- Stylish – will blend into home nicely
- Dozens of features
- Can stream content straight to your TV (YouTube & Netflix)
- Connects with other smart home devices
- Customizable design
- More expensive than Echo Dot
- Average audio quality
- Need Google Audio device to connect with other speakers
Unless you are a major Google fan, we recommend going with the much cheaper Amazon Echo Dot.
This smart home device is basically Google’s answer to Amazon’s extremely popular Echo device and for the most part they are incredibly similar. Both will help you with various tasks and answer questions about weather, news, sports, etc.
First, let’s tackle size, design and audio quality. The Google Home is slightly smaller than the Amazon Echo but larger than the Echo Dot and is a bit more stylish than both – It will blend into your home better than the Echo. It’s semi-modular design allows for customization so basically you can swap out the bottom portion for different colors depending on your preference. It’s overall sound quality, like the Amazon Echo, is decent..not great, but it does get loud enough to be used as a standalone speaker. If you’re just getting this specifically to play music around the house, there are cheaper Bluetooth speakers that do sound better, but the Google Home isn’t terrible by itself.
As far as the main features of the Google Home, here’s what you can expect:
* Play music from third party apps such as Spotify, Pandora, YouTube Music, Google Play and TuneIn
* Stream news, podcasts and radio stations
* Get news, sports and traffic updates
* Ask math, finance, nutrition and other random questions
* Set alarms and timers
* Create shopping lists
* Jokes and a lot more
In regards to connecting the Google Home to other devices, Amazon is marginally ahead for now. In order to connect the Google Home to other speakers around your house you will need a Google Audio device, whereas the Echo Dot on the other hand is able to directly connect to other Bluetooth speakers. Like the Echo, the Google Home will connect with Nest, Samsung SmartThings, Philips Hue and IFTTT. Another cool feature the Google Home offers (although its still kind of in its infancy) is that you can verbally ask Google to stream content to your TV from YouTube and Netflix, although this feature is somewhat basic at the moment (additional 3rd party apps are apparently coming soon).
Overall, unless you are a major Google fan (you use Google services for everything) we recommend going with the much cheaper Amazon Echo Dot.
UPDATE 4/29: Google Home can now pair with Bluetooth speakers – Google’s Blog.