I couldn’t pass up on the price. The Google Home Mini was only $30 and included a $10 gift card. I didn’t need it, but I’ve always wanted to try the Mini. My Echo Dot has been great and the kids love it, but I wanted to compare the two devices. Many of the podcasts I listen to have already been telling me the Amazon Echo Dot wins, but I wanted to see for myself.
The battle for the home is in full effect. Amazon, Apple and Google have assistants to control the thermostat, lights and blinds. Nerds like me are going to buy all of them. The average consumer wants to save money and know the pros and cons of each system. Here is my analysis:
- Knowledge – Google has years of information. Consumers have been providing it to them for free of charge. Every time we search, we give them more information. However, Alexa has a head start on them in the way of personal assistants. Both systems can answer basic math questions and American history, but Alexa knew bible verses and my Google calendar. Result: Amazon Echo Dot wins
- Skills – Skills are things the devices can do: get a credit report, pay on a credit card, get the news, etc. The Amazon Echo Dot has hundreds of skills that allow it to control thermostats, lighting, get the news or order an Uber. The Home Mini has partnered with dozens of companies and has dozens of apps for similar activities. The Echo family has more skills developed than the competition. Result: Amazon Echo Dot wins
- Look – Both devices are small and easy to hide behind plants and on bookshelves. Both come in multiple colors. The Google Home Mini has no buttons on top, and that makes it hard to know how to control. Echo Dot Mini has buttons for volume, power and mute. The Amazon Echo Dot wins with the 3.5 mm outlet. Plug the Dot into a stereo receiver for Spotify, iHeart Radio, Pandora and Amazon Music controls.
- Family – Amazon is ALL IN with these devices: Amazon Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Spot, Echo Show, Echo Dash Stick and Echo Dot. Once they saw they had a recipe for something that worked, they built up the family. Google has the Home and Home mini that interact with the Chromecast, Nest Thermostat and the Nest Cam. Result: Amazon Echo Dot wins
- Business – This is a new category. Amazon is going to allow Echos to go into businesses for conference room reservations, meeting scheduling and creating appointments specific to a business. Companies will even crate their own skills. The Echo Dots will be used for video conferencing and presentation management. The Google Home Mini doesn’t have a businesses application. Result: Amazon Echo Dot wins
That was a clean sweep for the Echo Dot. Google is having a hard time catching up, and it will be difficult for Apple to catch up if they release a product in 2018. These are the big three and consumers need to decide whose sandbox they are going to play in.
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