Best Alexa Devices for 2021: Ring, Wise, and More

The holidays are upon us, and if you are looking for gifts, smart home gadgets are an increasingly popular option. Amazon’s annual fall event has brought dozens of new announcements Amazon products and Alexa features as usual, including our new favorite Amazon Echo smart speaker. Quite a few new Alexa-compatible devices are also new. Just in 2020, the popular camera developer Wyze, for example, released the Wyze Cam v3, the Wyze Cam Outdoor, the Wyze Thermostat, the Wyze Video Doorbell, the Wyze Robot Vacuum, the Wyze Sprinkler Controller and – amazingly enough -. even more.

Alexa has long been the leader in integrating smart homes, and Amazon’s voice assistant is bringing even more impressive integrations to your worksheet this year. This list of the best Alexa devices is updated from time to time, so check back often for the latest recommendations.

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Amazon’s Echo Dot with Clock was our previous Alexa speaker, but with this year’s new product range, the fourth generation Echo speaker gets the nod. The spheroidal new speaker is a little more expensive at $ 100 than the $ 50 fourth-generation Echo Dot, but the improved sound quality and some intriguing smart home features justify the additional cost.

The new shape of this smart device distinguishes Amazon’s new Echo speaker. Where the third-generation Echo offered a slight improvement in sound quality over its predecessor, the ball-shaped fourth-generation version has noticeably better sound output, including a respected bass for a speaker in its price range.

On the smart home front, the fourth-generation Echo also gets a built-in Zigbee receiver, which transmits a feature of the now-defunct Amazon Echo Plus. With the Zigbee receiver, the new Echo can function as a smart home connection point for light bulbs, plugs and other Zigbee-based accessories. This means that you can use the Echo itself as a hub, without the need for additional hardware to get the devices online.

The new Echo Dot has the same shape as the new Echo speaker, but the improvement over the third generation Echo Dot is not very clear. It also costs $ 50, where you can regularly get third-generation Echo Dot for $ 30 or less. Read our Amazon Echo (2020) review.


The third-generation Wyze Cam costs, like its earlier iterations, an incredibly low $ 20, but this smart home device is one of our favorite cameras, despite the price. It has weatherproof housing, sharper night vision than its predecessor, a wider field of view, a loud siren and more – including 14-day video storage and a built-in microSD card slot for local storage.

If you have an Echo Show smart screen, you can also throw the Wyze Cam feed on the screen with a simple voice command.

The Wyze Cam is now available to pre-order, and shipping is scheduled for mid-November. Read our Wise Cam (2020) review.

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Ring’s $ 80 Peephole Cam is a unique product for the Amazon company. Instead of mounting on a door frame or somewhere else on the side of your door, the Peephole Cam replaces a traditional peephole.

This means that this Amazon Alexa-compatible device is perfect for people living in apartments who want a smart doorbell but do not want to handle a fixed wired device – or otherwise want to mess up a door frame for installation. None of Ring’s main competitors offers this kind of seamless solution for apartments, which makes this doorbell particularly innovative, along with the other appliances available today.

Not only that, but the Peephole Cam has the easiest installation of any doorbell I have tested so far. It also has advanced Alexa integration. Yes, you can pick up the direct input on an Amazon smart screen, but you can also chat with those at your door via the built-in speaker on the smart screen with the command, Alexa, answers the front door.

The two-way call feature via an Alexa smart screen is unique to Ring devices.

Editor’s note, December 14: Ring was called for his partnership with local police departments in the US, which voiced the leading private advocates about the information Ring shares with law enforcement and how they use the information. In December 2019, thousands of personal information from Ring users were exposed, which led to our Ring products no longer being recommended.

Since then, Ring has updated its security policy, from customers to a control center dashboard to easier access to privacy and security settings to two-factor authentication. We have continued to recommend Ring’s products with this proviso: If you are concerned about Ring’s privacy policy, make sure you are familiar with the privacy statement. You can read more here about how we include Ring’s privacy policy in our recommendations. Read our Ring Peephole Cam review.

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The Ecobee Smart Thermostat is a $ 249 thermostat with Alexa compatibility. This model replaces the Ecobee4 smart thermostat, but has many of the same excellent features.

Control your Smart Thermostat via the Ecobee app and use Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri voice commands to adjust the temp of your smart thermostat. However, it’s Alexa’s voice control that really stands out here, as the thermostat itself has a built-in Alexa speaker.

That means you do not need a separate Echo device – just plug in your thermostat, turn on the speaker and start asking Alexa questions. Read our Ecobee SmartThermostat review.

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The Amazon Echo Show 8 is the latest smart screen from Amazon. For $ 130 (though currently on sale for $ 100), you get an eight-inch screen with the best resolution of any Echo Show to date, a camera shutter and all the cleverness of previous Amazon smart screens.

The Echo Show 8 has a built-in Alexa speaker. This means you can use this smart screen to ask your Alexa digital assistant to bid, whether it’s asking to play music, transmit the weather, or tell a joke. As it is a smart screen, it also offers advanced compatibility with Alexa-enabled security cameras.

Ask Alexa to ‘answer the front door’ when someone rings your Ring Peephole Cam and you can see the live stream on your Show 8 – and actually talk to the person, directly from the smart screen. Read our Amazon Echo Show 8 review.

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August’s Wi-Fi Smart Lock is a wonderfully smart lock. It adapts to most standard dead bolts so you do not have to deal with a complicated installation. The built-in Wi-Fi makes it possible to remotely access your smart lock via the Android or iOS app without the need for an August Connect module.

This product is also equipped with an open / close sensor called DoorSense, which is attached to the door where your Wi-Fi Smart Lock is installed. This way, the app can not only tell if the door is locked or unlocked, but also if the door is open or closed.

The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is an Alexa-compatible device, allowing you to lock and unlock a door from an Alexa-enabled smart speaker with your voice. Read our August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review.

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SimpliSafe is a solid DIY home security system with a lot of accessories, so you can scale up the system as needed. The starter kit costs $ 210 for the hub, keyboard, keychain, one motion sensor and one door / window sensor.

SimpliSafe also works with Alexa, so you can enable the system and monitor its status with simple voice commands.

SimpliSafe does not require a contract, but monthly fees start at $ 15 to access the app and increase to $ 25 if you want professional monitoring. Read our SimpliSafe review.

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The latest version of the Philips Hue White LED smart light works with ZigBee and Bluetooth. Adding Bluetooth is important for Philips Hue, as it means you do not need a Philips hub to make these smart light bulbs work.

Instead, the smart light bulbs connect directly to your phone – and they work with Alexa voice commands. Ask Alexa to turn on the living room lights, or to dim the dining room’s smart lights to 70%.

Philips Hue White LEDs only cost $ 15 each, which means you don’t have to hand out a lot of cash for these straight Alexa light bulbs. Read our Philips Hue White LED article.

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The TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini is a big name for a small smart plug that costs just $ 14. A smart plug like this can be connected directly to your Wi-Fi connection with a socket and turn your non-smart lamps, fans and other devices into smart devices.

Use the TP-Link app to connect and control devices – or turn on Amazon Alexa and use your voice. Say “Alexa, turn on the reading light” to get the Plug Mini smart plug to easily control the devices connected to it. Read our TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini review.

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The Amazon Echo Flex is a small smart speaker that plugs directly into an electrical outlet. For $ 25, it offers all the ingenuity of Alexa, plus a USB port for additional modules – such as a motion detector and night light.

As the name suggests, the Flex can fit many features, helping to enhance your home security and increase the range of Alexa audiences for help in less central corners of your home.

The addition of a motion sensor also means that Alexa can create automations based on your movement, turn on lights when you enter a room, or deliver your morning news when you go to breakfast. Read our Amazon Echo Flex review.

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The Amazon Echo Show 5 helps Alexa to be nice to you …


The Alexa landscape

Amazon Voice Assistant makes it easier to control the devices in your home, set timers and find out how long your commute will take to the office. But privacy is becoming more and more important as smart speakers and exhibitions increase in popularity.

Reports Amazon keeps transcripts of your voice calls, even after removing the Alexa audio recordings, it raised concerns about the privacy of users. Sen. Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, wrote a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos seek answers about Amazon’s Alexa user data and how it is stored. Amazon has since launched the “Alexa, delete everything I said today”. The tech giant says it’s too working on new ways for customers to remove their transcripts.

Echo Show 8, Amazon’s latest smart screen, has a built-in camera shutter, unlike previous Echo Show devices.

Amazon is not alone. Facebook, Google and other large technology companies faced their own privacy issues, which raised questions about the use of data.

Fortunately, it seems that Amazon and others are working to regain our trust. Have these privacy issues prevented you from buying a voice assistant (Alexa or otherwise)? Weigh in the comments below.

Any more questions? Read more about Alexa.

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