Cordless phones were once a thing of the future, looking back it’s silly to think that we would stop at that, especially since we’re constantly surrounded by the pinnacle of technology and ease; with new devices we didn’t even think would need upgrading. From hair straighteners to thermostats your day can get easier in ways you didn’t know you needed. Let 2023 be the year you take a step back and let today’s technology do the work.
Well, not all the work, we at CGM ran through the best smart devices of 2023 so you don’t have to, from brands like Dyson, Ecobee, Google, Fitbit and iRobot bringing you the most effective and efficient gadgets to put on your shopping list this year. Our top picks and winner are guaranteed to make your life just that much easier!
Here are the nominees for Best Smart Device 2023:
Dyson Corrale Hair Straightener
Writer: Dayna Eileen
How well does the Dyson Corrale style? It really depends on what you’re doing. I have naturally wavy hair, so I regularly need to go to either extreme, large ringlet curls or stick straight style. I found the Corrale to flatten my hair better than any other straightener out there. However, I usually make my flat iron do double duty and work as a curling iron as well. The Dyson Corrale CAN do it, but it is much, much easier with a Chi. I found myself fighting with the curls much more often than in the past.
A straightener that is completely wireless? this is a game changer. What I like most is that the magnetic charging cable can connect to the dock to charge your device, or you can connect it directly to the Corrale, and use it wired if need be. I opted for this when travelling to New York and LA for work, when the dock took up too much space in my luggage. Since my hair is medium length and fine, the battery life was sufficient for me. I will point out that it looks to only last about 30 minutes though, so if you have a lot of hair, the wireless route may not be for you.
Premium hair care comes at a premium price with the Dyson Corrale straightener. If the price is comfortably within your means, it’s by far the best choice.
Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro Review
Writer: Brendan Frye
Similar to eero before them, Google has opted for a more pleasant look for the Nest Wi-Fi Pro. While most routers you buy look like spaceships, the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro feels like a random piece of art. The router is made to be unobtrusive while still looking good when sitting out on a shelf. Routers can only be so powerful when hidden in a closet, so the clean look lets you feel good about putting it on a shelf and doing its job. You even get your choice of four colours: Fog (pastel blue), Linen (beige), Lemongrass (pastel yellow), or Snow (white).
The setup process for the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro is one of the easiest I have seen in a mesh router to date. The Google Home app walks you through each step, including downloading and installing the latest update. The full process, from unboxing to having each new Nest Wi-Fi Pro ready and working, took under 15 minutes. That includes finding places and getting everything looking right, so I have to tip my hat to Google. Few routers even come close to how easy everything was.
The Nest Wi-Fi Pro from Google is a fantastic Mesh router system that brings speed, simplicity and convenience to the networking world, all while looking like a marshmallow.
Fitbit Inspire 3 Smartwatch
Writer: Dayna Eileen
The Fitbit Inspire 3 smartwatch comes in three colours: Midnight Zen, Lilac (mine) or Morning Glow. I think the colours leave something to be desired outside the standard black, but luckily there are some other options online, like the Stainless Steel Mesh or Translucent Bands. You can even purchase a clip and hook the Fitbit Inspire 3 smartwatch on your belt or tucked away. Even with those options, there aren’t many neutral choices, something I hope they remedy in the future.
Though you won’t be using your Inspire 3 as a GPS like you can with other devices, it still brings plenty to the table to be helpful in everyday life and on your journey to fitness. I use it mainly to track my steps and sleep and to check messages and emails. On top of that, you can track mindfulness (I use this for breathing exercises), your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, temperature, set alarms and timers and track or guide your workouts by setting goals like time or distance.
The Fitbit Inspire 3 smartwatch is a flawless entry-level option for people new to smart devices or those who want simplicity without losing all the features they love—all for a great price.
iRobot Roomba Combo J7+
Writer: Joe Findlay
The Roomba Combo J7+ is the first truly hands-free vacuum and mop due to its ability to detect the surface of each room and transform between being a vacuum and a mop all by itself without missing any spots or accidentally dragging the mop on your carpets or rugs. It really puts the smart into your smart home.
Zones include clean zones that will allow you to send a command, even via Alexa or Google Assistant, for the Roomba to clean (e.g. vacuum under the dining room table or mop the front entrance). It also allows for Keep out and No Mopping zones to be created where those things are either not desired or cause issues for the robot. The app will even suggest areas to create for you. I received two suggestions from the app. One to create a space around where the Roomba Combo J7+ detected my pet food dishes and a keep out zone under my daughter’s bed where it had regularly gotten stuck.
The iRobot Roomba Combo J7+ has been a welcome member of my household. Its ease of use, clear communication via the application and sheer quality of the job it does makes it an excellent buy for anyone.
WINNER: Best Smart Device ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium
Writer: Brendan Frye
Ecobee has built a name for itself as one of the best smart thermostats on the market, for good reason. While there are plenty of smart options out there, few go above and beyond to deliver an eco-friendly option for those looking to save money and help the planet as they do so. Ecobee products have been in many guides from CGMagazine, so when we heard they had a new smart offering, we were excited to see how it compares.
Looking at the list of features, ecobee has taken the time to refine the formula with the ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium. Delivering all the features you have come to expect from the brand, it also boasts an improved display, radar, an indoor air quality monitor and an embedded smart speaker with a choice of Siri 1 or Alexa built in. They have thrown everything a homeowner would need to bring a new level of efficiency to their heating and cooling and have done so with style.
Ecobee has improved on their already great range of products by using smart design and feature ideas that lead to the ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium being one of the best additions you can make to any smart home.