I'll admit it's been a while since I've been in the market for a smoke detector. A cursory scan of Amazon, however, indicates an average price between $10 and $30, with combo smoke/carbon monoxide detectors landing at the higher end of that spectrum. In either case, it's a range the $99 Protect misses by a country mile. Of course, this isn't just any smoke detector. Like the Learning Thermostat before it, it's a bit of home electronics aimed at gadget nerds, and certainly Nest has managed to do a lot in an otherwise staid category.
It's a lovely object, so far as these things go, and its expressive center lighting and voice directions offer a lot more than the standard series of beeps: alerting you to emergencies, low batteries and even lighting your way at night. The button-based hush can save your eardrums and the smartphone alerts may well save some lives. For most, however, standard smoke detectors will likely still do the trick. Even though certain device idiosyncrasies can be a hassle, $99 still feels like a lot to pay, given the industry average. And for those living in larger homes, it's a price that'll add up fast.
How It Stacks Up
Rift (development kit)
Google X co-founder Yoky Matsuoka returns to Nest
The sought-after robotics expert is back at Alphabet Inc. after a stint at Apple.
The best smart smoke alarm
The second-generation Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is your best option.