Smart assistants will continue to be one of the biggest digital trends in 2018. Right now, corporate giants, Amazon and Google are in a head-on competition to win over consumers with their own versions.
The Echo, also known as Alexa, was released by Amazon in late 2014 and continues to thrive in the tech industry. Millions of Echo devices were sold in the 2017 holiday season alone, and this number is projected to double over the course of this year. Google was late to the game, releasing its own Google Home in late 2016.
Both of these companies have long-standing reputations in the e-commerce industry. That being said, making a choice between the Amazon Echo and Google Home can be challenging. If you’re a first-time smart assistant owner, understanding what sets these devices apart will help you understand which one is the best fit for you.
Price and Sound Quality
Amazon has two versions of its smart assistant: the standard Echo and the cheaper Echo Dot. A brand new Echo costs around $100, whereas the Echo Dot can be purchased for half of that price. The biggest difference between the two products is obvious when they are side-by-side. The full-size Echo has a much larger speaker that “echoes” in multiple rooms of your home. The Echo Dot is equipped with the same technology as the full-size model but does not produce the same sound quality.
Google Homes can be purchased for $130. Like Amazon, Google released a smaller version of its smart assistant called the Google Home Mini in 2017. It is comparable to the price of the Echo Dot coming in around $50. Choosing the cheaper version will come at the cost of sound quality and has also reduced the Google Home’s functionality.
Overall, Google appears to be a bit more expensive than Amazon, at least for the full-size model – probably in light of its relatively new entry into the smart assistant market.
The Amazon Echo is powered by Microsoft’s Bing search engine, which is a slight disadvantage to customers who are focused on attention to detail. Google uses its own search engine to empower its smart assistant, which is driven by predictive intelligence. Chances are that if you need a specific answer in a time-crunch, the Google Home won’t make you work as hard for it.
Unfortunately, the fact that Google knows everything about your life is a little bit unsettling to some consumers. Amazon might be able to predict your behavior based on past purchases, but Google is integrated with several more of your accounts like your personal email and location data via Google Maps.
When it comes to streaming music, Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot take the lead in overall volume. However, the Google Home is better-equipped to find your favorite song on third-party apps like Pandora and Spotify.
Since Amazon has had time to develop their product, it takes the lead in overall capabilities. There are more than 15,000 skills enabled on each device, from ordering your favorite pizza to requesting an Uber ride. It has become so simple to enable these skills that customers are often overwhelmed by its complexity. Thankfully, Amazon has categorized these skills into a directory where users can find what they are looking for.
The Google Home is triggered by “actions” rather than skills. Although it is far behind its competition, it can still make your day-to-day routine much easier. It can stream your music, answer questions, assist with shopping, and integrate with a variety of third-party applications.
Choosing Your Smart Assistant
To summarize, Amazon’s Alexa is the winner in price, sound quality and volume, and available skills. The Google Home has a superior search engine and can respond to questions and requests more successfully than its rival.
It is estimated that smart assistants will be in more than 50% of households across America by the year 2022. This voice-controlled phenomenon will continue to pin tech companies against each other in hopes of becoming the majority stakeholder. If you are thinking of joining the majority, get to know your voice-activated personal assistant before you make a final decision.
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