Smart Home

Know Who’s Knocking with the August View Video Doorbell

I’ve had a video doorbell for over three years. It’s great, but after three years it is on the way out. Thankfully, the August View Doorbell Cam arrived for review. And while I can’t install it quite yet (we are in the process of replacing our fence and will use it there), I set it up to test and am impressed.



Roborock’s New H6 Robot Vacuum Is a Do-All Combo with HEPA Built-in

Roborock is one of the best robot vacuums that you’ll find on the market, with many of their vacuums currently in thousands of homes sucking up dirt and debris in corners, carpets and crevices alike. But the H6 takes what you know and love about the brand and does even better. Just launched at CES is the H6 — a new, more powerful handheld vacuum that what you’re used to. A first for the company, the H6 also boasts the first LiPo battery to ever be used in a cordless stick vacuum. There’s also a 90-minute runtime in Eco mode,…



Light up Your Closet with Luminook

The light in my laundry room doesn’t work properly. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it flashes so rapidly I’ve had friends joke it’s like a strobe light. One thing I learned from this is that there’s no really great solution for lighting in odd spaces, which is why Luminook has me so excited! See, Luminook is exactly what I’m looking for to deal with my laundry room that thinks it doubles as a bad club. It’s a powerful strip of LEDs that can be placed around a doorway in a closet or other poorly lit space that aim outwards to…





Make Your Home Smarter Than You with Brilliant’s Smart Home System

The promise of the smart home is always offset by the reality of setup. It’s one thing if you can design how you want it from scratch, but if you rent or are trying to smarten up an existing home, it’s a headache. Brilliant is aiming to make life significantly smoother with its new Smart Dimmer Switch and Smart Plug.



Nest Hub Max Is the Smart Assistant to Beat

As I’ve written in recent months, I’m deeply entrenched in Amazon’s Alexa voice services but I’m slowly being won over by Google’s offerings. I reviewed a JBL smart speaker last year (read my review) and Google’s Nest Mini last month (read my review). I’ve had a chance to play with the Google Nest Hub Max, and I have to admit that I’m impressed.


Google Nest Mini Is Small but Mighty Connectivity for Your Home

I’ve been all-in with Amazon’s Alexa smart devices since they first came on the scene. In recent months, however, devices leveraging Google’s smart assistant have been winning me over. The new Google Nest Mini is, in part, responsible for that. It is under $50, sounds surprisingly good, and it lets you control your home and more using only your voice.


Eufy’s RoboVac L70 Hybrid Is the Robotic Combo Vacuum & Mop to Beat

Eufy is a brand from Anker that I’ve trusted for a while now. They are known for their high-quality products at reasonable prices while listening to customer feedback to constantly improve. The latest innovation is the RoboVac L70 Hybrid; a robotic vacuum that mops as well as vacuums and uses laser navigation. The RoboVac L70 Hybrid retails for $549.99.



Brilliant Is my Favorite Smart Home Control

I’ve found my favorite smart home controller and its name is Brilliant. With a name like that, it could be difficult to live up to the hype, but the features and performance do just that. With a vivid touch screen display, Amazon Alexa built-in, and lots of smart home device integrations, it’s difficult to beat the Brilliant home control.




Gear Diary’s Best of IFA 2019 Awards

  Berlin’s annual IFA show is the largest consumer electronics event in Europe with “more digital lifestyle products in one place than any other show worldwide.” After walking the show floor, sitting in on private pre-briefings, standing inside packed press conferences, and attending media-only showcase events, these are the items we’ve chosen for Gear Diary’s Best of IFA 2019 Awards.




Harmony Express Is the Simplest but Most Powerful Harmony Remote Yet

My living room home theater has gotten a bit too complex. There are remotes for the cable box, for the TV, for the Apple TV, and the Amazon Fire TV Cube. I’ve tried universal remotes but came back to using the individual devices. With the new Harmony Express, I’ve finally found a universal remote that works for me.