Alexa vs. Google Home | digital trends

The first step in building a smart home is deciding which smart home platform to use. Google Home and Amazon Alexa are two of the best out there, offering support for hundreds of third-party devices, powerful automation options, and intuitive smartphone apps to drive all the action.

But which is the better smart home platform – Google Home or Amazon Alexa? Here’s a closer look at these two powerhouses to help you decide.

What is a smart home platform?

A smart home platform is simply an ecosystem that contains all of your smart home devices and can give them commands. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “smart home platform,” don’t worry—the basics are easy to grasp. For example, you can use your Google Home smartphone app (or voice commands) to turn off light bulbs, find out about the local weather, change thermostat settings, or check in your video doorbell.

Instead of controlling all those products with different apps, you can just dive into your Google Home app and have them all at your fingertips. The same goes for Amazon Alexa. There are many similarities between the two, but there are also some key differences to consider before making a decision on which one is best for your smart home.

Hub devices Nest Hub Max is the perfect size for the kitchen—although you might have to put up with kitchen trash ending up on it. Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

Amazon and Google have some of the best hub devices out there right now. These serve as the brains of the operation as they listen to your voice commands and provide appropriate instructions to the rest of your connected smart home.

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If you opt for Amazon Alexa, you can use the Echo or Echo Dot smart speakers and the Echo Show 5 or Echo Show 15 smart displays. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though, as you’ll find dozens of other hub devices that work with Alexa (including additional Amazon and third-party products).

It’s a similar story with Google Home, which uses the Google Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max, Nest Audio, and Nest Mini. Outside of Google’s first-party lineup, you have access to powerful devices like the Sonos One.

Winner: Tie

Compatible devices

With new products coming out regularly, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how many smart home devices will work with Alexa and Google Home. From video doorbells and security cameras to thermostats and robot vacuums, both Alexa and Google Home support many of the latest and greatest devices. This is in stark contrast to their other competitor – Apple HomeKit – which doesn’t support nearly as many products.

So if you’re looking for a smart home ecosystem that lets you use all of today’s modern devices, you can’t go wrong with either Google Home or Alexa. Both products are also heavily involved in the adoption of Matter, which will allow even more products to function in the ecosystems.

It’s worth noting that both Blink and Ring come under the Amazon umbrella, so they integrate seamlessly with Alexa. Google, on the other hand, owns Nest’s product range. Keep that in mind when shopping, as any home wanting to use Blink or Ring products might be better served by Alexa, while folks interested in Nest might want to use Google Home.

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Winner: Tie

Ease of use Google

Amazon and Google make it remarkably easy to use both Home and Alexa. Whether you use the companion smartphone app or voice commands, you can quickly issue instructions or set powerful automations. Deciding which is more user-friendly largely comes down to personal preference, as the interfaces of both apps give you remarkable control over your products and don’t burden you with too many irrelevant features.

Google tends to be better at taking complex voice commands than Alexa, but Alexa has better integration with Amazon and has tons of unique abilities that add to its capabilities.

Winner: Tie

Verdict Amazon

At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with either Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Both support a variety of smart home devices, both are easy to use, and both are incredibly future-proof (thanks to a constant stream of new gadgets being added to their lineup).

However, if you’re interested in using Nest products or simply want a robust smart assistant that can easily take your commands, Google Home is a better option. Conversely, if you’re looking for a smart home assistant that plays well with Blink and Ring, you can’t beat Amazon Alexa.

The best way to choose between the two is to simply look at the smart hubs available. The Amazon Echo and Google Nest lineups are filled with great devices, and it’s worth checking out all the options available before making a decision. These hubs will largely be the driving force behind your decision – and once you figure out which hub you prefer, you’ll know exactly which smart home ecosystem is best suited to your needs.

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