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smart home

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[Deal Alert] Amazon's Alexa Deals include a ton of discounts on home automation products

In the wake of Prime Day, Amazon is running a set of "Alexa Deals" that can only be accessed by Prime members via voice commands given to Alexa. Most of the offers are pretty pedestrian, things like gum, snacks, and batteries, but there are a few good ones our readers might enjoy. If you are interested in home automation, you can pick up a ton of stuff, like Philips Hue starter kit, smart plugs, a wireless Lutron starter kit, a touchscreen Schlage deadbolt, and more. 

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[Deal Alert] Great discounts on Philips Hue, Wink Hub, Canary camera, and more smart home products on Amazon Prime Day

Prime Day is underway at Amazon and there are great deals to be had on plenty of gadgets and accessories for the nerdiest of folks. We've already covered deals on phones/tablets/Chromebooks, but what if you're more interested in making your home a little smarter? Well, fret not, because I've scoured the discounts and used my search-fu skills to find the best deals for the smart home noobs and veterans alike, deals that are especially catered for you, the Android user.

But before I start with my list, let me remind you of the couple of deals we've already covered that are relevant in a smart home setting: the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot are at an all-time low of $90 and $35 ($90 and $15 off, respectively), and the NVIDIA Shield TV is $20 off (remember that it's still slated to get SmartThings Hub integration and the SPOT for a cheap add-on Google Home-like experience).

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[Deal Alert] 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat $199 at most retailers (20% off)

It appears that there is an internet-wide sale going on today. Right now you can pick up a Nest Learning Thermostat for around $199 at the Google Store, Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo, Target, and even Ace Hardware. That's a savings of $50 off the normal price of $249. The Google Store made a post today on Google+ about it, and from the image, this promotion should be running through July 8th. 

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Ring announces the second generation of its popular video doorbell

Home security company Ring has had great success with its range of video doorbells and security cameras. The self-styled "most popular video doorbell in the world" was Ring's first product all the way back in 2014 and it quickly gained a foothold in the market. The company has since updated it with the more powerful Video Doorbell Pro, which increased the quality to 1080p but required a pre-existing hardwired bell setup. Ring is now ready to refresh the original product and has announced the Video Doorbell 2.

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Eero announces second generation home WiFi system, including the cordless Eero Beacon

Eero was among the first companies to usher in a new wave of mesh WiFi systems. The startup's goal was clear: Introduce easy to set up and incredibly powerful WiFi across homes that suffer from poor signal. The three-pack of attractive white routers wasn't cheap but performed commendably, and the companion Android app also won many plaudits. After numerous OTA updates improving the service, as well as the release of performance doubling TrueMesh software, Eero is now refreshing its hardware offering with not one but two new devices.

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Wink introduces two new lighting control features alongside the Wink Bright starter kit

There are increasing numbers of people looking into smart home products and services, and Wink provides a pretty robust option for them. "Powerful, but fun and easy to use" was how we described the Wink Home Hub 2 in our review late last year. Since then, compatibility for a variety of products and services has been added, including control of lights and thermostats through Google Home. Now, Wink is introducing a new light bulb starter pack and two new automation features in the app.

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Samsung updates SmartThings app, adds tablet support and new dashboard experience

Samsung's entry in the home automation, monitoring and security space is SmartThings. It consists of a connected hub (that you can pick up for around a $100 at present) and various additional sensors and accessories you can hook up to it, depending on your needs. It's all controlled by the SmartThings Mobile app, which has mostly mixed reviews on the Play Store but is now getting what appears to be a significant update.

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[Update: New details from Recode interview] Essential Home is Andy Rubin's answer to Google Home and Amazon Echo

Android co-founder Andy Rubin finally unveiled Essential's much-anticipated new phone today, the almost bezel-less PH-1. In an industry besieged by leaks, it's rare for any device to be launched these days without knowing exactly what it'll look like. Not only did Essential manage to keep the PH-1 pretty much a secret, except for the teaser images they released themselves, they also manage to complete conceal the fact that they would be announcing another full-fledged product at the same time. Much to everyone's surprise, we've now been introduced to Essential Home, the company's smart assistant competitor.

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Verizon announces the LTE-equipped SmartHub to manage smart home devices

Verizon will put LTE in just about anything. Watches? Check. Cars? Check. Smart home hub? Check, as of tomorrow, May 25th. The SmartHub is a combination WiFi hotspot and smart home control interface. It'll retail for $200 tomorrow, but you can chop the price in half if you do a two year contract.

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Ikea Trådfri smart lights will get support for Assistant and Alexa later this year

What's the point of having smart home devices if you can't control them with your preferred voice interface? Ikea's Trådfri lights are a little cheaper than Phillips Hue, but they don't work with Assistant right now. That's going to change soon, though. Now if only you could pronounce it.

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