The Amazon Echo (read my full Amazon Echo Review) is about a year old and there is a newcomer on the block: The Google Home. Which one should you buy? Read on to read my Amazon Echo Review and Google Home Review.
Let’s start with the Basics:
|Amazon Echo||Google Home|
|Size||9.25-inch tal and 3.27 around. It weighs 1.7 lbs.||5.62 inches high, and 3.79 inches in diameter. It weighs 1.05 pounds.|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi + Bluetooth||Wi-Fi|
Meet the Assistants
Both are voice assistants. Amazon Echo uses “Alexa” and Google Home uses “Google Assistant.” Both have their pros and cons.
Amazon Alexa (as an Assistant)
- Very good at understanding you. Especially from across the room.
- Less abilities to carry on a conversation (more on this later).
- Taps into Amazon’s website for ordering.
- Rarely mis-hears you.
Google Home (as an Assistant)
- Uses Google Assistant (the same Assistant that’s used on the new Google Pixel phone).
- Good at understanding you.
- Taps into Google’s vast search network.
- Can carry on a conversation with you.
The Verdict: From a straight Voice Assistant perspective, Google Home Wins here. It’s able to carry on a conversation, for example, “How many ounces are in a pound?” “16 Ounces.” “What about in 1.5 pounds?” And Google Assistant will continue the conversation. The Amazon Alexa service is not that advanced.
The Google Home also pulls better from Google search results. If you’ve ever seen the little box of information about a search query, that’s what Google Home pulls many times. For example, Google Home would read the box below when you search for “amazon echo weight”:
However, it’s frustrating that the same sort of information is NOT pulled when searching for “amazon echo height:”
Both services are early and far from perfect.
|Amazon Echo||Google Home|
|Music||Amazon Prime Music, iHeartRadio, Spotify, TuneIn, Pandora, Bluetooth||Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn|
|Smart Home Integration||Nest, Echobee, Wink, SmartThings, Instead, Philips Hue, Lifx, IFTTT, Belkin WeMo, Stringify, many others||Nest, SmartThings, Philips Hue, IFTTT|
|Third Party Integrations||Many – through skills||Not open|
The Verdict: The clear winner here is Amazon Echo. Anyone can create a “skill” (what Amazon calls 3rd party integrations – think of a “skill” as an “app” in Echo). Some of the Skills are better than others, but Amazon has a FAR greater number of skills available.
I also use Wink and Stringify with my Echo, something that isn’t possible with Google Home. Google says they are working on more options available.
Who should buy an Google Home?
If you are already baked into the Google System (using an Android Phone, etc.) then I might recommend the Google Home. However, I just haven’t been impressed with Google’s Hardware offerings and their interfaces. They are quick to develop something and abandon it. Only time will tell if the Google Home has any legs. With time, the Google Home may improve.
Who should buy an Amazon Echo?
I recommend the Amazon Echo, hands down, over the Google Home. You have more options: from bluetooth to services to smart homes, Amazon has you covered FAR better than Google. You also can choose to buy the regular Amazon Echo, the Echo Dot (full Echo Review) or the Echo Tap (full Tap review here). You can take Amazon Alexa with you anywhere. That’s why I’m recommending the Amazon Echo over the Google Home.