The best smart displays in 2024

Amazon Echo Show 15 hung vertically on wall
(Image credit: Amazon)

The best smart displays add a useful touchscreen to the core smart speaker experience. You can use this space to interact with apps or watch videos. This tablet-like functionality streamlines day-to-day tasks from controlling the best smart lights with a press to pulling up visuals that accompany your voice commands on the fly.

Smart displays are versatile enough to serve as anything from a smart home controller to an entertainment hub. Many people use them in the kitchen to view step-by-step recipes or watch TV while they cook. Or you can add a smart display to your living room to control the best smart home devices and monitor security camera feeds. You can even have the hub act as a smart photo frame when you aren't using it. And with the built-in camera privacy shutters you can comfortably place one on your bedside to act as an alarm clock that doubles as a smart home device dashboard

Unlike some of the best smart speakers that work with both Alexa and Google Assistant, all of the top smart displays only work with a single assistant. The Echo Show smart display is powered by Amazon Alexa while Nest Hub devices run Google Assistant. Still, there are plenty of options on the market to choose from. Read on to see all the best smart displays we’ve tested complete with reviews below.

The quick list

The best smart displays you can buy today

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Best overall

A picture showing off the Widget Gallery on the Echo Show 8 (3rd Gen)

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best smart display for most people

Specifications

Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 4.2 inches
Display size: 8 inches/1280 x 800
Speakers: Dual two-inch tweeters, Amazon spatial audio and room adaption tech
Camera: 13MP
Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Sidewalk, Zigbee, Matter, Thread
Voice assistant: Alexa

Reasons to buy

+
Sleek new design
+
Built-in smart home hub
+
Upgraded camera and speakers
+
Improved processor and faster responses

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks eero built-in

Amazon's mid-range smart display blends speedy performance with premium features. Although the screen isn’t as large as the Echo Show 10 ($249, Amazon) this model packs an equally sharp 13 MP camera and upgraded Alexa experience for half the price. Its compact design makes it more counter-friendly than previous versions, and the edge-to-edge glass display squeezes the most out of the 8-inches of screen real estate. 

Even if you already know how to use Alexa, you’ll still find something new here with the addition of home screen widgets and an independent Fire TV experience previously locked to the flagship Echo Show 15. In our review, we noted that the new Echo Show 8 delivers visuals and audio far better than its $149 price would suggest. A brand new processor improves the new Echo Show 8's response time by up to 40 percent. That means local smart home requests like asking Alexa to turn on a smart light or lock your door take place much faster. 

Meanwhile, the addition of upgraded Zigbee, Thread, and Matter wireless protocols elevates to one of the best smart home hubs you can grab. While the display can't physically rotate to keep you in the frame like the Echo Show 10, the newly centered wide-angle lens digitally focuses on you much like the Google Nest Hub Max and Apple’s Center Stage feature.

Read our full Amazon Echo Show 8 (3rd Gen) review.

Best for Google Home

Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best smart display for those in Google's ecosystem

Specifications

Dimensions: 7 x 4.7 x 2.7 inches
Display size: 7 inches (1024 x 600 pixels)
Speakers: 1.7-inch driver
Camera: N/A
Voice assistant: Google Assistant

Reasons to buy

+
Edgeless glass display
+
Accurate sleep tracking
+
YouTube and Google programs integration

Reasons to avoid

-
Air gestures could work better
-
No camera

The $99 Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is a speaker for music, screen for the best Google Assistant commands, and a seamless Chromecast device. This is incredibly useful for handing off media from your phone or tablet which is a feature Alexa devices lack. And it’s the only smart display that tracks your sleep, too. When positioned on your nightstand, the upgraded Google Nest Hub uses its built-in Soli radar sensing chip to see how you're sleeping at night. It's a little creepy, but the contactless tracking abilities will let you forget it's there.

Soli's superpowers also enable air gestures, letting you pause and play YouTube videos or snooze an alarm using your hand. These gestures don't work all the time, but are useful when they do. As for sound, we’d consider it one of the best Google Home speakers in terms of audio quality, delivering a significant improvement over the first-generation Google Nest Hub. However, it lacks a camera, so it’s not the best smart speaker if you want to make video calls.

Read our full Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) review.

Best smart home controller

Amazon Echo Hub

(Image credit: Future)
Best smart home control panel for Alexa users

Specifications

Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
Display size: 8” touchscreen (1280 x 800)
Smart Home Device Compatibility: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy Mesh, Zigbee, Thread, and Matter
Processor: MediaTek MT 8169 A
Audio: Dual speakers w/ stereo playback

Reasons to buy

+
Clear, customizable interface
+
Great for Ring customers
+
Intuitive controls
+
Built-in smart home hub

Reasons to avoid

-
Mediocre speakers
-
Chunky body

The Echo Hub’s 8-inch display has a sleek smart home dashboard that neatly spaces out all of your devices by type, room placement, and order of importance. Each gadget gets its own widget so you can adjust your smart thermostat on the fly, look at up to 4 security camera feeds simultaneously, or slide down your smart light brightness without hopping through menus. Its interface is highly customizable so you can add widgets or rearrange the layout unlike any other smart display we've tested.

Although its simplified interface is free from the ad bloat that plagues Fire TVs and Echo Shows, the Echo Hub is still an Amazon device. You can use it to play music throughout your whole-home audio setup, watch your favorite TV shows, and pin reminders to its screen such as chores for your family members to get done for the day. It lacks a camera for making video calls however makes for a great intercom to drop in on your other Echo devices.

Read our full Amazon Echo Hub review.

Best for Alexa

Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd gen) review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best smart display for Alexa users who want the best sound and features

Specifications

Dimensions: 9.9 x 9 x 6.7 inches
Display size: 10.1 inches (1280 x 800 pixels)
Speakers: Dual 1-inch tweeters, one 3-inch woofer
Camera: 13MP
Voice assistant: Alexa

Reasons to buy

+
Cool rotating display
+
Excellent audio
+
Built-in smart home hub

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The Echo Show’s 10-inch display is the best smart speaker for taking advantage of the best Alexa skills. This display is the same size and resolution (1280 x 800) as previous models, but the Echo Show 10 has a special trait: the screen rotates so that you’re always the center of its attention. It also has a digital pan-and zoom; this way when you know how to make a video call using the Echo Show, the 13MP camera will keep you in frame as you’re bouncing around the kitchen or managing multiple people in a single household.

Our experience felt more intuitive than we expected. Its camera is not actively following you all the time — just when you use your assistant's wake word. The large display also acts as a hub for your collection of smart home devices, so you can control them easily on a single interface. While you might think the larger Echo Show 15 would be superior, it lets sound quality fall by the wayside and produces a more stretched-out image. This makes the Echo Show 10 the premiere choice for the best media and video call experience on an Alexa smart display.

Read our full Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd gen) review.

Best audio performance

Google Nest Hub Max

(Image credit: Future)
Best smart display for speed and sound quality

Specifications

Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.2 x 4 inches
Display size: 10 inches (1280 x 800 pixels)
Speakers: Dual 18-millimeter 10-Watt tweeters, 75-millimeter 30-Watt woofer
Camera: 6.5MP
Voice assistant: Google Assistant

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive sound quality
+
Clever motion-tracking
+
Great for displaying photo albums

Reasons to avoid

-
No physical camera shutter

The Google Nest Hub Max is not just one of the best smart displays but it’s also a great-sounding smart speaker — it has two 18-millimeter, 10-watt tweeters, and one 75-millimeter, 30-watt woofer that delivers layers of rich sound. When it comes to the display, you can use touch controls or go hands-free with voice commands to follow step-by-step recipes, control your smart home devices, and get a glimpse at how long your commute will be each morning. You can even watch Netflix on the Google Nest Hub Max.

The Nest Hub Max’s 6.5 MP camera makes crisp video calls, with a clever motion-tracking feature that will keep you in the center of the frame as you move about a room. It's a game-changer when you're in the kitchen prepping food, and can't stay still in front of the display. And everything feels a bit more seamless thanks to its more powerful hexacore processor. We wish the camera had a physical privacy switch like the mechanism on the Echo Show displays, though.

Read our full Google Nest Hub Max review.

Best on a budget

Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best value smart display

Specifications

Dimensions: 5.8 x 3.4 x 2.9 inches
Display size: 5.5 inches (960 x 480 pixels)
Speakers: One 1.7-inch 4W
Camera: 2MP
Voice assistant: Alexa

Reasons to buy

+
Cute, compact design
+
Sounds decent for its size
+
Kids Edition has good privacy and warranty options

Reasons to avoid

-
Low-quality camera

The Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) is a compact smart display you can use to make calls and video chat, browse recipes, watch videos, check the feeds from your security camera, dim your lights and more. It costs a fraction of the price yet does virtually everything its big siblings can without lagging behind. The smaller speakers and screen won’t fill up larger spaces but these are a great addition to areas like an office or bedroom.

Due to its small size, it looks and feels a bit more like the Amazon Echo Dot with Clock than a full-sized smart display. It also isn’t much of an upgrade compared to the original. But if you find yourself smitten with the Echo Show 5’s adorably petite design, and like the idea of being able to ring up loved ones before you go to sleep, the smart display is worth considering. Not to mention, the Kids Edition is a strong sell, providing a stationary Amazon Fire tablet alternative that doesn’t need to be recharged all the time. Plus it comes with a warranty should an accident happen. 

Read our full Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) review.

Best wall display

Amazon Echo Show 15 displayed on kitchen counter

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best smart display for your wall

Specifications

Dimensions: 15.8 x 9.9 x 1.4 inches
Display size: 15.6 inches (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Speakers: Dual 1.6-inch
Camera: 5MP
Voice assistant: Alexa

Reasons to buy

+
Large screen
+
Widgets are really helpful
+
Visual ID displays personalized content

Reasons to avoid

-
Should have a better camera
-
Audio a bit weak

The $249 Amazon Echo Show 15 is the best smart display designed to be mounted on your wall. Unlike the other Echo Show devices, this model acts more like a smart home control center than a speaker, prioritizing screen size and interface over audio and video quality.

When placed in a high-traffic area in your home, the Echo Show 15 provides a digital destination for family members to interact, leave notes for each other, and more. Each individual in your household can set up their own profile with a visual ID, so when they walk by, they’ll see customized communication options and information relevant to their day. This smart display also introduces widgets like sticky notes, to-do lists, and dedicated smart home controls, letting you open a feed from your Ring doorbell easily, for example.

It also lacks the more advanced camera tracking found in the Echo Show 10, and its speakers are on the weak side. However, the Echo Show 15 got a big upgrade, and is now a full-fledged Fire TV device, which works great.

Read our full Amazon Echo Show 15 review.

How to choose the best smart display for you

The best smart display for you depends on your needs. Do you want a kitchen assistant that can walk you step-by-step through recipes, or something that replaces your alarm clock? Are you searching for a display to keep your family organized, or do you just want a way to start video calls using your voice?

If you want a “starter” smart display, one of the more affordable options like the Google Nest Hub or Echo Show 8 are best. They’re usually easy to set up, and come with all the skills you need to stay entertained and connected. Mountable smart displays are more permanent, while the Echo Show 10 and Nest Hub Max options are pricey, so you’ll want to know you have a use for smart displays before making a large investment or putting nails in your wall.

How we test the best smart displays

We rate the best smart displays based on ease of setup, performance, voice assistant features, speaker quality and value. When the smart displays have a camera for video calls, we review the camera quality. We see how well each display’s auto-framing abilities work as well.

Keeping our smart home guide in mind, we also consider how the best smart displays fit in with the rest of the smart home devices you might own. Amazon Echo Show smart displays play particularly nice with Ring video doorbells, since Amazon owns Ring. The same can be said for Nest doorbells and Nest Hub displays.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.