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Amazon Echo Plus (2nd gen) vs. Google Home: Which should you buy?

Echo Plus 2nd Gen
Echo Plus 2nd Gen (Image credit: Android Central)

Amazon Echo Plus (2nd gen)

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The new Echo Plus is shorter and more compact while still packing in the all-important Zigbee hub that makes it the best starting point for converting your house into a smart home.

Amazon Echo Plus (2nd gen)

Got it all

Half the size of the previous generation
Fresh design with a fabric finish
Built-in Zigbee hub
Bluetooth and line-out for speakers
Costs as much as three Echo Dots
Lacks Google Assistant's expansive knowledge base

Google Home

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In the same way that the first Echo Plus offered more functionality and features than the Google Home, the Echo Plus (2nd gen) has doubled-down by offering the same great features in a more compact and visually appealing package. With the Echo Plus, you can start connecting Zigbee-compatible bulbs, switches, outlets, and other smart home products right out of the box without needing to invest in a dedicated smart home hub.

Google Home

Google's first

Works with Chromecast-enabled devices
Syncs well with Google Assistant on your phone
A very Google-y design
No support for connecting external speakers
Likely need to invest in a smart home hub

The answer is clear for first-time buyers in 2018

You're interested in upgrading your home with a ton of cool connected tech, but you've waited a few years just to let all the early bugs get ironed out. Now, it's 2018 and you're ready to start upgrading your house to smart home status.

If this describes you, your patience has rewarded you with the second generation Echo Plus.

For anyone who's already invested in Google products, whether we're talking Android or Chromecast devices, the appeal of the Google Home is that it's another Google product that, unsurprisingly, works really well with other Google products. The choice between Google Assistant and Alexa largely comes down to personal preference and brand loyalty, but in terms of pure functionality and style, the second generation Echo Plus straight up outclasses Google's first smart speaker in almost every aspect.

Amazon Echo Plus (2nd gen)Google Home
Size5.8" x 3.9" x 3.9"5.6" x 3.8" x 3.8"
Weight27.5oz16.8oz
Microphones72
Speakers3" woofer and 0.8" tweeter2" driver and dual 2" passive radiators
Smart hubYesNo
BluetoothYesNo
3.5mm audio outputYesNo

Pressure is really on Google to deliver an outstanding and affordable follow up to Alexa's smart home offerings because Amazon has been going full tilt on the hardware side of things. There are so many great Alexa speakers and devices that makes Amazon smart home ecosystem very inviting.

Both Amazon and Google offer great support for an ever-growing list of connected smart home device to control your lights, lock your doors, and control appliances around your home, but the Echo Plus gets the advantage for including a Zigbee hub built right in. That means you can forgo buying an extra hub device to start building out your smart home and can spend your money on bulbs, switches, and whatever else.

Marc Lagace was an Apps and Games Editor at Android Central between 2016 and 2020. You can reach out to him on Twitter [@spacelagace.