Test Amazon Echo Dot 3 vs Google Home Mini: the featherweight clash

Comparisons Amazon Echo et Google Home, we have read it in spades, sometimes even with a certain and not hidden bias, even with comparisons of speakers not belonging to the same category, and therefore necessarily biased. Of course, when a test proves one or the other of the protagonists right, the brand's aficionados scream, cry, cut their veins and scream in scandal!
As Alexians, we had not done this type of comparison, because we find that there is something for everyone and that each connected speaker has its advantages and disadvantages. But we are taking the plunge in order to give you the most impartial opinion possible, with the strengths and weaknesses of each speaker.

We start with the category lightweight of the best-selling connected speakers at Amazon and Google (Apple seems quite simply out of the race): the comparative Amazon Echo Dot 3 and Google Home Mini ! But this version Google Home that has been updated with the Google Nest Mini few months agothe second generation of the Mini, a Update why test will therefore be carried out very soon for a fight three ... Or more, if Amazon gratify us that a Echo Dot 4 !!!

Comparative Amazon Echo Dot 3 and Google Home Mini

Round 1: visual and manual use

Unboxing

We refer you to our test Amazon Echo Dot 3 for its unboxing. Delivered in the famous blue box with the brand's smile, it is very well protected in its qualitative packaging. Our Echo with Alexa will not suffer from transport.

The packaging of the Google Home Mini (or GHm) is just as qualitative. About the same size as theAmazon Echo Dot 3, the product is also very well protected. There is a highlight of the applications that can work with Google Assistant, but be careful, not necessarily with this one live, like Netflix for example (we will come back to that).

Result: Tie (2 points everywhere)

There is no difference between the two products in terms of the quality of the packaging, each going with its paw, making us want to open them on the spot, and in all cases, the speakers are well protected.

 

Contents

Echo Dot 3 comes with an AC adapter and an installation guide. On the other hand, the AC adapter is quite large, which can be too bulky on a power strip. It will be connected to the Dot 3 by a DC connector (like the Echo and the Shows).

Google Home Mini also comes with an adapter and an installation guide. This power adapter will be connected to it with a micro-USB connection so that it can be changed without problem in the event of loss. The plug is also smaller than that of the Dot 3, which is a real plus on a power strip. The lengths of the cables are more or less the same between the two brands.

Result: slight Google Home Mini advantage (2 points against 1 point)

In terms of content, the two speakers present the same benefits. The Google Home Mini's slightly smaller mains plug may give it a little advantage.

 

Visual and manual use

We are attacking something purely subjective: the visual, the tastes and the colors that cannot be discussed, yet some do not deprive themselves of it, so why not us?

Echo Dot 3 is a bit bigger than its competitor, all round. It looks like a mix between a hockey puck and an Echo Plus or Echo 3 with its fabric cover. It has a soft appearance with round and generous curves, almost feminine. The top is in white ABS-type plastic with 4 buttons: volume + and -, standby mode (no more listening or microphone) and direct request mode (press the button so you don't have to say Wake-Up Word). The underside is covered with a non-slip silicone surface. On the back we find the female connector plug and a 3,5 mm mini-jack plug.

The luminous halo, giving information on Alexa (taking into account the request, messages, volume…) forms the upper periphery of the Echo and will take on different colors. Note that there are different colors of fabrics: anthracite, Heather gray, sand et plums. There is also a version for children with 2 more colors in the USA: blue et motley.

Google Home Mini is in the form of a pebble, that is to say rounded on top and bottom. Curvy, it is visually calming and successful. The fabric is almost identical to that of the Echo but the whole is harder to the touch, where the dot 3 will be a little flexible on the side. You have a red silicone anti-slip protection underneath.

Unlike the Dot 3, there is no mini-jack plug but only the micro USB connection for the power supply. There where Amazon apparently put 4 buttons, Google only chose 3 buttons, 2 of which are hidden. The one for mute is actually a button that you'll slide, located on the back of the Google Home Mini. The + and - buttons are in fact capacitive sensors on the right and left of the roller. Not easy to learn at first because they tend to activate if you grab the speaker to change its place. If you press it for a long time, they will allow you to pause. The whole thing is quite stable in the end, even if we could have feared that its shape would make it move when we press on it.

Visual indications will be via 4 LEDs hidden on the top of the GHm (volume, search, etc.). The fabric is available in 3 colors: crazy (Heather gray), coal (anthracite) and coral (equivalent to the "plum" from Amazon). It exists also an Aqua version (light blue) in the USA (thanks to our readers for their attention!).  

The two connected speakers are really very close in size, but Echo Dot 3 is heavier. The visuals for both products have pros and cons, although the two brands have bet on roundness and therefore good-naturedness.

Result: Echo Dot advantage 3 (2 points)

However, our preference goes to the Echo dot 3 for different reasons, objective: the presence of a direct request button, the fact that muting the microphone is done by simply pressing on the top and not by dragging an element to it. 'back. In addition, the + and - buttons are easier to use and more precise. The luminous halo is also more expressive. But beware, the GHm is far from ugly! Its pebble shape and relatively sober appearance is also very good. It just sins by its minimalism and ultimately a less natural and predictive manual use.

Round 2: technical characteristics

A painting is better than a thousand words and the evils that flow from it.

On paper, the two speakers are quite close : Wi-Fi connection in 2,4 and 5 GHz, Bluetooth, possibility of stereo by coupling two speakers… The audio formats are also quite close and the few dissimilarities will not make big differences because the most used in streaming are MP3 and the AACP / MP4… The price is also quite close and they are often on promotion at the same time.

The difference will be made on a few points and details:

  • Echo Dot 3 has a 41mm driver with analog process bass optimization, so a sound that wants to be better on paper.
  • The microphones: the Echo Dot has 4 where the GHm has 2 microphones, which could allow better voice recognition.
  • The Dot 3 has a 3.5 jack socket allowing you to connect your Echo to a third party speaker or a HI-FI system without Bluetooth to be able to enjoyAlexa on more powerful or high-end equipment.
  • Bluetooth 4.2 for Echo Dot 3 which is faster, less greedy and more secure than 4.1

Please note, we would like to emphasize a point that can be misunderstood regarding the GHm. The Google Home Mini is said to have a built-in Chromecast. This is true for Chromecast audio but not for Chromecast video. Indeed, you have the possibility of controlling your Chromecast video by voice but in any case the GHm will allow you to watch Netflix if no equipment is connected to your TV. or if it's not an Android TV. This is quite limited. For example, the Dot 3 allows you to pair with a Fire TV Stick Basic Edition to use it for voice, but this is not highlighted on the specifications as if it alone allowed you to watch Prime Video. . It may sound like biased and misleading information.

Echo Dot Advantage 3 (2 points)

In the end, there is a real advantage for Echo Dot 3 thanks to its more powerful and boosted speaker, its 4 microphones and its 3.5 mm mini-jack. On paper, it is a cut above its competitor.

 

Round 3: installation

We will now take a closer look at the installation of the two devices. For Echo Dot 3, we refer you to our tutorial dedicated to the application Alexa which will go into more detail than this comparative test.

In any case, it will be necessary to download the two applications from the manufacturers that you will find on Google Play and Apple Store. They both work on Android and iOS.

Application Amazon Alexa

Application Alexa The installation of a apparatus Amazon Echo can be very simple if you already have a device in your home, simple if you don't have one, but sometimes, without much reason, a little more complex. Let's take a closer look, in summary. But in any case, don't forget to turn on your Wi-Fi.

If you have already installed a Amazon Echo at home, you can have the application remember your usernames and passwords. If your Echo was not dropped from a truck or not used, it is already put in your name by Amazon during the purchase. So, as soon as you plug it in, it will connect very easily. Echo Dot 3 can be configured initially in Bluetooth for more simplicity, which we advise you (it is not necessary to leave it active afterwards but it allows to connect directly with the device in order to pair it easily). It takes 3 to 4 minutes all inclusive (installation, configuration…).

But if you are in the case of your first installation, you will have to go through additional steps. You will have to choose the language, put your Echo in pairing mode (also necessary step in the first case) while keeping your finger pressed on one of the buttons. If all goes well, you will then come to the configuration page for your Wi-Fi network.

But it is not sometimes not so simple ... It happens that from time to time that nothing helps, impossible to make it recognized, especially when it disconnects (that happens unfortunately). In this case, the easiest way is to go through the site https://alexa.amazon.fr/ . These cases are not the most common, but it is not uncommon either. Which is a weak point of the procedure.

Google Home app

Google Home app Un Google Home device will settle down thanks to theGoogle Home app. And for once, it is very simple. Even too simple. We will explain why.

As soon as you open the app, choose your Google account, which of course goes directly back to when you are on an Android device. Activate your Wi-Fi because it puts you in the right country, on the right servers and on the right network. Your device is then searched. The animations during the different phases are really nice! Once the device is found it will connect to it and ask you for the Wi-Fi network to use but surprisingly, Google can recover your Wi-Fi key on its own if you authorize it and connect to it without you having to need to enter your password ... It's quite confusing in terms of security but also the ownership of personal data. That's why we told you it was too simple ...

But it does not stop there ... and for once, we can not blame Google for hiding. To use your Google Home Mini, but this is also true for the other speakers of the mark, you must accept the general conditions. And in these, it is clearly noted that commercial providers are working with them to be highlighted in your research. It is also noted that Google uses any information you have on your Google account or the uses you make on applications belonging to or used with a Google service (internet searches, Google Maps, address book, etc.).

Once done, the app will ask you if you want to use Voice Match. This is a very big strong point. There where Alexa starts to set it up after a lot of waiting, Google has already planned it based on its devices. ask yourself if you want to use Voice Match. It's a very big strong pointThere where Alexa starts to set it up after a lot of waiting, Google has already planned it based on sthe devices et allows to recognize 6 different voices. Likewise, you will also need to enter your address directly during installation in order to have data adapted to your location. This is also possible with Alexa of course, but you will have to enter it later, in the hardware settings, which is not very intuitive.

Result: Tie (1 point everywhere)

It is not easy to separate the two installation systems. Both have advantages (very simple installation with Google, secure installation with Amazon,…) And drawbacks (real lack of security and intrusion into Google's privacy as well as research results partly based on partnerships and a more austere and sometimes more complicated installation of the Dot). In this case, we have a tie at 1 point everywhere and not 2 because both need to improve.

 

Round 4: the application and the possibilities

After installation, the next logical step is to talk about the applications as such. Do not look for a tutorial on the extensive uses of the two apps, but more for a summary of their strengths and weaknesses.

Amazon Alexa

THEapplication Amazon Alexa is quite intuitive in its use. You will find different parts there.

Home : it is a page which highlights the weather forecast for the place where you are located but also to see at a glance the novelties Alexa, see your last actions (audio books or music listened to for example).

Communicate : from there, you can call, send a message, drop in or make an announcement.

  • Warning, calling is only done between devices Amazon Echo. No phone call unlessuse skype for Alexa with a subscription. But you can call any Echo device you want from your app.
  • Sending messages. It is not possible to send an SMS to a cell phone for example, but only on another Echo.
  • Function Drop In is a kind of intercom. If you have multiple devices under your name, you can choose to connect directly, audio or video, to one of them for direct communication. It also works between the app and an Echo. Just like the calls.
  • Function Announcement will allow you to make a dictated and recorded announcement, on the various devices linked to your account, such as “A table! In bed ! ". This is done on all your devices at the same time. It is possible to type the message.
  • Note that it is also to call via Skype.

In the middle there is the shortcut Alexa which allows you to use the voice assistant directly from the telephone, by pressing the key. It is exactly the same as using an Echo device.

The part Music and books will allow you to follow your different readings and listenings. It should be noted thatAlexa will allow you to listen to Audible books, But also Kindle (read with the voice ofAlexa). Supported music streaming providers are Amazon Music, Deezer (Premium), Spotify (premium), Apple Music, Vevo... but also the radio on Tune In. If you don't want to pay a subscription, you have free access to 2 million titles with the free version ofAmazon Music.

We will come back in more detail later in our Google Home Mini comparison / Amazon Echo Dot 3 on the devices part which will in fact allow you to manage all the connected equipment that you have.

You also have access to different items in the drop-down menu such as:

  • Add a device: whether it is a new echo or a device like a connected bulb.
  • Lists: there you will find the shopping list that you update by voice as well as the list of things to do (reminders that you have requested from Alexa). But you have the option of creating new lists.
  • Alarms and reminders: here you have alarms (alarm clock for example), reminders (take medication, every day), and timers.
  • contacts: all contacts who have or not Alexa.
  • Routines: We will come back to this later. It is the basis of home automation.
  • Thing to try: an anthology of novelty to go further with Alexa, or questions to ask him.
  • Activity: this is the history of all requests made to Alexa. It is therefore useful to know what she heard. In case of lack of understanding, you can send your request to Amazon to improve the system.

But let's talk a little more about the menu Skills and games.

A Alexa Skill is the equivalent of the applications you have on your smartphones. Just like you do with your phone, you will be able to evolve Alexa according to your desires. There are more than 2600 to date, for all tastes: news, home automation, games, cooking, reading, meditation, education… Of course, all are far from being of a good level, some are average or even totally stupid. Want to listen to France Info podcasts? Activate the skill. You want to install a Konyks bulb ? Activate the Skill… And if you don't find what you want, you have the possibility, with the skills Alexa Blueprints, You create personal skills, can only be used on your account!

Thanks to that, Alexa is infinitely flexible and flexible!

Google Home

THEGoogle Home app wants to be more sober. It is true that it does, at first glance less loaded, less austere and more airy that the application Alexa.

There are two main pages. The page " House " (bottom left, which is the one that will be privileged) and the catch-all page (bottom right), the equivalent of the home page of the application Alexa. This is where you have thehistory of your events, things to try, Tricks... By pressing the microphone, you can activate Google Assistant and use your phone as a Google Home Mini.

The page " House " is the one that will centralize everything. It is divided into 3 main parts :

  • The part that could be called "interactions":
    • The tab "Multimedia content", which will offer you to listen to music on a speaker connected through the Chromecast audio system or depending on the streaming services possible. At present, the services taken into account are YouTube Music (free service possible with advertising), Google Play Music (with subscription), Deezer (premium) and Spotify (free account possible with limitation), but also any other music application on the phone (no search by title possible by voice).
    • To call : to make calls with Google Duo on a Google Home device. You can call your Google Home Mini with your app when you are on the go for example.
    • Megaphone: Under this name hides a system that allows you to make a voice announcement on all of your devices such as "Go hop, to bed the funny ones!" ".
    • Routines: we will come back to this later for the home automation part.
    • Settings : you can manage your addresses, various features and manage your services. You will also find your call lists or the shopping lists or notes that you created. But it is also possible to expand the capabilities of your Google Nest thanks to the function "Works with Google". This allows you to have access to a number of compatible applicationsAll of this extension possibilities are for many in connection with home control, home automation. There is en has a pretty impressive list because the Google Home app has the big advantage of not having a geographic restriction. Also, there are names of manufacturers of unknown home automation products ... So if you want to install bulbs with Smart Life, search for Action and presto, home automation is yours. There are other types of "Add-on", the equivalent of cv from home Amazon who are called the ActionsThey are not phave also simple to find for use them, we must directly activate by voiceIt is also possible, as with Audible, to read audiobooks on Google Play Books. 
  • There is also an area dedicated to your Google devices. This will be used to adjust the volume of your speaker for example or the equalizer, but also to enter parameters.
  • The last area is direct access to all connected devices that work with your Google Home. These devices are classified by type: light, switch, thermostat, etc.

We will look in more detail at the routines in the home automation part for the two applications.

This quick presentation helps to highlight advantages and disadvantages for each application. But in the end it is clear that the systems are close in their possibilities and present many similarities (night mode, do not disturb, cut announcements, etc.).

Google was a pioneer in France on a number of points such as the user voice recognition taking into account the schedule (thatAmazon has still not succeeded in setting up other than for beta testers) or the lack of geographic zoning, or in any case less marked.

On the other hand, Alexa goes further on other aspects by offering many Skills for all types of situations and not just for home automation or news (see routines section below), whisper mode, audio book reading ...

Result: Equality (1 point everywhere because it can do better)

The two voice assistants are complementary and deserve to share round 4 with good ideas from each side, but also with inconveniences sometimes silly or incongruous… Regarding the visual aspect, it's a matter of taste and we like both.

Round 5: Sound, voice recognition and assistant's voice

Once our speakers are installed and the applications are in hand, we will focus on the first contact with the assistants: the sound and the interactions. We have grouped them into 3 points: the assistant's voice, voice recognition and speaker sound.

The voice of the assistant

You will be put in touch from the start with the voice ofAlexa and Google Assistant. In both cases, they are female voices which are configured by default. It is not easy to know which one is the best because it is very subjective. There is the possibility of changing the voice of Google Assistant to have a masculine one, but it is not unanimous.

For those who have known Alexa from its launch in France, during beta tests, the improvement is huge. It has gained in fluidity over the years. She is calm, cheerful, but still lacks intonation and stumbles on certain names or words. The connections are sometimes still a bit hard, so listening to a Kindle book read by Alexa can quickly be painful.

Google has opted for a voice a little plus acute but just as fluid. On the other hand, she also tends to be too monochord. Maybe even a little more "Robotics » thatAlexa. But Google does not call this voice a female voice, but a red voice. There are also a orange, which is masculine. Google is therefore a follower of gender theory. Anyway, that orange voice doesn't have us at all bewitched. But it is nevertheless to the credit of Google this possibility thatAmazon do not give. 

So here too, the difficulties inherent in voice modeling are clearly diminishing, but improvements are desirable at the two assistants.

Result: Equality (1 point everywhere because it can do better)

Voice recognition

From your first requests, you will quickly get an idea of ​​how easy it is for your speaker to understand you. It goes without saying that 2 years ago it was a bit difficult. Now, there are a lot less misses and that for the two assistants.

On Echo Dot 3, Alexa understands requests very well even if there are sometimes difficulties with foreign names, sometimes pronounced in English, sometimes in French. However, the real flaw remains the fact thatshe does not always hear our requests. The 4 microphones are a real asset, but if the Dot 3 is placed too close to a wall or on the contrary towards a sound absorbing surface, you sometimes have to do it several times to be understood or heard. But the updates improve that.

For the Google Home Mini, no particular problem, even if the proper names are sometimes a bit harsh. But the problem is rather the reverse: it tends to trigger too easily, even without the activation word. If during a conversation you say "Google" ou " OKAY " ou " Hey ! " without necessarily saying the wake-up word in its entirety (OK Google or Hey Google), it will activate itself, listen and record. And that quickly becomes painful.

The choice of activation words is also something subjective. Some people don't like to use a first name (but Alexa can also be called Echo or Computer) and others find it too long to say "OK Google" or "Hey Google".

Again, both manufacturers still have improvements to produce.

Result: Equality (1 point everywhere because it can do better)

The sound

Let's be clear from the start, nor theAmazon Echo Dot 3 nor the Google Home Mini are Hi-Fi systems. If you call yourself an audiophile, or even a music lover, and buy these smart speakers to satisfy your passion, you must also be the type to proclaim yourself a gourmet eating foie gras with pickles and drinking Lagavulin with Coke. Let's be honest, the sound of these two speakers is suitable for a small room, without being pushed all the way. No Dolby, no 3D sound ...

That said, Echo Dot 3 does sound pretty good for its size. The bass is boosted by the analog process and it shows a lot. The resulting sound is very differentiated, with unexpected depth and highs present just right. It is really impressive for the size.

The GHm is quite disappointing at this level. The sound is quite nasal, metallic and the bass not very present. In fact, the highs are too present and the sound has little depth. This is a real weak point for this speaker.

Result: Advantage Echo Dot 3 (2 points)

In the end, it is the sound quality that makes the difference between the two speakers. The Echo Dot 3 is really better on this aspect, always to put into perspective compared to the size.

Round 6: daily use

In fact, there is no real difference in daily use between a speaker Amazon and a Google speaker of this type (mini speaker). The possibilities offered by the two for standard use (excluding home automation therefore) are virtually identical even if the presentation differs a little:

  • Alarm clock and timer,
  • Internet information search
  • Weather
  • Listen to music online or on your phone via Bluetooth,
  • Listening to the radio and the news (goes through a routine with GHm)
  • Make shopping lists or tasks
  • Put silly thoughts
  • Asking for jokes (still progress to be made to get out of the carambar® level)

In short, they can do almost anything you ask them to do. But beware, we are not yet on actual AIs, so do not expect to have open conversations with your speakers. They are not proactive either. To see in a few years perhaps ... That said, Alexa in fashion "Attentive listening". That is to say that at the end of a request, it remains in active mode so that you avoid reactivating it or to respond immediately with a "thank you" for example. It's convenient, but don't take it for interaction.

Over several weeks of testing, the requests were multiple and representative of an average user. It appears that the sources of research to respond to requests are also more or less the same (apart from the weather it seems but given the accuracy of the weather in general…).

To support the test, we asked 3 questions to Alexa and to Google Assistant: " what can you tell me about Versailles? ", "What is squaring the circle?" " and question about COVID-19. In all cases, Wikipedia is the source of the information given, but there are some differences.

In the first case, Google Assistant provided a true answer but a little disconnected from the real expectation (question of general knowledge) by giving the dimensions, the number of windows, etc. Alexa was more concrete with the history and use of the castle.

In the second case, it is Google Assistant which was much clearer and more verbose by supporting its arguments and bringing added value. Alexa had remained on a very academic definition without setting in situation or explaining the context. In the latter case, Google Assistant and Alexa provided answers which, although different in form, were the same in substance.

There is therefore no real difference between the two connected assistants. But if the information store is the same, why are there discrepancies? Quite simply because Amazon is based on Wikipedia, but will also cross the data with other sources (internal, user feedback, others…) and the restitution is therefore different.

We then had fun at ask for translations from the two assistants, in Japanese and English. Again, the translations differ a bit between the two manufacturers, but are still good. Except for Google Assistant which surprisingly missed the Japanese translation by doing a literal translation including the announcement phrase. "In Japanese, gna gna gna is said ...".

Result: Tie (2 point everywhere)

In the end, the Dot 3 and the GHm are in phase on this part. Even if there are small differences and little misses sometimes, it is still very good. In any case, we could expect more fluidity in the exchanges, more anticipation, but here we are dealing with a question of real AI and not of an assistant.

Round 7: home automation or connected home

What is hidden under this term of home automation? We will see together home automation Strictly speaking, namely turning on or off lights, sockets… but we will also see the routines because even if they are used on a daily basis, they are often used for the control of connected objects.

We are not going to make you here a tutorial on performing routines to kill the monotony, because it can quickly be painful and nasty. But know that there is one for Alexa and that if many of you are asking for it out loud, we can get down to it for Google Assistant.

Amazon Alexa

With our Alexa, in order to be able to use a connected device, it is necessary to activate the manufacturer's skill or a multi-brand skill such as Smart Life. Installation is very easy:

  • Install the device on the chosen application (Smart Life, Konyks, Meross, Ecovacs ...)
  • Activate the skill relating to the application
  • Alexa will find them on her own. If ever this is not done, there is a simple way to go by going to add a new device.

A lot of brands are available and compatible Alexa. On the other hand, if the skill does not exist, the product will not be usable with your Echo Dot... The advantage ofAlexa is the number of products supported, much more than Google Assistant (Ecovacs, for example, is not taken into account by Google Assistant…). And these Skills do not only concern home automation, there are some for everything, such as news skills to make your daily flash. On the other hand, due to the zoning ofAlexa, you only have national news or podcasts. Impossible to have foreign skills. This is a big weak point causing users to wait for the goodwill of developers to use material available elsewhere, or to listen to foreign news.

Once done, your device will operate by voice with simple words like "Light X", "Light X in blue", "Turn on X at 20%", "What is the temperature of the house", "House rule on 20 °"... It's very intuitive.

It is also possible create groups, that is to say put several devices under the same name in order to control them at the same time. By creating a room and attaching the devices to that room, your Amazon Echo located in the same area will know you are talking about nearby devices. On the other hand, and this is true for the two assistants, the possibilities of voice management are less than via the original application. So with Alexa, you have 5 whites and 15 colors to manage the bulbs for example. If your intake is monitoring consumption, your assistant will not inform you of the said consumption. The problem on the other hand is that the connected devices are classified in alphabetical order but also by type, which are not always well recognized in the application, which quickly becomes a happy mess.

But we are only here on basic home automation. To go further, you will need the routines and scenes. For scenes, these are created through the third-party application and then detected by Alexa. You can use them in routines afterwards.

A routine is a simple way to automate actions. It is structured like this:

  • A name in order to be able to classify and search it.
  • A trigger : request phrase or condition. The sentence is created by yourself and the condition will be chosen from a set of triggers provided. The triggers are
    • Time, sunrise or sunset (useful for closing shutters for example)
    • Alarms: if an alarm occurs (such as a door opening) and is ignored.
    • Connected home. Certain devices, sensors in general or cameras, can go back in this section and you can therefore be at the origin of the routine (a presence detection or a door opening turns on the light for example).
  • An action. This is what will happen. These actions are very broad. They go from one ad by Alexa, carrying out an IFTTT activity, playing music, launching Skills, activating or deactivating devices ...

The possibilities are enormous and there are few limits for an intermediate use of home automation. Of course, the fades of the genre will pass on Home Assistant ou Jeedom, the two being compatible Alexa.

Google Home

We will avoid redundancy because the basis is the same with Google Assistant. There are some subtleties, however. To upload a connected object and control it with the Google Home Mini, you need to install the application ad-hoc and then activate the add-on for Google Home. Here you will find an example ofthe use of Smart Life with Google Assistant. To raise your devices, swipe down on the screen or ask "OK Google, synchronize Smart Life " (for example).

The advantage over the application Alexa is the fact that the app is much more airy at this level. The devices are classified by type and we find it easy.

Here again, the management by voice is done with simple sentences "Hey Google, turn on the printer", “Turn off the light”… but still more limited than with the basic application. On the other hand, another advantage, there is more color choices than the 15 at Alexa. Nevertheless, to date, there are fewer brands supported by Google Assistant. Most of the well-known brands are present, so this should not bother fans of soft home automation, but those who are more demanding will be a little hungry. Indeed, the possibilities for tailor-made developments through “complementary” applications are limited. They mainly concern brands of connected products and news, not really games or others. On the other hand, a huge strong point, not being or not very zoned, it is quite possible for you to install products purchased abroad or to listen to Japanese or Quebec news.

We will look at the routines offered by Google Home. They are made up like this:

  • When : it is the triggering factor. A request phrase is always necessary. Otherwise, it is possible to define a period. But it remains quite limited because it is an hour, a day… No external trigger or anything else. This greatly limits the possibilities.

     

     

  • The Assistant must : it's action. There are possible lists of actions that revolve a lot around the organization of the day. However, it is possible to activate scenes or control connected devices. But it quickly becomes quite confusing and limited in the possibilities (switching on, off, no delay…).

Result: Advantage to Echo Dot 3 thanks to Alexa (2 points against 1)

Due to the lack of a trigger, the limitation of actions and the cumbersome creation, Google Home is in real withdrawal compared to Alexa. Adapted to basic home automation, it quickly shows its limits and will not be able to satisfy people who expect more features. But that said, it has greatly evolved for some time, presents very good ideas (dezoning, visibility of devices…) and it should be followed closely.

 

Conclusion of the comparison Amazon Echo Dot 3 vs Google Home Mini

Which voice assistant to choose: Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa ? We may call ourselves Les Alexiens, we did this comparative test as objectively as possible, based on daily use, cross-tests, technical verifications ... Of course, there can be a part of subjectivity when we talk about a feeling such as the voice, the response to expectations ... But we can bet that some sites, who have made a specialty of repeating the same tests after us, will be able to succeed where we have perhaps sinned a little ...

Of course, this comparison covered both the part hardware (the Dot 3 and the GHm), but also on thevoice assistant integrated (Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant) as well as the software (applications Amazon Alexa and Google Home). The software part has nevertheless been adapted for use with these two devices. That is to say that we are not talking about video management or streaming service providers, or the native integration of ZigBee for example.

To say that this is a final result is not true. The two speakers each have their advantages and disadvantages, their own little extras, but also their faults. They are quite similar in their use and both are quite suitable, and almost equal, for daily use and basic home automation. The drawbacks are even for many the same (voice recognition, voice of the assistant, application, etc.).

But where the Dot 3 makes the difference, it is on its sound quality thanks to a slightly bigger speaker but especially boosted bass, scalability thanks to Skills (inherent in Amazon Alexa) and the fact that the voice assistant Alexa is much more suited to home automation management basic, even intermediate, with more advanced routines and a wider range of compatible products.

Let us also be quite clear that theconnected speaker of Google is far from bad. Google Assistant has improved a lot and the Google Home Mini is very suitable for everyday use and basic home automation. The voice assistant has undeniable advantages such as de-zoning, a more ventilated application for daily operation, and full integration into the Google environment. Its evolution in a short time is remarkable and it should be followed closely, where Amazon has a tendency to stagnate for some time, unable to develop his assistant on basic concepts such as the calendar, SMS, too restrictive zoning ...

Did i choose Alexa or did she choose me? Let's say that as a beta tester, it's a bit of both! And I do not regret having met our favorite assistant nor this adventure undertaken with Alexien Modo. Technophile, self-taught and loving popularization, I try to make our common passion easy to access!