Amazon Echo Dot vs Google Home Mini: Smart Speaker Comparison

Google Home Mini

The home speaker market is hotting up, and there is already an Amazon Echo Dot vs Google Home Mini war taking place! The two mega-corporations have become the dominant players in this artificial intelligence marketplace, and thus it is informative to compare the qualities of the two devices.

Forbes test

Firstly, Forbes put the two devices through their paces by setting the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini a series of tricky questions to answer. And as much as Amazon and Google have boasted about the capabilities of their new speaker devices, Forbes concluded that neither actually perform particularly well.

The Google Home Mini was able to answer 24/45 questions adequately, while Forbes also gave an extra half point to this device. But the Amazon Echo Dot wasn’t even able to answer 50 percent of the queries it was posed successfully, scoring only 18.5 out of a possible 45 in the test.

Forbes noted that both assistants have improved somewhat since the last time that they were tested, but clearly there is still room for improvement. Nonetheless, the Google Home Mini undoubtedly came out on top in this basic testing of its capabilities.

Light operation

But answering questions is just one small part of the Amazon Echo Dot vs Google Home Mini comparison. Consumers also invest in these devices with the hope of making everyday household tasks easier to carry out. So how do these two devices cope with turning lighting on and off?

Of course, this can differ depending on the lighting system implemented in your particular home, but the consensus of opinion is that the Google Home Mini actually copes with this rather better. Voice commands don’t seem to be entirely consistent with the Amazon Echo Dot at present, meaning that the Google Home Mini is certainly the better home assistant in this department.

Playing music

Amazon particular;y features the playback of music rather prominently in its marketing material for the Echo Dot, so this is another valid area to make an Amazon Echo Dot vs Google Home Mini comparison.

Both of these smart speakers are capable of playing music, but are primarily designed to handle voice commands and responses. With relatively tiny drivers and speaker systems included in the two systems, the playback of music can sound a little tinny and mediocre on both devices.

However, the 3.5mm headphone jack included in the Amazon Echo Dot improves music playback significantly. More music services work with the Alexa system, and despite the Chromecast compatibility of the Google effort, the Amazon Echo Dot is unquestionably the better music playback device at present.

Amazon Echo Dot vs Google Home Mini

Turn on the TV

We all hate getting up to turn on the television set, and nowadays we can’t even be bothered to use a remote! So a key pillar in the Amazon Echo Dot vs Google Home Mini battle is the ability of the devices to successfully turn a TV on and off.

It is firstly important to note that in order to control most television sets a separate home hub, such as the Logitech Harmony Elite, is requisite. Possibly some control over TV can be asserted through Chromecast, but this hasn’t proved to be hugely successful in testing.

Again, there is no doubt that the Google Home Mini operates more slickly in this department, making it far more feasible to switch channels and operate a television set via voice commands. This is an area where the Google device has an edge over the Amazon offering, and Amazon clearly has work to do here.

Design

Design is perhaps not the most obvious area for an Amazon Echo Dot vs Google Home Mini comparison. But ultimately these devices are part of our homes, and thus they need to look good.

Of course, this is a rather subjective area for comparison, but the consensus of opinion is that the matte finish of the Amazon Echo Dot exterior is rather dated. The Google Home Mini provides coral, chalk and charcoal options, while the curved appearance of the device is somewhat more pleasing than its Amazon rival. The fabric finish is also a nifty aspect of this device, and this means that the Google Home Mini has the edge in this department as well.

Services

The quality of services delivered by the two devices is actually rather similar. The two ecosystems have achieved virtual parity, with phone calls and the control of connected devices possible with both systems. Naturally, both manufacturers have neglected to include the other party’s music systems, so Google Home Mini won’t work with Amazon Music, while the Amazon Echo Dot is incompatible with Google Play Music.

This could ultimately impact on in your decision, but the reality is that the functionality of these two devices is at least theoretically almost identical. The quality of operation can vary, but both systems have been set up to achieve similar things.

Conclusion

So who comes out on top in the Amazon Echo Dot vs Google Home Mini war? Well, it’s bad news for Amazon. Considering that both of these devices are pretty well priced, and almost identical in terms of recommended retail price, it really comes down to the qualities of the two units.

And the Google Home Mini consistently outperforms the Amazon Echo Dot in almost every department. Not only that, but it is also a more attractive addition to one’s dwelling.

Those wanting a music playback device may opt for the Amazon speaker, but the superior all-round package, and the smarter assistant, is undoubtedly provided by the Google Home Mini.

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About the Author

Christopher Morris
Christopher Morris is a passionate player of video games since the days of Space Invaders, and is extensively published on the subjects of Business, Technology and Politics. Chris also contributes to Yahoo.

25 Comments on "Amazon Echo Dot vs Google Home Mini: Smart Speaker Comparison"

  1. When I say skills, I mean alexa’s ability to allow you to load custom skills made by third party. (basically apps). Google Home has skills but they all come from google. If Google home has this, then it’s burred pretty deep and I did google it, just like I googled the problem with not being able to connect to my gsuite account and found that google seems to have no intentions of fixing that. Soccerman already spoke on the bluetooth issue.

  2. You know what? You’re right. I thought you meant as a receiver… not a transmitter. Sorry!

  3. If Google Mini connects to a Bluetooth speaker, neither the app nor the assistant was able to explain to me how to do that. Yes it will connect to my phone, which is useless to me. I connect my phone to a Bluetooth speaker or my AV system to listen to music. Echo does connect to Bluetooth speakers and my AV system to play music. So, for my needs, Google does not support Bluetooth.

  4. I just tried my Philips Hue scenes with my Google Mini and you’re right it does now understand about half the scenes I’ve setup. The other half it says, “I don’t know how to help with that.” and I disagree with “Google is way ahead of Echo”, considering how many more devices work with Echo. I will agree that Google is adding devices all the time so that difference may be short lived.

  5. Hahahahaha…. if you don’t own a smart phone….. get out of 1999. That’s the most odd excuse to choose one device over the other. Even $100 711 phones are android smart devices. Nothing wrong with Alexa…. or Google home

  6. I use Google home to control nearly everything in my home. It works with my washer and dryer, thermostat, lights abd switches from Philips and tplink (and hundreds of others). Please share your list.

  7. incorrect. Google home has bluetooth. And the skills you’re talking about exist in Google home if you go through the app or “Google” how to do it (ironic huh?)

  8. Yes it has similar features to skills. Also it integrates with IFTTT if needed. But you can program your own shortcuts right in the app without ifttt.

  9. Google home understands scenes now. And Alexa still doesn’t let you say “change the living room ceiling light to orange”. Google has from the start. Google is WAY further ahead here actually.

  10. I’ve had Echo Dot since last year, and recently got a Google Home. I’ve deeply explored both, and Echo is much farther along than Google Home in the home automation arena. Example: Echo Dot understands “scenes” created with Philips Hue devices, Google does not. Sames thing for macros in Logitech Harmony
    Google does operate both my TV and my Philips Hue lights, just not with the maturity of Amazon Echo integration. The one advantage I have seen in Google Home is that it is MUCH better at hearing me in a noisy room than Echo.

  11. Connie Theron Beidelschies | Dec 3, 2017, 7:16 pm at 7:16 pm |

    It has been edited now. Practice makes perfect.

  12. Sarah Dunn Penquite | Dec 3, 2017, 2:31 pm at 2:31 pm |

    Maybe you misread it? Looks fine to me.

  13. Why are you even bothering with the addition of 2017 technology when you still haven’t arrived to the year 2000?

  14. Had the Echo since late 2014 when it came out and now have several Google Homes. The big difference is the Google Home supports natural language for most things. The Echo has more rigid language required or basically commands.

    “just wish Google would realize the inevitable and join Amazon making Earth a better place to live… ”

    Curious what does this mean? Think Google does as much as Amazon if not more to make the Earth a better place? Google is now using all renewable energy for their data centers versus AWS is not there yet.

    Google does add in places where they do not use all renewable which ends up to be a net 0. Versus AWS does not do the same.

  15. Connie Theron Beidelschies | Dec 3, 2017, 12:23 am at 12:23 am |

    If you have Amazon Prime and FireTV, the Echo is quite useful, but I find the Home much better outside of the Amazon ecosystem.

  16. Jennifer Bedard Quillin | Dec 3, 2017, 12:11 am at 12:11 am |

    What about “skills?” I have loved my Echo Dot, but all my music is tied up in Google Music. I use Google Keep for lists. So I’m giving away the Dot, and purchasing the Google Home Mini. But I love the “skills” feature with the Dot. This wasn’t even mentioned in the review. Does Google Home have similar “skills?” I love “My Morning,” “Sleep Sounds,” “NPR News,” “Nightlight,” “Song Quiz” – like features?

  17. Connie Theron Beidelschies | Dec 2, 2017, 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |

    With run-ons like that, how could you hope to be an editor?

  18. Sarah Dunn Penquite | Dec 2, 2017, 9:04 pm at 9:04 pm |

    I’d like to apply to be your editor, it seems you’re in need of a better one.

  19. Gregory Butler | Dec 2, 2017, 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm |

    Well I have the echo dot, The Echo and now the Echo Show they all interact. My echo dot Has Bluetooth and pair’s with my sound bar for music…the new Echo has it’s own WiFi hub making device control easier. Echo is constantly evolving and learning which is a huge plus…my kindle fire tablets have Alexa app and is tied into both voice and manual control…Don’t know much about Google devices so my investment in echo suits me fine…Amazon Prime makes owning echo worth it…I can order product, set alarms, check the weather and news…just wish Google would realize the inevitable and join Amazon making Earth a better place to live…

  20. I bought a Google home mini this week and quickly returned it.

    Sure it can answer questions better but that’s it. If I need a question answered that badly, I can ask my phone

    To me where the echo shines is how it integrated with it’s services and with other services via “skills”. The echo is always improving and if you’re a prime member you get so much more with it as opposed to the Google home where the only service you can get is music.

    I don’t know what this article was talking about as far as TV. You can control all sorts of apps on the FireTv with the echo.

    Also the echo dot has Bluetooth AND a 3.5 mm jack while the mini has neither.

    If that’s not enough. When I tried to connect to the mini with my Google account, I was informed that because I use gsuite that my email and calendar were not compatible. So I couldn’t even use all the features. Yet I can connect it to my echo.

    All and all the mini doesn’t offer a full experience. The echo connects me to my Amazon services and other services in a way that gives me a complete experience. No contest for me

  21. What are those things? I have had the Echo since it came out but have switched to Google homes. The Google home supports natural language versus the Echo uses rigid language or basically commands. Makes the Google home a lot easier to interact with.

    None of our home automation devices on the Echo were not supported by the Google home. Plus the Google home is also just a lot smarter in answering questions.

    Can not see any reason to buy an Echo any longer.

  22. Consistent with my experience. Purchased a Echo in 2014 when they came out and now have several Google homes. The Google home is far easier to interact with as supports natural language versus the Echo requires commands.

  23. Also where controlling the TV is concerned you can use a Fire stick or Fire TV to give it voice controls through Alexa.

  24. Jonathan Franks | Dec 2, 2017, 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |

    Sure… If you are new to the world of home assistants, it may seem that the Google is superior… But if you actually start utilizing these devices for some of the cooler features attach as smart home controls you will find that the Amazon is far superior. I still have a long list of things that I can do with my echos that I can’t do with Google yet.

  25. PaulFromLongIsland | Dec 2, 2017, 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |

    You need a mobile device and app to set up the Google Mini, while this is not needed for the Dot. As I have no such device, I would not even be able to setup the Mini, but the Dot would at least work if I wanted one without paying for a multi-hundred dollar mobile device and service plan, too.

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