Google Home Smart Speaker: The 2-Minute Review

 

Smartphone Compatible With Google Home

Our Impression
4.3

Summary

The original Google Home is one of the best-sounding smart speakers sold today. That said, it lags the Amazon Echo series in terms of the number of things you can do with it.

Great for:
● Google Apps and Services
● Weather, Sports, & News
● Playing Music
● Searching the Web
● Controlling Smart Home Devices

Avoid if:
You want to control (or play with) lots of third party services and devices. Amazon Echo beats Home on third party integration.

Price: $

Overall Impression

Google Home is a multifunctional smart speaker that acts as both a personal assistant and a smart home controller.

Utilizing the latest AI and voice recognition tech, Google Home is a handy interactive voice assistant and a pretty decent music player.  Ask Google Home any question, and it will leverage Google search to answer you promptly.

It also comes with the ability to control many leading smart home devices without additional programming or setup.

Google Home integrates itself into your daily routine in a really natural and useful way.

That said, it’s a bit more limiting than its main competitors, the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot.

Read this Which Bot Winscomparison to learn about the differences between Google Home and Amazon Echo.


Best Features

Because Google manufactures Home, voice control over Google services and apps works really well.

For example, if you have a Chromecast attached to your TV, then navigating channels is as simple as saying, “Google, what’s on CNN right now?”

Home is a recent innovation from Google, so there aren’t that many features the AI can control, just yet. That said, Google Home can be programmed to leverage IFTTT, which is a quick and code-free way to voice-command a wide range actions, such as posting a tweet, turning off your lights, opening your garage door and more.

Google chose an activation phrase, “Google”, that was universal and worked across languages and accents, so a wide range of users can easily use the device.

As you might expect from Google, the search features on Home are as good as any smart home speaker today. You can ask Home a simple question like, “Google, What is the capital of Albania?” and the device will promptly answer.

The AI also maintains a memory of what you asked of it. If you were to ask, “What is the capital?” a bit later on, Google Home would remember you were talking about the country, Albania.


Built-In Capabilities

Google Home acts like your assistant and learns about you by using Google’s various algorithms.

The smart speaker responds to your questions in a conversational tone, so it remembers the context in which you ask your questions.

You can also link your smart home devices such as lights and a Nest thermostat to Home, so you have complete control with just the sound of your voice. If you are feeling lazy, you can dictate a shopping list to Home and it will transmit it to Google Keep.

Google Home’s interface can also understand many different tones and accents.


Third Party Integration

Compared with Amazon Echo/Alexa, Google Home isn’t integrated with many third-party apps, yet.

Music-wise, Google Home can stream music via Youtube Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, and (as expected) Google Play.

Also included are built-in smart home integrations with Nest, Philips, IFTTT, Honeywell, Wemo and SmartThings.

Many television manufacturers are beginning to incorporate Google Home into their programming, too.


Speaker Hardware

Google Home Inside Look

Google Home’s Hi-Fi speaker is better than Amazon Echo in terms of natural sound quality. The mid-range is especially good, with a deep, expressive sound.

Google Home tends to distort bass sound at full volume, however.

And, like any bluetooth speaker system that lacks a dedicated subwoofer, thumping bass is kind of non-existent.


Expandability

Google Home has nice multi-room capability  that makes chaining and integrating the devices a breeze.

Due to this feature, you can listen to the same song in multiple rooms at the same time.

You can also change the color of the Google Home speaker’s base, so you have the option personalize the speakers.


Pros

  • Seamless integration with Google services
  • Excellent mid-range sound
  • Solid voice recognition

Cons

  • Speakers distort easily
  • Limited third-party applications

Choose The Google Home Smart Home Speaker If:

You are an avid user of Google’s services and want an easier, more natural interface for playing music, searching the web and getting weather updates.

Avoid The Google Home Smart Home Speaker If:

You want a smart home speaker that has access to more third party apps, or if you plan to buy stuff online. Amazon Echo is the better choice, in this case.


Specifications

Smart Speaker From Google

  • Size: 3.79 in x  5.62 in
  • Weight: 1 lb
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity: 2.4GHz/5Ghz Wi-Fi for high-speed streaming. WPA2-Enterprise is not supported.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: No Bluetooth option available
  • Audio: HE-AAC, LC-AAC+, MP3, Vorbis, WAV, FLAC for high-resolution streaming
  • System Requirements: Supports Android 4.2 & higher and iOS 8.0 & higher.
  • Battery: 16.5V, 2A required and included.
  • Warranty: one year limited for new devices; 90 days for refurbished devices
  • Included in the Box: Google Home smart speaker, power supply and quick start guide.

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