Amazon Echo vs. Google Home - 5 Things to Consider

amazon echo vs. google home

In recent years, this AI revolution has led to two major tech giants, Amazon and Google jumping on the smart home renaissance and creating smart home systems that harness the true power of their superior algorithms, machine learning technologies and innovation.

In a May 2017 Wired article entitled “OK House. Get Smart: Make the Most of Your AI Home Minions,” the writer states:

Though we have yet to attain our ideal vision of the smart home - robots scurrying to fetch our slippers, breakfast and a perfect pour-over - we now have the tools for establishing verbal dominion over connected devices.

How we play, work and maintain our homes will come down to one thing - the adeptness of our smart devices!

Today, we focus on the emerging battle of the giants and put up the Amazon Echo ( or Echo Dot) against Google Home (or Google Home Mini) in these five categories:

  • Voice Control
  • Knowledge
  • Connectivity
  • Price
  • Design

Let’s get started:

Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Voice Control

Image result for voice control google home

The days of AI being able to clearly understand different accents, tones and pitches in our voice is somewhere off in the future, however, this does not mean that our smart home devices of today are any slobs.

Both Amazon Echo and Google Home devices are skillful at adapting to individual voices and not to mention, super sensitive as they can pick up voices from across the room.

Mastering voice control is a big deal for these technologists, as voice will become the new search. In 2016, research showed that 20% of mobile searches were done using voice, hence the importance of manufacturers being able to acknowledge inflections, lows, highs, decipher between British and French accents, to offer accurate information without you having to repeat yourself.

These devices are learning the art of voice everyday. The more you use it, the better it is for the machine learning technology to take queues and improve itself overtime.

Amazon Echo Voice Control

Google Home Voice Control

For voice control, both devices will get a “work in progress” grade.

Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Knowledge

Now, you might be saying this is an unfair criterion by which to judge both devices. After all, Google is Google for God sake, it knows every damn thing, and for that, you are correct!

Without even going any further, I can let the cat out of the bag and tell you straight up that Google Home is the star of the knowledge department.

Having had experience with both devices, it has been made clear that Amazon has a lot of work to do when it comes down to the knowledge base of the Echo, as it proves to be very limited over and over.

This has been proven by many reviewers. Here is a quick question and answer trialogue for both devices from Wired:

“1. Who is Batman’s butler?

HOME: Alfred Pennyworth [and then a New York Daily News story].

ALEXA: Sorry, I can’t find the answer to the question I heard.

2. Four presidents have won the Nobel Peace Prize. Name all four.

HOME: According to Christian Science Monitor, the other US presidents who have won the Nobel Peace Prize are, in chronological order, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Jimmy Carter.

ALEXA: [No response. I rephrase …]

Which four presidents have won the Nobel Peace Prize?

ALEXA: Hmm. I can’t find the answer to the question I heard.

3. Four state capitals are named for US presidents. Name all four and the state they’re in.

[Nothing, so I tried …]

4. Who was the first person to use “OMG”?

HOME: Here is a summary from the Huffington Post. In addition to representing the first known use of the phrase “OMG,” this 1917 letter from Lord Fisher to Winston Churchill has given us a new favorite catchphrase: “Shower it on the Admiralty!”

ALEXA: Hmm. I can’t find the answer to the question I heard.

5. What is a googol?

HOME: Google! Search for information about someone or something on the internet using the search engine Google.

ALEXA: A googolplex is written as a 1 followed by a googol zeros. A googol is itself 1 with 100 zeros after it, which is many times bigger than the number of atoms in the universe, so a googolplex is far too big to possibly write out in decimal form.

6. Which three animated films have been nominated for Best Picture?

HOME: According to Wikipedia, only three animated films have been nominated, and none have won.

ALEXA: Hmm. I can’t find the answer to the question I heard.

7. What film marked the debut of Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse?

HOME: Sorry, I don’t know how to help with that yet.

ALEXA: [Sad sound.]”

It almost seems as if the Amazon Echo isn’t even trying sometimes. Sure, if you want to create grocery lists, play music from your Spotify playlist and get weather or traffic updates, the Echo is awesome. But, when it comes down to the heart of what a smart home device should be capable of, offering useful information and answers to everyday questions we use our smart devices for, it is a bit of a letdown.

Alexa is no match for the power of Assistant!

Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Connectivity


With technology being what it is today, all our devices in our homes and offices are connected in some way. Whether through Bluetooth, apps and even old-school wires.

Both Amazon’s Alexa and Google does a good job of keeping you connected to your smartphones and important apps with little to no issues.

Here is a breakdown of the connectivity features offered by both devices:

Amazon Echo

Wi-Fi Capable: Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO)
Wi-Fi Music Streaming: Yes
Mobile Hotspot Compatibility: Yes
Sound Quality: Immersive, 360 degrees omni-directional audio
Compatible Partners: Prime Music, Music Unlimited, Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeart Radio
Extendables: Yes, with Echo Dot
Stereo System Output: No

Compatibility: Fire, Android, iOS
Number of 3rd Party Partners: Over 1,000 (e.g. Uber)
Smart Home Partners: Amazon Devices (Tap, Fire TV), Samsung SmartThings, Philips Hue, WeMo, Insteon, Wink, Honeywell, TP-Link, Nest, ecobee, etc.
Content Partners: 400+ News Publishers (including NPR, BBC, TechCrunch, etc.)

Google Home

Wi-Fi Capable: 802.11ac (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Music Streaming: Yes
Mobile Hotspot Compatibility: Yes
Sound Quality: Immersive, 360 degrees omni-directional audio
Compatible Partners: YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn
Extendables: Yes, with Googlecast
Stereo System Output: Yes, with Chromecast

Compatibility: Android, iOS
Number of 3rd Party Partners: Limited number (e.g. Uber)
Smart Home Partners: Google Chromecast, Nest, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT
Content Partners: Integrates with Chromecast to provide News, TV Shows, Movies, Music, Games & Apps

Both devices are fully stocked when it comes to connectivity features, hence, you should have no problem commanding with “Alexa” or “Ok Google” to access your wide array of entertainment options.

Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Price

Image result for amazon echo dot google home mini

As smart home technology becomes more prevalent, prices will automatically fall as these items become standard.

Over the December 2017 holiday season, the Echo Dot and Google Home Mini variants of both devices were selling for under $50. As low as $29.00  (normally $49) for the Google Home Mini and $29.99 (normally $49.99) for the Amazon Echo Dot, now this is awesome!

The Echo Dot was even the Best Selling item on for the 2017 holiday season.

When it comes to price, both devices are a steal and very affordable for the amount of features they offer, so you can’t go wrong choosing either at these prices.

Of course, the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini will offer a few less perks compared to their bigger brothers (Amazon Echo - $79.99 on average and Google Home - $79.00), such as speaker range and volume being lower and more limited, but that’s a reasonable compromise for $29, come on!

Even at their normal prices, these products are a bargain!

Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Design

amazon echo vs. google home
Amazon Echo courtesy of The Daily Express

As mentioned in our modern interior design tips for 2018 - black version guide, our smart home devices are more than information pieces, they have become statement pieces as well.

It is important to choose colors that coordinate with your overall interior design or ones that make for a cool contrast.

The Amazon Echo with its tall, cylindrical shape or small circle for the Echo Dot can almost be unnoticed in black and commands attention in white, while the Google Home with its more noticeable shades of white, grey and even coral colors, stands out amazingly against any backdrop.

amazon echo vs. google home
Google Home lineup courtesy of Android Central

Both devices are unique in the style department and will fit into any interior design setup almost seamlessly. They are not overbearing or intrusive and can add a pop of color (Google Home) or a bit of symmetry (Amazon Echo) to your design setup.

Choosing your style comes down to personal choice, so we will not interfere in this part of your decision making. They are both cool devices - style wise.

Amazon Echo vs. Google Home Summary

As we move into the next frontier of technology, automated and connected homes will be important to how we gather information, complete tasks and innovate.

The Amazon Echo vs. Google Home debate is one that comes down to how much you will use these devices, their knowledge base, ability to connect to other smart home devices and your smartphones, plus how much they can impact your day by providing accurate information to enhance your decision making.

In the end, it came down to knowledge for us, and what both of these devices could offer. We decided to purchase the Google Home Mini, simply because Google is just at a better place in the development of AI technology to improve our way of living at the moment. Plus, heck, it was on sale.

amazon echo vs. google home
Google Home Purchase

Our whole lives are connected to Google, our email accounts, our web searches, our website (if you own a website), most likely our wallets, our maps, our contacts, our saved passwords, our YouTube, and the list could go on forever.

So why not add another Google device to invade our privacy just a little more?

Overall, both devices are awesome, and whichever you choose to satisfy your smart home needs, you will be just fine.

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