Amazon Echo was first released on June 23rd 2015 in U.S and later on September 28th 2016 in UK. It became one of the top selling products of amazon both U.S and in U.K. It was the first device to come up with the idea of a personal home assistant. After few months, Google announced its own personal home assistant called Google Home. Both of these smart home devices have their pros and cons. So let’s look at the key aspects and differences between these two devices.
When Amazon Echo first came out, It had a plastic body which was cylindrical with height of 9.3 inches weighing about 2.3lbs and a width of 3.3 inches. It’s pure black and white model is also available. On the top it consists of a mute button ,a microphone on the top layer with six on the bottom layer and an action button which you can use to manually activate the assistant whose default name is Alexa. The top part has a ring which you can rotate to adjust the volume on your device .It comes with a power adapter which means you cannot move this device to every room easily.
Google Home’s Design is like as many said, an air freshener reasoning to supposedly blend in with the house items. It is half of the size of the Amazon Echo .It is available in white but you can swap with different types of metal shells. It comes with a charging brick.
On the top there is a touch panel which you can use to control volume, play or pause the music or activate/deactivate the listening feature .Far field microphones are integrated in it so it can listen from far corners of a room. You may change the wake-word from “Ok Google” but it is not as flawless as the original wake-word.
Features and Performance
This is the department where both of the devices have their pros and cons. The functions of both the devices are listed below as per their official statements.
- Plays all your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more using just your voice
- Fills the room with immersive, 360º omni-directional audio
- Allows hands-free convenience with voice-control
- Hears you from across the room with far-field voice recognition, even while music is playing
- Answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and more using the Alexa Voice Service
- Controls lights, switches, and thermostats with compatible WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, Nest, and ecobee smart home devices
- Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Domino’s, and more
- Allows hands-free convenience with voice-control just like Echo
- Getting answers for everyday questions, Getting Financial information such as stock prices, getting flight information.
- Perform basic tasks such as setting alarms, using calculator, Using calendar for checking schedules and events, Checking Traffic, Local Weather, Using dictionary, etc
- Can control Smart home appliances such as turning on/off or dim/brighten the lights
- Can act like a local guide by providing information about nearby pharmacies, general stores and their contact info.
- Audio Streaming, Multi room audio by grouping any combination of Google home devices
- Constant Google updates for better usage and performance.
Models and Pricing
Amazon echo as of now comes in at $139 on amazon in U.S and £129.99 in U.K. After the success of Amazon Echo, several enhanced models of this device such as Amazon Echo dot($39.99 in U.S and £44.99 in U.K) and Amazon Tap($89.99 in U.S ,currently not available in U.K) have been introduced. Amazon echo dot is like a mini version of the original echo with the exception of speaker. So external speakers are required for Echo Dot. Amazon Tap has same features as echo but it doesn’t have a hands free convenience feature like Echo as it is an affordable version of echo. So you are forced to press the microphone button on the front for this device. Other versions of Google Home stands at $129 in U.S(not released in U.K) and it also comes with 6 month free subscription of YouTube Red.
Only few of the above mentioned devices have been released in U.K and worldwide release of these devices is yet to be made.
As we can see their functionalities are very close. But out of the two devices Google home lacks a few basic features such as setting remainders, adding entries to calendars and E-mail interaction. So as of now Amazon Echo stands out to be more reliable. But Google has a greater potential for future as it can use its present search and services to gain a major edge against Amazon Echo.