The best thing about 2021 was that it showed smart homes as the real deal. It showed automation as one of the criteria for homeowners and builders in choosing or designing their property. Here is how. We have been introduced to new technology practices in the past, which promised a change from the ‘standard’; solutions like “Theranos”, “We work” and “Apple Airpower” come to mind. All of these technologies failed to make the impact that they promised to make. But in the case of smart homes, there are now more successes than flops. Some of the credit should be given to the year 2021, which was a step in the right direction. The year was so impactful that the experts predict a market increase of US$4.61 by 2027, from the US$2.01 prediction of 2021 (just in Australia) because of it. 

With all these promising futures with home automation in mind, we look back at the smart home devices that came out in the year 2021. Based on the innovation, caliber, and popularity, we have separated the cream from the crop, and below are our best smart home devices picks. 

Disclaimer: to have a holistic list, we are limiting ourselves to one device per category.

Best smart home devices of 2021

Best Automation Hub: Hubitat Elevation

Hubitat Elevation can be a bit challenging in setting up and getting used to its controls, unlike the user-friendly Amazon Echo Dot or Smartthings, but it is worth all the difficulty. It more than makes up for the hitch with the data privacy and security it offers as opposed to its competition. It combines local home automation with cloud IoT connectivity to create a reliable and responsive smart home hub. The local processing means the hub works even when the internet is down. It is compatible with a huge number of Z-wave and Zigbee devices and can be controlled through a built in-app. 

Best Smart Speaker: Sonos One

Again Amazon Echo Dot is a good choice here, too, as it is versatile and can be your smart home hub and your smart wireless speaker. But with versatility and the affordable price range, there comes compromise. That is why we pick Sonos one as the best smart speaker, as it does not do many things, but it is the best at what it does. It is really a high-quality smart speaker that you will just fall in love with for its audio quality. Whether it is streaming music, radio or audiobook, Sonos one does it the best. These voice-controlled speakers (also through a dedicated app) can create a multi-room experience by connecting with other Sonos speaker units.

Best Smart Thermostat: Google Nest Learning Thermostat

In contrast to the other smart thermostat in the market, Google Nest Thermostat does not demand you to program it every time. Using its auto-scheduling feature, it programs itself (that was so cool about it) from your setting habits and the indoor temperature. Its home/away assist feature does not heat or cool an empty room and adjusts the temperature after you leave. 

Nest Thermostat is high on energy savings, and you can check the saved energy using the Nest app.

Best Smart Vacuum: iRobot Roomba j7+

iRobot Roomba j7+ is an improvement of an already perfect smart vacuum device from iRobot. This powerful three-stage cleaning system is enough to call all your floors, walls, and even edges. Its rubber brushes flex to adapt to different floor types and avoid any hair/other dirt entanglements. The imprint mapping system that the j7+ comes with allows you to control and schedule which room you want to clean and at what timing. You also no need to pick up your thing on the floor before cleaning; Roomba’s sensor will automatically navigate around the shoes, cord etc. 

Best Smart Security Camera: Arlo Pro 4

Talk about must-have smart home devices; a security camera is easily in the conversation. And no Smart security camera in the market is any better than the Arlo Pro 4. The 2k HDR security camera series promises and delivers supreme video quality. These cameras do not need a smart hub to connect; just the wifi connection is enough. Arlo Pro 4 sends you notifications and alert on people, cars, and things in its proximity so you can take quick action. It captures a detailed image from corner to the corner from its position. 

Best Smart Plug: Wyze Plug Outdoor

Wyze plug outdoor, aside from its superior quality, has one of the other popular smart plugs, i.e. its hardware capability operates at the same quality as it does indoors. This voice (also app) controlled smart plugs are packed with weatherproof material that will enable you to operate them seamlessly even at harsh temperatures. Wyze plug outdoors can extend your wifi range and do it while saving significant energy. It has two independent control outlets that can be switched on or off without affecting the other. 

Best Smart DoorBell: Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

Ring went all-in with its 2021’s Video Doorbell Pro 2, whether it is the impressive ergonomics, the unblemished head-to-toe HD quality or its built quality. Another impressive feature of the Doorbell Pro 2 is its 3D motion detection that sends real-time alerts for any suspicion in your front yard. Also, it has an Alexa greeting feature that is built-in which will greet the guest on your behalf. Other features include two-way audio for talking, video recording option etc. 

Best Smart Light: Wyze Bulb

Even though Hue from Philips is a more popular choice for smart lights, we are going with Wyze Bulb. Here is why: It can be connected to the 2.4GHz wifi without connecting it to the Smarthub. 

The Wyze bulb can be switched on and off with motion. This can be achieved by pairing it with “Wyze Sense”. You can group it with multiple bulbs units and group it to be controlled simultaneously. These bulbs will work on schedule and are controlled by a dedicated Wyze app.


As we said, it was a good year for smart homes with solid outings of smart devices in each category. If you are looking for the best devices to go with so you can enter 2022 with a bang, look no more. Furthermore, continue reading our blogs, especially the next one, to know what 2022 is in store for the Smart Home market.

If you have any more questions or are still a bit confused, “The Smart Hive” has been helping homeowners and builders ensure convenience and efficiency for their smart home with the right daily smart products. 

Equip and build your homes with these security features and witness a shorter sales cycle, more buyers, increased property value, and greater customer satisfaction. 

To know more about security devices for your homes, do read our blogs. For any questions, enquiries, feel free to contact us. We are just a call away!