Google Home finally has a release date and price after being shown off at I/O earlier this year. The company revealed Home’s full set of software capabilities and shared more details about the physical hardware. In our hands-on, the device fits slightly better in home settings than the black monolith-like Amazon Echo.
The top half of Home features a clean, diagonal face with LEDs embedded underneath and a capacitive touch panel for manual controls like play/pause and volume. Dots in the four Google colors light up and spin to show that Home is actively listening and completing a command.
Google touts its long history in Far Field voice recognition to provide unparalleled always listening capabilities. For instance, Home can easily pick up “Ok, Google” even when audio is playing through the speaker. There is a physical button on Home to turn off the microphone with the four dots turning red to signify that “Ok, Google” is disabled.
To personalize, the base that covers the speaker grill is interchangeable with magnets allowing for easy swapping. The fabric bases come in Mango (orange), Marine, and Violet, with Metal finishes in Carbon (black), Snow (white), and Copper. Pricing starts at $20 for the fabric options.
The device is very light at 1.05 pounds and significantly shorter than the Amazon Echo at 5.62 inches. A power jack attaches flatly to the bottom of Home with a larger 16.5V, 2A brick adapter on the other end of the white 1.8 meter cable.
Software-wise, “My Day” provides a summary of your daily schedule. Deep Chromecast integration allows Google Home to control TVs and send videos to any connected screen.
Google Home is available starting November 4 for $129 and can be purchased from the Google Store, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart.