Cnet rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The good: It works with Alexa, Google and IFTTT, and you don’t need a hub to use it. The bulb itself is brighter than advertised, and the app includes useful features like scenes, shortcuts and a vacation mode.

The bad: The bulb doesn’t dim down quite as low as some of its competitors, and it doesn’t support Siri voice controls on the Apple HomeKit. Though you can schedule automated lighting changes at specific times, the app won’t let you schedule lighting changes at sunrise or sunset, and it won’t let you trigger slow fades, either.

The cost: $8 to $18

The bottom line: This is the best value smart bulb we’ve ever tested, and a perfect pick if you use Alexa or Google Assistant to control your smart home.

Cnet rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The good: It has all the best elements of 2018’s third-generation Dot and adds a smart quality-of-life upgrade in the form of an LED clock display.

The bad: The $60 list price edges the new Dot out of the super cheap range shared by the standard Dot and Google Nest Mini. Plus, the LED display can’t adjust color or color temperature, which makes it a little annoying in a dark room.

The cost: $40 to $60

The bottom line: Amazon has created another smart speaker that brings practical smarts to the kitchen counter or the bedside table. It’s not as adventurous a device as other Echo products, but it’s one of the most wallet-friendly and practical.

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 with an auxiliary cable, and there’s no digital display like Amazon’s newest Echo Dot has.

The cost: $35 to $49

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.

Cnet rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The good: The touchscreen is responsive and works well with Google Assistant, whether you ask for help on a recipe or check what’s on your calendar. Pictures and videos look crisp thanks to an ambient light sensor.

The bad: The sound is fine for background music, but nowhere near the level of other smart displays.

The cost: $80 to $100

The bottom line: The Hub is affordable, and quite useful as a digital assistant (especially in the kitchen), a photo frame and a smart-home control panel.

These Cnet staff members contributed to this report: Ry Crist, Andrew Gebhart, David Priest, Molly Price, Jason Hiner and Laura K. Cucullu. For more personal technology reviews, visit