The difficulty with choosing a Smart Home assistant is that the choice is linked to other choices as well. Concretely, you can't access Google Assistant or Chromecast on an Amazon speaker and vice versa. There is no perfect product, there are only different products. And to be honest, although my primary Home Assistant is Amazon Alexa, I love the Google Nest Hub in the kitchen and on my desk as an extra screen to watch series/the news (using Chromecast) while working.

Why I don't consider Apple Siri, even with the Apple Home Kit? It is merely an API allowing apple devices to connect to smart home hubs or compatible cloud services, using Siri on your iPhone as a voice extension. It will definitely fall short on real smart home expectations. The Apple Homepod was an attempt to copy the Amazon Echo but is really focusing on providing a smart music interface, you can hardly call it a home assistant.

That leaves us with, well Google and Amazon... On this page I will focus on the Home Assistant Interface (Google or Amazon). On another page we will choose your Smart Home Gateway. You can't do wrong with either of them, although there might be some cost or feature differences. In both cases, I would recommend adding an additional smart home controller, capable of adding buttons, sensors, and more advanced scenes and routines, to the equation.

"Are you looking for simplicity? Go for the Google Assistant!
You are a tech guy that likes to play around? Amazon Alexa is your game!" 
Google Assistant
  • Probably the most user-friendly assistant available
  • Supporting multiple languages
  • The Google Nest Hub also provides a display that can be extremely useful for traffic information, weather visualization, cooking recipes, ... and also functions as a Chromecast receiver
  • the recent smart move of Google was to launch the Nest Wifi solution, which not only offers a voice assistant throughout your house, but simultaneously optimizes your indoor Wifi coverage. Another move towards more simplicity
Amazon Alexa
  • the most open platform available, both from a hardware as software point of view

  • impressive APIs allowing every developer to add their product's skills to the voice assistant. See Alexa's favorite skills
  • most Echo speakers have the possibility of using external wired or Bluetooth connected speakers allowing setting up smart multiroom audio.
  • broadcast and 2-way communication between Alexa devices from the start, you can use it as a real intercom system.
  • Alexa voice assistant extends to the Amazon Fire Stick
  • Some amazon speakers have a ZigBee antenna embedded, see choose your Smart Home Gateway
  • Less tweaking options (they kept it simple), features are the same for practically all users, no such thing as 'configurable skills'
  • No jack output to connect external speakers/surround system on the standard smart speakers (Mini, Hub, ...), discontinuation of the Chromecast audio receiver
  • If there's one feature missing, it's Chromecast compatibility, which would open up your speakers to even more platforms and services
  • Less language availability
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