If you want to make your smart home smarter in 2019, now is the time to strike
It’s fair to say that 2018 was the year where smart speakers became properly mainstream, and now you can choose to deck out your home with voice assistants from Amazon, Apple or Google. In our tests, we’ve found that it’s the last of these – Google Assistant – that consistently wins out in terms of smarts, though, so what are the cheapest ways of getting a Google smart speaker in your home in the Boxing Day sales?
Well the good news is that every product in the Google Home range is currently reduced. I’ll quickly give you the prices and a short description to help you make an informed choice as to which is right for your home.
Google Home Mini – Best for those unsure about this whole smart speaker fad
The smallest smart speaker in Google’s range can do everything its siblings can: Google Assistant can control your smart home, play your music, read you the news and access your diary. It manages this at a competitive price too, usually retailing at £49.99, but currently available at John Lewis for just £29.
Cards on the table, I’m personally not a huge fan of the Google Home Mini, and for one very simple reason: it has no 3.5mm audio jack. That means you’re stuck with the sound of the speaker itself or connecting it to a Chromecast Audio at an additional cost. Still, if you’re just dipping your toe in the waters of smart speakers, this is a good place to start at a very attractive price.
Google Home – Best all-round smart speaker
The original Google Home speaker offers everything the Google Home Mini does, but with far better sound quality. This is intended as a standalone speaker that will fill small to medium-sized rooms with good quality audio, while also offering the usual nice extras the speakers offer.
It usually goes for £129, but at the moment it’s down to £89 at Currys – a solid saving of £40.
Google Home Hub – Best for those who want a screen
The Google Home Hub is a very different beast to the rest of the Google Home family: it has a screen. That may sound unnecessary, but it makes it a great addition to the kitchen. Need a recipe for something? Just ask Google Assistant to pull up a YouTube video, without needing to get your tech mucky. On top of that, it also provides pictures and videos where relevant too.
It usually sells for £139, but right now at John Lewis, you can get your hands on the Home Hub for £109 – a saving of £30.
Google Home Max – Best for sound-quality obsessives with big wallets
If sound quality is all that matters to you, then Google has you covered as well, but you’d best be ready to pay big for the privilege. The Google Home Max normally sells for £399. That isn’t a typo.
Still, in sales season things get a bit more attractive: Currys has the powerful smart speaker for £279, undercutting Apple’s HomePod. What’s more, the retailer will also throw in free access to YouTube Music Premium until April 8 2019. Not too bad, when it normally costs £9.99 per month.