As time moves on so does technology and there is no better example of this than smart home systems. These are devices that aim to make our life as easy as possible by aiding us in our everyday lives. There are numerous different smart home systems out there and these range from thermostats to home assistants. Today we are going to look at 2 different smart home assistants; Google Home and Amazon Echo.
There are a few differences between the two devices. The main difference is that Google Home uses the Google search engine, whereas, the Amazon Echo uses Bing. The problem with this is that if you search for simple questions Google is more likely to give you an answer without having to go onto a website, something Bing doesn’t do all that often. For the weather, this works great, however, in my tests Google can give you answers to more obscure information.
To set up the Google Home you just need to plug it in and connect to it using any phone with the Google Home app. You then just need to follow the prompts and it will mostly guide you through the whole process. Nothing difficult, just a bit long winded. The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, is quicker to set up as there are fewer steps involved. You still need to download an app but there are fewer options which will help the setup process go quicker. Neither are difficult but if you are in a rush you could get the Echo setup quicker.
Coming in at £129 the Google Home is a little cheaper than the Amazon Echo at £149.99. However, if you pay for the customisable base on the Google Home it works out to be about the same price as an Amazon Echo. One thing to note is that there is no Google equivalent to the Amazon Echo Dot (the mini Echo which costs £49.99). The main difference between the Echo & the Echo Dot is that the Echo has a bigger better speaker, but that’s about it.
I would have to say that the sound quality on both is about the same in terms of speakers, however where the Google home wins out is the ability to have multi-room playback, by syncing music across any (Google) Chromecast compatible speakers.
The thing to remember though is that this is not even a case of Betamax Vs VHS, both devices are compatible with a multitude of the same 3rd party apps & devices, so neither has an obvious advantage here. Also, I’ve seen over the last few months the functionality of the Amazon Echo has only increased week on week.
One main feature that Amazon Echo has over the Google Home is that it works with Audible, whereas currently, Google home has no compatible audio book capability. In addition, to listen to music on the Google Home you would need a paid app, whereas if you are already an Amazon Prime member then you would already have access to Amazon music as part of that cost. If you don’t have either then you are not fully out of luck as both work with Spotify premium.
As mentioned earlier there is a mini Echo called the Echo dot. This device integrates with the main Echo unit to allow you to have Amazon Echo in multiple rooms, without needing to buy an Echo unit per room. This then, as a result, saves the end user money if they want Echo in multiple rooms. The Google Home allows you to connect the main device to Google’s Chromecast Audio units. However, unlike the Echo Dot, this only allows you to have audio playing and still has to be controlled through the main Google Home unit.
I’ve yet to test the Google Home in relation to other smart devices, such as the thermostat, smart plugs etc. But I will do soon and will report back.
The Google home, however, does have both a 2.4GHz & 5GHz Wi-Fi adapter built in, so if you already have a dual band Wi-Fi network at home this could be an advantage if you have any issues with 2.4GHz.
As far as smart home assistants go Amazon Echo and Google Home are the top contenders. they are both similar and I wouldn’t say one is definitely better than the other as it would depend on what you want. If you want the ability to use it in multiple rooms then I would say that the Echo is best. However if you only need it in one room and already have an Android device, then I would say that the Google Home would be best. Or if you want you could always buy both.
Whatever the case if you would like to know more about any of these devices, or simply want advice on which would be best for you, then please contact us on 0161 740 7400 or use our contact form here and one of our engineers would be happy to help.