What is the best smart home screen? Like anything else in life it depends. In this full review of the Alexa Echo Show 15 versus Google Home Hub versus Skylight Calendar, we put them to the test.
Price: Let’s first talk about Price.
The Google Nest Home Hub is $99. Google is simply trying to get you into the Google nest ecosystem and $99 is a great starting point for anyone looking to get into the smart home ecosystem with Google and Nest.
The Amazon Alexa show is $250. It is the most expensive of the products that we are reviewing today, but it also has the most features.
The Amazon Echo Show 15 is humongous. It is almost 4 times the size of the Google Nest Home Hub and about twice the size of the skylight calendar. The Show 15’s picture quality is also incredible. If price is your one and only factors and look at the Google Nest Home Hub.
In the middle, is the Skylight Calendar.
At 150 bucks in is a cheap alternative to some of the other devices that are more expensive. It is no frills, and that includes the picture screen. But I’ll talk in just a moment but how that’s not really a big deal.
What Smart Screen is Right For You?
As I mentioned, the right smart screen for me is probably not the best smart display for you. When Latina smart displays or a smart speaker you have to really ask yourself “What am I trying to do with this?”
If you want the ultimate in smart home control, then you probably need to look at something like the Amazon Echo Show 15.
But all depends on what you want your smart display to do.
Skylight Frame: A 2 trick pony
I know the one-hit wonder and the one-trick pony and get a bad rap, but there’s something to be said for doing one job or in this case two jobs and doing them really well. The skylight frame in the skylight calendar are very good for what they are. The sky frame is good for showing pictures, the skylight calendar is good for Shellie calendar and your pictures.
The skylight frame is the cheapest it’s about 150 bucks and I’ll put a link where you can use our promo code to save even more. If you just want something that will show you the calendar and a couple of pictures, this is a great device.
We originally got the skylight frame for my parents as a Christmas present and love sending pictures of the grandkids to the grandparents. That is the perfect used for the Skylight Frame. Read the full Skylight Calendar Review.
Let’s talk about the touch screen
How do you find screens will talk publicly about how fast the processor it is or how high quality the screen is, but it’s very clear of the skylight frame in the sky calendar are very underpowered and the screen quality is not the best.
However, that is not a very big deal, especially if you’re just looking for your calendar. We even found a picture quality to be great for showing pictures. We get a Little bit spoiled when we have something like the iPhone or iPad to look at all the time. However, for static pictures the Skylight Frame in the Skylight Calendar are perfect.
The touchscreen is also not on par with something my iPad, either. The touch screen is a little bit slow and doesn’t have dual touch like spreading your fingers in and out I can’t an iPad. But it is not a deal killer
Who the skylight frame and Skylight Calendar are best for
The Skylight Calendar is great at two things: a digital calendar and picture frame. You don't need to touch it to use it, which is ideal.
- Works with the calendars you already use
- Super simple
- Great calendar
- Also can be used as a frame
- Slow touch screen response
- No voice control
- Doesn't work with Google Photos
The Skylight Frame and the Skylight Calendar are best for someone that wants their smart display to do one or two things- they don’t want to talk to it, they don’t wanna interact with it – they just want it to show pictures or a calendar in the background.
And that’s exactly what the Skylight Frame and Skylight Calendar do you perfectly. I would even say that that makes the Skylight Calendar one of the best smart displays. It knows exactly what it is trying to do, and does a great job at it.
Who the Skylight Frame and Skylight Calendar are NOT for
If you want to customize the display of your smart display, talk to it, run videos on it, or anything more complicated than showing photos or a calendar – then the Skylight Frame and the Skylight Calendar are not for you.
It is a no-frills design that does two things very well. Keep on reading to learn about two other smart displays that do a good job with more.
Google Nest Home Hub Review
That brings us to the Google Nest Home Hub (smaller version). It is $99 – the cheapest in this best smart display roundup.
An inexpensive smart display that integrates with Google, especially Google Photos incredibly well.
- Easy to use
- Integrates with Google Photos very well
- Works great with other Google Products
- Doesn't always show relevant calendars
- Small screen (larger Nest Hub Max available)
The Nest Home Hub displays some of your most relevant information right off the bat. We love using the Nest Home Hub with Google photos because it shows us pictures of our kids in the best pictures of us automatically.
We use Google photos all the time. The home hub center google photos on a regular basis with the people that we tag shell in the Google home hub and it has a really great job. Occasionally will ask you to do something like tell us the weather, or play song. But most of the time we use it just as an automatically updating photo frame.
Smart Home Routines
Thanks to the Google Integration (and acquisition of Nest) the Google home hub has incredibly great smart home features. It syncs perfectly with Nest cameras and Nest thermostats in our home, and through the Google Home app, it also syncs perfectly with other smart home items like our Philips Hue lights and our Vivint security system.
We even have a whole “routine” at the end of the night that turns off all of our lights, Arm’s our security system and even turns off our TV, which is perfect.
In short, we use this device to show photos and run some routines (mostly our “goodnight” routine).
And, for only $99, this little device does a great job at those two things.
What we love Google Nest Home Hub For
We love the Google Nest Home Hub for its simple smart home integration and unlimited potential. It knows exactly what it is trying to do, which makes it the best smart home display for us – most of that is thanks to Google’s Integration through the acquisition of Nest, the Google Nest Home Hub has incredibly great smart home features.
It syncs perfectly with the Google Nest Cameras and Thermostats in our home, and through the Google Home app, it also syncs perfectly with other smart home items like our Philips hue lights and our Vivint security system.
It even seems perfect with many other types of devices like, just like Amazon Alexa Devices (which we will discuss more below).
How we use the Google Home Hub the most
We use this device to show photos and run some routines (mostly our “goodnight” routine that turns off lights, alarms our Vivint Security System and locks the doors).
We wish the Google Nest Hub had a little bit better a display and a more intuitive interface.
Calendar events and notifications sometimes show up – but aren’t consistent enough to make it an everyday calendar.
Google Nest Hub vs. Nest Hub Max
We are, obviously, using the smaller Google Nest Hub. While the smaller Google Nest Hub is one of the smaller smart display options that we’ve seen, the Google nest hub max has some additional features besides the Google assistant. The Google Nest Hub Max also adds the ability to do video calls with its built-in camera and offers higher sound quality than the smaller Google nest hub.
Google nest hub max is more on par with the size of the larger Eco shell, making it one of the most compelling smart displays that we’ve seen. We just don’t have a need for a larger nest hub in our home and we don’t use it for things like watching YouTube music or making video calls, we just use it as a great smart display.
If you are looking for all the great features of the Google Nest Hub, but want something bigger, with video calling capabilities and better sound quality – check out the Nest Hub Max.
Meet the Alexa Show 15
The very first thing you’ll notice about the Alexa Show is the size. It’s even bigger than 15 inches, it’s technically a 15.6 inch screen.
It’s about 50% larger than a regular iPad. And it’s heavy, too.
It clocks in at almost 5 pounds.
The best smart display that does it all - from video calls to smart home management.
- The most refined Amazon software, ever.
- Easy to set up.
- Can do anything!
- Huge display
- Scrolling home screen is distracting.
- No stand included (just wall mount)
The Echo Show can do almost anything
The Alexa Show 15 can do almost anything you throw at it. From being an awesome digital photo frame to asking it voice commands to making a video calls, you can do it all with the echo show.
If it is the right smart display for you all depends on how tech-y your home is (and the people in it).
Some things you can do with the Echo Show 15:
- Watch Amazon Prime Video
- Make Phone Calls
- Make Video Calls
- Use Amazon Alexa Smart Assistant
- Watch YouTube TV
- Watch other video services
- Stream Music
- Control your smart home
- Check Amazon Deliveries
- Get step by step recipes
- Order products on amazon
- Much, much more!
The much-improved software
Amazon’s software has left a lot to desire, across the board.
However, the Alexa Show 15 is the most refined software Amazon has put out, in my opinion. They’ve also improved the ability to understand what you’re asking for drastically.
What we don’t like about the Alexa Show 15
Well the Amazon Alexa show 15 is one of the best in terms of software quality, we really hate how it made us feel like you were looking at a ticker tape or a CNN ticker all the time when the screen is on. We wish you could have a more static homepage to the Amazon Alexa shell and not it constantly asking you if you want to check one of the mini skills group and show has to offer
Also, we are not a tech-y your family. I am super tacky but my wife and kids are not they would prefer to have something that is more straightforward and easy to use. They don’t wanna have to guess how to make anything work. So for that reason, we don’t like the Amazon Alexa Show 15.
the other thing that we don’t like about the Alexus shell 15 he is at the stand is extra and has not included yes you read that correctly, the stand is not included. I think it’s pretty brave for Amazon to think that you should add this to your wall (it does come with a wall mount) but the stand itself is about $29 extra.
You have to be very committed to wanting this device in your smart home to mount it to your wall which I don’t think anyone in their right mind to deal on a new, unproven device.
What We Do Like About the Alexa Show 15
As I mentioned, the Alexa show 15 is incredibly refined with the software. It has a super easy set up process, and it’s very easy to use overall. It comes automatically connected to your Lex account so there’s no need to finagle with different logins and passwords. And it’s a very simple design. We will like the way it looks in the way it functions.
The only thing that we don’t like is t is always asking you to do something different. We hate that he is constantly scrolling and asking you to try out the new features.
The smart home features are also amazing. Using the voice commands to control your nest cameras make this one of the great smart displays out there. As far as smart screen’s go, you can’t get much smarter than the Alexa show 15.
Like this shows us nice pictures of her kids. It rotates every couple of minutes, which is totally fine. This is going to show me a picture and picture here. As soon as that, that sinks up there. This just does almost too much. Like I don’t want my house looking like a ticker tape parade for CNN or something else.
Anyone of these devices can be great for you and your family. The trick is you have to find the right device at works for what you need it for. So let’s compare all the different devices we talked about, so you can make an educated decision about which smart display and which smart screen is right for you.
Alexa Show vs. Google Home Hub
Both the Alexa show in the Google home hub are incredibly capable devices. To me the one deciding factor on picking one over the other is if you are OK with the constant scrolling feature displayed on the Alexa show.
That feature simply drives us crazy.
The other thing that would make me choose one over the other is how invested you are in one platform over the other. We use Apple products everywhere. But most of our cameras and smart thermostats are Google nest products. So we are slightly more integrated into the nest ecosystem. We also use Gma in google photos for almost everything, so that makes Google nest home hub a slightly better choice for us.
However if you are all in on Amazon Alexa Ecosystem, then the echo show might be the right choice for you. I also found in general that the Alexa system was easier to operate as a whole, and the show 15 really showed snappy-ness that I haven’t seen any other Alexa products.
In conclusion, I would have to give the edge to Google Home Hub for us, but either device is a great choice.
Alexa Show vs. Skylight Calendar
The Alexa show and the Sky Light calendar are both great devices too, but they have completely different purposes. The Alexa show is for all smart device/smart display/smart home features you can possibly imagine, the skylight calendar and the skylight frame are perfect for doing exactly 2 things: a digital photo frame and a digital home calendar.
It’s really that simple. The Alexa Show can also display your calendar on the homepage, but it also shows a lot more. With you calendar, it will showcase different skills you can try, the news, upcoming Amazon Deliveries, and a lot more. But if you want something that is dead simple check out the skylight calendar.
Google Nest Home Hub vs. Skylight Calendar
This comparison was actually the most difficult. The skylight calendar and skylight frame are great photo frames. However in our own home we use the Google nest home hub as our smart digital picture frame for one simple reason: their amazing integration with Google photos.
If you use Google photos for your photos and one a hassle free way to see your best photos on your smart devices, then use Google nest home with Google photo
However if you are not confident in the ability Google photos to pick the best pictures of your family and put them on a smart device, then you might want to check out the skylight calendar and skylight frame. While the skylight frame and skylight calendar can both show digital photos, you have to manually pick and upload the photos the ones that you want to upload to the frame.
This is more suitable for grandma and grandpa because you don’t want to accidentally send them an embarrassing, or unflattering photo.
Best Smart Display: Final Thoughts
Here’s the way I look at it.
Best Smart Display that does everything (maybe even too much): The Amazon Alexa Show 15.
Best Smart Display that integrates with Google: Google Nest Home Hub
Best Smart Display for Calendar and Simple Photos: Skylight Frame