Google Home Hands-free Smart Speaker Review | #bemoreathome

The majority of will have seen a handful of Google Home adverts by now right and i guess you are probably thinking what does it actually do and is it worth investing £129.99 in to one yet?

I was lucky enough to get my hands on one recently and was ecstatic to dive in and answer those questions myself. So for those of you that haven't heard of Google Home yet, it is basically a voice-operated smart speaker that is powered by the world's biggest and most advanced search engine.

Using Google Assist you have the power to set your Google Home to variety of tasks and functions. All of these requests fall under five sections: Get answers, Enjoy entertainment, Manage tasks, Control smart devices and Have fun. Which means you can ask the devices to help you with the following and much more.
  • Set Alarms 
  • Calculator 
  • Dictionary 
  • Easter eggs 
  • Find out facts & info
  • Manage Finance 
  • Play Games 
  • Tells Jokes
  • Light control 
  • Multi-room audio 
  • Play Music 
  • Read News 
  • Manage Nutrition 
  • Play Podcasts 
  • Play Radio 
  • Create Shopping lists 
  • Smart plugs and switch control 
  • Speaker streaming and control 
  • Sports 
  • Thermostat control 
  • Set Timer 
  • Translation 
  • TV streaming and control
I have put together a short video showcasing some of favorite and most frequent searches on the devices:


The device has three built in speakers and a very clear microphone, which make listening to music a dream and asking questions clear and effortless. 

Set-up

From box to set-up i would say it took me around twenty minutes. Setting the devices up and following the easy instructions was simply enough, it was connecting the likes of my Smart TV, Netflix and Spotify to the device that took some time. 

To set everything up you will need to download the Google Home App on your phone or tablet. Within the app you control and connect and pair all the services you wish to Google Home. I personally would avoid using your mobile as sometimes it can stop working for whatever reason and you want to make sure that anyone in your home can check and update the app as and when needed . 

For those of you considering investing in a Google Home unit, be aware that you will need to buy a Google Chromecast should you not yet have one so you can link and stream Netflix. Personally i don't like the idea of using the Chromecast to stream Netflix when my smart-tv can already do it. I guess that in the future the next generation of smart-televisions will become more connect to the like of Amazon Echo and Google Home, but until then you will need a Chromecast folks.

Road Test

Our Google Home device is located in the kitchen and i can honestly say that we have used it a lot more than i thought we would. I mainly use it to stream music from spotifty, whilst cooking, cleaning or bribing the boys to eat their greens. We're going on a bear hunt, the trolls album and nursery rhythms a plenty have been pouring out of the system on a daily basis.

As mentioned previously i use it to stream Netlix and one of the great things about the devices is that i can get it to turn the television on and stream anything i want from Netflix. This works a dream in the morning when i walk in to the kitchen and chuck on Blaze and the Monster Machine episodes to keep either of the little ones entertained, whilst i make drinks.

I have also been putting the Google Assistant trough it's paces asking for a new joke everyday. I share a joke on my Facebook page everyday and with the help of Google Home i can quickly source and push out an update without much effort.

We have infrequently searched for weather updates and recipes, i am yet to integrate it with my calendar, but have heard good things about how people have easily manage their work flow or personal life via the device.

My Verdict

Google Home is a sublime piece of technology and as you have read already, i have really enjoyed having it around the house.

I would love to see the top energy firm and Google work to get more people connecting and controlling their heating. I know Google are working hard behind the scenes to bring in more features and i for one can't wait for them to update the system to provide live cinema viewing times. Being honest if you don't control you heating from an App or have such services like Spotify and Netlifx then i don't think you would find the device overly impressive.
What i love about the system is that it is easy to use and set-up, with Google Assistant ready at all times to search for my random questions.

Connecting Spotify has mean't that i know have a quality speaker in my kitchen, one that doesn't take up a lot space! If you chuck in streaming and the dad jokes then the Google Home devices packs one hell of a punch and i am sure any tech-geek or family would benefit from having one in their home.

As i have only had the devices for a week i am sure i will learn and discover new features as a go along. I will be sure to share some of them with you as and when i find them.

Disclosure: I was provided with the Google Home device

Karl Young

Part-time daddy and lifestyle blogger. Father of 2 boys under 2. Golfer, scare-fan, tea-lover, traveller, squash and poker player. I write on the @HuffPostUK http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/karl-young/

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