Importance of Natural Resources

Google Nest Mini vs Amazon Echo Dot


hi I’m Dom and this is Jim and we are
here with the Google Nest mini and the Amazon echo dot with clock and we wanted
to set these two sort of entry levels smart speakers side-by-side head-to-head
see which one is better which one makes the better entry point for the
respective Google on Amazon smart home ecosystems and with that talked a little
bit about those two systems and maybe which one you’re better off buying into
if you’re kind new to all this smart home stuff so Jim what have you got
there so this is the new echoed up with clock and it’s basically an echo dot
three but with a clock so there’s a display hopefully you can see that on
the front and it makes it a much better product if you’re going to put it on
your nightstand your bedside table without a clock on there you can’t see
the time so one of the things that people always ask a lecture is what’s
the time and so it makes sense to have that display on there yep and then this
is the Google Nest Mini which is the follow up to the Google home Mini if
that sounds confusing Google’s basically decided to slowly rebrand all of its
Google home products into Google Nest so you’ll see a bit of a mix on the
market right now some things are home some things a nest some things have
changed name the Google home hub became a Google Nest hub this is basically
Google home Mini two very similar to the first time mini though and so this is at
49 pounds or $49 us at the regular echo 3 is the exact same price and our clock
model here is 10 bucks more 10 bucks more yeah so you get your display and
that’s the that’s the only difference just to get that little screen which
makes sense so price-wise they’re really similar other than paying an extra 10 if
you want the clock model but you can use of 50 dollars versus 50 dollars for the
two sort of entry-level speakers and it’s worth noting as well they are
always less than that I mean because there’s kind of especially the nest mini
is brand new so it’s still around 50 but Black Friday it’s definitely gonna draw
the original home in he spent a lot of its time at 35 or 40 dollars the echo
dot is often around the 3035 mark yeah shocking yeah generally speaking don’t
buy them at full price wave them to drop because they 100% will
so what is it in them I mean as we look side by side they are pretty similar
things that about the same size the Google clocks in a little bit smaller
it’s just a little bit shorter but no all in it they’re both things that will
happily sit on a bedside table tucked on the top of some shelves in your living
room sitting on a little shelf or like cabinet in a hallway anything like that
exactly yeah they’re pretty much go anywhere that you need them to as long
as they’ve got that socket power socket nearby yeah that’s one thing they’re not
battery-powered so you can see we’ve got our trailing power cables you do need
them to be plugged in all the time one that alleged actually the nest mini has
now I don’t think that dot has but correct me if I’m wrong is where the
nest mini Google has introduced a little wall mounting bit on the bottom which is
very simple it’s just in an indentation so that if you put a nail in the wall
you can hang it on the nail that’s all it comes down to you with the
with the echo dot you’ll often find for sale on Amazon third-party mounts which
allows you to sort of sit it on yeah either on the wall or directly on the
socket yeah it’s interesting actually I will mention at this point that Amazon
yes kind of addressed that by releasing an entirely new model called the echo
flex which is even cheaper and that will plug directly into a socket yeah
just sits in the socket there this is not really meant for wall mounting it’s
meant for a shelf yeah right other than that they both have this kind of fabric
key finish with Google it goes all over the top on the amazon it just runs
around the side and so it’s a kind of plastic ease silicone atop I don’t like
where it is yeah it’s plastic but it feels nice and smooth and yeah you got
your buttons on there so we’ll just show the camera yep you’ve got your standard
four buttons you’ve got volume we’ve we’ve got the mics muted because we
don’t want the assistants piping up which is why there’s the red ring all
the way when normally be there so that’s it yeah very simple for microphones for
far for your microphone so I’ll pick up your voice from yeah across the room
even when there’s music playing and what’s that that the select button is so
that you can actually sort of talk to Alexa invoke Alexa
out saying I like loud music you’re buying you can just press it yeah
automatically listen to you cool so your mode then the nest mini is comparatively
button free there’s not a lot going on there there’s one physical switch which
is here which is the microphone mute as with the electric we’ve got a muted
right now and then there’s little side LEDs for the volume controls yes a
smoother look isn’t it I think this is slightly more practical because you can
actually just see them if you want the the more yeah I think minimal look then
this looks nicer but there’s maybe a user friendliness exactly that’s what
the echo has basically you know exactly where you’re going you’re not standing
out in the dark the next movie now has a thing where if you sort of wave your
hand over it it sort of half works that it should light up the volume LEDs you
can see them but it’s not doing it right now it’s just showing those red LEDs
show the mic is muted right and the other feature which is brand new on this
is that you can because it’s an alarm clock you can just tap the top to just
move nice give you an extra five minutes but because it uses the mics to hear
when you’ve hit it it means that if I were muted that feature doesn’t work
she’s not actually touch sense it’s not touch sensitive it’s lit using the mics
I like that’s quite clever yeah this is other than that physically speak in
terms of the controls yet they’re pretty similar there’s one thing that I can see
from here that you guys can’t that the echo dot has that the nest mini doesn’t
which is an aux out pool so you can do hey we can just turn it round yet so
there’s a little port about there is no comparable portman as mini all that
means is if you want to plug the echo dot into another speaker for music you
can do both of them will do that over Bluetooth both of them will also do it
over sort of Wi-Fi two speakers with other speakers within their smart
speaker ecosystem you can do sort of speaker groups and stuff and also you
can do multi room playback on your system so if you wanted to play music
from whichever service you’re streaming it from you would be able to play that
in sync on the different devices but they both support that yeah
and then the only other physical difference are two other physical
until I can think of between these two in terms of hardware really one you kind
of mentioned already Jim you said that the dot has four mics in it for
listening to your voice yeah the nest mini only has three and in fact
the whole mini only had two so in theory the echo thought might be a little bit
better about picking your voice up as you’re sort of in an odd bit of the room
a bit further away around a corner other noise in the room that sort of
thing I’ve generally found actually the nest mini has been very good for that so
I wouldn’t worry about that too much if you know your house is really noisy or
if you know you’ve got a spot where you like to stand in the kitchen and shout
round the corner to the smart speaker that might be an edge for the echo dot
and the other small thing is the nest mini now has a machine-learning chip
inside so it’s doing a lot of the language processing on device rather
than in the cloud there’s a couple things there one it means it’s a little
bit faster to if your privacy conscious I mean these probably aren’t the right
products for you if you’re super privacy conscious if you are it means that the
language processing is being done on device rather than sent up into the
cloud now so you’re you know the clips are your your voice on but I still think
they get sent to Google anyway so I don’t think it makes a huge difference can you actually ask this where it won’t
send it out to Google I think the difference is that it will always
process your language offline figures out what you’re saying offline obviously
if you’re asking about the time or the weather or for what something is
anything it needs to check the internet to get the answer for it’s just that
I’ll recheck the internet to do that but it figures out what you mean on device
right well it’s pretty impressive for $49.99 yeah I suppose we should talk
very briefly about sound quality yes obviously we can’t play them to you
because you’ll just be hearing them through our microphones so that doesn’t
really tell you about how good they sound but is I can tell you that the the
echo dot is very good if you want to listen to music and you’re not too
demanding in an audiophile then you’re going to be pretty happy listening to
music streaming through this podcasts radio yeah it sounds pretty good for the
size and I’d say it’s the same with the nest mini I think that wasn’t the case
for the original home mini it was pretty lackluster from an audio
perspective the whole mini is much better so the nest mini the new model
that we got here is much better again it’s not for an audiophile it’s not
gonna fill a large bedroom and if you have other speakers in the house you’re
probably going to prefer to hook it up to them over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi or
whatever ah if it’s for a small room or if you’re someone who’s just not really
that fussy an audio quality it will do the job it is more than loud enough and
it sounds fine isn’t there’s not a lot of bass understandably there’s small
products but they sound okay yeah exactly yeah but in a way the some
helpful advice because basically there’s not much to choose from between them I
think if you know you want a wider audio out that’s a good reason to go with an
echo dot or a clock or the echo dot will clock and if you know you prefer those
physical buttons that’s an edge there yeah I think aesthetically it’s gonna be
preference I prefer the way the nest because this comes in different colors
yeah you get sort of they’ve got city names but they’re basically pod on to
sort of white light gray thing a very dark gray almost black this orangey
pinky coral and then a light blue that’s called sky and against it sort of all in
that finish interesting enough with the echo dot with clock there is but one
choice at the moment this is the only color it comes in if you go for the echo
dot three with with no clock then you do have a choice of three colors this kind
of I think this is called sandstone is great there’s also the charcoal one
which is basically great yeah and there’s no real adventurous colors like
like that way to be honest I think it’s just gonna sit fairly unobtrusively on
your shelf or on your table so they’re both designed to be tucked away so it’s
just which one you think will look nicer tucked away and whatever corner if your
room you want to do it so in a way then the actual decision isn’t which of these
two by its which ecosystem you wanna be part of do you want to go buy into
Google or into Amazon so we’re gonna break that down a little bit and just
quickly run through the pros and cons of the different sides of it and what
you’re looking at so first up is the rest of the product range on Google
that’s fairly simple there actually aren’t that many nest or home devices
there’s a larger Google home and they google her max that’s even
bigger and louder and then there’s the nest hub and the nest hub max which
about smart displays they’ve got the same voice assistant but they also have
a touchscreen which you can use to watch YouTube see sort of step by step recipe
instructions stuff like that there’s then also the nest thermostat stuff
though it doesn’t actually have the voice assistant built-in so the branding
wise it’s confusing I’m confident there’s gonna be a nest thermostat with
the Google assistant built-in before long but not yet Jim the echo range is a
bit more expensive well I almost need this like a big cheat
sheet here but yeah easy way so many different models however obviously you
can go and look at Amazon’s website to see the whole range in its glory but it
goes right from that $24.99 echo flex yes it’s the one that plugs straight
into the wall through to the echo dot then the echo dot with clock then you’ve
got the regular echo yep echo 3 now yep which is basically last year’s echo plus
with yep without the built-in ZigBee hub yeah you don’t have the Smart Hub then
you’ve got the echo cloth yep but alongside this you’ve got the echo shows
so you’ve got a bigger studio coming and the echo studio so the echo studio is
there I suppose it’s the the closest rival is the no max I’m max you’ve also
got the ones with screens so you’ve got three sizes of echo show to choose from
from the five and a half inch which is good for your bedside table sort of a
bit like an alternative to this and not very much more money then you’ve got the
8 inch one which is the new the latest one and then you’ve got the 10 inch one
yep and the audio quality improves as you go up as green as your screen yes
yeah and then you get thrown into like Amazon just has a huge range of other
echo stuff you can get in like echo microwave you can get an echo wall clock
and it you can get all sorts and it’s only gonna keep expanding I mean at that
set time event they unveiled so many echo fueled products and if we’re to
believe that they’re gonna actually make it then there’s a ring with Alexa B in
smart glasses yeah the range is enormous so if you are if you’re considering
which system to go for and certainly in terms of breath of
choice yep and hammerstone has it there there’s a lot more products to opt into
though one other note to note on that is that there’s also more partnerships with
other companies so you can look outside of the existing product ranges and
actually say when we talk about Google only having two sides of smart display
that’s true but there’s also the Lenovo smart display and the no very smart
clock so between that’s another three sizes and they just run Google system
and then there are lots of smart speakers now that come with either Alexa
or Google assistant or sometimes both built-in so you can you you you should
look to other audio manufacturers especially it’s more prominent on the
speaker front you don’t have to buy the first party one to get a speaker that
has the voice assistant go in it is also worth bearing in mind that you don’t
always get exactly the same no features so one of the things I’ve noticed
particularly with devices who have Alexa built in is that they may not
necessarily be able to be joined as part of the multi-room Oh bitch I have the
same iris on us that runs the Google assistant but you can’t form a speaker
group between the Sonos and the main Google home speakers so you gotta watch
out for the old captures that when you go for those third party you can’t be
guaranteed the exact same experience and I would say to be fair
Amazon also has a little edge there in terms of those partnerships because
things like you look at so nas right now so Niles supports both Alexa and Google
assistant but it got the Alexa support about six months earlier something like
that even though they were announced at the same time and I think that’s what
we’ll see I mean as we’ll talk now about the rest of the sort of kin battles mom
stuff but they both companies have been very aggressive in forming partnerships
with other companies to build a lecture and Google assistant support right into
smart home products and they’re almost neck and neck but I think maybe there’s
just a few more out there with Alexa or maybe more of them put a lecture in
first in Google and second that kind of thing there seem to be the case and the
way that Amazon has done it with Alexa is by skills so developers can choose to
build their own compatibility with a lecture if you like yep and so that
means that they can often do it quicker yeah I’m not exactly sure how it works
we with Google but I’ve certainly found
that there is there seems to be a bigger range of products that are compatible
with the lexer and even if it isn’t bigger you tend to find that
compatibility first there are also more sort of Alexa skills you can get the
Untied to products yeah you can sort of add new functionality onto a lexer and
sort of say lots of media companies and new services using a lexer to do special
broadcasts and things like that that you just don’t get with the Google assistant
experience where it’s really much more product lead they have a lot of
partnerships with smart home companies so you know you can link up your robot
vacuum you can link up your smart light bulbs you can link up your almost
anything else pretty much your cat or whatever but that kind of having other
companies that having other things you can add to yield of your smart assistant
that aren’t tied to a thing you ought yes also wins with yeah with Alexa and
the skills you can enable games so you can play games on a lexer yep a lot of
different things and yeah because they effectively like little apps the quality
does vary they’re not they’re not Amazon’s own so you might try some
barrels they’re pretty much all free although that some of them now do have
in skill purchasing yet so you got to watch out for that but you the kids
might have been free you can try them out if you don’t like him just disable
them again so if probably a good chance to actually
talk about the assistance in general what how they compared because that’s
gonna be a main port sort of all the way through is basically you’re talking to
either the Google assistant or to Alexa so is there any difference between them
there is a difference between them and the main difference is that Google
assisting ties into all of Google services yes so it can be better when
you ask her certain things with with Alexa she’s not as good at general
knowledge okay um she can answer questions which are effectively kind of
Wikipedia pages yep and she’s pretty hot on local opening and closing times yeah
um your you’ll be a little bit frustrated sometimes when you think oh I
could just ask Alexa this and she just says I don’t know that yeah I can’t help
you I shall convert centimeters into in and all sorts of other things for you
yeah we’re as good was the edge of being tied into the Google search engine into
all of the data that’s in Google Maps stuff like that so there yeah there are
sometimes Google with the edge I think also that also ties into like part of
why I personally as Google I actually had an echo dot I think the 2nd gen echo
dot and I switched to the Google home stuff just because it ties into all the
Google Apps better I use Gmail I use Google Calendar I use Google music and
having the Google assistant just links all those things together really
seamlessly so Google has that software ecosystem that’s a big edge and there’s
nothing comparable for Amazon no one’s using Amazon email they’re examples of
music but most people aren’t using it or if they do it’s only because it’s what
comes with the echo so there’s not quite the same sense of it tying into all the
rest of your digital life seriously on that last point I’d actually slightly
disagree about Amazon music because Amazon music comes as part of Amazon
Prime so as part of your Prime subscription that’s true
you get Amazon music so it’s kind of like your if you if you like primary
light love getting your amaz and stuff delivered quickly then it’s you could
consider that the Amazon music comes free on top of that yeah and while it
isn’t the same as the Amazon Music Unlimited subscription which is the full
40 or 50 million tracks it’s still a good subset and it’s certainly I think
one of the things that people use these type of devices for most is listening to
music and people love just being able to say Alexa play yep whatever music they
want to listen to so that is a music is definitely a big part of it yeah for
sure it’s super important and that is literally the reason I switch to Google
was I use google play music I needed a small speaker that would do it like the
echo dot will not play off Google Play Music new Google but the whole minion
now nest mini will and that was a massive deal-breaker for me
yeah with you to music I am expecting that to be the exact same fear they do
both support Spotify though which I appreciate is probably how most people
are listening to their music if they’re streaming so if you’re on Spotify it’s
kind of platform ambivalent they’re both totally friendly with Spotify
so the the echo will also play Apple music yes true I actually don’t know if
the Google does I don’t believe it the Google how many
or any Google home support Apple music and if you happen to be a kind of split
between Apple and Alexa devices echo devices then it’s a friendlier fit with
all the serious stuff the exact yeah so obviously music is what you’re trying
to hear but then there’s also things like video content that you’ve got to
think about because if you’re going to go into one of these ecosystems you then
may eventually want something with a screen on it and you may want to be able
to watch stuff on that so that’s the last little bit of the subscription
service puzzle to really think about is where you sit in that space which things
like well if you already have Amazon Prime so you watch lots through Amazon
Prime and use that for your TV then maybe it makes more sense to go into
Ecco because then when you get an echo show it will play nicely with that on
the other hand YouTube is the big sort of edge that Google has because there’s
if there’s one thing you can be guaranteed it’s that any Google product
will always happily play YouTube as long as it’s got a screen it has been very
up-and-down for Amazon it has and confusingly even though YouTube is now
back on fire TV yeah it is not on the show sure yeah so you can watch it in a
kind of a very convoluted way by using the web browser yeah it’s really not
worth it I mean you cannot compare it with the convenience of it on the nest
hub which so that is a big edge because especially because I think for those
small displays you’re not really gonna watch TV on them except maybe I don’t
know putting a soap opera on while you cook or something like that but for
YouTube that’s a that’s a big thing being able to look up recipe videos
being able to watch music videos well while you cook or just like on your
bedside table or whatever that’s a big use case for those displays and Google
has a massive edge there so if you think that’s something you might want to do in
the future that’s maybe a reason to go down the Google path because it’s always
gonna be a better for that basically I think the point we’re trying to make is
simply that you you do have to think a little bit beyond the devices themselves
so this is as we said the entry point into the ranges but once you’ve decided
on which sort of range you’re going to pick then you have to stick with that
range you can’t really mix and match it’s quite expensive to go back yeah
trying to do both is a nightmare you’ve got to be one of the other and
of course it does like Dom said depend on the services you currently use yeah
and which is a better fit for everything you use do you already subscribe to
Amazon Prime are you going to keep subscribing for the next few years yeah
and do you keep you know with are you more of a a Netflix guy or do you have
Amazon Prime videos yeah yeah so it’s a mess I think it is the one of the upshot
of that is they’re both very good you’ll probably be pretty happy whichever one
you go for as long as you make sure those big services you know you love
whether that Amazon Prime TV whether that’s YouTube whether that’s Google
play music or Amazon music or Apple music then make sure you get the thing
that supports those big services you know you use you know you can’t live
without the rest of it will fall into place and you’d be happy with either
platform I think so if you want an answer to the question which one is
better from these two devices then actually it’s a much bigger question
yeah but they’re both basically as good as each other but you have to think
beyond that into the services as we’ve said so honey if you ask me here’s the
nest I’m gonna Lex a guy like and subscribe hit the notification bell to
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