We are big fans of both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, still leaning toward Alexa for those with incredibly complicated or busy smart home environments due to wider support for 3rd-party ecosystems and devices mixed with a deeper configuration for it all. However, if you are an Android user and all you need is something simple for the bedroom that interacts with your daily life both in and out of the home while also providing a reliable wake-up every morning, Google takes the win with the Nest Audio speakers.
Nest speakers can interact with all of your devices as well, forming groups and automations. It doesn’t go as deep down the rabbit hole as Alexa products, but not everyone needs to go that deep. Plus, if you are an Android (smartphone) user, you may not want to bother with multiple digital assistants on your device to get things done.
Since the Nest speakers have Google Assistant built into them, they will have access to many of the same things your phone does, assuming you have everything connected to the same account. Making it easy to use your voice to check your calendar for the next day’s appointments, create new entries or reminders, as well as many other features that Alexa doesn’t quite accomplish. Those appointments/reminders appear across all of your Google/Android devices that are connected to that account.
When you are done confirming the next day’s schedule, simply say “Hey Google, wake me up at 6AM” and the speaker will set an alarm and wake you up with a comfortable tune when the time comes.
Google’s ability to make sure all of these devices can speak to themselves is the biggest selling point of the Nest speakers. No third-party handoffs needed between phone and speaker. Just Google Assistant doing its thing.
Nothing is perfect, of course. There are some things on your phone the speakers do not have access to (yet). But, we find that most Android users here (in our offices, at least) trust Google in the bedroom (or even office).
I personally do as well. I have Alexa devices spread all over at home as my home automation absolutely dives down the rabbit hole. However, at the end of the day, the bedroom gets a single Google (Nest) speaker in order to have the most interaction with the next day’s agenda. I have a terrible habit of last minute thoughts flooding my head as I prepare for rest. It’s nice to say “Hey Google, remind me at 10am to blast through my emails” or “set a calendar event for 10am to check with Melissa about the days meeting schedule”. Then a little follow up with “Good Night”, which you can create an automation for that does various things like turning off lights and setting an alarm. Or, simply “Hey Google, wake me up at 6AM”.
Which model you go with is strictly user-preference. The full Nest Audio smart speaker (seen in the above image) offers a wider range and deeper lows. Better for if you plan to use it for music or soothing noises to help you sleep. The Nest Mini is great when you need something simple. And finally, the Nest Hub/Hub Max are great options for when you need more information or a visible clock on the screen–although likely won’t be needed by most since it may be a little “too much” for the bedroom to have a touch-display with video capabilities.
Now, if only Google would build in a clock display for the full Nest Audio speaker. Something that softly glows through the front like the dots that form while it is listening to a command. Amazon did this with a clock-version of its Dot speakers and it makes a huge difference for places where you need/want to see the time.