6 Useful Smart Home Gadgets To Get You Started: The Essentials
By Kaelyn Chua
Published June 2021
If you haven't implemented some form of smart home automation in your home, it's about time you give it a shot. The right combination of smart home gadgets can drastically increase not only your overall comfort and convenience but also the security and energy efficiency of your home. For those that don't know where to begin, we've got you covered with a guide to the basics to get you started on your smart home journey.
Google Nest Mini
Out of the extensive range of Google Home smart speakers, the Google Nest Mini is our pick due to it's compact size and affordable price point. The Google Nest Mini is a 2-in-1 smart home hub and smart speaker powered by Google Assistant.
The Google Nest Mini is activated by voice commands and acts as your personal assistant helping you make calls, check your calendar, add reminders, search the web and much much more. Beyond that, the Google Nest Mini's also serves as a smart home hub that can control multiple smart home devices through the Google Home application or directly through voice commands.
The Google Nest Mini is compatible with over 30,000 devices and allows you to set routines which involve the control of several smart home devices as you go about your day. An example of this includes setting a routine for the lights and fan to turn on automatically when Google Nest Mini detects your presence in the house. To find out if a device you already own is compatible with the Google Nest Mini, check out Google's list of compatible devices here.
The Google Nest Mini also doubles as an effective home speaker especially for its affordable price point. The Nest Mini presents a significant upgrade in audio clarity from its' Google Home Mini predecessor, sounding notably fuller and more pleasant at loud volumes. This is due to its' dual-driver system which retains the clarity of vocals and higher pitches on bass-heavy tracks. If you live in a larger house, you can even purchase several Nest Mini's for the ultimate stereo surround sound experience throughout your home.
Ultimately, the Google Nest Mini is easy to set-up, compatible with a wide range of smart home devices and saves you the cost of a separate music speaker. It's powered by the capable Google Assistant and introduces new-found convenience like no other into your home, giving you all this at a super affordable price point. If you're just getting into smart home tech, the Google Nest Mini is definitely a good place to start.
The Google Nest Mini comes in Black, Light Gray, Light Blue and Coral. Shop the Google Nest Mini here.
Philips Hue Starter Kit
Smart lights are an absolute staple if you're really looking for smart home upgrades, the easiest way to set things up is definitely with the Philips Hue Starter Kit.
The Philips Hue Starter Kit includes three smart and energy-efficient E27 LED bulbs, available in different colour ranges and the Hue Bridge — which is the hub that gives you control of your lights through your smartphone, voice assistants and smart accessories like motion sensors and wireless switches. The Hue Bridge also unlocks smart features like pre-setting schedules and routines or controlling your lights when you're not at home or when the internet goes down.
The Philips Hue E27 Bulbs are diverse and versatile, allowing you to choose from 16 million colours to instantly change the look and atmosphere of your room. The E27 bulbs also come with smart features that help you wake up and go to sleep naturally.
In the morning, the Philips Hue E27 Bulbs mimic the effect of a gentle sunrise by increasing the light brightness gradually to wake you up slowly naturally. At night, the E27 bulbs can emit a relaxing warm white light to help you unwind, relax and prepare for a good night's sleep. For entertainment purposes, you can link the Philips Hue E27 bulbs to your TV or music speaker to sync your lights up with your movie or sync to the rhythm of your favourite tunes.
The Philips Hue E27 Bulbs can be paired with the Philips hue IOS and Android applications for remote control of your smart lights. The E27 bulbs are also compatible with smart home hubs like the Google Nest Mini previously mentioned in this article. The Philips Hue Starter Kit may be pricer than traditional light bulbs, however it's definitely worth it in the long-term and certainly a staple in a smart home set-up.
Philips Hue E27
Philips Hue White Ambiance
Philips Hue White Ambiance (WA) can help you to fall asleep and wake up gently. It can energise you and help you to concentrate, read and relax. Set the right ambience with a range of white light, from cool daylight to relaxing warm white light.
Philips Hue White And Colour Ambiance
With Philips Hue White And Colour Ambiance (WACA) you can transform your lighting into an extraordinary experience. Connected home lighting offers coloured lighting that can be synced to your music, TV and games for immersive effects.
Yeedi 2 Hybrid
Robot vacuums used to only exist in our imagination, but thanks to technology we now get to enjoy the convenience they provide which makes a robot vacuum a MUST-HAVE in our list of smart home tech gadgets. The Yeedi 2 Hybrid is a good place to start, its a multi-tasker robot that is designed to vacuum and mop simultaneously for hassle-free deep cleaning.
The Yeedi 2 Hyrbrid 2-in-1 vacuum and mop robot cleaner has dual elastic edge brushes, an adaptive multi-surface brush and up to 2,500pa of suction power that effectively loosens, lifts and sucks dirt, debris, & pet hair from carpets, wood floors and tiles. It also comes equipped with a triple-filter system that captures up to 99% of dust mites and allergens as small as 6 microns keeping your home dust-free!
There are 3 adjustable suction powers available on the Yeedi 2 Hybrid: Standard, Max and Max+. The Standard suction power is meant for daily routine cleaning, the Max suction power is meant for intensive carpet cleaning and the Max+ suction power is for intensive and quick heavy duty cleaning.
The Yeedi 2 Hybrid is also equipped with smart sensors which automatically turns on and off the water dispenser as needed for safe mopping and allows you to set different water flow levels for different types of mess.
Using smart navigation powered by Visual SLAM with camera mapping technology, the Yeedi 2 Hybrid learns your home layout and creates an exclusive Home Map which allows you to decide where, when and how you like it to clean. It moves in a zigzag path around your home to avoid missing spots resulting in a cleaner and more efficient routine.
Using the companion application, you can make use of functions such as zoned cleaning, area cleaning, no-go zone, virtual boundary, map saving, spot cleaning, and scheduling to optimise the Yeedi 2 Hybrid to fit your needs. The Yeedi is also compatible with smart speakers like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa allowing you to control it without ever leaving your seat.
The best part is that the Yeedi 2 Hybrid is extremely quiet at 55db which is even quieter than a running microwave in fact. This means you can run the Yeedi all day every day, even at night without disturbing you or your neighbours!
Free up your time for the more important things in life. For more details, you can read our in-depth review of the Yeedi 2 Hybrid here.
Ring Video Doorbell 4
If you're someone who frequently receives online packages, a smart video doorbell might be the way to go. Not only does it provide additional home security, it also puts an end to missed deliveries. The Ring Video Doorbell 4 is the latest 2021 release from Ring, arguably one of the best (if not the best) video doorbell brands on the market.
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 has a 160 degree field of view and is compatible with the Ring application available on both IOS and Android. It notifies you of any motion detected through the Ring application and stores four seconds of video captured before the motion was detected so you'll be able to identify what triggered the alert.
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 provides you with full HD colour video footage even at night, a feature new to the battery-powered line of Ring doorbells. The battery-powered nature of the Doorbell 4 is a great fit for homeowners living in Singapore HDB's as no additional wiring work is needed, making for easy installation. The battery is removable meaning you won't have to take down the entire doorbell when charging.
You can also subscribe to Ring Protect Plus for an extra $10 per month that provides cellular backup in case your Wi-Fi goes offline, as well as the option to opt into Assisted Monitoring, which will automatically call emergency contacts during an Alarm event. However this subscription is completely optional and the Ring Doorbell 4 functions perfectly fine without it.
The bottom line is that the Ring Video Doorbell 4 is easy to install, affordable and not reliant on paid subscription plans making it sustainable in the long run. Although it lacks Google Home integration, the features available through the Ring application are more than enough to keep your home safe. Shop the Ring Video Doorbell 4 here.
Wyze Cam Pan
Before Wyze, most affordable security camera's lacked the quality and features available on more pricey ones. Now, Wyze can give you the best of both worlds: high-tech features at an incredibly affordable price point.
Although the Wyze Cam Pan is more pricey than the flagship Wyze Cam, we believe its ability to give you a 360 view makes it well worth the premium. It's core features include a 120 degree field of view (that can be rotated), 1080p HD video, two-way audio, infrared night vision and a 8x zoom.
A stand out feature of the Wyze Cam Pan is it's high quality night vision which is made possible by the six in-built infrared LED sensors, giving you clear video quality in pitch dark scenarios. Wyze Cam Pan also offers person detection, although it's worth noting that this feature requires a Wyze Cam Plus subscription. You will however be able to communicate with whoever you're recording as the Wyze Pan comes with two-way audio available in the Wyze application.
For remote access to the Wyze Cam Pan, you can download the Wyze application available on both IOS and android. You can then view livestream footage, review video history, use two-way audio, receive notifications and create time-lapse videos.
At home, the Wyze Cam Pan is also compatible with smart assistants like Google Assistant, meaning it pairs well with the Google Nest Mini. It also gives you free local and cloud storage for up to 14 days with with no additional fee needed.
A smart home camera may not immediately pop up on your mental list of smart home must-haves, but if you have young children, pets or the elderly living in the household, a smart home security camera is certainly essential. With the Wyze Cam Pan, you can leave your home with peace of mind, knowing you can always keep a watchful eye over your loved ones.
Shop the Wyze Cam Pan here.
Dyson Pure Cool™ TP01 Purifying Fan
This one might not be a must-have for everyone but for those sensitive to haze or those dealing with allergies, the Dyson Pure Cool™ TP01 Purifying Fan is an absolute life saver.
The Dyson Pure Cool™ TP01 is a 2-in-1 air purifier and blade-free fan. It has a built-in air purifier with a High-Efficiency Particulate-Arresting (“HEPA”) filter, which only needs to be replaced once a year. The TP series offers many different models, but we find the TP01 to be the most value-for-money model that gives you the basics without the added frills.
Regarding its fan functionalities, the Dyson Pure Cool™ TP01 has 10 speeds that can be controlled manually using the physical power button or the remote control which attaches magnetically to the top of the unit. The TP01 has 70 degrees of oscillation and a strong airflow of 7.8mph at a manageable noise level of 63db.
On the air purifier front, the 360 degree glass HEPA filter on the Dyson Pure Cool™ TP01 removes 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns — roughly 100 times smaller than a human hair. The 360 degree intake is engineered to pull in polluted air from every angle, while the Tris-coated graphite captures odors, household fumes and formaldehyde from your home.
Two sensors analyze indoor air quality. The dust sensor detects particles larger than one micron, such as pollen and allergens – while the Volatile Organic Compounds sensor identifies gases such as fumes and toxins.
Dyson Link Application
You can connect your Dyson Pure Cool™ TP01 to the Dyson Link application, which allows you to monitor indoor air quality through four different kinds of air contaminants: Particulate matter in two sizes (2.5 and 10 microns), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and nitrogen dioxide.
The Dyson Pure Cool™ TP01 is also compatible with Google Assistant on the Google Nest Mini, meaning you can set an automatic schedule for the fan to follow and control it through voice commands. Although there are cheaper alternatives on the market, you're paying for the guaranteed quality and crazy innovation of Dyson technology. We wouldn't say you absolutely need this, but if you're looking for an effective purifier and fan the Dyson Pure Cool™ TP01 is certainly the one to get.
The Dyson Pure Cool™ TP01 comes in Black/Nickel, Iron/Silver, White/Silver. Shop the Dyson Pure Cool™ TP01 here.
Smart home living is the future of home ownership. We know that it can be intimidating to make that first slightly pricey tech purchase, but honestly once you start you truly can't go back to living without it. We hope this guide has been useful in helping you take that first step towards the ultimate smart home of your dreams.
If you want to check out more cool smart tech products, shop our online store at Synced.sg or visit out physical store.
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