Google Home vs Alexa: The Ultimate Face-Off

Alexa and Google Home are loaded with sets of features: Alexa supports more smart home devices, while Google Home lets you upload your audio file to its cloud. There are many other features that one device support which other devices do not. 

In this article, I will walk you through the features of Alexa and Google Home based on the following parameters

  1. Ecosystem
  2. Voice Control
  3. Appearance
  4. Skills
  5. Music and Sound Quality
  6. Cost
  7. Smart Home Device Compatibility

Comparison of Google Home VS Amazon Alexa

Google Home Vs Alexa

  1. Ecosystem

Alexa device ecosystem has a wider range of products like

  1. Amazon small Echo Dot
  2. Amazon Echo
  3. Amazon Echo show
  4. Amazon Echo Spot

Amazon Echo

Google has two ecosystems 

  1. Google Home Mini
  2. Google Home

Google Home Speakers

Amazon Echo and Google Home Smart Speakers Features

Amazon Echo Dot: can be connected to external speakers and headphones via Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable. The seven microphones, beam-forming technology, and noise cancellation feature of the Echo Dot help the device to hear you even in noisy environments.

Amazon Echo: can hear you from any direction even while you are playing music. The echo is designed around your privacy and helps you to call or message anyone who has an Alexa app.

Amazon Echo Show: The built-in smart hub is compatible with all modern smart home devices which helps you to set up a smart home. The vibrant 10.1” HD screen enables you to watch movies and TV shows from Amazon prime videos.

Amazon Echo Spot Screen: The compact size and the viewing angle of the Amazon Echo Spot screen make it an ideal choice for use at the office and bedside. You can also personalize your Echo Spot with clock faces or any customized photo to suit your style.

Google Home Mini: It works with up to six users with personalized settings. The voice match feature of the Google Home Mini helps to distinguish your voice from others so that you get personalized information that is meant for you.

Google Home: Works with up to seven users with personalized settings. It can identify your voice and let you hear your personalized schedules, commute times and playlists. You can control all modern smart home devices with Google Home. 

The small Echo Dot is paralleled by the Google Home Mini, While the Echo is paralleled by the Google Home. The Echo Show and Echo spot do not have any counterparts in Google Home. 

Google Assistant is installed by default on most android devices which Alexa cannot match. You cannot mix the ecosystems. For example, If you are using the Alexa device, you cannot configure with any Google Home device and enjoy the missing benefits.

  1. Voice Control

Both Amazon Echo and Google Home use voice activation to control music playback, searches and can do things like set timers, read you the news.

Amazon Alexa has multiple wake words like “Alexa”, “Amazon”, “Echo” and “ Computer” but only with a female voice. Google Home has two wakes up words, “Hey Google” and “Ok Google” both in male and female voices.

Google Home beats Alexa when it comes to handling free-form, web-based queries. Alexa is heavily leaned on Wikipedia for general knowledge queries, while Google Home relies on Google search engine.

Alexa wins if your search is related to shopping, as Alexa helps you to buy things from Amazon. Google Home shows you the results of random websites, which at times may not be reliable.

Alexa is straight to the point while Google Home is more conversational. Google Home remembers what you are talking about and let you generate ideas through a conversation.

Alexa lets you change to different accents but does not support multiple languages while Google Home is multilingual. You can speak to Google Home in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Urdu, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.

  1. Appearance

Both Alexa and Google Home has a swappable base. Alexa has a cylindrical shape and has color options available. Alexa has a wood-like finish in either walnut or oak. Google Home comes in white, with swappable fabric and metal bases in seven colors.

The top of Alexa has a volume ring that lights up when Alexa is activated. Alexa has two buttons: one that turns the microphone off, and a multipurpose Action button. Alexa has a light ring around the diameter. Google Home has LED lights that activate when you respond by touch.

Alexa’s top is flat while Google Home has a slight slant. It comes down to whether you prefer Amazon’ neutral colors and woods or Google Home’s bolder colors and metals.

Best Smart Speakers in India

  1. Skills

Both Alexa and Google Home allows you to set up your routine, which comprises of multiple actions triggered by a single command. 

With the Skill Blueprint portal, you can build your own skills and add professional skills to your Alexa device. You can also create and publish your own skills to Alexa Skills store. While in Google Home, you do not have to add skills. Every skill is inbuilt in Google Home.

Making a phone with your smart speaker is possible in both devices, but the Echo Show and Spot are better for video calling. Google Home Hub lacks a camera and Nest Hub Max is pricey. Google is introducing a Google Duplex feature, which makes calls on your behalf with the help of Google Assistant.

Google Home has more than 1800 third party skills. For example, Google Home lets you order your food from zomato or swiggy and book your can from ola, uber. Alexa has more than 24000 third-party skills, which include all of the Google Home skills. However, the majority of Alexa third-party skills are not worth and would not benefit you in your daily life.

Alexa allows you to ask questions one after another within a gap of five seconds. But you have to wait for the answer to ask your next question. Google Home lets you ask more than one question at once. While answering the question, Google Assistant performs more correctly and make attempts to respond to questions than Alexa.

  1. Music and Sound Quality

Alexa devices have a 3.5 mm audio output while Google Home does not have such a feature. Google Home is not as loud as Alexa, and there is a 3 to 4 dB difference in the volume. Alex has a 3.5 mm out jack so that you can connect it to more speakers. Google Home does not have such features.

Both Alexa and Google Home can be used as Bluetooth speakers for your phone and supports multi-room audio. Alexa has seven far-field microphones, while Google Home has only two. Alexa does a better job of recognizing your voice from the far side of the room. Google Home, in comparison, struggles slightly.

Following lists can be played on Google Home

  • Google Play Music
  • Gaana
  • Saavn

Alexa supports lists such as

  • Amazon Music
  • TuneIn Radio
  • Gaana
  • Saavn

Both Google Home and Alexa devices recognize Indian songs and artists and can play any other of your favourite services other than named above.

Both Google Home and Alexa are capable of filling a moderately sized room with sound since both come with 360° speakers that fire in all directions. However, Google Home produces tighter and punchier bass.

  1. Cost

Here is the indicative price of the Google Home and Alexa devices

DevicesCost

Echo Dot (3rd Gen) From Rs. 3,999 to Rs. 4,499

Echo Dot From Rs. 4,099 to Rs. 5,999

Amazon Echo From Rs. 7,999 to Rs. 9,999

Echo Plus (2nd gen) From Rs. 14,999 to Rs. 15,999

Google Home Mini From Rs. 3,599 to Rs. 4,999

Google Home From Rs. 7,999 to Rs. 9,261

  1. Smart Home Device Compatibility

Internet of things (IoT) help create smart devices which can be connected through smart bridges/hub. Alexa and Google Home are compatible with numerous smart home devices, ranging from smart light bulbs, switches to iRobots.

You can easily configure Alexa and Google Home to your smart home devices around and can control them over your voice command.

Alexa is compatible with over 60,000 smart home devices from 7400 brands. The list of smart products which works with Alexa which can be categorized into the following groups

  • Lightning & Dimmers – White and colour ambience smart bulbs 
  • Smart TV – Ultra HD Smart LED TVs from Toshiba, Insignia,  
  • Switches & Outlets – Smart Plugs, Wall switches
  • Sound Bars, Speakers & Headphones – including noise-canceling headphones and earbuds
  • Wifi Systems – Home mesh Wifi system
  • Security Cameras and Home Security – Alarms, Doorbells, Smart locks and camera systems
  • Heating and Cooling Equipment – Thermostats, ceiling fans, smart vents
  • Automotive – smart devices for data on fuel, distance drove and last parking 
  • Miscellaneous devices – Like a Lighted make-up mirror, Acer Nitro spin laptop, tablets, smoke detectors, iRobot, and sprinkler system

Google Home is assisted by AI-based Google Assistant. Google Assistant supports over 10,000 smart devices from 1000 brands. Google Home connects with smart home devices to help you 

  • Control lighting appliances and fixtures – through smart lamps, dimmers, switches and blinds
  • Control home security – through a security camera, alarms, live stream with camera and chromecast
  • Control temperature and Air – through thermostats and smart fans
  • Control entertainment systems – through chromecast, speakers and quick remote

Other unique smart devices which integrate with Google Home are 

  • iRobots
  • Smart Air conditioners
  • Smart Faucet
  • Smart Wifi irrigation controller
  • Computer Printers
  • Wifi Systems
  • Smart Air Purifiers

Powered with AI and compatibility the smart home devices in the future will be able to understand and perform more complex non-routine tasks. For example – switching off all the lights, fans, window blinds, electronic systems and simultaneously putting on security systems when you leave for vacation.   

New use cases for smart devices will emerge like performing self-diagnostics in case of damage, energy conservation, and prevention of damages.

Set Your Smart Home With Alexa and Google Home

You can control your smart home devices with all the Alexa and Google Home ecosystem. But it is recommended to configure with the Amazon Echo and Google Home as they the best in both the ecosystems respectively and covers all the skills you require.

Privacy

When Alexa and Google Home captures your voice, they store those recordings indefinitely on a random ID number. This process can be unhealthy if you share some of your secret information with these devices.

But both Alexa and Google Home devices provide a way to delete your voice captures if you want.

  • To delete your Alexa history, open the Alexa app on your phone. Go to Settings> History, then delete the entries which you want to delete. You can also go to Alexa Privacy settings on your Amazon account and the review voice history.
  • For Google Assistant, go to myactivity.google.com, click on three dots in the upper right corner and then click on Delete Activity. You can choose a date range – today, yesterday, last 7 days, last 30 days or custom – for the entries you want to delete. The navigate through All Products> Voice & Audio> Delete.

Best Alexa and Google Home Enabled Smart Home Devices

  1. Smart Lightings

TP-Link LB100 wifi smart LED light bulb, and Philips Hue white ambience is the two best Alexa enabled smart lighting for you. Both Lights come with different colour shades and set scenes like concentrate, tropical twilight.

Price:

  • TP-Link LB100 wifi smart LED light bulb – Rs. 1,399 to Rs. 2,599
  • Philips Hue white ambience – Rs. 1,249 to Rs. 2,900

Smart Bulbs

You can also configure Philips Hue lights with Google Home. You can have a variety of Philips Hue options like light strips, individual bulbs, white bulbs, and multicolor bulbs. Wipro garnet smart light is another excellent smart light that goes with Google Home. You do not need a gateway or hub to mount the Wipro garnet smart light.

Price

  • Philips Hue white ambience – Rs. 1,249 to Rs. 2,900
  • Wipro Garnet Smart light LED bulb – Rs. 699 to Rs. 1,799

Wipro Smart Bulb

While you can customize your lighting and Turn ON/OFF lights with Alexa and Google Home, you can perform the additional tasks like.

  • Dimming
  • Schedule the On/Off
  • Change the color temperature from warm to cool
  • Change the shade of the bulb
  1. Smart Plug

Thrumm wifi smart plug works with Smart Life app and Smart Life Skill. The smart plug along with Alexa sets no limit on the number of programs you can schedule in a day or a week. 

HomeConxepts ABS wifi Smart S powered with Alexa lets your voice control your voice to control many devices plugged into it. The only drawback is that the functioning is limited to ON and OFF, so only works with appliances like coffee makers, lights and Fans.

Best Smart Plug

Price

  • Thrumm Wifi Smart Plug – Rs. 995 to Rs. 1,399
  • HomeConxepts ABS wifi Smart S – Rs. 2,599 to Rs. 3,099

You can control your electronic appliances with Google Home using Thrumm Wifi Smart Plug. The plug supports small to a high electricity consuming device without any concern. Smarteefi 3 in 1 smart plug is another option which does not require any electrical works like other smart plugs. It has three plug points controlled by connecting the device to your home wifi.

Smarteefi Smart Switch

Price 

  • Thrumm Wifi Smart Plug – Rs. 995 to Rs. 1,399
  • Smarteefi 3 in 1 smart plug – Rs. 2,599 to Rs. 3,099
  1. Security Camera

YI Dome Camera and Royallite wireless HD camera are the best Alexa enabled smart security cameras. While YI Dome camera lets night monitoring up to 3 meters, Royallite can rotate 360 degrees with the help of Alexa and focus on the desired position.

Best Smart Cameras

Price

  • YI Dome Camera – Rs. 2,299 to Rs. 2,499
  • Royallite wireless HD camera – Rs. 2,173 to Rs. 2,290

Both Mi 1080p wifi security camera and AKASO camera are the best Google Home enabled security system for you. While Mi 1080p wifi security camera is equipped with 20 megapixels, 110-degree wide-angle lens, AKASO camera is equipped with 1.5W high powered infrared lens which helps night vision up to 65ft.

Best Smart Cameras in India

Price

  • Mi 1080p wifi security camera – Rs. 2,699 to Rs. 2,899
  • AKASO camera – Rs. 11,249 to Rs. 13,999

When configured with Alexa and GoogleHome, you can perform the following tasks

  • See and Talk with the visitor on your Alexa/ Google Home device.
  • Switch between the camera direction.
  • Change the angle of the security camera
  1. Smart Switches

Both Smarteefi Smart Switch and Sonoff Smart Wifi switch are compatible with both Alexa and Google Home devices. While Smarteefi Smart Switch provides 2 outputs and gives you the capability of two smart switches in a single switch, the smart scene sensor in the sonoff triggers an on/off by sensing the temperature, humidity and other environmental conditions.

Price

  • Smarteefi Smart Switch – Rs. 2,499 to Rs. 3,499
  • Sonoff Smart Wifi – Rs. 559 to Rs. 799

Best Smart Switches

When configured with Alexa and GoogleHome, you can perform the following tasks

  • Schedule the ON/OFF of devices
  • Set timers to control the devices

Cost of setting up a Smart Home

Since you would be using Amazon Echo and Google Home to configure your smart home devices, here the price of setting up a smart home considering the lowest budget possible.

Cost of setting up a smart home with Alexa

Amazon Echo – Rs. 7,999

Philips Hue white ambience – Rs. 1,249

Thrumm Wifi Smart Plug – Rs. 995

Royallite wireless HD camera – Rs. 2,173

Sonoff Smart Wifi – Rs. 559

Total Cost – Rs. 12,975

Cost of setting up a smart home with Google Home 

Google Home – Rs. 7,999

Wipro Garnet Smart light LED bulb – Rs. 699

Thrumm Wifi Smart Plug – Rs. 995

Mi 1080p wifi security camera – Rs. 2,699

Sonoff Smart Wifi Switch – Rs. 559

Total Cost – Rs. 12,951

Final Thoughts on Alexa vs Google Home

Google HomeAlexaWinnner

Language Multilingual Supports different accents Google Home

Query Search Relies on Google search engine Relies on Wikipedia Google Home

Appearance Bolder colors and metals Neutral colors and woods Alexa

Calling Skills Lacks calling skills Better calling Google Home

Sound Quality Struggles recognizing your voice from other room Recognizes your voice better from other room Alexa

Smart Home Device Compatibility Does not support major smart home devices Supports all major smart home devices Alexa

Which is better in different cases

  1. For audio quality, Alexa is cheap and the best option for you with a device like Echo Dot.
  2. If you are ‘set and forget it’ and not a technical person who do not experiment and configure with many other devices, go with Google Home. The simpler syntax of the Google Home will help you achieve this.
  3. If you often indulge in learning and configuring other devices for maximum power, go with Alexa. 
  4. For Smart Home device compatibility, Alexa is your best choice.

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