Because everyone should have the chance to be smart.
Let’s be honest - technology doesn’t always come cheap. We know all too well the heartache when splurging on a five-digit home automation system, or the eye-popping prices of the latest curved OLED smart TVs.
But, a smart home that’s convenient (and cool) doesn’t have to cost! Whether you’re just testing the waters of this whole smart living thing or on a tight budget, these 9 top-rated home gadgets below $200 provide the connected life - without burning a hole in your pocket.
Part portable speaker, part voice-activated smart assistant, the Amazon Echo Dot packs more punch than simply just streaming your favourite tunes. Part of the Amazon Alexa smart home platform, Echo can tell you the latest news, recommend some cool restaurants, call your BFFs and even wake you up for work at 7 a.m.
Interior Designer: AD.I.WRKS
The Amazon Echo Dot can even be connected to other Alexa-enabled smart devices, like Philips Hue Smart Lighting, and smart plugs. But what ultimately has got us (and many other buyers) sold? It’s too-good-to-be-true price, which is probably on par with other conventional speakers.
The perfect energy saver for lazy people, it only takes a couple of minutes to connect your TP-Link Smart Plug to the TP-Link phone app or Amazon Echo (hey, one more reason to get the smart speaker?). Now, plug it into any socket, and watch it do it’s magic - remotely turn your electrical appliances on and off, schedule timings to switch off your power; the smart plug even monitors your electrical consumption and tells you which are the biggest eaters.
Price: From SGD $55 on Lazada
One of the biggest pet peeves at home? A weak Wifi connection - nobody likes having to physically move to a router to stream their favourite K-dramas. Before you go trashing the gadget in frustration, fret not - when plugged in, the TP-Link Gigabit Powerline Starter Kit helps to boost your wifi signal by passing them through your power cables.
Interior Designer: Intrigue-D Design Consultancy
Users have also commented about it’s clear signal performance - unlike other (albeit cheaper) wifi repeaters that suffer from a lowered signal after boosting. The makers were thoughtful enough to add a power socket on its back - so you don’t have to lament about wasting valuable socket space for your countless appliances.
Price: From SGD 149 on Lazada
Here’s one more gadget to put in your arsenal of alarms. If you’re a deep sleeper who’s frankly tired of being shaken, shocked, blared awake (or all of the above), the XiaoMi Yeelight offers a softer, natural alternative. The Bluetooth LED lamp has a Wake Up Mode that mimics the rising of the sun, and lights up half an hour before your alarm is set to go off - just to ease you into the waking mood.
Interior Designer: 82
Likewise, insomniacs are not left out. Remotely control your lamp via the XiaoMi app and set it to Night Mode before you sleep, for a warm, orange glow that’s ultra-effective in lulling one to dreamland. Of course, there’s more to the smart lamp than sleep - you can toggle it into any colour imaginable, perfect for those sleepover parties!
If you are the forgetful type (or just don’t trust any of your family’s cooking skills enough), the Nest Protect Smoke Alarm is a easy to install, modern solution to noisy smoke detectors. Smoke/Carbon Monoxide warnings come in a ear-friendly human voice, and the gadget will also alert the user’s smartphone, where it can be remotely silenced.
Interior Designer: Icon Interior
If left unattended, the Nest Protect can trigger location information to alert the local fire department, along with a loud horn (when things get serious) and flashing lights. Oh, and it also works as a night light.
Price: From SGD 156 on Amazon
When you think home security systems, tangling wires, troublesome set-up and difficult navigation may come to mind. Not on this baby, though. All the Blink Home Security Camera needs are two AA batteries, and it’s set to be easily placed anywhere you’d like to. Hook it up with your home’s Wi-Fi network and receive clear, 720p video feeds straight to your smartphone.
Interior Designer: Versaform
While it doesn’t come with a lot of fancy features that more expensive security tools do, it does the trick in surveying your surroundings - and we definitely can’t complain about its price.
Price: From SGD $178 on Lazada
Forget trips to the cinema or kicking up countless websites on your computer. For those Netflix-and-chill days, the Roku Express has got everything laid out for you - 450,000+ movies and TV shows from over thousands of channels (ironically, including Netflix) to be exact.
Interior Designer: Voila
The best part? Subscription fees are not required for this player in all its 1080p, Dolby audio glory. You’ve been warned - simply hitch it with your smart TV, and get ready to get cooped up for days. The gadget comes with a separate remote as well.
Price: From SGD $41 on Amazon
Have the memory of a goldfish? Never waste time digging through piles of stuff just to find your laptop or wallet again. With an obvious namesake, the Tile Slim is a thin, card like Bluetooth tracker device that can be attached on any of your valuables for easy finding.
Interior Designer: Dan's Workshop
Connect the Tile smartphone app, and make your Tile ring to find your stuff. If it’s your phone that’s lost? Grab your tile instead, and double-tap it to make your phone ring - even on silent. This nifty gadget works for only short to medium range distances. But don’t worry, if you suspect your lost object is miles away, the Tile Slim has a global network that can detect your ‘Tiled’ item.
Price: From SGD $37 on Amazon
Yes, you have a baby - but housework. Besides, it’s physically impossible to be by your tot 24/7. Thankfully, the Fisher-Price Rock and Play Sleeper can ease your load a little (and give you some breathing space).
Interior Designer: Habit
Soothe your baby anywhere around the house - the rocker can be remotely controlled via smart phone to rock, vibrate or emanate sounds to keep your child relaxed.
Price: From SGD $163 on Amazon
Disclaimer: All prices accurate as of 21 July 2017. We receive affiliate dollars for all Lazada and Amazon links listed in this article.
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