays in Comparison: Five control centers with screens for your smart home

Google Assistant or Alexa – those interested in a smart display including a voice assistant currently don’t have much more choice. Amazon and Google are competing with Nest Hub and Echo Show for dominance in this interesting niche. Apple has so far forgone a smart display that can be operated with Siri. Rumors about an Apple display persist, as hifi.de reports. Apple users have so far been staring down the tube or having to be particularly creative by converting an old iPad into a smart display. Otherwise, Lenovo and Facebook are still involved in the smart screen market.

However, this is rather half-hearted and the Smart Display from Facebook is not available in Germany. A smart display adds useful features to the already smart speakers. In the kitchen, for example, cooking tutorials or your favorite series can be played using voice commands.

In the bedroom, however, a clever display serves more as a smart alarm clock that shows the weather, the time and important appointments and can also track sleep. Coupled with clever surveillance cameras, a smart display throughout the house shows who is currently ringing the doorbell. Ideal for being informed in good time about uninvited visitors. And of course you can also make video calls using the smart display if your hand isn't free to hold your smartphone or tablet.

Size:

7 inch

Resolution:

1024 x 600 Pixel

Voice assistant:

Google Assistant

Camera:

No

Special feature:

Sleep tracking

If you primarily operate your smart home with Google's Assistant, you should definitely use the second generation Google Nest Hub for your smart display. The Nest Hub cuts a particularly good figure in the bedroom because it analyzes your sleep. Using sensors, the Nest Hub not only detects the sleeper's movements and breathing, but also temperature fluctuations or changing lighting conditions. This can then be used to determine how you can optimize your bedroom for more restful sleep.

Disadvantage of the Google Nest Hub: The service is only available for a monthly subscription. Of course, you can also listen to your favorite music via Spotify via the Nest Hub or watch your favorite series on the streaming provider of your choice. Nice: You don't even have to touch the smart display to operate it. A sensor in the Nest Hub recognizes gestures that can be used to operate the screen. By the way, it measures 7 inches, which corresponds to exactly 17.78 centimeters (cm) and has a resolution of 1024 × 600 pixels.

Video calling doesn't work with the second generation Nest Hub because no camera has been implemented. If you don't want to miss this feature or need a larger screen, you can use the Google Nest Hub Max, whose display has a camera, extends over 10 inches (25.4 cm) and has a Full HD resolution. However, you don't need the large version in the bedroom because it doesn't have sleep monitoring.

Shipping giant Amazon offers the most extensive selection of smart displays. The Echo Show 5 and 8 are now in their second generation, the Echo Show 10 in their third generation and the Echo Show 15 in their first generation. The main difference is their display sizes.

Of course, the charming voice assistant Alexa does her job in all models. And who would have thought: The smart displays harmonize perfectly with the other smart home devices from the shipping giant, such as the Ring Doorbell or the Echo speakers.

Tip: With this voucher you can save at Saturn. Of course, the electronics store also has smart displays on offer.

Size:

5.5 inches

Resolution:

960 x 480 Pixel

Voice assistant:

Alexa

Camera:

2 MP

Special feature:

No

The smallest smart display in the bunch is the Echo Show 5 from Amazon. Its display measures 5.5 inches (13.97 cm) with a resolution of 960 x 480 pixels. Everyone has to decide for themselves whether this display size is suitable for the kitchen. In the bedroom, the Echo Show undoubtedly cuts a better figure as an alarm clock. Unfortunately, it misses special features like the sleep tracking of the second-generation Nest Hub.

Its integrated camera also leaves a lot to be desired: a resolution of just 2 megapixels is simply not enough for video telephony in 2022. And let's be honest: who wants an Amazon camera in their bedroom? A fifth generation Echo Dot with a clock display is more pleasant.

Size:

8 inches

Resolution:

1280 x 800 Pixel

Voice assistant:

Alexa

Camera:

13 MP

Special feature:

Digital pan and zoom technology

So it makes sense to spend a little more money on the next larger version of the Echo Show if you plan to put the smart display in the kitchen. As the name suggests, the Echo Show 8's display is exactly 8 inches (20.32 cm). Its resolution is 1280 x 800 pixels and compared to the smaller Echo Show 5, it offers one more speaker. In addition, its 13 megapixel camera has a much sharper resolution, so that the other person can recognize you much better when you have a video call via Skype or another app.

The built-in camera is one with a wide-angle lens. This is important for digital pan and zoom technology. Amazon provides the Echo Show 8 with a pan and zoom function in the software that keeps the object in the image when it moves. This is useful if, for example, you take a video call in the kitchen and move around. Unfortunately, the Echo Show 8 does not offer a sleep function like the second generation Google Nest Hub.

Size:

10 inches

Resolution:

1280 x 800 Pixel

Voice assistant:

Alexa

Camera:

13 MP

Special feature:

Screen rotates with object

Here too, the name says it all: Amazon's Echo Show 10 measures around 10 inches (25.4 cm) diagonally. To be precise, it is 10.1 inches, but only very trained eyes will notice this. It is the Amazon counterpart to the Google Nest Hub Max and has a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. Amazon gave him two speakers and a small subwoofer. For comparison: In the second generation Google Nest Hub there is only one speaker, in the larger version, the Google Nest Hub Max, there are two.

Amazon has also given the Echo Show 10 an improved digital pan-and-zoom function: In the Echo Show 10, this works not only via software but also mechanically. The display automatically rotates in the direction of the user when they move. The Echo Show 10 also has the same camera as the Show 8. As a reminder, this is a wide-angle lens with 13 megapixel resolution.

Size:

15.6 inches

Resolution:

1920 x 1080 Pixel

Voice assistant:

Alexa

Camera:

5 MP

Special feature:

Great widgets

Finally, the Echo Show 15 is probably the most unusual smart display currently on the market. Unlike its predecessor, the Echo Show 15 does not sit on a stand, but is suitable for hanging on the wall like a picture. Amazon integrates two speakers into its digital picture frame, the image area of ​​which extends diagonally over exactly 39.62 cm (15.6 inches) and has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (Full HD). The Echo Show 15 is very suitable as a control center in the smart home because it offers the Visual ID function. Every family member can create such an ID.

The smart display then recognizes who is in front of it based on their face and shows appointments, to-do lists, music or similar. Compared to the Echo Show 10 and 8, the Echo Show 15's camera has a significantly lower resolution of 5 megapixels. In addition, it does not offer the function of keeping the filmed object in the picture. The Echo Show 15 is the only smart display from Amazon that offers the option of creating large widgets on it.

Note: The article was first published in December 2022.

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