Nest Hub displaying a dog
Josh Hendrickson / How-To Geek
Update, 03/27/2023: We’ve reviewed our recommendations and have updated our best overall, best for video calling, and best for Alexa smart display picks.

What to Look For in a Smart Display in 2023

Shopping for a smart display is incredibly easy nowadays. Companies like Google, Amazon, and even Meta are churning out incredible products, and you’d be well-served by most of the displays currently lining store shelves.

However, all of these products cater to a specific audience. Some are built with massive screens and premium cameras for crisp video calls, a few remove cameras for an affordable price tag, and others still attempt to be a jack-of-all-trades. Before you set out on a journey to find a smart display for your home, there are a few things you should consider.

First, do you need a camera built into your smart display? If you plan on using this for a video call device, you’ll need a good camera, which comes with a higher price tag. On the flip side, if you want to turn your display into a smart home hub, you probably won’t need a camera and can save a lot of cash.

It’s also important to determine your current smart home ecosystem. Many smart displays play well with either Google Assistant or Alexa, but it’d be a shame to pick up a shiny new gadget only to realize it won’t connect with the rest of your setup. Compatible voice assistants and smart home ecosystems are listed front and center on the spec sheet, making it easy to ensure it’ll fit your needs.

Once you’ve answered those questions, take a look at our favorite smart displays. No matter your needs, one of these highly-rated products is bound to serve you well.

Best Smart Display Overall: Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen)

Controlling the lights with the Nest Hub
Jason Fitzpatrick / How-To Geek


  • Affordable
  • Supports Quick Gestures
  • Built-in voice control


  • Lacks a camera

Google’s second iteration of the Nest Hub is undoubtedly the best smart display on the market. It won’t be for everybody, as the Nest Hub lacks a camera for video chats, but if you don’t mind the omission, there’s a lot to love about the tiny gadget.

One of the biggest improvements to the second-generation Google Nest Hub is the inclusion of Soli and its Sleep Sensing technology. It also makes use of Quick Gestures and voice controls for touchless operation.

Aside from those standouts, it does everything you’d expect from a smart display. You can watch videos from Netflix and YouTube, listen to music through Spotify, or use it as a digital photo frame with a vibrant seven-inch display.

Despite the Google Nest Hub’s lengthy list of features, you’ll be happy to know it’s still as affordable as ever—the best smart display around can be had for $100.

Best Smart Display Overall

Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen)

Affordable, powerful, and compatible with a laundry list of apps, it’s difficult to find a smart display better than the new Nest Hub.

Best Budget Smart Display: Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen)

Amazon Echo Show 8 display showing streamed musical artist


  • Affordable
  • High-end camera
  • Mechanical shutter for privacy


  • Slow auto-framing

If you’re looking for an affordable smart display that makes it easy to jump into video chats, look no further than the Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen). Big improvements were made to the smart display’s video features, and the Echo Show 8 now features a vivid 13 megapixel (MP) camera. There’s also a mechanical shutter that slides in front of the camera for a bit more privacy.

Compatible with Zoom, Skype, or any device with the Alexa app, there’s no shortage of ways to connect with family and friends around the globe. Its auto-framing capability is a bit lackluster, but that’s a minor complaint about an otherwise robust, frugal device.

Amazon didn’t stop with camera improvements for its second-gen smart screen, either. A new processor allows for a more responsive touchscreen, although the Echo Show 8 is still best controlled with voice via Alexa. Still, this is a great smart display for music, streaming, and as a smart home hub.

Best Budget Smart Display

Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen)

Carrying a price tag nearly half that of the competition, anyone in the market for a smart display should give the Echo Show (2nd Gen) a closer look.

Best Smart Display for Video Calling: Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen)

Amazon Echo 10 in kitchen


  • Built-in Alexa voice assistant
  • Motorized screen for auto-framing
  • Zigbee integration


  • Lackluster audio
  • Bulky design

There’s no shortage of great products for folks who love Amazon Alexa, but none are better than the third-generation Echo Show 10. The star of the show is a 10.1-inch HD screen that’s motorized, allowing it to swivel and follow you around a room. Its motorized base is a bit bulky, and you’ll need quite a bit of room to comfortably fit the Echo 10, but that’s a small price to pay for the added utility.

Built-in Alexa makes it easy to control the action, and it can even act as a Zigbee smart home hub to build out an entire smart home ecosystem. You’ll also be treated to apps such as Netflix, Amazon Music, and Spotify, although its audio is a bit lacking for its sizable price tag.

Best Smart Display for Amazon Alexa

Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen)

Alexa is the driving force behind the Echo Show 10, and a stacked spec sheet puts this smart display ahead of the competition.

Best Smart Display for Amazon Alexa: Amazon Echo Show 15

An Echo Show 15 hanging on the wall above a laptop
Josh Hendrickson / How-To Geek


  • The largest HD display of any Echo Show device
  • Built-in FireTV for more entertainment options
  • Multiple mounting options available
  • Photo Frame display mode


  • Camera and speakers are a bit weak

If you’re looking for a smart display that allows you to get the most from Alexa, you’ll want to consider the Echo Show 15. It’s not a cheap option, that’s for sure, but it gives you the best access to Alexa’s many tools of any Echo device, with the bonus of having FireTV built in.

The 15-inch HD display has plenty of space for the many customizable Alexa widgets. You can display lots of different information simultaneously, including your calendar and appointments, music playlists, recipes, and notes. And all at a size that won’t require too much squinting of eyes.

The Show 15 is best suited to be hung on the wall in either landscape or portrait mode. You can stand it on a horizontal surface if you prefer, although you’ll need to buy the compatible stand separately. When you aren’t using it for Alexa stuff, it makes for a nice digital photo frame if linked to an Amazon Photos account.

The built-in FireTV is a great addition, turning the Echo Show 15 into a viable mini entertainment portal for the kitchen or home office. The internal speakers are slightly underwhelming, so you’ll probably need to connect a Bluetooth speaker to properly enjoy watching your favorite Netflix shows.

At just 5MP, the camera is another slightly weak point of the Show 15, but good enough for the occasional video call. The Echo Show 10, with its superior camera, speakers, and automatic framing feature, is a better choice if video calling is a core requirement for you.

Best Smart Display for Amazon Alexa

Echo Show 15

The Show 15 is a great addition to the Echo lineup, allowing you to combine entertainment with all your favorite Alexa tools, widgets and features. The perfect way to improve your smart home setup.

Best Smart Display for Google Home: Google Nest Hub Max

Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max
Josh Hendrickson / How-To Geek


  • Vibrant 10-inch screen
  • Face Match for personalized info
  • Supports Duo, Meet, and Zoom


  • Lacks support for Skype
  • Expensive

The Google Nest Hub Max is one of the most expensive products in the Google Nest lineup, and for good reason. Its sleek design puts a gorgeous 10-inch touchscreen front and center, although it’s backed by a 3-inch woofer for incredible sound and a 6.5MP camera for clear video calls. It also lets you use Quick Gestures to control the action if you’d rather not use voice commands with Google Assistant.

Video calls through Google Duo or Zoom are possible on the Nest Hub Max, but its library of apps also consists of Spotify, Pandora, Netflix, and YouTube TV. It doesn’t have perfect app support, but the Nest Hub Max has a deep catalog of other popular software.

And when you’re not using one of its dozens of apps, you can turn the Nest Hub Max into a digital picture frame to show off your favorite memories.

Nest Hub Max Smart Display

The bigger sibling of the Nest Hub, the Max offers a bigger screen, bigger speaker, and a built-in camera for video calling.

Best Smart Display for Apple Homekit: Apple iPad (9th Generation)

Person using Apple iPad with stand


  • Versatile
  • Vivid HD display


  • Expensive
  • Requires a dock
  • Not really a smart display

Oddly enough, not a single smart display on the market is compatible with Apple Homekit. However, if you don’t mind picking up a few additional accessories, you can easily turn a standard iPad into a makeshift smart display.

The standard 10.2-inch tablet already looks a bit like a smart display—and its Retina display with True Tone is actually one of the nicest looking screens on this list. It’s also capable of streaming music or videos across any of the apps in the Apple App Store catalog, making it a highly versatile “smart display.”

Since the iPad can’t prop itself up, you’ll need to spring for an additional stand—although our list of the best iPad stands makes that an easy task.

It won’t look quite as nice sitting on your kitchen counter as the Echo Show 10 or Google Nest Hub Max , but if you’re building out an Apple Homekit smart home, there’s no other option. But with its A13 Bionic Chip, 12MP ultra-wide front camera, and stereo speakers, you’re the iPad won’t be lacking for features.

Best Smart Display for Apple Homekit

Apple iPad

Although it's not really a smart display, an iPad is the only option for folks glued to Apple Homekit.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Profile Photo for Jon Bitner Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a freelance writer who focuses on topics related to video games, science, and technology. His work can be found across the web, although he's a regular contributor to Digital Trends, Slickdeals, TVGuide, CordCuttersNews, and TheGamer. Before starting his writing career, Jon worked in the biotechnology industry, where he produced monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer patients.
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