I’m calling it, right now. Smart personal assistants like Google’s Home Mini and Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo Dot, are going to be huge this year. Just check out the Google Search Trends for their key devices:

 


On the surface, the two assistants would appear to do the exact same thing but there are some subtle differences. Here are the unique points on each.

Why the Google Home Mini or Echo Dot

First thing’s first. There’s very little reason to go and fork out the bigger price for the top models on offer by Google and Amazon. Both really just offer bigger speakers than the Home Mini and Echo Dot, so that’s why we’re not looking at them. If you are a complete audiophile, considered the heavy hitters but for most they are overkill.

Why Buy the Google Home Mini

For many, the first thing you’ll do when you get a personal smart assistant is ask it a mad quesiton. General knowledge questions are where the Google Home truly shines. Results are powered by Google’s own search engine which you might remember we’ve shown to be creepily powerful already. It’s extremely unlikely that you can ask your Google Home Mini a question that will end without an answer.

Because it’s built by Google you can also tie the Home Mini into your Google account much more seamlessly than you can with the Echo Dot. Finally, if the word “seamlessly” appealed to you there then you should definitely go for the Google option. While both are not easy to pick up in Ireland, at least Google’s Home app is because the Chromecast is supported here. Amazon’s app has to be sideloaded which also removes the ability to get automatic updates.

Why Buy the Amazon Echo Dot

If this is an early wade into the world of connected technology but you’re handy enough with tech in general, the Echo Dot might be a better choice. The reason for this is that it’s roughly half the price of the cheapest Google Home device. It is important that you know how to get up and running with an Amazon device in Ireland considering it doesn’t have official support.

Both devices have “apps” in someway shape or form, but the Echo and Echo Dot boast an impressive array of extensions for you to download. Hell, even we’re on there. If you have other connected home devices, the Echo Dot does work slightly better with the likes of WeMo Smart Plugs.

The Verdict

This is a really weird situation to be in. Personally, I prefer the Echo Dot but I’m more likely to recommend a Google Home Mini. My reason for that is user experience. While neither are readily available in Ireland, getting the Echo Dot up and running can be really difficult for some users who then have a really negative experience with their first smart assistant. Both options are so similar, but the Google Home Mini is a much safer choice.

Whichever you’re choice, here’s how to get the Google Home, a process which can also be applied to the Google Home Mini and how to get the Amazon Echo Dot.

 

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