As you will now see in every major box retailer's holiday ads, smart home gadgets are everywhere. There are offers on intelligent loudspeakers, intelligent light bulbs and intelligent doorbells.
However, giving someone a Smart Home product can be intimidating, with many factors in play. Is it Amazon, Google or Apple? Which devices do you already have?
A smart home device can be a great gift as long as you do your homework first. Do not worry. In this guide, we'll cover the right questions and key facts you need to know before you spend money.
Which smart home devices work well as a gift?
Smart home products offer sophisticated speakers and web-enabled displays, simple toaster ovens, and coffee makers.
Some of today's most popular smart home products include:
If your Giftee does not have smart home products, start with a smart speaker, such as a speaker. For example, an Amazon Echo Dot ($ 30 on Amazon) or Google Home Mini ($ 49 on the Google Store) . Both take up very little space, but have the same features as their full-size counterparts.
Everything you need to know about Google Home  A speaker that works best with Google or Amazon? It is an important consideration before you give one away.
Tyler Lizenby / CNET
Amazon or Google?
Choosing the right smart speaker for a gift starts with finding out if Google and Amazon accounts are required. These services are used by your gift recipient.
Do you have an Android phone and / or do you use Google for email, calendars, maps and more? A Google homepage ($ 99 at Walmart) is a good fit and setting up will be easy as you already have a Google Account.
If you buy a smart speaker for someone shopping at Amazon Often the range of echo speakers is a good choice. You can buy articles on Amazon and much more.
The kind of smart home experience also depends on your phone. A particular connected home device may not work as well on an Android handset as it does on an iPhone ($ 1,199 on Amazon) . A version of a product's app may have many errors or missing features.
There may be no Android or iOS application at all. For example, the Smart Coffee Scale Motif Mentor lacks an Android app (iOS only). The smart mattress WinkBed has an Android app that hardly works, while the iPhone software is quite stable.
Check what kind of phone the recipient of your gift has. Then make sure you have the right software for your existing smart home gadget.
Ask what's already at home
Your Giftee may already have an echo or Google Home speaker. If you want to find out what already exists, you can choose the right gift.
For example, suppose you already have multiple Amazon Echo speakers and possibly a Fire TV. Giving them a bell is the way to go. This is because Ring is an Amazon brand and is tightly linked to its platform of connected products.
The opposite is true for people with various Google Home devices, including a Nest Thermostat. In this case, Nest Hello is the best doorbell.
Smart lightbulbs are a little more forgiving. The two best-known brands Philips Hue and Lifx work together in systems in both camps.
However, some lighting systems – Philips Hue and Lutron – require separate network nodes in order to function. If such a hub is already at home, it makes the most sense to give away a compatible light source. For more information about which devices work with others, see our Smart Home Smart Product Compatibility Matrix.
Think about your home network
A smart home device connected to poor Wi-Fi at home is not worth much. Make sure that a special person you want to give away also has a sufficient network.
Even a simple Echo Dot or Google Home Mini can not run with slow DSL in the sticks. The same applies to weak signals in remote cellars or upper floors.
If you know that the person you buy is passionate about smart home devices and is constantly getting new equipment, you should bring a network with you. Fi system. They cover a whole house with a strong Wi-Fi signal, so every smart device has the reliable connection it needs to work.and Netgear Orbi are two such systems that we like.
CNET's Holiday Gift Guide for 2018: The gifts they will love