Three huge companies want your attention during Prime Day 2019. Amazon, Walmart, and Google Nest played a hard game so far with pre-Prime Day announcements (from Walmart and Google working together to take on Amazon). We also saw enticing early smart home device deals (again from Walmart and Google, but also from Amazon). Now the pre-game show and the opportunity for posturing are over. It’s time for Amazon and Walmart and Google Nest to roll out their best deals.
Walmart and Google Nest are working together because Amazon is each company’s largest and most threatening competitor: Walmart for retail sales and Google Nest for smart home platform dominance. The result of the hot and heavy competition is the magnificent compilation of deals you see today, especially the aggressive pricing for smart home devices. Whether you favor the Amazon Echo/Alexa smart home platform or the Google Nest/Google Assistant ecosystem, be thankful for the competition because it means better deals. The gigantic companies use low prices to entice new users and sell more devices to existing smart home network customers. You can save much more with the ongoing competition than you would if either smart home platform was the sole viable solution with no compelling reason to cut prices. (Apple is a case in point.)
Best Amazon Device deals for Prime Day
Amazon gave everyone a peek at some early examples of Prime Day pricing on Friday, but now all the deals are online. We can see Amazon’s deals on Echo smart speakers and smart displays. Now we know the savings available on Ring’s video doorbells, alarm systems, security cameras, and smart lights. Blink’s indoor and outdoor security cameras are on sale as are Amazon’s Cloud Cam. Fire TV tablets with hands-free Alexa, the Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Recast over-the-air digital video recorder, Fire TV streaming video remote controls, and Fire TV-enabled smart televisions all have compelling prices for Prime Day. Be sure to check out the deals on Amazon’s Eero brand Wi-Fi systems and router because smart homes with multiple devices in every room need lots of bandwidth, and Amazon wants you to keep buying.
Amazon’s company-owned brands cover most smart home device categories, but now we can see what the third-party companies are also offering. We’re impressed by the deals on Arlo’s security camera systems, Ecobee’s smart thermostats, smart robotic vacuums from iRobot and Ecovacs that work with Alexa and so much more.
Best Smart Home deals for Prime Day
Google Nest Home played most of its cards early when it released smart home device deals on June 29. When Walmart announced Google Week would last through July 17, a full day longer than Prime Day’s 48 hours, the move underscored the possibility that Walmart and Google Nest started early and will go on longer because there just aren’t as many devices that work with Google Assistant. So we already knew about the deals on Google Nest-branded devices including the Google Home Mini, Google Home, Google Nest Hub, and the Home Max. We also got to see the deal prices for the Google Nest Hello Video Doorbell, Google Nest thermostats, indoor and outdoor security cameras, and the Google Nest Secure Alarm System.
But as with the Amazon Alexa smart home platform, most of the Prime Day deals for devices that work with Google Assistant are from third-party smart home device companies. Look for the robot vacuums that are compatible with Google Assistant, as well as smart door locks from August, Lenovo’s smart displays and clocks, JBL speakers, Momentum security cameras, Remo video doorbells, and much more.
How to choose between Alexa and Google Assistant
If you want to set up a smart home but haven’t begun yet, your first decision is whether you will build the smart network around Amazon Alexa- or Google Assistant-compatible devices. There are other smart home platforms, but between them, Alexa and Google Assistant make up the overwhelming majority of the installations in the U.S.
Alexa is the leader by a wide margin, but Google Assistant is gaining fast. Both platforms are in major growth mode, which helps keep prices low. Once you decide on the platform, the next decision is whether you start with an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot for Alexa systems or the Google Home Mini or Google Nest Hub for that platform.
Smart home technology is still in its infancy, and if you choose one platform today and later decide to switch, it may not be that big a deal. Most of the larger smart home device brands are compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant, so if you do switch camps down the road, you won’t have to replace all your devices. We recommend that, when the choice is available, you select smart home devices that support both platforms.
One strategy for choosing your smart home platform is to consider what your family and friends use. If you select the same smart home ecosystem as most of your circle, you’ll find it easier to get help and suggestions and to share the learning and the fun.
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