Things are about to get spiced up in the Indian smart speaker market as tech giant Google officially announced its entry with its Google Home devices. While competition Amazon has had a free run so far with its Echo devices, Google’s foray will heat things up. We can expect it to get more competitive if and when Apple announces the India launch of its HomePod speakers. Till Apple enters India, it’s a direct battle between Amazon and Google. Here’s how the two speakers square up in terms of price, features and specifications:
Google Home is a sleek looking device which has slightly sloped top with a touch-capacitive display. The Google colours flash on the four LEDs as soon as you switch on the device. It stands tall at 5.6-inches and weighs about 477 grams. There’s also a mute button to activate in case you’re paranoid about Google snooping all the time.
Amazon Echo, on the other hand, comes in a cylindrical shape and is 5.9-inches tall. The speaker is available in six fabrics and finishes and the top of the speaker has a light ring which can be used to adjust volume.
The biggest USP of smart speakers is the AI-powered voice assistant. In Google Home, it’s Google Assistant that is at your beck and call. All you need to say is “Hey Google” or “Ok Google” before giving any command and your query will be answered.
Amazon’s voice-assistant is Alexa and it also works on the same principle of AI. It can give you information about weather, plays music, tells you sports scores, weather and also get information from Bing search. For those who are already Amazon Prime users, they can order products which have been ordered before. Amazon services like Amazon Music also work seamlessly with Echo devices.
Amazon Echo comes equipped with the ability to control Alexa-enabled products like lights and fans in your home If you want to switch on the fan or increase the temperature of the AC, you can simply ask Alexa to do it. Several brands, including Samsung, Philips, Honeywell, have already got products integrated with Alexa capabilities in the market. However, these smart gadgets do cost substantially more.
Google Home speaker relies heavily on its Assistant to be smart. It too can control smart lights, switches among other things Google Home also acts as a receiver for Chromecast devices. You can also ask Google Home to play Netflix content or YouTube videos as well.
While Google Home is a Wi-Fi-enabled speaker, it does lack Bluetooth connectivity. There’s also the option of streaming music directly from the cloud or from Google Play Music, Spotify and YouTube. Google Home has dual side-facing passive radiators which provide ample sound quality.
Amazon Echo supports Bluetooth and can play music from any device. You get access to Amazon Music and other options like Spotify also get support. The Echo has a 0.6-inch tweeter and a 2.5-inch woofer.
Price and Availability
Amazon Echo retails at Rs 9,999 there are other variants like Echo Dot and Echo Plus which are priced at Rs 4,499 and Rs 14,999 respectively. Amazon Echo devices are available on Amazon as well as at select offline retailers
Google Home costs Rs 9,999 and is a Flipkart-exclusive. Google Home Mini costs Rs 4,499 and both devices are available starting today.
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