After the much talked about Alexa assistant’s relative success, Amazon launches it on the new 2018 variants of their Echo Dot and Echo Plus on 12th October now in an all new white.
The Echo Dot Grey variant and Echo Sub variants are still listed to be available late October and mid-November respectively. Alexa seems to work absolutely fine on these older models as well, however the new third generation Amazon smart speakers seem to have piled on some new features. But does that justify the added price tag? This reviewer certainly doesn’t think so. Let’s find out why.
1. Features: So, what’s new? Amazon has introduced new APIs for developers to support more smart home functionalities into Echo and Alexa-enabled devices. This means third party manufacturers of smart home devices can take advantage of this. But the underlying problem is that most third party manufacturers have already spent resources and effort in integrating the Google Assistant APIs to their devices such as Nest Cams and Philips Hue smart lights. So would they even bother to move away from their existing ecosystem and have to start supporting both assistants? Even though Amazon’s new offerings have the capability of performing smart doorbell operations and motion detection etc., it does not guarantee third party support.
2. Hardware: The Echo products are supposedly louder and clearer than ever before. They also have a sleeker design and the new colour is certainly attractive. But the Google pulls away with its cosy warm fabric textured Google Home Mini and Google Home. In terms of volume, the Google Home Max is certainly the loudest in the world at the moment and even professional sound engineers have praised its crisp audio quality.
3. Smartness: So, at the core, the smart speaker is supposed to be interactive and human like. Alexa certainly has better interactive capability than Siri or Bixby but the Google Assistant with its context understanding capabilities is far superior. For example, try asking the Google assistant on your phone:
“WHO IS NARENDRA MODI?”
The assistant will give you a relevant answer but the conversation is not over. You can continue to ask questions about him and don’t even have to mention his name.
“HOW TALL IS HE?”
This kind of interaction seems more natural and makes the experience pleasant for the user.
Not to mention that Google being the world’s largest search engine has the resources and data to better use its machine learning and artificial intelligence to know exactly how people talk and is definitely in a better position to make its assistant smarter than ever. In fact, the Google assistant can differentiate between you and your daughter or wife or friend. So if your wife says “PLAY MY FAVOURITE SONGS”, it will play from her playlist than from yours. Isn’t that just magical when the technology feels personalised and built for you and your home?
4. Supported Applications: The Assistant is baked into almost every part of your day. All of Google’s productivity apps and even most third party applications allow the assistant into it. But Alexa is limited to its own Amazon apps like the Music and Video app. The Kindle and Fire Stick are promised support but no date is mentioned.
5. Price: The Echo Dot retails for Rs.4499 and the Echo Plus for 14999, while in between them, the unusual Echo sub retails for Rs.12999. The Google Home Mini, at Sangeetha mobiles at Rs. 4499 and the regular Google Home at Rs.9999.
For all the reasons mentioned above, it’s obvious that the Google Home is the smartest speaker and a valuable addition to your home for the children to learn and play with. It is also obvious that there is no better place to buy than at Sangeetha. The world’s most popular Smart Speaker and India’s largest Mobile Retailer together are guaranteed to make your wallet and you happy, this festive season.
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