Looking through these choices, you’ll see that we’re finally comfortable recommending product categories that used to be more sci-fi promising than everyday practicality. For example, a mini projector powerful enough to turn any blank wall into an impromptu movie screen, a robot vacuum that makes cleaning easier, and smart ways to maintain everything charged, from your family’s mobiles to an electric car.
Robovac 11s Max
Robo vacuums can’t fluff up couch cushions or clean up big messes, but they improve basic dust patrol on floors and carpets. This new version of a model that was already very good at picking up pet hair has more suction.
Juicebox Pro 40
This UL-listed Level 2 EV Charging Station for an electric car plugs into a standard 240v clothes dryer outlet and can be controlled by a remote app to choose greener or cheaper power when available automatically.
This water-resistant LED smart lamp is about the size of a small soccer ball. It gives off a warm glow that is safe for kids and won’t go out when the wind blows. It has a 6-hour battery that can be charged on the base that comes with it.
Using services like Google Photos, Dropbox, and the Nixplay app to show their photos on the 13-inch screen, friends and family can share slideshows from near or far. Bluetooth speakers can stream music or radio stations and make short videos sound louder.
Surefeed Microchip Pet Feeder Connect
This new Sure Petcare product, like the SureFlap cat door, lets you keep track of and manage your cat’s eating habits. It works only for cats with the right microchip, like the SureFlap cat door.
Symfonisk Table Lamp
Keep an eye on IKEA’s growing selection of smart home products that are reasonably priced, like this table lamp that can also be used as a Sonos Wi-Fi speaker.
Circle 2 With Secure Home Video
Logitech’s indoor/outdoor 1080p wide-angle camera works with HomeKit Secure Video, a new Apple standard that encrypts footage and stores it in the cloud but only for your eyes. It works with the iCloud storage you already have.
A HEPA-filter air cleaner will pay for itself after one bad pollen or wildfire season. You can use an app to control this Wi-Fi-enabled model from a distance and check the air quality.
Aurora Smart Bulb Dimmer
This light switch cover gives you a handy physical dimmer control for Philips Hue smart lights that you can also control with an app. It also stops anyone from turning off the smart lights by flipping the switch.
Freestanding French Door Refrigerator
Bosch, known for its dishwashers, has released a new line of refrigerators that can keep food fresh longer by adjusting humidity, temperature, and airflow. A service technician can even check on the appliances from afar, and if a door is left open, an alert will be sent to your phone or tablet through an app.
Orbi Wifi 6
Mesh Wi-Fi, which is Wi-Fi that covers all corners of a home with multiple Wi-Fi bases that talk to each other, is one of the fastest and easiest to set up. It is also one of the first to support the new Wi-Fi 6 standard, making speeds even faster.
Echo Show 5
Amazon’s voice-controlled smart speaker now has a screen and costs less. It also has bedside features like a sunrise alarm that gradually brightens the screen, a snooze button, and a physical shutter to cover the video-chat camera.
Trio Wireless Charging Station
You can charge an Apple Watch and up to two phones at once by putting them on this small station. This is a consolation after Apple unexpectedly canceled its own promised AirPower. It works with current models of both Apple and Android phones that can charge wirelessly (Qi).
This all-in-one portable projector is about the size of a soda can, but it can project 720p, 200-ANSI-lumens video up to the size of a 100-inch TV, with good sound and up to 3 hours of battery life for movie night.
Put this thin mat under your bed at chest level, and it will track the quality and length of your REM and non-REM sleep cycles. This version, which was updated, can even help you spot signs of breathing problems and sleep apnea.
Eve Energy Strip
Siri or an app can be used to control each of the three surge-protected outlets separately. The app also graphs how much power each appliance uses and can turn off power-hungry devices like TVs in standby mode.
This bulb has an amazing 27 color LEDs inside, while most color bulbs only have three. This makes it possible to fine-tune whites from bright at noon to golden at dusk with small dots of color that fit the setting. Not everything has to be good, though. Any smart home hub can turn the bulb of a lava lamp into a tie-dye show.
V436-G1 4K HDR Smart TV
This 43-inch TV is great for a high-resolution (4K) smart TV. It has a new and improved HDR (high dynamic range), which makes darks darker and brights brighter simultaneously, but it doesn’t have high-end features like HDMI 2.1 or an expanded color gamut.