The Best Smart Display You Can Buy - February 2019

While smart speakers are still taking off, many companies are starting to turn to Smart Displays. This includes the likes of Amazon, Google, LG, Lenovo and JBL. But which smart display is worth picking up? Well it really depends on which ecosystem - Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant - you're investing in. There aren't too many smart displays available right now, but there are more coming in the next few months.

We've rounded up the very best smart displays that are currently on the market, and these all work for different use-cases. Whether that's for someone that wants some really good sound, someone that wants it in the kitchen for recipes, or someone that just wants it as an alarm clock next to their bed. There's something for everyone in this list.

As always, all of the options in this list are models that are currently available, ones that you can buy today (at the date of publication) and not those that have been announced but aren't available for immediate purchase yet.

Google Home Hub

When it comes to the Google Assistant, the Google Home Hub is the all-round best smart display on the market. There are others out there that have better sound quality, maybe a better design. But as far as all of the checkboxes, the Google Home Hub is the best.

Google Home Hub is one of the smaller smart displays on the market, coming in with a 7-inch display. It does look a lot smaller in person than it does in pictures on the Internet. This was done on purpose by Google, so that you could put the Home Hub virtually anywhere in your home and not worry about it taking up a lot of space.

There is an omission on the Home Hub that might surprise some people. And that is the camera, there isn't one. This was also done on purpose. Since many are worried about these smart displays spying on us in our home with these cameras, by choosing not to include one, Google doesn't have to worry about that. It also allows you to put it in your bathroom or bedroom without worrying about that camera watching you.

Unlike other Google Assistant smart displays, this does not run Android Things, but a slightly altered version of Cast. That doesn't mean much to the average consumer, seeing as it runs the same as the Lenovo Smart Display. But you do have the ability to have pictures slide around on this display, as well as watching videos from YouTube and much more. It works really well for recipes in the kitchen.

The Google Home Hub is routinely priced at $149, but lately it has been dropping to $99 quite often - making it the cheapest smart display too. It's currently $199 at Walmart and you can grab it using the link below.

Amazon Echo Show (2nd Generation)

The Amazon Echo Show got a refresh not too long ago, and it was a much needed refresh. The first generation looked pretty dated, even though it wasn't that old. But this new smart display from Amazon looks much better, with a larger, higher-resolution display. And of course, some insane speakers on the back.

Echo Show is Amazon's first-party Alexa smart display. Unfortunately there are no third party manufacturers making Alexa-enabled smart displays, yet. Besides Facebook, and you should not (under any circumstances) buy the Facebook Portal.

With the Echo Show, you get a large 10.1-inch HD display, which may sound pretty low-resolution, but given the fact that this is sitting on a table, a few feet from you or further, you really won't notice that lower resolution display. So it's not as big of an issue.

Amazon has made the Echo Show with a camera built-in. This camera works for doing video calls, but it also works for adjusting the brightness in the room. The Echo Show will dim the display if there are no lights on, and if there is no one in the room, it will turn off the display. But that also means that it is watching you all the time. Definitely a big con for this smart display, but you can turn it off. Though you will lose a few of those features.

Alexa runs on the Echo Show as you'd expect, and it works really well. Using Alexa in a visual state makes things much nicer for your Flash Briefing, showing you the weather and so much more.

The Amazon Echo Show (2nd Generation) usually retails for $229. However, right now, it is on sale for $179.99. You can pick it up from Amazon using the link below.

Lenovo Smart Display

Lenovo offers its Smart Display in both eight and ten inch versions, so if you want something a bit larger than the Google Home Hub, this is the one to get.

With the Lenovo Smart Display, you are getting a speaker on the left side, and unfortunately, you can't flip it 180-degrees. It offers some good sound, but, having just one speaker means that it's not as filling as the JBL LINK View would be.

This does everything that the Google Home Hub does, just on a larger display. That means that you can still get your recipes on the screen in your kitchen, as well as watching YouTube while you are cooking and so much more. Remember, Netflix is not supported on Google Assistant smart displays, yet.

There is a camera on the Lenovo Smart Display, so you can make video calls through Duo (only, others are not supported). There is also a shutter that will slide in front of the camera to turn it off. So you won't have to worry about it spying on you, which is really nice.

The Lenovo Smart Display does come in eight and ten inch models as mentioned, usually priced at $199 and $249 each. However, right now they are $149 and $199 respectively.

JBL LINK View

If you are looking for the very best sound on a smart display, then JBL's LINK View is going to be the one you want. And that should be no surprise. JBL has been known for its sound quality for many years. It's also no surprise, since there are dual speakers on either side of the display on the LINK View.

Similar to the Lenovo Smart Display, JBL has included a 8-inch HD display, which actually looks really good on this smart display. There is also a camera included, allowing you to video chat through Google Duo. The camera can also be turned off, so you're not worried about it spying on you.

The great audio quality on the JBL LINK View is used for more than just playing music. It also changes the experience when watching YouTube videos, as well as doing video calls. It will also get much louder than the Lenovo Smart Display, due to the larger speakers.

This does run the Google Assistant, so everything you'd expect is here. Including being able to get your news from the Google Assistant, seeing the weather and much more.

The JBL LINK View is not cheap, coming in at $249 and it doesn't really drop in price. You can pick it up from JBL's website using the link down below.

Amazon Echo Spot

The Echo Spot may be the coolest smart display on this list, and that is because it is small and offers a round display. This is meant to be a "smart alarm clock" that goes beside your bed. It's definitely the coolest alarm clock out there right now.

Echo Spot can still do everything that the Echo Show can do with Alexa, just on a smaller, circular display. Being able to ask Alexa for the weather while you are still laying in bed, is a pretty neat feature. Also telling Alexa to set your alarm, before bed and much more. If you do have any cameras around your home, you can bring up the live stream on the Echo Spot, all without leaving your bed, which is also a nice feature to have.

There is a camera on the Echo Spot, which can be turned off, and if you are putting this in your bedroom, you will want to turn it off.

Amazon offers the Echo Spot in both black and white. It is normally priced at $129, but right now you can get it for just $99 using the link below.

Wrap Up

There are some pretty interesting looking smart displays on the market right now. From the Echo Spot to the Google Home Hub, and there are more coming in the next few months. If you want something like the Echo Spot, but running Google Assistant, Lenovo has one that is coming in the next month or so. But otherwise, you really can't go wrong with any of the options on this list.

The Google Home Hub is a favorite, since it is a Made by Google product, and does sometimes get Google Assistant features before the third-party products from Lenovo, JBL and others. So keep that in mind when purchasing. The Lenovo Smart Display is also popular for its larger screen and pretty cool looking design.

The product(s) above is in stock, at this price, at the time of publishing. We are not responsible if the retailer goes out of stock, or pulls the sale. 

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About the Author
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Alexander Maxham

Section Editor
Alex has written for Androidheadlines since 2012 as Editor of the site and traveled the World to many of the biggest Smartphone and Technology events. Alex has a background in Technology and IT and Deep Passion for Everything Android and Google. His specialties lay in Smartphones of all budgets, Accessories, Home Automation and more. Contact him at alexander.maxham@androidheadlines.com
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