You want to buy a smart speaker, but you’re not sure which one to choose… We hear you, but you’re not the only person who has this problem. With all the smart speakers popping up and all the news you hear about those speakers, it’s hard to know which one to pick. This comparison is about the two most popular brands: Google and Amazon. Google has its Google Home Assistant, that has been out for quite some time, with an intelligent virtual assistant and a great music player. On the other hand, you have Amazon. They have their Amazon Echo speaker, which is now in its 3rd generation. Knowing the differences and similarities can help you choose the right smart speaker. This review includes a comparison of price, voice assistants, design, and compatibility with other smart devices.
Google Home Assistant had a cylindrical shape and looks a little bit like a dehumidifier. It’s 14,27 cm high and has a diameter of 9,62 cm. The top is white and the bottom is gray-colored.
The Google Home Assistant is in the middle of the Google Home Max and the Google Home Mini. The Google Home Max is more expensive, but has better quality and sound, while the Google Home Mini is a miniature version of the Google Home Assistant.
If you’re concerned about the environment, you can meet the newest addition to the Google smart speaker family: Google Nest Mini is inexpensive, made of recycled materials and adjusts the sound based on background noise.
The Amazon Echo is now in its 3rd generation. Similar to the other versions, it has also a cylindrical shape and it is available in four colors (heather grey, sandstone, charcoal, and twilight blue). It’s 14,8 cm high and has a diameter of 9,9 cm.
Similar to Google, Amazon Echo also has some smaller versions called: The Amazon Echo Dot 2nd Generation and Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Generation. These smaller versions are also compatible with Alexa and have decent sound quality for their size.
The Google Home Assistant responds to touch and has an LED light that activates while you’re using it. Similarly, the Amazon Echo has a light ring around the circumference. Both speakers have cylindrical shapes, but the Amazon Echo is more streamlined. The top of the Echo is flat, while the Google Home has a slight slant.
The price of the Google home is around 2400 ZAR (on sale) and the Echo 3rd gen is around 3000 ZAR.
Google Home Assistant, has some interesting functions besides the known functions like asking the weather, set timers, play games, etc.…. One of these functions is that you can change the voice to male, as well as pick a different language. The Google Home Assistant is multilingual, so you can speak more than one language at home, and it will understand all of them. Secondly, you also can use the Google Home Assistant as a real-time translator.
Alexa is the name of the assistant that you can use with the Amazon Echo. Alexa also has a voice changing feature, where you can change the voice to different languages. Besides that, you also can ask for the weather, set timers set a dinner bell and so much more. Like Google, Amazon is continuing to add new features to Alexa regularly.
The skill that stands out for the Google Home Assistant is the multiple actions skill. This skill allows people to ask more than one question at once. For example, you could ask: “OK, Google, when do I have my first meeting and what’s the weather forecast for today?”. Alexa doesn’t have this capability. Another skill that’s been coming slowly to Google is Google Duplex. This technology can make calls on your behalf.
It’s worth keeping in mind, too, that both the Amazon Echo and Google Home Assistant allow setting up routines comprised of multiple actions triggered by a single command or condition. For example, you can make your smart lights turn on and hear a news broadcast at the same time each day to wake you up.
A study has shown that the Google Home Assistant answered more accurately and made more attempts to respond to questions than Alexa. So, at the moment, the Amazon Echo offers more functionality overall. But, if it is specific capabilities you want, Google Home Assistant is a wise choice.
Smart Home Device compatibility
Google Home Assistant supports more than 30 000 products, which is half of the products Amazon Echo supports. But it’s worth noting, that in 2 years Google grew from 1500 devices to 30 000 devices. This shows that smart devices are one of Google’s main areas to invest in.
As mentioned above, the Amazon Echo works with more than 60 000 products.
Buying a smart speaker remains a personal choice but we can say that at the moment, the Amazon Echo is a better option if you are looking for a smart speaker that is compatible with more smart home devices and it has more models to choose from. We can say that both the Google Home Assistant and Alexa are equally smart. But since Google is developing its smart devices fast, you can’t make a mistake by buying the Google Home Assistant. At the end of the day, it’s your personal preference.
By Cédric Debaere