In this comparison, we are going to talk about the differences between Amazon Echo and Google Home/Nest (Alexa vs Google Assistant).
Smart speakers are now very popular, but there are still a lot of people who can’t decide between Amazon or Google. After a brief introduction, we discuss what criteria should affect the decision.
We will provide a complete comparison between Alexa voice assistants and Google Assistant. So we will see the differences between Amazon Echo vs Google Home / Nest and Amazon Echo Dot vs Nest Mini.
What is a smart speaker?
A smart speaker is a device that, unlike a Bluetooth speaker, connects to your home WiFi network and integrates software that can process voice commands and respond / react accordingly.
This artificial intelligence is what we call voice assistant or virtual assistant, already widely used in our mobiles, tablets, and computers (Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, etc.).
Therefore, the virtual assistant represents the heart, or better the brain of the speaker and is what allows the user to understand and perform the required actions.
Which voice assistant do you prefer?
In the purchase of a speaker, next to the technical characteristics, the main element that you will have to evaluate will be the integrated voice assistant, since the functions will depend entirely on this.
Google Home and the Nest line integrates Google Assistant, while Amazon Echo and the rest of the range rely on Alexa software.
But not only that, but these assistants are also integrated into speakers from other manufacturers (see Sonos One, for example).
Alexa or Google? Amazon Echo or Google Home?
Thus, the question arises: Google Home or Amazon Echo? First, there is objectively no absolute winner.
Here are the factors you will need to evaluate before choosing between the two:
- Your use of the smart speaker and your priorities: Do you want to use the speaker primarily for listening to music? Or to find information and facilitate everyday life? Or for smart home control and compatible devices like smart lights, WiFi thermostats, smart air conditioners, WiFi locks, etc.?
- The ecosystem, products, and services that you use on a daily basis: do you mainly use Google products and services (for example, Google Chromecast, Google Calendar, Youtube, etc.) or are you more of an Amazon user (Prime member, Audible, Kindle, Prime Video or Amazon Music)? Do you use products and services compatible with Google Home or Alexa or both (Spotify, etc.)? The compatibility will be one of the most important aspects of your decision.
Google Home vs. Alexa: the differences between Alexa and Google Assistant
As we have said before, the most important and obvious difference between Google Home and Amazon Echo is the voice assistant they use.
The basic functions
Both will allow you to enjoy the basic functions of a voice assistant / smart speaker. For example:
- Search for information on the web, such as the weather, traffic, recipes or breaking news.
- Manage appointments, reminders, alarms, timers, shopping and to-do lists
- Play music, radio and other multimedia content
In the activities mentioned, the difference between Alexa and Google Assistant does not lie so much in what they can do, but in how they do it. Or what services (radio, streaming, etc.) are supported.
Google Assistant, for example, integrates perfectly with its ecosystem, although it does not always take it perfectly (for example, calendar management remains unfriendly and fluid).
If you want to learn more about the functions of the two, we recommend reading our guides on Alexa voice commands and on what to ask / ask Google Home.
The most interesting aspect of these smart speakers is the ability to help us in daily life and smart home. You can control, exclusively through voice, the smart devices (when they are compatible) that you have in your home.
WiFi plugs, smart lights and bulbs, smart locks, WiFi thermostats, robot vacuum cleaners and scrubbers, WiFi cameras and video intercoms and other appliances such as televisions, dryers, washing machines, sound bars, audio systems, etc.
Not only that, depending on the platforms and third-party services they support, you will be able to carry out a series of actions that until now were unthinkable. Also make calls or send messages. Just think that in the United States, these smart speakers are used to order taxis, food at home, and book flights.
So when it comes to the smart home, the substantial difference between Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant lies in the supported services, devices, platforms, and brands.
So, before buying one or the other, you will have to review these, wondering if what you own (or want to buy) is compatible with the smart speaker you have chosen. Our lists of devices compatible with Alexa and those compatible with Google Assistant should help you.
Note, however, that in the case of devices not directly compatible with Google Home or Amazon Echo, intermediaries such as Broadlink or IFTTT can indirectly connect these smart speakers with other brands.
A smart friend? Google Assistant better than Amazon Alexa
In terms of voice assistance and software intelligence, Google Assistant is visibly ahead compared to Alexa. It uses the Bing search engine and bases its responses primarily on Wikipedia.
Instead, the Google assistant, using the Google search engine , manages to provide more complete and appropriate answers. No wonder he uses to his advantage his indisputable experience in the field of web search , cultivated for years and years.
Who do we ask our questions all the time if not Google?
Of course, if the question is related to online shopping and the characteristics of certain products, Alexa will give us better answers. Amazon cannot pass up the opportunity to help a potential customer!
A more natural conversation
Another point in favor of Google Home is the fluidity and naturalness of the conversation.
Alexa’s voice may seem more natural. In addition, its speakers are, in general and in most of the speakers, able to hear us better, compared to Google Assistant, even with noise and background music.
However, we can say that Google understands us better . With Alexa, we must learn to express ourselves in a certain way, be careful with pronunciation or use specific words or certain expressions to understand us.
It’s not a big deal once we get to know it. However, Google processes our questions / requests better. We don’t have to worry too much about how we express ourselves, and gradually you will be able to customize and optimize responses. As expected , personalization may be an advantage in Google’s favor in the future.
In fact, Google offers personalized responses depending on the user who is talking (in case there are more people using the speaker in the family). Also, the wizard in the US offers continuous conversation (that is, you don’t have to repeat “OK, Google” every time) and the ability to ask for two voice commands at the same time. For example, “turn on the light and turn off the alarm.”
Lastly, probably of minor importance, Google Home can pick up fewer false calls (that is, when the smart speaker “wakes up” without the user’s actual intention).
This is because the expression that activates the smart speaker is single-term and easily misleading for Alexa (Alexa, Amazon, Echo or Computer). On the contrary, it consists of two words for Google (Hey Google or OK Google).
However, it must be said that there are some aspects in which Alexa range, such as whisper mode, more advanced than that of Google. Once activated, it will allow us to whisper the command and receive a whispered response (useful at night, for example).
A friend butler? Amazon Alexa better than Google Assistant
We’ve said that Google’s intelligence often beats Alexa, especially when it comes to web searches.
But Alexa and Amazon Echo are still the queen and king of the global smart speaker market, especially when it comes to smart home.
Thanks to the long presence in the market and continuous updates, Alexa has in fact become an indispensable presence in English-speaking homes and the same is happening in Spain.
Google Home connects to the devices and services compatible with the said “actions”, through the application. Instead, Amazon Alexa requires enabling such skills (for example, the Philips Hue skill for light bulbs, etc.) in the app.
The skills of Alexa, also thanks to the help of external developers and its open ecosystem (any company can perform its skill), are increasing every day.
More features and collaborations
In the field of home automation and smart home, Alexa has a superiority, not only globally, but now locally.
Therefore, its versatility should not be underestimated. This leads us to prefer, in the long term, Amazon Echo to Google Home. Especially if the user’s priority is smart home control.
Without a doubt, both are compatible with the most popular products, services and brands such as Philips Hue, D-Link , IFTTT and so on.
Another reason to choose Amazon is the opportunity to buy smart speakers that directly integrate the Zigbee digital home controller (Echo Plus and Echo Studio), while Google doesn’t offer anything like this.
Differences between Amazon Echo and Google Home: technical specifications
Now let’s see what are the main differences between Amazon Echo and Google Home on a technical level. Factors to consider are audio quality, design, and price.
Choose the smart speaker you like best
Both Amazon Echo and Google Home/Nest offer several products within the same line. The Amazon range is much broader with products for all needs.
If you want to enjoy the advantages of voice assistants, but spending less and giving up a little on audio quality, you can opt for the “Mini” versions ( Amazon Echo Dot or Echo Flex or Nest Mini ).
In the same way, if you are willing to increase the budget in exchange for better quality audio, you can opt for Echo Studio since Google Home Ma x.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a smart speaker with a Zigbee digital smart home controller, avoiding the purchase of external controllers, you can consider Echo Plus or Echo Studio.
Finally, if you want a smart screen (for example, to make video calls or watch videos), you can choose Echo Show, Echo Show 5, Echo Show 8, or Google Nest Hub.
Comparison Amazon Echo vs Google Homo: Audio
If you are a music lover and looking for a speaker to replace an audio system, you may be disappointed. In this case, we advise you to choose other speakers, perhaps to pair via Bluetooth with Amazon Echo or Google Home.
As for the technical characteristics, Google Home has a 5 cm speaker and two 5 cm passive radiators, while Echo has a 7.6 cm woofer and a 2 cm tweeter.
Google Home offers deeper bass, but Amazon Echo has superior audio quality.
As for the rest of the line, Amazon wins by a landslide, since it offers Echo Studio at a fairly good price, while Google still does not offer anything equivalent.
Design is undoubtedly the most subjective element. Both have an elegant, little intrusive appearance and suitable for any type of decoration.
Some industry experts believe that Google Home has the upper hand, with its original shape and touch interface at the top.
Google Home looks like a scent diffuser, weighs less than Echo (477g vs. 780g). The diameter is more or less similar (approximately 9 cm).
Amazon Echo 3 is sold in different colors, while Google Home only allows you to customize the base.
Google Home vs Alexa: price
And we come to the differences that affect our portfolio. Google Home was priced much higher than Echo (€ 149 vs. € 99). However, for a few months now, the list price has been reduced to compete with the giant Jeff Bezos. So right now the price of the two devices is the same.
If you look at the rest of the line, Amazon offers cheaper solutions , starting at 29.99 euros (up to 229.99 euros), Google instead has products starting at 59 euros (up to 129 euros).
Amazon Echo Dot or Nest Mini?
The “mini” versions are ideal for those who do not have high expectations from the point of view of audio quality, but want to maximize the potential of a smart speaker. The functions are in fact the same as those of the standard versions. The difference only lies in the technical specifications and the size of the speaker.
Also, you can buy one or more of these products as extensions of your main smart speaker (for placement in different rooms, for example).
While Echo Dot has physical buttons on the top for volume, to mute the microphone or manually activate Alexa, Nest Mini features touch buttons for volume under the fabric on both sides of the device (lights will illuminate if user comes close. ). The physical button to mute the microphone is on the back. Nest Mini can also be hung on the wall, thanks to the support.
The audio quality is quite similar, but Nest Mini achieves higher volumes with a still balanced and rich sound.
Alexa or Google Home: smart screen
Voice control has eliminated physical contact and the need for visual support. However, user needs are constantly evolving and Amazon knows this very well. That is why Alexa integrated into smart speakers that can actually be defined as smart screens, precisely because they have screens. This is very useful if you want to follow a video recipe, make a video call, or watch videos.
Both Amazon and Google offer solutions of this type, although Google only has Nest Hub while Alexa has three different-inch speakers: Echo Show, Echo Show 5, or Echo Show 8.
Alexa vs Google: which one is better?
There is no absolute answer. Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. This is the first question. Only later can you choose between Google Home or Amazon Echo. Here is a summary:
Google Home is recommended for:
- who uses the Google ecosystem on a daily basis (for example, Google Chromecast).
- those who want to use the smart speaker to search for information and facilitate everyday life (traffic, weather forecasts, etc.).
- those who want a more natural and sometimes more efficient conversation.
On the other hand, Amazon Echo is recommended for:
- smart home control
- who wants to use the speaker to buy online and who is well integrated into the Amazon ecosystem (Prime, Amazon Music, Prime Video, etc.).
- those who want more versatility and functions, useful as well as fun.