The 10 best new smart home gadgets we saw at CES 2020

The 10 best new smart home gadgets we saw at CES 2020
Best smart home of CES 2020 4x3
  • At CES 2020, major tech brands unveiled hundreds of smart home gadgets slated for release in 2020.
  • Insider Picks journeyed around the show floor, trying all the newest devices, including smart locks, smart plugs, smart lights, video doorbells, and more.
  • Learn more about all the coolest products we saw at CES 2020 here, from the best smart home tech to the best small accessories.

This week, thousands of tech companies descended upon Las Vegas for CES 2020.


The Insider Picks staff searched the show floor far and wide for the most exciting smart gadgets, from tech giants like Samsung and LG, up-and-coming startups, and every company in between.

We got our hands on dozens of products, including smart speakers, smart locks, smart bulbs, smart plugs, and even a smart toothbrush. Whether you're a smart home enthusiast or just starting out in the space, you're bound to find a product or two that you like.

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Without further ado, here are the 10 best smart home devices of CES 2020. We'll update this article when these products become available for purchase.

The best home and kitchen tech at CES 2020:

  • Best smart plug: WeMo Wi-Fi Smart Plug
  • Best smart lights: Philips Hue Outdoor Collection
  • Best smart lock: Benjilock by Hampton Livia and Luca
  • Best video doorbell: Lockly Vision
  • Best smart security camera: Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera
  • Best smart dimmer switch: Brilliant Smart Dimmer Switch
  • Best smart home security system: Blue by ADT
  • Best smart wall panels: Nanoleaf Unified Light Panels
  • Best smart bathroom device: Kohler Moxie
  • Best smart toothbrush: Oral-B iO and Oral-B Guide

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at



Best smart plug

Best smart plug
Wemo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug ($24.99 — available in Spring 2020)

Many reviewers have long considered the $20 Wemo Mini, released in 2017, to be the best smart plug you can buy.

It works with HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant, it takes less than two minutes to set up, it has a decent number of advanced features, it connects directly to Wi-Fi, and it's one of the cheapest smart devices out there. But one aspect of the Wemo always rubbed me the wrong way: At 3.8 x 2.4 x 1.4 inches, it was just a bit big. I could fit two in one outlet, but it was a tight squeeze, and some power strips were a challenge.

Wemo evidently heard my prayers, because the new Wemo Mini Wi-Fi is the smallest smart plug I've ever seen. Power strip, coffee shop, bathroom tiny outlet buried behind your desk — this thing will fit anywhere. If Wemo kept all the best features of the Mini (and the company assured me it did) then this will be the top plug to buy in 2020.

Best smart lights

Best smart lights
Philips Hue Appear ($139.99 — available March 2020) Philips Hue Lily XL ($149.99 — available March 2020) Philips Hue Econic ($149.99, extension $129.99 — available March 2020

While a number of smart-lighting brands make excellent bulbs, Philips Hue has no competition when it comes to outdoor setups. The company makes bollards, floodlights, wall lights, strips, and dozens of other automated, colorful products for the backyard.

Philips Hue launched three new products at CES: a wall-mounted cylindrical fixture called Appear, a low-voltage spotlight called the Lily XL, and a low-voltage pedestal light (pictured) as part of the Philips Hue Econic line. They can bathe your yard in 16 million colors and 50,000 white shades. They look stunning, and can create a number of fun color effects that are available in the Philips Hue app.

As a bonus, you don't have to worry about extending your Wi-Fi outdoors, as you might with other outdoor smart devices. That's because rather than accessing Wi-Fi directly, Philips Hue's bulbs use ZigBee, a low-power technology, to connect to a smart-home hub (such as the Amazon Echo Plus, or Phillips Hue's own Hue Bridge) which passes their signal to your router. ZigBee allows Philips Hue bulbs to act as a mesh network; each one is essentially a range extender for the bulbs around it.


Best smart lock

Best smart lock
BenjiLock by Hampton Livia Deadbolt ($229 — available March 2020)

A number of smart locks debuted at CES 2020, but Benjilock's new Livia Deadbolt stood out for its attractive design, advanced features, and ease of use.

You can open the lock with a fingerprint sensor, a keypad, Hampton's Array by Hampton app, geofencing (enabling the door to lock or unlock based on your location) Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit. The app is particularly handy, as it allows you to control other Hampton locks and smart devices (the company makes security cameras, plugs, bulbs, and more) in one place. Livia can store up to 10 fingerprints and 25 PIN codes (you can limit access and assign temporary keys) and scrambles the keypad each time you use it.

Another standout feature is that the lock can access all of its advanced automation features by connecting directly with your router — many similarly priced smart locks require you to set up a separate Wi-Fi bridge, which can be time-consuming and complicated. But if you'd prefer to keep the Livia off the internet, Hampton also sells a Bluetooth-only version, which is ideal for cabins or other areas with limited Wi-Fi.

Best video doorbell

Best video doorbell
Lockly Vision ($399— available Q1 2020)

Smart locks and video doorbells really go hand in hand — why not put them together? The Lockly Vision is a smart lock and video doorbell in one, and I think it's a brilliant combination.

The Vision streams HD video to any Android or iOS device, and can record locally or in the cloud. It also provides two-way audio for conversing with your guests, and it works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit. Like the Benjilock, it connects directly to Wi-Fi; no bridge or hub required.

Doorbell aside, however, the Vision is the most ambitious smart lock I've ever seen. It can be opened with: voice commands, the Lockly app, a physical key, a keypad (randomized each use) and a fingerprint reader that can store a whopping 99 fingerprints. You can grant one-time or scheduled access using customizable passcodes or digital "e-keys."

But the standout feature is the offline access code: Customers with shaky bandwidth, or who worried about hackers, can generate and assign PINs without an internet connection. So even during a power outage, you can keep using the Vision as normal.


Best smart security camera

Best smart security camera
Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera ($249.99 — available in Spring 2020)

Arlo is the gold standard for security cameras — from the Arlo Pro 3 to the Arlo Ultra to the Arlo Baby, its devices are the best of the best in their respective categories. So I have no doubt that its newest product, the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera, will be an excellent device.

The Pro 3 is the first ever wireless floodlight camera. That's right: You can just stick it on your garage, no wiring required.

It's also insanely bright, reaching 2,000 lumens on battery power and 3,000 lumens while wired. I saw it light up wirelessly, and can assure you that 2,000 lumens is plenty bright.

You'll also get two-way audio, 2K video with HDR, color night vision, a 160-degree field of view, a built-in siren, customizable motion zones, and a number of other advanced features available in the app.

Best smart dimmer switch

Best smart dimmer switch
Brilliant Smart Dimmer Switch ($69.99 — available in Q1 2020)

If you've heard of Brilliant, it's almost certainly for its smart panels, which provide an easy way to control devices from hundreds brands on one wall-mounted screen. But at CES this year, the company debuted one of its first non-panel products: a smart dimmer switch.

The switch can control any lights that are compatible with the Brilliant ecosystem, which includes devices from Philips Hue, Kasa, Lifx, Wemo, Lutron, and Leviton. (There are other good smart-bulb manufacturers, but that's most of them). You can incorporate dimming into scenes, schedules, and other automations through Brilliant, as well as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.

But what I like most about this switch is that it's easy to use. There's no array of buttons and nothing to fiddle with; slide your finger up and down the groove to adjust brightness, and tap anywhere to turn the lights on and off.

As a bonus, there's a motion sensor built in, which can trigger scenes when you enter or leave a room.


Best smart home security system

Best smart home security system
Blue by ADT Indoor Camera ($199 — available in Spring 2020) Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera ($199 — available in Spring 2020) Blue by ADT Doorbell Camera ($199 — available in Spring 2020)

ADT is one of the best-known security brands, but hasn't been a big player in the DIY space — until now.

ADT Blue is a lineup of small smart-home devices compatible with ADT's LifeShield systems. ADT plans to make a number of different security devices, which customers can mix and match based on their needs.

ADT unveiled its first three Blue devices at CES: an indoor camera, an outdoor camera, and a video doorbell, all for $199. That's certainly pricey, but these are advanced cameras, and they'll also function as security hubs for the rest of the Blue by ADT system once it's launched. All three include facial recognition (with the ability to distinguish familiar faces), Alexa integration (with Google and HomeKit to follow), two-way audio with noise cancellation, custom motion zones and the option to add up to 128GB extra storage with an SD card.

In other words, this looks like a top-notch DIY system, and it's backed by a security company that knows exactly what it's doing.

Best smart bathroom device

Best smart bathroom device
Kohler Moxie ($229 — available in 2020)

This is one of the only smart-home products I saw at CES 2020 that I'm actually pretty sure I'm going to buy.

Moxie is a smart shower head with a smart Alexa speaker built in. The speaker was made by audio giant Harman Kardon, and it sounds unbelievable. When standing in the middle of a booth that was equipped with several heads, I felt like the sound was all around me; I had to ask a representative which speaker was playing the music. (You can also buy the smart speaker by itself for $159, but where's the fun in that?).

Audio aside, the shower strikes me as the perfect place for Alexa to be. I don't want to touch my phone with wet or soapy hands, but the task of showering is so monotonous that it's the perfect time to catch up on emails or check out the weather forecast. And considering that Kohler's Connect smart shower module costs $600, $229 seems like a steal by comparison.


Best smart wall panels

Best smart wall panels
Nanoleaf Unified Light Panels ($119.99 — available in summer 2020)

I thought nothing could top last year's Nanoleaf Canvas, a colorful set of square LED wall panels you can arrange however you want. But Nanoleaf's newest set, the Unified Light Panels, may very well have done it.

With these touch-reactive hexagonal panels, you can create even more configurations to suit your space and decor. A starter pack has nine pieces, and a $59 expansion pack has three.

The software and features are identical to those of last year's Canvas. You can create stunning color schemes and scenes (or choose from those other users have created in the Nanoleaf app), or you can set the panels to respond in color and effects to your music, movies, or whatever sound is around them. I cannot stress enough how cool this looks. There are also a couple games, if you're into that.

But Unified Panels have received some much-needed upgrades from the Canvas. Mainly, the adhesive is now reusable, so you can move the panels around without ripping paint off your wall. The connectors are sturdier and larger (the Canvas's connectors were flimsy plastic, and I lost approximately all of them). And best of all, the touch controls are no longer built into just one square. Instead, they're built into a plastic attachment which you can place on a panel of your choice. This should give you more design freedom, and save you from having to remember which panel is which.

In essence, Nanoleaf has fixed almost everything that was wrong with the Canvas, and the Unified Panels look gorgeous. Just look up some pictures and videos; you really need to see it to believe it.

Best smart toothbrush

Best smart toothbrush
Oral-B iO (Price TBA — available in August 2020) Oral-B Guide (Price TBA — available in Spring 2020)

Folks can take their own views on the necessity of a connected toothbrush. You certainly don't need one in your bathroom, and some customers are understandably concerned about relaying their health data to large companies.

That said, I know I don't need this toothbrush, but goddamn do I want this toothbrush. I tried it out, and it was the the most comfortable brushing experience I've ever had. While I find most electric toothbrushes to be obnoxiously loud, this one barely hums in your mouth. It felt like a massage on my teeth, and I didn't want to turn it off.

In the Oral-B app, you can access a number of features, such as an animation that illustrates where you're brushing in real time, and a scorecard that lets you know how you're doing. Again, I suspect most folks will find these features superfluous, but I think they're a lot of fun. I actually looked forward to my brushing sessions because they felt like beating a game. That might just be the millennial in me.

If you're buying this toothbrush, you might also consider buying the Oral-B Guide, a compatible toothbrush charger that doubles as an Alexa-powered smart speaker. It displays a four-segment toothbrush timer via an LED ring around the side to let you know when to switch sections. It's also water resistant, and has a particularly grippy base designed to stick on your sink.

You may laugh, but I think this product is awesome. I want both a toothbrush charger and an Alexa speaker in my bathroom, and outlets are a limited resource. I say the more we can combine, the better.