Google Home and Alexa are both voice assistants that can provide information and control over many devices, and they are integrated into a range of physical devices that you can install in your home or other location.
The primary difference between the two is that Google Home is much better at finding information and responding in more intelligent ways, while Alexa is integrated with almost double the number of devices, so third parties much better support it.
One of the most significant factors for any buyer will be which devices each can control because what you want to use may determine whether you get Google Home or Alexa.
What Can Google Home and Alexa Do For You?
Google Home and Alexa are AI-controlled software integrated with speakers that interact with you, physical devices you have installed in your home, and integration with services natively and third-parties.
So you can talk to both to turn your smart TV on and start up a show or turn music on from a specific streaming service, like Spotify or Apple Music. You can adjust your thermostat settings or any other network-connected device in your home.
To get access to Google Home or Alexa as virtual assistants, you need to purchase one of the various speakers provided by each company, so the prices can range depending on what you want out of the speakers themselves.
|Amazon Echo Dot
|Physical Devices Connected
Who Should Be Using Google Home?
Google Home is best for people who want a more interactive experience with better research and more information. So if you are asking a lot of questions or need help with cooking instructions, then Google Home is the best service for answering you with accurate results.
The Google Home assistant would also be best if you prefer to use the Nest products around your home, including Nest Cams and Nest thermostat.
Anybody that already integrates their life with Google products, including the Google calendar, will find that the Google Home enhances all of this and integrates seamlessly.
Google Home Pros and Cons
Who Should Be Using Alexa?
Alexa provides access to more connected devices and services than any other virtual home assistant on the market, so people who want a fully connected home with TV, speakers, thermostat, smart plugs, smart bulbs, and anything else will find Alexa has more options to choose from.
Alexa would be best for anybody that wants a large touchscreen for touch interaction with their smart home, as well as reasonable voice interaction. Amazon native products provide much larger screens than Google products can currently offer.
If you prefer products like Amazon Fire and Ring products, then Alexa will integrate with those, so if you already have or plan to get something like Ring, then Alexa will be a good assistant for that.
A thorough review of which devices you want to install in your home should be done because once you head down the Alexa route, you may exclude some devices. If you want the Amazon Fire TV Cube to be the core of your entertainment center, then Alexa will be the best option for you.
Alexa Pros and Cons
Google Home Pricing Plans
Google Home requires purchasing a speaker or smart hub from Google or a participating store. There is no monthly fee to use Google Home once you purchase your speaker or smart hub, so the price comes down to the actual device you are buying and is a one-time fee.
The most significant differences with the devices are whether you want a basic speaker to control your devices or great audio quality for music and whether you want a touchscreen to control and access your devices as the internet. The Nest Hub Max is the only device that includes the ability to make video calls.
Google Home offers a free option through an app you can download to your phone, which will let you control all of your Google Home connected devices and services. You just don’t get the full functionality or OnDemand voice assistance.
|Nest Hub Max
Alexa Pricing Plans
Alexa does not have monthly costs associated with its use, and you need to purchase a physical device used to interact with Alexa, which is a one-time fee. Prices vary on the devices depending on the quality of sound you want and whether you want a touch screen.
What’s really interesting is that Amazon is sold out of most of their devices right now, which means if you want Alexa, you’d need to search the internet for another store to sell you one of the Echo devices.
If you really want a free option, then you can download the Alexa app to your phone for control over your devices in your home. Using this option, you don’t get the full functionality out of Alexa, especially on-demand access just by speaking.
|Echo Show 7
|Echo Show 10
Google Home vs. Alexa: Pricing Comparison
Both Google Home and Alexa provide a free virtual assistant, which is the primary component needed for your smart home control, and if you don’t want to pay anything at all, you can use an app downloaded to your iPhone or Android.
For true smart home control with voice interaction, you need to purchase at least a basic speaker compatible with either service. Between the official products for each company, Google Home has slightly cheaper basic options and quite a lot more affordable options with screens for touch interaction with your virtual assistant.
In a pure price comparison, Google Home is cheaper, though Alexa has many more devices available, especially if you want larger screens for touch control, which is helpful if you wanted a virtual assistant in your kitchen and wanted to watch a TV show or YouTube. For me, a 10-inch screen will be too small to see while I’m watching around.
|Mobile App for Free
|Cheapest Voice Device
|Cheapest Visual Device
Google Home vs. Alexa: Reputation Comparison
Neither Google nor Amazon has fantastic reputations, especially in privacy; many people have significant concerns about both companies listening to your conversations through virtual assistant devices and using that information for advertising and marketing.
Google has a slightly better overall reputation, and they provide almost all of their services for free, which makes people like them, even though those free services are being mined for information to advertise to you.
Amazon has a relatively poor reputation around employee care, and that could even be a reason that Alexa dropped the Amazon name and is just called Alexa now, rather than Amazon Alexa.
Google Home vs. Alexa: Verdict
Based on my opinion, the overall winner and who I use is Alexa because the products that work best such as Ring, are my preferred choices, and Alexa gives you much more access to products than what you can get with Google and my interest in talking or having Google Home research anything for me is limited.
However, I use Google products in my home like Google Wifi which provides a fantastic mesh Wifi network with a larger home and property. However, I use the Google Home app to connect and interact with it.
Google Home would be best for people who want specific products such as the Nest devices and want a more interactive experience with their virtual assistant. Google is far superior in researching and answering questions and a back and forth discussion if the answer isn’t correct.
Click here to purchase one of the Nest devices.
Alexa would be best for people that want a much more comprehensive range of products and services available to them. If you’re filling your home with every kind of device to make it fully automated and voice-activated, then Alexa is going to be a better option that gives you a wider range of products to choose from.
Amazon is also pushing hard to compete with Google in the voice interaction area, so improvements should be seen if that is an area you really want but can wait for.
Click here to purchase one of the Echo devices.
Benjamin is a certified financial advisor, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He is knowledgeable about various business and financial topics, such as retirement planning and investment management. Ben has been recognized for his work in the financial planning industry. He has also been featured in various publications.