Google Nest Mini

Cnet rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The good: Google added several features and improved sound quality to its second-generation smart speaker.

The bad: You still can’t connect the Mini to larger speakers via auxiliary cable, and there’s no digital display like Amazon’s newest Echo Dot has.

The cost: $35

The bottom line: If you’re a fan of the Google Home Mini, the Nest Mini offers a similar experience with a handful of improvements and new features at the same affordable price.

Amazon Echo Show 8

Cnet rating: 4 stars out of 5

The good: The Echo Show 8 has solid sound quality and screen resolution. The price makes the Show 8 one of the best midrange smart displays on the market. The physical camera shutter is a small, smart addition to soothe privacy concerns.

The bad: The interface isn’t as smooth or user friendly as Google’s Nest Hubs. You can’t call up YouTube videos by voice.

The cost: $80

The bottom line: If you’re thinking of buying a smart display for the holidays, the Echo Show 8 might just be the best product for the price.

Nest Wifi

Cnet rating: 4 stars out of 5

The good: Nest Wifi is an excellent mesh router system with impressive top speeds, strong performance at range, easy-to-use features and stable band steering. The range-extending Nest Wifi Points come in your choice of three colors and double as Google Assistant smart speakers.

The bad: Similar mesh systems with comparable coverage can be had for less than half as much. Unlike the range extenders, the Nest Wifi Router comes only in white, and it only includes a single spare Ethernet jack.

The cost: $269 to $299

The bottom line: If you already make regular use of Google’s products and services, then the Nest Wifi is a worthy splurge for a seamless and speedy connected home.

Wyze Cam

Cnet rating: 4 stars out of 5

The good: This indoor security camera costs around $24. It has free cloud storage and a microSD card slot for local storage.

The bad: You get only one motion zone for free.

The cost: $24

The bottom line: Wyze’s tiny security camera is surprisingly awesome.

These Cnet staff members contributed to this report: Ry Crist, Molly Price, David Priest, Megan Wollerton and Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit