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Head-To-Head: Google Home Is Smarter Than Amazon Echo

The CRN Test Center goes hands-on with the two voice-controlled speakers to find out which one is more useful. Here's why Google Home comes out ahead over Amazon Echo.

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Talking To Robots

After a bit of a false start with Apple's Siri, we're finally now entering the era of using voice control and machine learning to get information and get things done, as an alternative interface to the internet, smartphone apps or information stored on the cloud or on our devices. In the CRN Test Center we've spent the past week comparing the usefulness of Google Home and Amazon Echo, the two leading voice-controlled smart speakers out there. While Echo had a two-year head start, initially launching in November 2014 and adding plenty of functionality over time, Google Home has arrived with a lot to offer from the get-go. Each brings a distinct approach that's heavily influenced by the DNA of their respective companies -- Google has always been about delivering relevant information (alongside relevant ads) while Amazon has been focused on removing barriers to using its own site and services.

Both Google Assistant (which powers Home) and Alexa (which is behind Echo) come with a bit of a learning curve. But in our initial tryout, Google Home comes out ahead in terms of being able to communicate intuitively and uncover the information you're after. This shouldn't be a huge surprise, given the company's core value proposition as a search company.

In the following slides we've shared our other impressions of Google Home and Amazon Echo in terms of their usefulness for answering questions, managing your day, playing music and accomplishing other tasks.

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