Alexa or Google Assistant? Which smart display should you pick?
These devices are all smart displays, a category that started with the first Amazon Echo show has blown up in the past couple of months.
So with all of these options, how do you pick?
First, here's a quick summary of what these gadgets can do.
Think of smart displays as the next iteration of smart speakers.
Like smart speakers, they respond to a wide variety of voice commands.
You have options with Amazon assistant and the competitive Google assistance.
On top of the usual voice commands, smart displays have a touch screen.
Check the weather and you'll see a forecast.
Search for a place to eat and you'll see pics of nearby restaurants.
The screen can also be a handy visual reference when you wanna cook.
Most smart displays will not let you to control smart home devices This is from a control panel plus you can watch videos on the display itself and make video calls as most of an embedded camera.
Now, let's walk through the options to find the one that fits you best unlike with smart speakers Where the quality of assistance is pretty even, I actually preferred Google Assistant Smart Displays to those from Amazon.
They're better in multitasking, better walking you through a recipe, they're better at smart home controls.
They're not so much better that you should jump ship you already have a lot of Amazon Echo devices at home.
If that's the case go with the second gen $230 Amazon Echo Show, it sounds great, has great mics, and it is a much more polished smart display than the gen one version.
If you are neutral go with Google on this one, which narrows your options to these four.
The $150 Google Home Hub is your best entry point.
It's cute and more affordable than all the rest with all of the same smarts.
Unlike the rest, it doesn't have a camera, which might be a negative for some, or you might appreciate that if you intend to put it in your bedroom.
It also has great adaptive brightness, so when you're not using it it can show off your family pictures in style.
The Google Home Hub sounds fine when you wanna play music, but if you want a smart display that emphasizes sound quality, go with the $250 JBL Link View.
It has all the same features.
I don't like the look as much, but it can blast your favorite song with a lot of base and pretty decent quality.
The $260 Lenovo Smart Display is the most well-rounded of the bunch.
It has the biggest screen.
It sounds pretty good.
Plus, look at this design.
The bamboo back looks like a cutting board and fits particularly well in the kitchen.
Where the Home Hub is cute, the Lenovo Smart Display feels like a premium and elegant gadget.
Which leaves these.
The $300 LG Smart Display isn't the best at anything and it's too expensive, so it's out.
The $200 Facebook Portal and the $350 Portal Plus aren't as smart as the rest.
They're primarily video chat devices with some echo capabilities.
Go with the Portal if you primarily want a video chat device with a camera that can follow you as you talk.
So you have a lot of options.
But based on what you need, whether it's sound quality or design, whether it's Amazon or Google, you can narrow your choices pretty quickly and jump in on this booming and helpful category of tech.