Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


The best smart displays with Alexa and Google Assistant

Too many smart devices in your home can quickly become too much to handle, so a smart display can help you control all of your devices in one place. These are the best smart devices you can buy.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Amy Lieu

The popularity of smart home technology has skyrocketed in recent years, allowing you to control your devices and enjoy multiple services all from one place. Smart displays can allow you access to all of your favorite apps, whether it is movies or music. 

First, though, you need to find the best smart display for your home. We spent hours researching the market to find the best smart displays you can find on the market today. This is what we found.

Also: Learn more about smart home technology!

Pros & Cons
  • HD display
  • Impressive camera
  • Oversized HD display
  • Mediocre Zoom connection
  • No rotation
More Details

Tech Specs: Alexa: Yes | Screen size: 8.0" | Resolution: 1280 x 800 | Speakers: 1 x 1.7" | Camera: 2 MP

Amazon's Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) wins our pick for the best smart display, thanks to its competitive specs. The 8" HD touchscreen is fantastic for it easy use, plus the stereo speakers deliver impressive sound. You can tell Alexa to make calls for you, or you can opt for a video call. The 13 MP camera uses auto-framing for excellent video calls, centering on you during the call. Other benefits of the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) include access to your calendars and reminders, recipes, traffic updates, and news. You can even use your smart display as a security camera with the ability to check in whenever you want.

Read the review: Amazon Echo Show 8 review

Pros & Cons
  • Rotating tracker
  • Built-in Zigbee
  • Large touchscreen
  • Can feel invasive
  • Mediocre sound quality
More Details

Tech Specs: Alexa: Yes | Screen size: 10.1" | Resolution: 1280 x 800 | Speakers: 2 x 1.0" tweeters + 3.0" woofer | Camera: 13 MP

The Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) boasts an oversized display measuring 10.1" with an HD screen and auto-framing 13 MP camera. It is designed to follow you, offering help with things like recipes or even video calls. You can also access your security cameras and even your thermostat. Either way, there is great sound and excellent compatibility for an all-around excellent pick for the Amazon fan. Use Alexa to search your favorite content on Amazon or use Amazon Photos to turn your smart display into a picture frame. Either way, it's great for the Amazon enthusiast.

Read the review: Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) review

Pros & Cons
  • Improved camera
  • Compact design
  • Affordable price tag
  • May be too small for some users
  • Missing 35 mm audio output
More Details

Tech Specs: Alexa: Yes | Screen size: 5.5" | Resolution: 960 x 480 resolution | Speakers: 2 x 2.0" | Camera: 13 MP with auto-framing

The Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) is a child-friendly option that still comes with many of the best features of a smart display. You get access to Alexa with your calendar, alarms, timers, and video calls all available at the sound of your voice. The 5.5" screen can also be used to watch your favorite shows or access your favorite apps. Also incorporated is a 2 MP camera that can be accessed when you are away from home. The dual speakers are matched by a decent resolution, and you can connect compatible lighting systems to control the lights in your home come day or night. 

Pros & Cons
  • Creative design
  • Excellent sound
  • Accommodates multiple users
  • Limited video calling support
  • No night vision
More Details

Tech Specs: Google Assistant: Yes | Screen size: 10" | Resolution: 1280 x 800 | Camera: 6.5 megapixels

Google users will love the Google Nest Hub Max, available with Google Assistant built right in. You can take full control of your home with just one device that links everything from your calendar to your Spotify playlist. Make calls, send texts, or switch to video to catch up with all your favorite people. You can also use this as a security camera, thanks to Google's incorporated Nest Cam. Either way, the oversized 10" screen is perfect for viewing photos, videos, and news.

Read the review: Google Nest Hub Max review

Pros & Cons
  • Easily portable
  • Advanced camera
  • Alexa and Facebook connectivity
  • Few app options
  • No Google Meet or Netflix
More Details

Tech Specs: Operating system: Android | Screen size: 10.1" | Resolution: 1280 x 800 | Memory: 8 GB

Portal Go comes from Meta, also known as the former Facebook. This unit allows for smart video calling that you can transfer with you throughout the different rooms of your house. In fact, it is meant to be used on the go with an extended battery that makes portability easy. The smart camera also improves video calling with Smart Sound to provide greater clarity. Overall, you can use the Meta Portal Go to make a variety of different calls through services like Messenger, WhatsApp, and Zoom.

What is the best smart display?

The Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) wins our award for the best smart display, offering excellent value with a competitive price tag. 

To see how it compares, check out the table below. 

Best smart display table


Screen size


Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen)



1280 x 800

Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen)



1280 x 800

Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen)



960 x 480

Google Nest Hub Max



1280 x 800

Meta Portal Go



1280 x 800

Which is the right smart display for you?

Here we offer our recommendations to help you find the best smart display for you. 

Choose this best smart display...

If you want...

Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen)

A smart display with the best value

Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen)

To use Alexa for video calls on your smart display 

Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen)

A kid-friendly smart display for their nightstand

Google Nest Hub Max

To use Google Home and Google Assistant  

Meta Portal Go

To make video calls on the go 

How did we choose these best smart displays?

In our search for the best smart displays, we based our decision on several specific factors, including these.

  • Display: From sharpness to clarity, we look for superior displays that make it easier to use your device.

  • Size: To find the best size for your display, consider its use. A smaller screen is suitable for a nightstand, while a larger screen may be a better fit for bigger spaces, like your kitchen or living room.

  • Audio: The quality of your audio is critical if you plan on listening to music, following recipes, or using other audio-based services.

  • Price: Budget is a concern for most shoppers looking for the best smart display, so we look for smart displays that fit a variety of budgets.

What is a smart display?

A smart display helps you control all of your devices in one place. It collects all of the details about your connected devices for easy reference, such as your security camera, doorbell, and speakers. There are often other features, as well, such as video calls, Alexa and Google Assistant capability, and even online recipes. 

How much does a smart display cost?

A smart display varies significantly in cost, depending on the model you choose. Our picks for the best smart display range in cost between $79 and $250 for a range of options.

Are there alternative smart displays worth considering?

In our search for the best smart displays, we also found these excellent options that may be worth your consideration.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best home automation systems, the best smart hubs, and the best cheap smart home gadgets for your home!

Editorial standards