Amazon Echo Show VS Google Home Hub

The Amazon Echo Show dwarfs the Google Home Hub in size, but which smart display makes a more useful addition to your countertop?

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The Good

The second generation of the Echo Show brings a better and bigger display, fuller sound and YouTube via Firefox or Amazon Silk browsers.

The Bad

There still aren't many useful or entertaining animations in common Alexa interactions.

The Bottom Line

If you like the idea of a smart display for cooking, calling or watching videos, the newest Echo Show is a great option. But don't expect any extras.

Overview

The Good

The Google Home Hub's touchscreen is responsive and works well in combination with Google Assistant, whether you ask for help on a recipe or to check what's on your calendar. Pictures and videos look particularly crisp thanks to an ambient light sensor that adapts the screen brightness and warmth to match the room. A control panel screen makes it easy to organize and control your smart home devices.

The Bad

The sound quality is fine for background music, but nowhere near the level of other smart displays like the Amazon Echo Show or the JBL Link View. It's more on par with the diminutive Google Home Mini. The integration with the Nest Hello Video Doorbell needs work.

The Bottom Line

The cameraless, petite Google Home Hub will blend into any room in your home. It's affordable, and quite useful as a digital assistant (especially in the kitchen), a photo frame and a smart home control panel.

Ratings

Features

Both the Amazon Echo Show and the Google Home Hub respond to a wide variety of voice commands. They both use their touchscreens to show extra information when you ask about the weather, search for nearby restaurants, check your calendar and more. The Echo Show has a camera and the Home Hub doesn't, but the Home Hub wins this battle thanks to native YouTube integration and a cool feature called Ambient EQ. The Hub scrolls through your pictures in ambient mode while adapting the brightness and warmth of the screen to match the surrounding light.

Usability

The touchscreen is helpful on both the Home Hub and the Echo Show, but the Hub is better at two pivotal tasks -- visually organizing your smart home devices and offering step-by-step recipe guidance. Plus, the Hub integrates with Google Photos, so not only will it make your pictures look great with Ambient EQ, the Home Hub can help you sort through them and show off your best shots.

Performance

The Hub's lack of size prevents it from keeping up with the Show in sound quality. If you want booming music from your smart display, the Show's the better bet. Its microphones are also a little more responsive, though the Hub's aren't bad.

Design

The second-gen Echo Show looks much better than the boxy first gen, but the Home Hub is smaller, cuter and offers more color options. It will blend into any room of your house.

Overall

While dwarfed in size and sound quality, the Google Home Hub makes better use of its touchscreen than the Echo Show. It also costs less, takes up less room and is more helpful at a couple of key tasks. While Alexa and Google Assistant are fairly evenly matched overall, the Home Hub is the better fit for most shoppers interested in a smart display.

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