Amazon Alexa Vs Google Home – Know these differences & Make a Good Choice!
I also use a ton of Google owned devices in my personal life as well.
So, this may come as a shock to some of you out there but I finally did it. I bought an Amazon echo and I’d like to tell you why I did that and what I think about the echo.
I have been just curious about what the experience of Alexa is like compared to the Google assistant on Google home devices and I wanted to pass that experience along to you.
So, that’s why I bought an Amazon echo. Now, that I have an echo sitting on my desk right next to a Google home – I wanted to share my thoughts on the differences between the devices.
The overall setup of the Amazon echo was quite easy and quick as compared to a Google home device. I really liked about the echo set up compared to the Google home was – it had this awesome intro video to the Amazon echo and what you can do with Alexa. That’s the first point between Amazon Alexa Vs Google Home.
Now, let’s go to the question you’re all probably wondering right now which one is better; is the Amazon echo better than the Google home! So, Yes! in some respects it is and no it’s not in other areas.
So, let’s take a look at where these devices really compare and look at them head-to-head.
The first generation echo looked like space-age tube, which really stuck out of your living room. It did draw attention to itself which is good in some ways. So, for me, I thought the Google home is designed better and blended into my overall home aesthetic much better. Therefore, this was one of the reasons I originally went with the Google home.
Design of Amazon 2nd Generation:
Amazon has certainly improved the aesthetic of the second generation echo which is the one I have. Currently, it looks so much more subtle. Similarly, I really like the mesh cover they gave the echo and like with the Google home you can change the cover to a different color to better match your room’s aesthetic.
One thing I don’t care for with the echo is that – I appreciate the number of microphones they put into this thing. And, there are way too many holes for them on the top of the device. But, those microphones plus the four buttons make the top of the device look a bit busy looking visually and less appealing. Though, that’s pretty nitpicky.
Again, Google home is much cleaner though and more simple. Google home has LED lights beneath its touch surface to act as the assistance indicator, whereas the echo has its trademark LED ring that lights up different colors for different actions.
so far, I’ve ran into quite a few colors there’s white which represents volume just like it does on the Google home. Blue is the main Alexa color, Red is mute and I’ve also ran into yellow for shipping notifications.
4. Sound Quality
I’ll cover more on the shopping experience with Alexa in a bit. The sound quality on the echo is alright. I don’t have a first-generation Amazon echo to compare the second generation. So, I can’t tell you how much Amazon improved the sound quality over the first generation.
Alexa’s Sound is Better
Now, compared to the Google home – I found that the Amazon echo was clearer with its sound. Google home sounded a little bit more muffled with vocals and mid-range. I also felt that the bass on the Amazon echo was better than the bass on the Google home. So, for $100 speaker, I actually thought the Amazon echoes sound was pretty good.
I wasn’t expecting it to sound better than my Google home acts per se – which sounds amazing but for a $100 speaker. It sounds really good and I quite preferred its sound over the sound my Google home speaking of music and media playback.
5. Playback Feature
One weird quirk that I found with the Amazon echo was; there was no way to physically pause music playback with the echo. You can play and pause media is by using your voice with the Amazon echo.
Alexa has no physical feature for this
Now, compared to the Google home, where you can just simply tap the touch surface of the Google home to play and pause media which I quite like – especially, if Google home is within reach it’s a lot faster to be able to pause media by just tapping it than to have to use your voice.
Both the home and the echo do have a way to wake the assistant. Without your voice, the echo gives you a dedicated button on the top, where with the home you just tap and hold the touch surface and the assistant will wake speaking of assistance.
6. Follow-up Question
Overall, I’ve actually been fairly impressed with Alexa. It is still not as capable as the Google assistant for more advanced search queries but what it can answer is still pretty impressive.
It can answer a lot more things than I thought. it would be able to and can do more complex queries in certain situations, like it can follow the context of a previous query. For example, you can ask Alexa “who is JPMorgan” and then Alexa will give you the answer and then you can ask it again as a follow-up when was he born and Alexa will still know that you’re talking about JPMorgan.
7. Alexa Knows Sound Waves
Some other things Alexa knows what sound waves are it can tell you how long it would take to drive somewhere and it knows Tesla’s current stock price.
8. Amazing Queries
For other queries though, alexa is still not as capable as the Google assistant here are some random queries I found; Alexa couldn’t answer where Google could – what is lacroix? Alexa did not understand I was referring to the popular soft drink and thought I was talking about something in French.
And, this last question which I just think is hilarious: why does my butt hurt Alexa? Why does my butt hurt? Answered I got by Alexa is – Hmm I don’t know that! I again asked why my butt hurts? Alexa answered – health conditions related to this search include piriformis syndrome muscle strain or pregnancy.
Wow! I will say these queries are much more obscure than the typical queries these assistants get asked. So, it is impressive that Google can answer them to begin with overall. Though, I was impressed by how much Alexa can do compared to the Google home in terms of queries. Amazon has definitely been improving their assistant since the last time I tried Alexa over a year ago.
9. Shopping Experience
Let’s talk about the shopping experiences of both of these platforms. This is an area where the platforms really differentiate themselves from each other.
Furthermore, with the Google home you have Google Express, which allows you to shop through a variety of partners – like Target, Walmart and Home Depot and it works something like this on Google Home:
I said: “purchase an Amazon echo 2nd generation”
Google Home: a second generation sandstone fabric Amazon echo 2-way smart speaker from Target 480 $4.99 how’s that sound!
I said: buy it
Google Home: alright I added it to your cart by the way target will deliver for free if you spend $15 more.
It’s pretty bizarre that you can buy an Amazon echo through your Google home.
10. You can Buy through Alexa but not Google Home
Well, you can’t actually buy it through your Google home. What the Google assistant will do is add the Amazon echo to your Google Express shopping cart and then you have to go on a mobile device or on your computer to actually check out.
Can’t Buy with Google Home
However, you can’t actually buy the item directly with your voice with Google Express which in my opinion is a bit lame. There, with Alexa and the Amazon echo you can do just that. Here’s how that shopping experience works:
I said to Alexa: purchase a stainless steel Trashcan
Alexa: based on your order history I found I touchless stainless steel trashcan 49 LT 13 gallon it’s see $3.63 from Amazon – would you like to buy it?
I said: yes
Alexa: Okay, order placed, your total is $68 and 24 cents including tax and your gift card was applied and will be delivered by August 19th.
Buying is Easy with Alexa
Buying things with Alexa is pretty simple and works really well. it’s actually something I think I’ll be doing a lot in the future which I was not expecting when I first bought my Amazon echo. So, I love the fact that it gives you suggestions on what to purchase based upon things you’ve already purchased in your order history and as someone who is an Amazon customer with a very large order history already with Amazon that gives me more confidence when I place an order using my voice with Alexa.
11. Order Cancellation
Now, luckily it is very easy to cancel an order in case you accidentally order the wrong thing or your kids bought some ridiculously expensive thing they were not supposed to purchase. Nonetheless, these devices can also help you after your order has been placed.
Advantage to Google
Moreover, both the Google home and the echo will give you notifications on your orders which are pretty neat. Google home actually has an advantage here if you use Gmail. Because, Google can scan your emails to identify purchases, and it’ll know your Amazon orders are supposed to be delivered as well as other orders from other vendors. Though, it won’t typically know what all is placed in the order if you have multiple items within one order.
12. Shipment Notifications
To ask about a shipment notification just asks either Google or Alexa to track your shipments.
Google Home or Alexa: I found nine orders that were placed in the last two weeks, I’ll start with the most recent one first your order from amazon.com is scheduled for delivery between September 6th and September 13. Next your order from Panera Bread has been confirmed your order from Panera Bread has been confirmed.
Both are Fine in this Area
Me: What are my notifications?
Google Home or Alexa: One new notification from Amazon shopping Josh’s shipment has arrived for trashcan.
So, that’s it for my first of Alexa the Amazon echo and how the echo compares to the Google home. Now, definitely let me know in the comments what you thought of this blog post. If there are other differences that I missed initially between the two devices and let me know what you’d like to see in future blog posts about Amazon Alexa vs Google home.
Thanks so much.