6 Best Smart Hubs 2021 Reviews And Buyer’s Guide

The year 2021 has been one full of surprises, technological marvels and some rather cutting-edge innovations that set the benchmark ever so high. Consumer electronics have always been on the rise, and the figures only suggest the trend would continue to rise in the coming years. Making all of that possible were brains behind some of the leading companies such as Samsung, Google and Amazon, who contributed to the year 2021 and made it a little more special than yesteryear to make home smart.

Because we now prepare to say goodbye to this year and leap into the next, it is then the perfect time and an opportune moment to list down the best smart hubs 2021 selling and see where they stack up. For this list, we will be looking at a few selected ones that have shown promise and have received praise from customers. We will be taking into account their user-friendliness, connectivity and ease of access to name a few factors.

Best Smart Hubs 2020

A smart hub is essentially your home’s one little hub through which you can do so much at a single push of a button. It is a complicated integration of electricity and internet through a small device, no bigger than a modern Wi-Fi router, called the hub.

Through such smart hubs, you can now integrate mobile phone applications and connect hundreds of devices seamlessly and switch them on and off at a single tap or voice command without ever leaving your comfortable bed.

If you lead a life that is tight on schedule, specific smart hubs allow you to effortlessly set times when you wish for particular appliances to be turned on, saving you energy and cost.

We, the end users, use these hubs via our phones or tablets to improve our surroundings accordingly. These small devices have certainly provided homeowners with a much-needed energy-saving solution and offer excellent value for money.

With that said, the market is flooded with various makes and models to choose from. For someone who may have decided to invest in a smart hub, picking one out might be quite a challenging task. This is why we have reviewed the top 6 best smart hubs 2021.

Apple TV 4K HD 32GB Streaming Media Player
Number 1

Do not underestimate this device just because it is not offering as much as others. What it provides is, without a doubt, the finest 4K UHD content for such a portable device.

Apple's 4K TV was designed solely to improve the viewing experience of the consumers. With an impressive interface and full UHD content, the Apple 4K TV continues to lead the front if watching premium 4K content through a connected hub is what you are looking for.(see the guid for Set up your Apple TV)

Pros

  • It is an Apple device – That certainly means the device will not be lagging or under-performing any time soon
  • Sublime 4K and HDR content – Rich content with a stunningly crisp resolution to enhance your viewing experience
  • Easily connectable to iOS and Mac – Connecting the Apple 4K TV to an iPhone, an iPad or a Mac is as easy as it can be
  • Home screen – Customizable, elegant, and straightforwardHas Bluetooth

Cons

  • No USB or digital audio ports – The Apple 4K TV does not come with options to connect more devices, as you usually can with other brands
  • Remote – One of the most harshly criticized aspects of the entire package is the remote it comes with. It does not feel premium quality. The buttons feel poorly put together. The touchpad means you will most likely skip past what you want and then have to go back until you reach where you wish
  • Lack of functionality – Needless to say, for a smart hub, it does not do much except stream 4K content and games

Hubitat Elevation Home Automation Hub
Number 2

The Hubitat Elevation sits at a comfortable fifth position, just one above Apple's 4K TV. While most critics and reviews suggest it to be just as good as Apple, there are reasons why it deserves a little more praise than it has managed to garner.

It offers some of the finest automation functionalities in the entire line-up. It is easily compatible with most of the devices in existence today and works flawlessly with devices like Google Home, Iris, Lutron and Zigbee.

Pros

  • Connectivity – The Hubitat Elevation can connect easily to devices with Zigbee and Z-Wave. It is also able to connect easily with Iris, Google Home and others
  • More complex functions – For a device in such a price range, it can carry out more complex operations and manage your home appliances and devices far better
  • Built-in logic – It can quickly carry out most smart home features

Cons

While this may seem like an ideal purchase, there are a few things you may wish to take into consideration before you decide to buy it:


  • Not user-friendly – This device is far from being user-friendly if you are looking to carry out more complex operations. The learning curve is rather steep and will take quite some time before you are fully able to understand how the device can function to your liking
  • Wired connection only – The device does not support wireless connections for it to be connected to the internet. You will need to rely on an ethernet to plug it into a router

If you are okay to look past these cons, you will surely find this device worth the time it demands as it continues to impress hundreds of thousands of customers across the globe.

Echo Show 5
Number 3

Coming in at a solid number 4 is Google's take on the concept of smart homes. Introduced as a direct rival to the Amazon Echo, the Google Home is one worthy competitor and offers seamless integration with other Google software and hardware.

Google has undoubtedly utilized technology to deliver promising results, and it comes with customizable bases to further add personality.

Google Home is essentially a smart speaker, meaning that it can connect with other devices and play tunes, audio files and other audible files rather well. With a sleek touch surface on the top, you get a perfect buttonless touchpad that adds to the aesthetics.

Pros

  • Easy connectivity
  • Controls devices – All Google Cast devices can easily be controlled using the touch surface
  • Voice assistant – Use Google AI with familiar phrases or disable it at the touch of a button
  • Quality bass – If you prefer a bit of a punch in your audio, the Google Home is perfect as it delivers quality bass to further enhance the experience
  • Sleek design – With a customizable bass, the design can undoubtedly add to the personality of the room

Cons

  • Just a speaker – Google Home is severely limited in terms of its options and functions
  • Add-ons are limited – So far, Google has released a select few add-ons
  • Audio quality could have been improved – There is an apparent lack of balance when you play audio files

While Google Home does look promising, you can’t help but wonder if there is a better alternative out there, preferably one that offers a little more in terms of functionality. Fortunately, there are some exceptionally good substitutes, which effectively make Google Home feel redundant due to the number of functions offered.


Echo (2nd Generation) - Smart speaker with Alexa and Dolby processing
Number 4

If anyone deserves to be on the all-important third position, it has to be the Amazon Echo Plus. It is considered as a giant leap forward for Amazon. The Amazon Echo Plus smart speaker delivers on fronts where Google Home failed to deliver.

The Amazon Echo Plus promises to pack in premium audio quality and a design that will turn heads. Encapsulated in a sleek design, you can place it anywhere in your home to add life and class to the room. That is just the start, as the features on this device are even better.

While it is a smart speaker, the crowning feature is the built-in hub that it comes with. You can connect all your smart home devices with Alexa effortlessly and manage your house's interior lights, switches and appliances easily.

A noticeable visual change is the higher number of omnidirectional microphones, which allow users to talk to Alexa from any corner of the room, hence adding more ease and convenience.

Pros

  • Quick setup – Alexa can detect new devices and connect within seconds
  • Premium audio quality – Unlike Google Home, the sound feels well-balanced
  • Smart hub controls – Use buttons or rely on Alexa to navigate through options
  • Z-Wave and Zigbee support
  • Elegant design – The Amazon Echo Plus certainly looks and feels classy
  • Built-in temperature sensors

Cons

  • Limited smart home features – While you do get some features, you may not find them to be enough
  • A limited number of connections – The Echo Plus can only connect to a limited number of devices, which is far fewer than other devices with a similar price tag

Echo Dot (3rd Gen) - Smart speaker with Alexa
Number 5

If you think the Echo Plus was worth a buy, Amazon has another surprise for you in store. Meet Amazon's hot new Echo Dot. With the same layout as the Echo Plus, unmatched quality and much smaller size, you are sure to find this device more suited to your home. You can choose from three various shades and the small, nimble and elegant device will do the rest to connect with your smart devices and make your life easier.

You can now make use of well over 50,000 new voice commands that Alexa will understand and carry out for you, including ordering a pizza. If that seems low, you can use Alexa Blueprint to create your own skills to teach Alexa. The possibilities are limitless, and the device is well worth your time.

The Echo Dot is by far one of the most elegant-looking smart hubs out there. It sits perfectly well and will add personality to any room that you choose for it to reside in. Unlike the Echo Dot Plus which occupies more space, it would ideally suit your living room and carry out all the tasks on your command. Your guests are surely going to love it.

Pros

  • Elegant design
  • Many more commands
  • Easy connectivity
  • Superior audio quality
  • Almost all the goodness from the Echo Plus

Cons

  • Looks remain the same – If you wish to change them, you may have to rely on some other variants

Samsung GP-U999SJVLGDA 3rd Generation SmartThings
Number 6

Hands down, this is the finest smart hub in the line-up. With unmatched connectivity, features and apps, Samsung leads the front with authority and delivers results that live up to the expectations every single time.

Let us not forget that Samsung has been breaking quite a few records lately and leads the technological front when it comes to its line-up of consumer electronics. With an unparalleled reputation, the stakes were rather high when it entered the field of smart home appliances. It is, therefore, no surprise that Samsung was able to deliver as always without taking away functionality, looks or quality.

Unlike most best smart hubs 2021, the SmartThings Hub V3 offers a wireless connection and setup, which allows greater convenience and ease for the users. With the SmartThings app, you are just a tap away from managing quite a lot of things from one place.

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Pros

  • Wi-Fi setup – It is far easier than you might think
  • Automation – Superior performance and automation options
  • Zigbee and Z-Wave support
  • Superior quality – The device is an all-rounder and delivers exceptionally

Cons

  • No battery – That means you will lose connection in case of a power outage or accidental disconnection

While the battery would have certainly improved the overall functionality of the device, one must admit that Samsung has done it yet again and proved why it truly deserves to lead. The SmartThings Hub V3 comes packed with many features. The additional add-ons such as the motion sensors and the button only add to the quality of the experience.

Best Smart Hubs 2021 - Conclusion

Buying a smart hub is indeed a step forward as it greatly facilitates you. All you need to ensure is that you understand what exactly you seek and invest your money in one that truly matches your requirement. These are superior devices and investing in any of these will not disappoint you at all.