Alexa is the renowned smart assistant from Amazon. It is accessible through a range of the company's products, notably the Amazon Echo and Amazon Dot. Alexa is also available in Amazon's apps for both Android and iOS.
There are multiple entry points for using Alexa, including free mobile apps. However, to get smart home automation, you will need to pay for Alexa-enabled hardware. This is similar to Google's approach. On Google, you can get started with the free Google Assistant app. Purchasing the Google Home Mini will give you access to Google's smart home system.
Automating Your Home
The main similarity between Amazon Alexa and Google Home Mini is the enhancement of everyday home living through smart technology that automates your lifestyle. Alexa and Google Home Mini have many features in common, which include the following:
- Playing music: Access local device libraries, or streaming services such as Amazon Music, Google Play Music, Pandora, Spotify
- Shopping on online stores
- Weather reports
- Read the news
- Organize your calendar and set alarms
These are all tasks that used to require pulling up a computer and doing it all manually. Now, with both of these smart home systems, as long as your phone is connected to your home network, you can issue voice commands to get it done. That said, there are unique features and capabilities to each of these two competing technologies.
Alexa is the AI system at the heart of Amazon's home automation system. Different devices can be plugged into the Alexa ecosystem, and they have different price points. Here is what you can expect to pay for each of them:
- Amazon Echo - $99.99
- Echo Dot - $29.99
- Echo Plus - $149.99
- Echo Dot Kids Edition - $69.99
- Echo Spot - $129.99
What makes Alexa so powerful is that Amazon now has a wide range of Alexa-certified and Alexa-enabled devices on offer. These include everything from smart displays to smart locks that integrate with Alexa Smart Home technology. This opens up the range of what you can automate your house to do, all controlled by Alexa voice technology.
Google Home Mini
Google Home Mini differs from Amazon Alexa because it is not the AI smart system itself that powers a range of devices. Rather, the Google Home Mini is just one of many smart devices and gadgets that work with Google's smart technology which is tied together by Google Assistant. In this regard, Google Assistant is much more a direct replacement for Amazon Alexa, and Google Home Mini is analogous to devices like the Amazon Echo Dot speaker.
The Home Mini compares well with Amazon's Echo Dot. It is about the same size, with an attractive round design and volume controls on the device. The device comes in 3 colors: red, charcoal, and white. You can connect your Google Home Mini speakers using the Google Home app, and you will now be able to send instructions through voice input.
At a price of around $49.99, the Google Home Mini is priced to compete with the Alexa Echo Dot. It offers an affordable speaker that ties into the Google Home smart ecosystem
The Winner: Alexa
When considering whether to buy an Alexa-enabled device such as Amazon Echo, or the Google Home Mini, you must look beyond price alone. While the Google Home Mini is affordable and good value for its automation capabilities, the differences between the two systems extend to third-party support.
Amazon Alexa has had more time for device manufacturers to familiarize with it and learn its capabilities. As a result, the number of third-party devices such as screens, thermostats, TVs, cameras, and others, is way ahead of Google
On the other hand, Google has shown that its A.I. technology is quite capable. For example, Google has Duplex technology that can order meals for you over the phone in very human-like calls. While Alexa will get you a more seamless smart home experience, in the future, Google's ecosystem looks promising.
To Consider Before Your Purchase
If you want to use the device as a primary source for playing music, the Google Home Mini is slightly ahead in loud music quality. However, you might need to upgrade to bigger speakers such as Google Home or the Amazon Echo Plus.
Google Home Mini: Outstanding design and sound streaming capabilities.
Alexa: An enviable ecosystem of third-party devices, apps, and skills
Amazon Echo Dot: Compelling price point that is even lower than the entry-level Google Home Mini.
What Do They Say on Other Sites
"Love the Dot and its new look, but the sound is still disappointing" (Frederick on Amazon)
'I loved my Mini when I first got it. Would give it 5 stars had they not released a crippling update. Google Home devices (not just the Mini) cause you to intermittently lose your WiFi connection. I'm not talking once a day. I'm talking ALL DAY LONG." (ohmarni on BestBuy)
The site isn't responsible for the opinions expressed by third parties, delegating any legal responsibility to them.