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Review: Google Home (India)

Virtual assistants have been part of our smartphones for a few years now but it was late last year when we saw them taking over our home when Amazon introduced its Echo range of devices with Alexa.

  • PRICE Rs. 9,999
  • URL google.com/home
  • DIMENSIONS 96.4×142.8mm (DxH)
  • WEIGHT 477g
  • AUDIO High-excursion speaker with 2” driver and dual 2” passive radiators
  • MIC Yes, Dual
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz)
  • SUPPORTED OS Android, iOS

Now Google India has jumped into the fray with its Google Home devices that brings the Google Assistant into your home. But is it smarter than Alexa? We find out. Google Home has a very simple and a minimalistic design, allowing the device to fit in any decor.

The upper half is clad in white with touch controls on the top whereas the lower half features an interchangeable fabric base and a physical button at the back to activate/deactivate the voice input.

However, at this point, Google is not selling these bases in different colour options in India. In terms of functionality, Google Home can pretty much do what Amazon’s Alexa does but the one thing that distinguishes Google’s virtual assistant with Amazon’s is the tight integration with Google services and search. Throw any query and Google Home will say it out loud and if you
WWW.TODAYSANDROID.COMwant more information, it will send it to your phone.

Google Home is equipped with dual 2-inch passive radiators and 2-inch driver that offers a decent audio experience but does not feel as crisp as you’d listen to music on Amazon Echo or the Echo Plus. The integrated dual microphones used for far-field voice recognition work well and can easily pick up your voice from the other end of a medium-sized room. The device also supports Voice Match that comes in handy if you’ve got multiple users using the Google Home device. Once set up, Google Home sends personalised info like the daily brief, commute times and music based on the registered voice.

On the entertainment side, music is handled by Google’s own Play Music along with access to Saavn and Gaana’s library and if you’ve got an Android TV or Chromecast, you can ask Google Home to directly play music, YouTube or Netflix videos and photos on the big screen.

Unlike, Amazon’s Echo Plus, Google Home or the Google Home Mini does not come with a built-in smart hub but if you use a device like Philips Hue with its own bridge device, Google Home can control them without any issues over voice.

Google and Amazon are the only players in India to offer smart speakers and at the end of the day, it all boils down to which ecosystem you prefer. While Amazon has the advantage of being in the market for a longer span of time and access to Kindle audio books, shopping etc., Google Home has the upper hand in search and personalised information with VoiceMatch.

Google Home (India)
  • Overall
4.5

VERDICT

Pro: Compact design and AI intelligence
Cons: The audio quality still feels tad below Echo
Overall: Google Home is still in nascent stages but it’s the way to go if you use Google services

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Tapan is a 20 years old and a current college going kid from India who loves to write and read about mobile technology. He covers almost everything but mainly he covers the news section. You can follow him on Facebook.

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