There have been some good advancements in the smart home sector over the last few years, and especially more recently with the launch of Matter, which should hopefully mean that devices – no matter what brand – work better together.
The Smart Home Device category in the EE Pocket-lint Awards 2022 is therefore a tough one. You of course have new devices that have launched and are excellent, but you also have smart home devices that have been around for years and are continually getting better through new software features and compatibility.
You've also got everything from smart bulbs to robot vacuum cleaners so this is a very broad category compared to the others and the nominations in the Smart Home Device category for 2022 were exceptional. There can only be one winner though.
Smart Home Device of the year: Philips Hue
Philips Hue might not be new as a platform but it is continuously expanding with some fabulous products and when it comes to smart lighting in the home, it is in an entirely different league to its competition. The breadth of choice available, coupled with the plethora of features delivered make Philips Hue a very worthy winner of this category – again. It won last year too.
Philips Hue is by no means the cheapest smart lighting available, but boy is it good. The Philips Hue Bridge is also compatible with Matter, which means all bulbs and accessories are too, futureproofing your home, as well as lighting it up.
Highly Commended: Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen)
The Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen) takes home Highly Commended in this year's Pocket-lint Awards. It's a fantastic entry point into the Alexa system, offering all the same capabalities as its bigger, more expensive siblings but with a new and improved speaker that means it sounds better than ever.
It might have been beaten to the top spot by Philips Hue, but the Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen) is a genuinely brilliant smart home device and we'd wholeheartedly recommend it to anybody looking for a small Echo.
The best of the rest
Philips Hue took the winner crown and the Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) came in as a close second for this category, but let's not forget about the other truly excellent nominees. The Arlo Pro 4 is a solid camera offering great performance and a very flexible approach, while the Google Nest Cam with Floodlight gives you both security and lighting in a lovely looking package compared to traditional offerings.
The iRobot Roomba J7+ is an excellent robot vacuum cleaner. It offers amazing cleaning performance, alongside some great features which results in a robot that just, well, works, while the Ring Video Doorbell 4 is a truly fantastic option for any front door and offers more than enough to justify opting for it over the entry-level model.
What are the Pocket-lint Awards?
The EE Pocket-lint Awards take place annually to celebrate the best of tech from the previous 12 months. Products need to be fully reviewed by the Pocket-lint team to be considered for the Awards, with judging taking place towards the end of the year. Through a process of longlisting and shortlisting, the panel of expert judges scores the devices to result in the overall winner and a Highly Commended runner-up.
The Pocket-lint Awards was run for 19th time in 2022.