Google is a leading tech company in the world. The Mountain View-headquartered company has an advantage over other companies, given its unmatched dominance over the internet courtesy 'Google search'. Google uses this strength to make its products like smartphones and smart home speakers relevant to consumers.
After making a lasting impression with its Home smart speakers at a global level, Google has finally decided to bring Home and Home Mini speakers to India. As Indians are still new to the idea of smart homes and smart gadgets, there's a lot of awareness Google needs to create before seeing profitable results for its Google Home speakers.
But the Google Home launch event that happened in New Delhi on Tuesday showed no signs of making excuses that will suppress the new product's popularity in India. How well Google's enthusiasm is going to translate into sales remains to be seen but it will surely open the market for many players to explore the unexplored.
International Business Times, India was covering the Google's Tuesday event and had the chance to take the bigger Google Home for a spin. We will be sharing our full review of the product very soon, but our early impressions of Google Home are already on the positive side.
Google Home looks like an ordinary speaker at the first glance, but what lies within is an absolute treasure. A circular base with a mesh has the speaker and a tower on top with a diagonally cut surface serves as an active touchpad.
If you're wondering what good is a touchpad on a speaker, Google Home lets you access important functions like controlling volume and activating Assistant from the top. Moreover, there are two tiny microphones (you'll have to look closely) that pick up your voice commands from across the room.
But that's not it. If you do not like the sober grey color base, Google lets you swap it so the Home can blend in with your interiors (but it's not available right away). Overall, Google Home is an absolutely stunning device and elegance at its best.
What can it do?
Everything? We sure hope so, but it's not the case. However, Google Home won't leave you disappointed in the way smart speakers work.
Powered by Google Assistant, Google Home can be your talking encyclopedia with answers to any question you might have.
Just imagine giving the power of voice to Google Search - that's Google Home.
But limiting Google Home to just your regular Q&A like "What's the weather today" or "Find the recipe for chicken lasagne" is not testing its full potential. Google bundled the Home review unit with a smart Philip Hue bulb, which can be controlled by Home. All you have to do is pair and command, "Ok Google, turn off the kitchen lights" and et voila.
There are several commands for Google Home speaker that will make your life easier and fun. So those who think it is merely a speaker are going to be surprised in many ways. From karaoke to finding recipes and pairing with Chromecast for entertainment, Google Home does it all.
Google Home also has a broadcast feature, wherein you can remotely operate your smart speaker without being in the close proximity. This is possible with Google Assistant on your smartphone, an advantage Google has over its rival Amazon.
Who is it for?
Google Home is not for everyone. It requires some basic things at your home or office before having this smart home gadget set up. Firstly, a good Wi-Fi connection.
Your Google Home will work only when it is connected to the internet at all times. Next, you need a smartphone to be paired with the Home during its setup and later for things like sending location on Maps for requests like "Navigate to the airport."
While it's easier to find broadband and smartphone in every household, what Google Home really needs is a smart home. How to build one? It's not at all difficult, but it's for sure expensive. But when it's done, you'll be able to control your smart lights and other smart gadgets connected to your home Wi-Fi with just voice commands.
Is it worth it?
Google Home is priced at Rs 9,999. The closest competition Home gets is from Amazon, which has three smart speakers available in India - Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Plus. They are priced at Rs 9,999, Rs 4,499 and Rs 14,999, respectively. The Alexa-powered Amazon Echo speakers are great on their own, but Google Home has its own perks like a massive sea of information at its disposal.
If the Google Home seems expensive, there's Home Mini for Rs 4,499, which makes a sound choice for those who aren't too sure of investing heavily in smart speakers.
For its intelligence, reliability, and performance, Google Home steals the limelight. But don't give up on Amazon Echo just yet. Read our full review of Echo and soon we will be pitting the two intelligent speakers against each other to give you a well-educated analysis of which one's better. So stay tuned.