The best smart displays for videoconferencing with your family and friends

So you're isolated. And you don't know for how long. Just because you're physically separated from other people doesn't mean you have to be emotionally distant. In fact, it's better if you can practice staying in touch with family and friends like they did in the old days. Except, this isn't the old days, so you don't have to sit down and write a letter. One of these smart displays will make you feel like your family is right there with you.

The best smart displays for videoconferencing with your family and friends
Facebook Portal 10″ Video Calling Device on a Table

This is a rough time for most of us, whether you’re on the front lines or staying home. Even us introverts are starting to get tired of sitting at home all the time and not seeing family and friends in person. But, we’re doing what’s best for everyone’s health by staying inside—except for that daily walk to get some Vitamin D.

You don’t have to sit down and write a letter to ask how the weather is in your parents’ neck of the woods, waiting for a response days later. Just ring them up on one of these smart displays and ask them directly. Plus, they’re sure to keep the kids entertained while you try and get dinner finished.

If you’re feeling a bit disconnected from your loved ones, you’re not alone. Sure, Marco Polo and FaceTime are great, but you have to hold your phone the whole time or angle your laptop just right. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best smart displays to help you stay in touch. If you thought you didn’t need one before, now is the right time to order a smart display for your countertop.

Facebook Portal Mini Smart Video Calling Screen

If you’re not sure where you’d put a smart display, the Facebook Portal Mini Smart Video Calling Screen is just eight inches in size. So it’ll fit in just about any spot and connect you to anyone, anywhere. And with built-in smart sound, it’ll block out the noise of the washing machine running in the background. You probably have a family member who talks just a little too quietly—this video calling device eliminates that issue. Whether you use Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, it also has built-in Alexa, making it a place from which you can control your smart home.


Facebook Portal 10″ Video Calling Device

Just a couple inches larger than the Mini, the Facebook Portal 10″ Video Calling Device picks up in areas where smartphones, tablets, and computers sorely lack. In fact, it has a smart camera that intelligently follows you as you move. So you can continue cooking dinner, moving naturally around the kitchen, while you talk with your parents across the country. Additionally, you can cover the camera when it’s not in use if you want an added sense of privacy. When you’re not videoconferencing, use built-in Alexa to control smart home devices, ask about the weather, and more.


Amazon Echo Show 8 HD Smart Screen

The Alexa-enabled Amazon Echo Show 8 HD Smart Screen not only keeps you in touch with family and friends. It also acts as your kitchen hub, your one-stop shop for recipes and entertainment. Additionally, this Alexa smart display has an eight-inch HD screen. On it, you can watch one of the many live and on-demand cooking classes. So you can up your cooking game while isolated too. Finally, it has a built-in privacy shutter so you can close off the outside world when you want to make sure what happens in your kitchen, stays in your kitchen.


Google Nest Hub Max Google Assistant Smart Display

Just like the Echo Show, the Google Nest Hub Max Google Assistant Smart Display is one of the kitchen-centered best smart displays. It’s extra smart to keep up with your every need thanks to its built-in camera, which you can use for easy video chats. It even recognizes you as soon as you walk in, delivering personal updates, recommendations, schedules, and more. It’ll even alert you if it doesn’t recognize a guest. When you want total security, use the button on the back to electronically disconnect both the mic and the camera.


ARCHOS Hello 7 Google Assistant Smart Display

The ARCHOS Hello 7 Google Assistant Smart Display works vertically or horizontally, so you can get whatever you want in the picture. Or, if you feel like the house is a mess around you, just block that out. Featuring an integrated assistant to answer every question and display your requests, it also has a touchscreen display and integrated speakers. Change the temperature, switch on lights, play music, turn on and off compatible devices, and more through simple voice command. Suitable for all ages, it can tell jokes, play games, and more thanks to Android 8.0 Oreo.


Lenovo Smart Display 7 Google Assistant Hub

If you like Google Assistant and want one of the budget-friendly best smart displays, look to the Lenovo Smart Display 7 Google Assistant Hub. It’s ideal for chatting with family, and it’ll blend in with your space. With Google Assistant built-in, it has a seven-inch touchscreen display on top and a speaker on the bottom. With access to Google Assistant, you can manage your smart devices, check the weather, view your schedule, and so much more. The Smart Display 7 comes with a built-in two-megapixel camera and uses an ambient light sensor to capture better images. For those with privacy in mind, the Smart Display 7 features a mute button and the TrueBlock Privacy Shutter. This lets you physically cover the camera.


Convinced yet? We sure want one of these on our kitchen counter. It’ll help us master a new recipe while we chat with family members across the country and friends down the street. Which one would work best with your smart setup? Let us know in the comments!

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Meet Genevieve Healey

Born with a book in her hand, genevieve has always loved reading and writing. Beyond editing to help writers hone their craft, she enjoys bicycling, cooking, and being with her family.
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