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Google Home

£119.00
design
sound quality
feature
performance

4.4

5

Overall

A massive advantage of Google Home is that you can add up to 6 different users and it will provide a tailored experienced based on your own calendar or your own history.

User Rating (1 votes)

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Jennifer Watts

21st September 2017

By Jennifer Watts

Mum, Wife, Gadget Lover & Foodie


I’ve never been sure about ‘smart speakers’ so I never showed much interest in Amazon’s offerings, but when Google launched it’s own version, Google Home, I decided to give it a go. Google Home is basically the Google equivalent of Amazon’s Echo / Alexa. Like the Echo it is a hands-free way to get information or control your environment, and for me the advantage to the Google Home over the other alternatives is that it uses Google Assistance which I’m already familiar with because I have an Android phone.

Appearance

The Google Home is very subtle in appearance so it sort of blends in. It’s very sleek and streamlined, with just a single physical button for muting. It does give a gentle nod to the famous Google logo with the small coloured dots though. The whole thing is only about 14 cm tall and it’s almost ornamental, a bit like the fancy automatic air fresheners that look like decoration. You can give the Google Home device a bit more oomph though by swapping out the base. There’s lots of different bases sold separately.

Using Google Home

You can use Google Home to ask questions, play music, get directions, and lots of other stuff. I have found that to watch TV, like Netflix, the text needed is a bit specific and doesn’t feel very natural. I feel a bit silly saying it even in my own home! Everything else though has felt quite natural and I’ve been really impressed that I’ve had virtually no problems with getting Google Home to understand me, even with my Scouse accent! My daughter who is 6 thinks Google Home is great! She’s just started learning about the Great Fire of London in school and has been asking it all sorts of questions and it’s actually doing a pretty good job of keeping up with her and giving her the information she needs to help her out with things.

Capabilities

I was really shocked to find that Google Home isn’t (yet) compatible with lots of the Google apps that I use most, like Docs, Voice, and especially Gmail. I think it’s really important that integration with those apps is enabled if I’m going to really get the most from this. The good news is that there is integration with Google Maps which I use a lot when travelling, with Google Calendar, and with Google Play Music. I think it’s the music that probably gets used most in our house because it works with the Chromecast speakers that we have around the house. The only trouble is that it sometimes forgets where its casting to and will start casting only to its own internal speaker so we keep needing to remind it about others.

Users & Voice Recognition

A massive advantage of Google Home is that you can add up to 6 different users and it will provide a tailored experienced based on your own calendar or your own history. We set it up with myself, my husband, and the kids, and then added my Mum and Dad just to give it a proper try. We started off with the male voices and it worked great, but it seemed to have trouble differentiating between me and my Mum (which she was very happy about!). It did seem more accurate when everything else was completely quiet, with a bit of background noise really seeming to have a bit impact on accuracy.

Is It Worth It?

Now that I have a smart speaker I wouldn’t be without it, but I don’t think I’m using it as much as I could be yet because I’m so used to using my phone for things I should now be using Google Home for. I definitely think I made the right choice with Google Home over the Echo because from what I’ve heard from talking to other people, the setup on the Google Home is much quicker and easier, and from what I can tell from playing around with a friend’s Echo, the sound quality and volume with Google Home is head and shoulders ahead of the competition. It’s very reasonably priced, so you can’t go wrong really.

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To read more on this model, check out the Google Home homepage here (opens new window).

Images

  • Dimensions: 96.4mm x 142.8mm
  • Power Cable: 1.8m
  • Device Weight: 477g
  • Adapter Weight: 130g
  • Colour: White
  • Supported Audio: HE-AAC, LC-AAC, MP3, Vorbis, WAV, FLAC, Opus
  • OS: Android 4.2+ / iOS 8.0+

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Dimensions (cm)

Power (w)

Rating

Price

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35.6 X 25.4 X 12.7

N/a

£N/A

Bose Soundlink Mini II

5.8 X 18 X 5.1

N/a

£139.00

Bose SoundLink Revolve

18.4 H X 10.5 W X 10.5 D

-

£179.95

Cambridge Audio Minx GO

23.7 X 6.3 X 12.3

N/a

£N/A

Google Home

23.6 X 12.8 X 12.6

-

£119.00

Jawbone Jambox

15.2 X 5.8 X 5.8

15

£92.99

JBL Flip 2

16 X 6.5 X 6.5

6

£N/A

JBL Flip 4

6.8 X 17.5 X 7.0 Cm

2 X 8 W

£87.19

JBL Pulse

20 X 10 X 10

12

£N/A

Sonos Play 1

11 X 11 X 16

60

£149.00

Sony HT-CT60BT

94 X 8.3 X 7

60

£N/A

Sony SRS BTM8

18.5 X 8.8 X 24.5

4

£89.99

UE MEGABOOM

22.6 H X 8.3 W

-

£145.90

UE WONDERBOOM

10.2 H X 9.35 W

-

£59.90

Ultimate Ears BOOM 2

6.7 X 6.7 X 18

9

£89.00


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