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CNET reviews: Best Alexa-compatible smart home gadgets

CNET has picked Ecobee as one of the

CNET has picked Ecobee as one of the best Alexa-enabled products. Credit: CBS Interactive

Voice control is the tech that is sweeping the appliance and device sector this year. And so far, Amazon's Alexa platform is leading the pack. The number of devices that Alexa plays well with is growing almost weekly, and these are four of the best Alexa-compatible gadgets.

Ecobee 4 Smart Thermostat

CNET rating (out of 5)

4.5 stars (outstanding)

THE GOOD The thermostat has a responsive display, a remote sensor and tons of smart integrations, including a built-in Amazon Alexa speaker.

THE BAD The price is high, particularly if you don't care about Ecobee4's other smart capabilities.

THE COST $249

BOTTOM LINE There's no comparison — the Ecobee4 is the best smart thermostat available today.

Neato Botvac Connected Robot Vacuum

CNET rating (out of 5)

4.5 stars (outstanding)

THE GOOD The new Neato app is well-designed and easy to use, and finally brings remote control functionality to the Botvac line, and it can now be controlled via Amazon's Alexa voice platform.

THE BAD There were a few usability quirks during testing.

THE COST $499.99 to $583.86

BOTTOM LINE The Neato Botvac Connected is better at cleaning floors than any other robot vacuum on the market, and it costs less than its app-enabled rival, the iRobot Roomba 980.

Amazon Cloud Cam

CNET rating (out of 5)

4 stars (excellent)

THE GOOD  The crisp 1080p HD live feed, prompt motion notifications and free 24-hour clip storage set a new value standard for indoor home security cameras. And of course, Alexa functionality is a given.

THE BAD Only Amazon cloud subscribers can set motion zones and receive person alerts. Continuous recording is not available (even for subscribers), and there's no local microSD card storage.

THE COST $119.99

BOTTOM LINE It's affordable, reliable and easy to use, but it's the free storage that ultimately makes it more appealing than many other home security competitors.

Amazon Echo

CNET rating (out of 5)

4 stars (excellent)

THE GOOD  With a variety of new designs, the new Amazon Echo is better-looking than the original, just as smart and a lot less expensive. The addition of an aux-out jack lets you connect it with your existing audio setup. It's also a slightly better listener than the previous incarnation.

THE BAD The Echo still doesn't sound as good as premium, high-fidelity speakers. The volume ring of the original is gone, replaced with the cheaper volume buttons of the Echo Dot.

THE COST $99.99

BOTTOM LINE Alexa is still the most compelling voice control platform, and the improved Echo should only boost her momentum.

The following CNET staff contributed to this story: senior associate editors Ry Crist and Megan Wollerton and senior editor Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit cnet.com

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