Choosing a voice-controlled smart speaker for your smart home has become a difficult task these days. There are tons of them, even if you prefer to get one from reputed brands. Amazon and Google lead the pack with their Echo and Home smart speaker lineup respectively. Amazon, in fact, has the second generation Amazon Echo Plus due release in two days. So how does it compares with the best from Google, the Google Home? Let's find out.
Amazon has done significantly to reduce the size of the Echo Plus 2018 by almost half when compared to its predecessor. It now feels more compact, and the fabric finish gives it a fresh look. Google Home, meanwhile, always had a compact look and feel. But it's not the design we're probably looking for. So let's get down to the features.
The new Echo Plus, despite the small size, still packs the all-important Zigbee hub which basically eliminates the need of an extra hub device to start building your smart home. There's also a 3.5mm audio output jack which you can use to connect external speakers in case you wish to pump music out from a more premium set of speakers. The Echo Plus 2018 also supports Bluetooth connectivity.
With Google Home, you get none of these. But in Google's defence, it boasts an expansive knowledge base of Google Assistant, which also syncs well with Google Assistant on your phone. Furthermore, it works really well with other Google products such as Chromecast.
Despite both the devices being of the same size, the Echo Plus weighs 780g (1.72lbs) whereas the Google Home weighs only 477g (1.05lbs). This literally tells us about the lack of hardware features in Google Home. It has only 2 microphones when the Echo Plus has 7. Also in terms of speakers, Echo Plus features 3-inch woofer and 0.8-inch tweeter while the Google Home has a 2-inch driver and dual 2-inch passive radiators.
In terms of pricing, the Amazon Echo Plus 2018 costs $150 at launch, while the Google Home sells for $129.
|Amazon Echo Plus (2018)||Google Home|
|Size||5.8" x 3.9" x 3.9"||5.6" x 3.8" x 3.8"|
|Weight||780g (1.72lbs)||477g (1.05lbs)|
|Speakers||3" woofer and 0.8" tweeter||2" driver and dual 2" passive radiators|
|Smart home hub||Yes (Zigbee)||No|
|3.5mm audio jack||Yes||No|
Google Home at the moment can do only so much, but if you're already invested in Google products, it might still be a better choice. However, if you're interested not just in a smart speaker, but an outright smart home hub, Amazon Echo Plus is the one for you. Amazon's smart home ecosystem is a fast-growing platform, with a lot of first-party Alexa-enabled products coming soon. So the onus is now on Google to deliver a competitive follow-up to Alexa's smart home offerings.
You can pre-order the Amazon Echo Plus 2018 from Best Buy today to get it by October 15. Don't forget to add the free Philips Hue smart bulb in your cart before you checkout. You can also avail the offer at Amazon.
Click here to check-out the Google Home at Best Buy.