This vs That

Amazon Alexa vs Google Home vs Siri – Which Is The Best Smart Assistant For Your Home

23 March 2023 | BY

We put the 3 smart assistants to the test to see which of them would make your home the smartest of all.

best smart assistant home

I knew that my home life was significantly upgraded the first day I turned off my lights from the comfort of my bed with just my voice. I didn’t have to get up to flick a switch and find my way back to my bed in pitch darkness, and this was all thanks to the novel invention of smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant.

These smart assistants live in the confines of our smartphones and speakers and are supposed to make our lives easier by automating tasks like countdown timers and controlling all of our Philips Hue bulbs. However, which one – Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri  – is the best to use for our home?

Here’s a closer look at the aforementioned smart assistants from their affordability to ease of use and even privacy to see which is the most suitable for your needs.


One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a smart assistant is the affordability of the products. While Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri are technically free, you still need a smartphone or one of their respective devices to summon them to do your bidding.

amazon echo dotThe Amazon Echo Dot.
Image credit: Amazon

The most affordable option – not including smartphones – is Amazon’s Echo Dot. Available for $33 (U.P. $80) on Amazon, this bite-sized speaker will let you call on Alexa at an affordable price. It also has a subtle LED display that can tell the time, weather, or what song it’s currently playing. Don’t expect studio-quality audio from the Echo Dot, though.

google nest miniThe Google Nest Mini.
Image credit: Josiah Neo

Android users who want to stay in the Google ecosystem with Google Assistant would have to fork out a bit more for the Google Nest speakers. The puck-sized Nest Mini starts at $79, and there’s a bigger version with better audio output called the Nest Audio ($139).

Both devices can also act as your speakerphone if you need to call someone but your phone is in another room. You can even mount your Nest Mini on the wall for aesthetic reasons.

best smart home assistant - apple homeApple Home’s user interface is sleek and easy to navigate.
Image credit: Apple

Apple also has a similar home assistant speaker called the HomePod which will become available in Singapore from 6th April 2023 onwards. There are 2 sizes – the HomePod ($429) and HomePod Mini ($139). For all accounts, the HomePods have received stellar reviews on their audio thanks to its design allowing it to broadcast 360-degree audio.

Unfortunately, Spotify isn’t compatible with the speakers yet, so you’re limited to Apple Music if you want to use it to stream music. 

Winner: Amazon’s Echo Dot for its affordability. Although if it’s not available, getting the Google Nest Mini is also a viable option. 

Ease of use

Aside from the affordability, a smart assistant has to be easy to use, otherwise, we’re better off doing things the manual way. For home-specific tasks, Alexa has an all-in-one app, Google has a dedicated Google Home app, and Siri uses the iOS-exclusive Home app.

google home appThe Google Home app.
Image credit: Google

Right off the bat, the apps for Google Home and Apple Home are the easiest to navigate and use, probably because they’re both dedicated to everything related to your living situation, and there’s no clutter to do other things like the Alexa app.

apple home app The Apple Home app on iOS.
Image credit: HomeKitAuthority

Apple Home’s integration with iOS and macOS also means that you can easily switch off your lights in the control centre of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook. However, the Apple Home app and Siri by nature are only available on Apple devices, and its exclusivity takes a point off.

alexa appThe Alexa app.
Image credit: Amazon

Those who prefer everything to be in one place would fare well with Amazon’s Alexa. Almost everything, from your shopping list to your smart plugs, can be managed on the app itself. You can even set automatic messages to be sent to your family or housemates everyday at 6pm to ask what they want for dinner.

Winner: Google Home for having a dedicated smart home app and compatibility with all devices.

Device compatibility

Your home doesn’t become smart until you get a bunch of devices “ready to pair.” Aside from the popular Philips Hue bulbs, there are now smart appliances, doorbell cameras, smart plugs, speakers, and many more. But not all smart devices can be paired with all smart assistants.

Alexa can proudly boast that it’s compatible with over 100,000 devices while Google Home works with over 50,000 devices. Coming last, but just marginally, is Apple’s Siri. However, we wouldn’t be too worried about this, as most of the smart home devices will be compatible with all of the smart assistants. Just look out for the relevant labels on the boxes.

Fun fact: You can actually use Alexa on the Google Nest, although this doesn’t work the other way around. 

Winner: Alexa for being the leader in device compatibility. Some smart devices like the Wyze Cam and Ring doorbells have better features when connected to Alexa instead of Google Home.

How smart is the home assistant

A smart assistant should be able to do more than turn on the lights. I put Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant through 3 real-world tests. The first one was to convert 2 cups of flour into grams, a common baking question. For the sake of control, I measured out 2 cups of all-purpose flour and weighed them on my kitchen scale.

Test 1: Converting 2 cups of flour into grams

best smart home assistant - 2 cups of flour is 250gramsImage credit: Josiah Neo

Alexa: “2 cups of flour weighs about 250g.”
Google Assistant: “According to Baking Like A Chef, there are 250g in 2 cups of flour.”
Siri: “2 cups of flour = 240g.”

Hold up. Both Alexa and Google Assistant told me that 2 cups of flour convert into 250g, while Siri said it was 240g. When I clicked to find Siri’s source for its answer, it brought me to Baking Like A Chef’s page where it clearly states 250g. While 10g won’t break a recipe, Siri’s wrong answer doesn’t instil confidence in Apple’s AI at all.

And if I were to nitpick, Alexa got to the answer the quickest, whereas Google Assistant went about telling me the source of the answer before telling me the answer.

Winner of Test 1: Alexa, then Google Assistant. Siri was feeling a bit quirky today.

Test 2: Turning my bedroom lights to 21%

best smart home assistant - philips hue filament bulbImage credit: Josiah Neo

In the next test, I asked the smart assistants to dim my lights to a certain percentage, rather than just switching them on and off.

Alexa: “Okay.”
Google Assistant: “Okay, setting 2 lights brightness to 21%.”
Siri: “Bedroom lights set to 21%.”

All 3 smart assistants managed to turn on my lights pretty quickly, with verbal confirmations given by only Alexa and Google Assistant. I can also now see a trend of Google Assistant being more longwinded than Alexa and Siri, which might not be a bad thing but not always necessary.

Winner of Test 2: 3-way tie between Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.

Test 3: Asking if my computer room lights were turned on

best smart home assistant - philips hue lampImage credit: Josiah Neo

For the last test, I asked the smart assistants if the lights in my home office were switched on or off. The test started out with the lamp turned off, and I issued the command from my bedroom.

Alexa: “The computer room lamp is off.”
Google Assistant: “The lamp in your computer room is off”
Siri: Turned on my computer room lights.

Again, Siri missed the mark completely. I even asked the same question twice just to see if it misheard me. But no, it couldn’t understand a simple question. Instead, it treated what I said as a request to turn my lights on.

Winner of Test 3: 2-way tie between Alexa and Google Assistant. Siri did not show up.


One big concern I’m sure many of us share is if these smart assistants are listening in on our private conversations. After all, a microphone has to be perpetually turned on for the smart assistant to respond in a jiffy, and you wouldn’t want your tea-spilling sessions with your bestie to be recorded and stored in a cloud server.

To ease your concerns, while all 3 smart assistants are always listening, they will only start to process your question when you say the magic word: “Hey Google”, “Alexa”, or “Hey Siri”. 

However, Amazon and Google are notorious for collecting users’ data and serving ads based on their searches, and if you’re constantly asking either Alexa or Google Assistant to convert cups of flour for you, you might find a couple of baking-related ads in your Google & Amazon algorithm. This isn’t a secret though, as both companies have terms and conditions that say your voice recordings might be used to personalise your content and help train its AI.

Siri, on the other hand, labels your questions with a random identifier that can’t be traced back to you. All questions are also processed locally on your iPhone or Apple TV to maintain your utmost privacy.

best smart home assistant - sonos one speaker with keyboardThe Sonos One has a button to turn the microphone on and off.
Image credit: Josiah Neo

If you really want to ensure your privacy, most smart devices and speakers have a mic-muting switch. This is a feature available on both the Echo Dot and the Google Nest. My Sonos speakers that are Alexa-compatible also have a microphone switch, so it doesn’t get triggered whenever I talk about Alexa in passing.

Winner: Apple

Which smart assistant is better: Alexa, Google Home, or Siri?

It’s the year 2023 when we were promised robotic assistants like Wall-E and Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons. Instead, we’re stuck with the likes of Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, and Apple’s Siri. That’s not to knock any of them, as they all have their pros and cons.

Use Alexa if: You want a smart assistant that just works

If you’re a homeowner who is device agnostic and wants a smart assistant that just works, Alexa is your best bet. It has some of the highest compatibility among smart home devices, and setting them up with Alexa on the app should be a breeze.

Use Google Assistant if: You’re an Android user

Android fanboys who are heavily invested in the Android & Google ecosystem will find using  Google Assistant and Google Home a no-brainer. However, don’t be surprised if you see your Google searches being sprinkled with suggestions on things you just spoke out loud.

Use Siri if: You’re concerned about privacy

The same goes for those who fancy Apple products and their clean user interface. While Siri isn’t the smartest assistant out there, it is certainly the most private and secure. Just don’t go asking it to do complicated tasks and you’ll be okay.

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Cover image credit: Amazon, Josiah Neo, Tron Le
Originally published on 23rd March 2023. Last updated by Josiah Neo on 28th March 2023.

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