Amazon Echo and Google Home without a shadow of a doubt can be called the best smart home devices on the market, but for this reason, indecision is the master when you have to choose which one to buy. Amazon has exploded the sector of smart assistants for the home with the release of the Echo device in 2014. Since then it has become the most popular hardware product of the company. However, even Google has distinguished itself with Google Home, a direct competitor of Echo that aims to unseat Amazon from the primary role of these devices.
- Comparison of Amazon Echo and Google Home
- Google Home is more informed
- Echo is better for Smart home users
- Both have great musical tastes
- Google Home has slightly better physical checks
- Both allow you to broadcast video content
- Amazon Echo integrates with many other services
- Both can recognize individual voices
- Google Home creates custom shortcut commands
- The new Echo has audio outputs
- Echo has better support for messaging/calling
- Echo and Home have the same price
Comparison of Amazon Echo and Google Home
To help you dispel any doubt about the best choice, we find out below some differences and similarities between these two home helpers, making a comparison between Amazon Echo and Google Home to make our home smarter.
Google Home is more informed
This should not be surprising, but when it comes to asking random questions of all kinds, Google Home stands out thanks to Google’s Knowledge Graph search function.
This does not mean that Amazon Echo is completely stupid, but in the various tests there were a series of questions to which Google Home was able to provide at least one answer, while Alexa simply replied ” Sorry, I do not know the answer to your question “.
For example, Alexa has not been able to answer questions such as “What is the average age of a human being?” (By the way, 71 years old), but Google Home was able to give the answer immediately.
However, Alexa has managed to provide better answers in some areas, such as when both devices were asked: “How many films did Tom Hanks take in?” Alexa was able to give the answer (83 films), while Google Home simply mentioned some movie titles in which Hanks was the protagonist.
Google Home is also able to remember the previous question, which is very useful. If you ask “Who played Woody in Toy Story?” Google Home would have said Tom Hanks and then you could follow and ask, “How old is he?” Google Home would say his age, even if you did not name “Tom Hanks” directly. Alexa can not do it.
Overall, Alexa knows some things, but Google knows more.
Echo is better for Smart home users
Amazon Echo has been on the market for a long time, so it has been made compatible with more smart home devices, including Nest, Philips, SmartThings, Belkin, Wink, Insteon and many others. Google Home also supports some smart products from well-known brands, but its list is not as wide.
However, both devices integrate with IFTTT (free service that automates daily actions), which allows them to connect to many different products and services that would not otherwise be supported. It’s not as immediate as native integration, but it makes Google Home less limited in the smart home business.
So, if you plan to use your virtual home assistant to control all your smarthome accessories (which makes these devices so attractive), then Amazon Echo is the one you should buy, at least until Google Home supports more smart devices.
Both have great musical tastes
By default, Echo uses Amazon’s Prime Music service and Google Home uses Google Play Music, both of which are great sources for streaming music. The biggest difference is the number of tracks that each service has in its catalog. Amazon Prime Music has about two million songs available, while Google Play Music has an incredible 35 million songs. You will still find the most popular songs on both services.
However, Amazon Music Unlimited is a new company service that boasts “tens of millions of songs”. Even if you are a Prime member, you still have to pay a monthly fee for this service. In addition, both Prime Music and Google Play Music require a monthly subscription.
In addition to the default services, both Echo and Home can connect to your Spotify or Pandora accounts, so if you’re subscribed to one of these music services, you’ve solved it.
Google Home has slightly better physical checks
Both Echo and Google Home have a few physical controls on the device itself, which allow you to raise and lower the volume and mute the microphone. However, the Google Home control interface allows you to do a little more.
Echo includes buttons that are used to raise or lower the volume, turn off the speaker or activate and cancel Alexa. This is practically everything.
On Google Home, the entire top surface is a touchpad and relies on finger gestures to control everything, which is much easier. With it, you can play or pause music, adjust the volume and turn on Google Home to start listening to music. However, the microphone mute button is on the back of the device, which is not a convenient place to use.
Overall, it depends a lot on the type of controls you like to use: touchpad enthusiasts will love the Google Home system, while the lovers of tactile buttons will appreciate the Echo.
Both allow you to broadcast video content
One thing that has distinguished Google home was its ability to broadcast video content to a Chromecast when you say something like “Hey Google, play videos of cats on YouTube“.
Echo can stream video content to a Fire TV device just like Google Home can do it to a Chromecast. However, a major limitation of Fire TV is that YouTube is not supported, and therefore you will not be able to use the best video streaming service on the internet.
That said, Google Home has a small advantage in this specific comparison, but it is hoped that Amazon will adapt in the near future.
Amazon Echo integrates with many other services
Support for some general services is a bit lacking on Google Home, while Echo is more likely to help you with some services.
With Google Home you can ask for sports scores, news and even call an Uber, but Echo can do all of that and more, including having Alexa reading your Twitter feed out loud and even guiding you through 7-minute training , all thanks to Alexa Skills of third parties that you can download.
Obviously, Google Home will probably add a lot more of these features in the future, but for now Echo is a winner when it comes to all the general tasks it can do.
Both can recognize individual voices
There are probably more people living in your home, which means more people use Amazon Echo or Google Home. Both devices have support for multiple accounts and can know who they are talking to.
This makes it easier to get relevant information just for you. So instead of saying something like “What is Simone’s calendar today?” (Which would be strange to say my name), can you simply say “What’s on my calendar today?“. Home and Echo will recognize your voice and say the upcoming events that are on your calendar and those of no one else.
Google Home creates custom shortcut commands
One feature I was looking for on a virtual vocal assistant is shortcuts, abbreviated voice commands that can replace longer vocal commands. Google Home lets you do exactly that.
In other words, you can configure it so that instead of saying “Hey Google, turn down the living room lights to 25%“, you can simply say “Hey Google, dim the lights“.
Amazon Echo will not let you do that, but it is hoped that Amazon will add this feature to Alexa in the near future.
The new Echo has audio outputs
Echo and Google Home are equipped with decent speakers that sound pretty good, certainly not up to a dedicated speaker system, but good enough to maintain a respectable volume while distributing around the house.
However, if you have an Echo Dot or any of the new Echo, you can connect external speakers as long as the connected stereo system has an auxiliary jack. You can also connect your Echo to a Bluetooth speaker.
Google Home can connect to external speakers, but you need a separate Chromecast Audio device, and unfortunately it’s the only way to do it.
Echo has better support for messaging/calling
Both Echo and Google Home can make calls and send messages, but Echo does it a little better.
Of course, both devices can call a phone number directly from the device, which is very interesting. But the Echo can also call another Echo device, whether it’s one of your other Echo at home (called Drop in this case), or the Echo of a friend who lives in any area of the country.
In addition, you can send voice messages to other Echo users, while Home, at the moment, does not support any type of messaging.
Google Home does something that Echo can not do in this case: you can send a message to all your other home devices at home, but use the Google Assistant instead of yours.
Echo and Home have the same price
When Google Home was released for the first time, Echo still had a price of $180, the Home cost $130. Now, however, prices are drastically more competitive.
In the end, though, both are really good options and it’s hard to choose either one. It depends a lot on what you will use it. Echo is better for integration with smart home accessories and has slightly better speakers, and integrates with many different services through third-party Alexa Skills, but the vast knowledge of Google Home search is probably something that Amazon will never touch.