Facebook portal smart displays

7 best Smart Displays 2020 (Review)

The “Smart Display” technology is not yet common to everyone; some people are yet to understand what it actually means. Well, this is a new technology trend to enhance work-flow in homes having other smart gadgets or devices. Unlike smart TVs, smart displays are quite portable with limited functionability; so, smart displays won’t take over smart TVs in our homes.

Smart display is a new technology found mostly on the latest premium, wireless speakers from top tech companies. Speakers are now packed with 7, 8, or 10 inches touchscreen display and you can stream online videos from supported platforms or run other tasks with the help of virtual assistants (Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant). The technology combines the functions of a typical smart speaker and a wide touchscreen for watching videos, viewing images/pictures, or virtually seeing what you asked your virtual assistant to do.

At the moment, only Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are compatible with Smart Display. Other virtual assistants such as Siri and Bixby are yet to be found on Smart Display devices.

Interestingly, due to the portability of Smart Displays, they can be used virtually anywhere; in the bedroom, kitchen, office, everywhere.

This article will focus on the best Smart Displays so far. However, Smart Displays are not yet rampant; you could only count about 7 smart display devices and they come from Google, Facebook, Amazon, JBL, and Lenovo.

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The Best Smart Display Reviews

Here is the review(s) of all of the Smart Display devices you could ever get at this time (2019).

Device Screen size Virtual Assistant Camera Weight Price
 Lenovo Smart Display 8 or 10 inches Google Assistant 5 MP 2.2lbs or 2.6 lbs Check Price
 Amazon Echo Spot 2.5 inches Amazon Alexa VGA 0.925 lbs Check Price
 JBL – Link View 8 inches Google Assistant 5 MP 2.87 lbs Check Price
 Facebook Portal 10.1 inches Amazon Alexa 12 MP 2.68 lbs Check Price
 Facebook Portal Plus 15.6 inches Amazon Alexa 12 MP 6.85 lbs Check Price
 Google Home Hub 7 inches Google Assistant Absent 1.06 lbs Check Price
Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen) 10.1 inches Amazon Alexa 5 MP 3.9 lbs Check Price

1. Lenovo Smart Display Review

Lenovo Smart display review

While people were expecting Google or Amazon to take the lead in Smart Display technology because of their individual virtual assistants, Lenovo took over. The Lenovo smart display is of two variants; one features an 8-inch screen display while the other flaunts a big 10 inches screen display size.

This smart display packs a lot of cutting-edge technologies that are yet to be explored by other manufacturers of smart display gadgets. Both variants of Lenovo’s smart display device are compatible with Google’s assistant. Hence, you can engage with a lot of activities “hands-free”. Simply say “Hey Google” to awaken the virtual assistant, then, send your commands. You could stream videos from YouTube or media from Spotify. 8 or 10 inches screen on Lenovo smart displays provide stunning clear visual outputs with hi-resolution quality.

Also, it supports Chromecast and connects to your home wifi so you could virtually control every smart device connected on the same wifi network including the kitchen lights.

Lenovo promises that its smart displays are compatible with over 1000 smart devices/gadgets from various smart home OEMs. Inclusively, there is a 5MP sharp front-facing camera on this smart device that you could use for video calls. When not in use, you can physically cover this camera or use the “disable camera” feature to stop the camera from functioning; this could be helpful for privacy reasons when using the smart display in the bedroom.

Specifications of Lenovo Smart Display

Product Lenovo Smart Display
Weight 2.2 lbs (8 inches), 2.6 (10 inches)
Dimensions 5.6 x 10.4 x 5.36 (H x W x D)

6.85 x 12.3 x 5.36 (H x W x D)

Screen size and display 8 or 10 inches – LCD display
Chromecast support Yes
Audio quality Perfect
Video quality 1280 x 800p resolution or 1920 x 1080p resolution
Supported streaming sites Spotify, YouTube
Voice assistant Google Assistant
OS compatibility Android and Apple iOS
Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 624, Octa-Core
Ability to make calls Yes (video calls)
Connectivity WiFi and Bluetooth
Headphone jack N/A
Camera 5 megapixels
Wake up command Hey Google
Power source Plug-in
Price See on BestBuy

2. Amazon Echo Spot Smart Display

Amazon Echo Spot smart display devices

Here’s the lightest smart display device you could ever get; it allow you to virtually manage your smart home with voice commands. This smart display is compatible with any smart home gadget/device which has support for Amazon Alexa virtual assistant. Unlike the others, it flaunts an oval shape design.

This is simply a premium wireless speaker with a stylish design featuring a 2.5″ screen so you can watch your videos or stream from supported sites. Also, the VGA camera can serve for video calls. You’ll virtually see all the commands you send through Alexa on the screen of this smart display device. On this list, this is the only smart display with such a menial screen. However, it is one of the best smart displays you could get, thanks to the wallet-friendly price.

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Specifications of Echo Spot Smart Display

Product Echo Spot
Weight 0.925 LBS
Dimensions 4.1 x 3.8 x 3.6 inches
Screen size and display 2.5 inches – LCD display
Chromecast support Yes
Audio quality Perfect
Video quality 480 x 480p resolution
Supported streaming sites Spotify, YouTube
Compatible smart devices Amazon Alexa, Arlo, Hue, Nest, SmartThings, Wink, etc
Voice assistant Amazon Alexa
OS compatibility Fire OS, Android, and Apple iOS
Chipset
Ability to make calls
Connectivity WiFi and Bluetooth
Headphone jack N/A
Camera VGS
Wake up command Alexa
Power source Plug-in
Price Buy on Amazon

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3. JBL – Link View Smart Display Review

JBL Smart Display review

JBL is popular for making high-quality speakers which playback our sounds/music and various other audio files seamlessly. this smart display from the tech giant packs great speakers as expected. It features an 8 inches screen where you can stream videos or chat with the compatible Google assistant to carry out certain actions hands-free.

This smart display device with the integration of Google’s virtual assistant allows the user to access and schedule tasks, read up news, play/pause/stop music, or even stream online videos hands-free. It is completely portable and not really heavy to carry about the house. The JBL Link View Smart Display is suitable for bedrooms and kitchens, plus, it works with over 500 smart home devices/gadgets.

Specifications of JBL Link View Smart Display

Product JBL Link View Smart Display
Weight 4.19 lbs
Dimensions 16.5 x 9.2 x 5.1 inches
Screen size and display 8 inches – LCD display
Chromecast support Yes
Audio quality Super good
Video quality N/A
Supported streaming sites Chromecast support
Voice assistant Google Assistant
OS compatibility Android and Apple iOS
Chipset
Ability to make calls Yes (video calls)
Connectivity WiFi and Bluetooth
Headphone jack N/A
Camera 5 megapixels
Wake up command Hey Google
Power source Plug-in
Price See on Amazon

4. Facebook Portal Smart Display Device

Facebook portal smart displays

The tech giant Facebook also has its own smart display device named the Facebook Portal and it is compatible with Amazon Alexa voice assistant. Just as every other smart device would do, this unit allows you to run quite a lot of operations hands-free. The most captivating feature of this smart display is the 12MP front-facing camera which you could engage for video calls.

For sake of privacy, all calls done on this device is encrypted; only the caller and the person receiving the call knows what they’re both discussing. Also, the camera on the Facebook portal smart display device doesn’t make use face detection technology; hence, it cannot recognize who you are.

Connect with everyone even if they don’t have Portal; this works with Facebook messenger so that you can video call friends who don’t have Portal. Interestingly, these calls can be made seamlessly to and from smartphones or tablets.

Amazon Alexa is the voice assistant integrated on Facebook’s smart display device; therefore, it works with all other smart home devices/gadgets with support for Alexa voice control.

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Specifications of Facebook Portal smart display device

Product Facebook Portal
Weight 2.68 lbs
Dimensions 8.20 x 9.84 x 3.68 (H x W x D)
Screen size and display 10.1 inches
Chromecast support
Audio quality Perfect
Video quality 720p HD Video (1200 x 800)
Supported streaming sites YouTube
Voice assistant Amazon Alexa
OS compatibility Android and Apple iOS
Chipset n/a
Ability to make calls Yes (video calls)
Connectivity WiFi and Bluetooth
Headphone jack N/A
Camera 12 megapixels
Wake up command Hey Portal
Power source Plug-in
Price See on Amazon

5. Facebook Portal Plus Smart Display Review

Facebook Portal plus

Like you will guess, this is the second variant of the one above. It comes with the biggest screen in the world of smart display devices, featuring a 15.6 inches wide touchscreen. This version of the Facebook portal features more advanced features as you would expect and costs very high; in fact, it is the most expensive seconded by the JBL Link View.

With this smart display which has Alexa integration, you could add items to your Amazon shopping cart and control your smart home; simply ask starting with “Hey portal”. Also, this variant comes with higher video resolution 1080p HD Video (1920 x 1080) and 20w audio output quality.

Specifications of Facebook Portal Plus smart display device

Product Facebook Portal Plus
Weight 6.85 lbs
Dimensions 17.72 x 5.54 x 8.81 (H x W x D)
Screen size and display 15.6 inches
Chromecast support
Audio quality Perfect
Video quality 1080p HD Video (1920 x 1080)
Supported streaming sites YouTube
Voice assistant Amazon Alexa
OS compatibility Android and Apple iOS
Chipset n/a
Ability to make calls Yes (video calls)
Connectivity WiFi and Bluetooth
Headphone jack N/A
Camera 12 megapixels
Wake up command Hey Portal
Power source Plug-in
Price See on Amazon

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6. Google Home Hub Smart Display Review

Google Home Hub

Unfortunately, the Google smart display device is not among those top best units in the market. Nevertheless, it is a super sleek smart device for every home. It comes with a 7 inches screen where you can see every command you give to the assistant or stream online videos. Sadly, there is no camera available on Google’s smart display device; the tech giant explained it was for privacy reasons.

However, on other smart display devices, users are presented with an option to disable the camera actions if they want total privacy; hence, the excuse from Google is not so convincing. This device is compatible with all other smart devices in your home so you can operate those smart devices hands-free with Google assistant voice commands.

Also, with this device, you can control compatible lights, cameras, TVs, etc. from a single dashboard. Over 5000 smart devices from 400+ popular brands are supported by this smart display.

Specifications of Google Home Hub

Product Google Home Hub Smart Display
Weight 1.06 lbs
Dimensions 4.65 x 7.02 x 2.65 (H x W x D)
Screen size and display 7 inches – touchscreen
Audio quality Not so good
Video quality Good
Supported streaming sites Pandora, Spotify, YouTube
Voice assistant Google Assistant
Ability to make calls Yes (voice calls), No (video calls)
Connectivity WiFi and Bluetooth
Headphone jack N/A
Camera N/A
Wake up command Hey Google
Power source Plug-in
Price See on BestBuy

7. Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen) Smart Display Review

Amazon Echo Show 2nd gen)

The last on this list which is equally the last smart display device in the market is Amazon Echo Show. This is a high-end smart device sleekly designed for seamless hands-free or smart home devices which are Alexa compatible. Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen) features a 10.1-inch HD screen where you can view online streams in crystal clear output.

“The premium speakers on this smart display uses Dolby processing to stream music and books in crisp, stereo sound.”

Things you could do with the Amazon Echo Show speaker with smart touchscreen includes;

  • View lyrics or album art with Amazon Music
  • See weather forecasts, calendars, to-do lists, and your favorite playlists
  • Stream award-winning movies and shows from Prime Video, music videos from Vevo, or live TV and sports with a Hulu subscription
  • Make video calls to anyone with Skype, the Alexa app, an Echo Spot, or Echo Show

Also, this smart display device is easy to set up; connect with your home WiFi to enjoy seamless hands-free control of all your compatible smart home devices. However, these devices work with over 1000 smart home devices from over 200 OEMs.

Specifications of Amazon Echo Show (2nd gen) smart display

Product Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen)
Weight 3.9 lbs
Dimensions 9.7” x 6.9” x 4.2
Screen size and display 10.1 inches
Chromecast support
Audio quality Perfect
Video quality 1280 x 800 with 720p HD video
Supported streaming sites Prime video, Vevo
Voice assistant Amazon Alexa
OS compatibility Android and Apple iOS
Chipset Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor
Ability to make calls Yes (video calls)
Connectivity WiFi and Bluetooth
Headphone jack N/A
Camera 5 megapixels
Wake up command Alexa
Power source Plug-in
Price See on Amazon

Conclusion:

These are the available smart displays you could get at the moment. Unfortunately, the only places to buy these smart display devices is on platforms like Amazon and BestBuy. If you’ve got any questions about this new tech, kindly drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as i can. However, you may want to read up my Best Techs of 2018.

Have a great day!

Originally posted on February 1, 2020 @ 8:00 am

Samuel Odamah

We wake up to new tech innovations. All I'm doing is trying to get acquainted with cutting-edge innovations, write about them, as well as deploy them in solving my everyday problems.

Follow me on Twitter @fwesh_finnest for my daily updates on Tech, Bitcoin, marketing, etc.

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