Smart speakers are the trend of recent seasons, and their market is constantly growing. What will you choose: listen to music on an old player or delegate small household duties to your new technology assistant?
The entire blow of competitors to the domestic market was taken by Yandex.Station. She was one of the first to go on official sale for Russian stores in May 2018.
In recent years, the level of Yandex has increased markedly. The company is constantly pleased with new, high-quality and high-tech products. The branded smart speaker was no exception.
So far, the Yandex column is the only one that perfectly understands Russian speech and correctly executes voice control commands. For the most part, this is due to the symbiosis of the column with another Yandex product – the virtual assistant Alice.
We can say that the company coped with its original task – it occupied the domestic market before its main competitor – Google Home. After the release, the column caused a mixed opinion among the first buyers. Some did not miss the moment to blame Yandex for its crude design and outdated technology. Others scattered in flattering comments and almost called the column a technological breakthrough of the year in their reviews.
In fact, its obvious advantages can be distinguished:
- Stylish and relevant design
- High build quality
- Durability and reliability
- Ease of setup and management
- Great sound (although this is a moot point – for an inexperienced listener the quality will be quite acceptable, but those who are used to Marshall will clearly not appreciate the sound potential)
Regarding the last paragraph, Yandex can be praised for not being hit in the dirt by the face. Sound, although it is criticized by music lovers, however, the same claims are made against all smart speakers. Manufacturers are also working on adapting Yandex.Stations for smart home control systems, and some of the features are already available.
There are also cons, and we have no right to not mention them:
- “Alice” while experiencing obvious difficulties in contact with the outside world. Yes, she will turn on the desired video on YouTube, remind of business and wake up in the morning. But so far she is far from Siri – she will not order pizza and will not call a taxi;
- Dubious minus, but for someone it may turn out to be fundamental. To listen to music, play videos and films, you first need to apply for a paid subscription,
Objectively, the advantages of Yandex.Stations outweigh its shortcomings, but it frankly falls short of the title of market leader.
Amazon Echo is the first wireless smart speaker of its kind, so keep in mind that it was it that launched the entire market. For this, she is definitely a big plus. It can be called the first, but will the language turn to call it the best?
Amazon’s entire line of speakers is now controlled by Alexa’s voice assistant. The lineup is represented by different configurations and dimensions of devices, each of which has its own characteristics and corresponding prices.
The authoritative foreign resource Canalys last year predicted the popularity of Amazon Echo in the world market. However, the device reached Russia relatively recently, and has not yet gained its due popularity.
Users loved the smart speaker for such advantages:
- Advanced functionality, not limited to a standard set of functions
- Convenient advanced management with Alexa
- Wide scope (due to the large-scale range of tasks being implemented)
- Build quality
- The lineup is represented by several devices of different configurations
- Stylish design
Of the minuses, we can distinguish:
- Medium sound
- The need to purchase a subscription to services for full use
- Lack of Russian-language voice control
In terms of technical implementation, Amazon Echo is a cut above Yandex.Stations, but Alexa is not at all adapted to the domestic market. This can cause exploitation problems in the Russian-speaking population.
The top three world leaders confidently holds Google Home. He has already been assigned the status of the most intelligent automated assistant.
Google Home appeared some time after Amazon Echo. She was introduced at the 2016 conference of the company. For the column, the traditional Google Assistant was used – a reliable and time-tested voice assistant.
If we summarize all user and expert assessments of the device, the following features and advantages are highlighted:
- Unlike its global competitor No. 1 Amazon Echo, the Google column has a more advanced voice control system. The assistant is able to catch the “vague wording” – the spoken language of the owner – and clearly follow his instructions
- They also praise an effective search engine. The assistant checks the sources, choosing the most relevant ones. And that means no Wikipedia and tasteless pizza on Friday night. Only good links based on customer requests
- The column can communicate with the owner in a female and male voice
- High sound quality (of course, the sound is not as cool as Invoke, but definitely better than Yandex.Stations and Amazon Echo)
- And by standard – high build quality, parts and a well-designed design. In this column from Google does not change the principles of the company.
But even such a smart column is far from being exemplary and, mainly, because:
- Voice assistant does not support Russian;
- Some device features are not supported in the domestic market;
- Often errors and malfunctions occur, especially when playing music.
Now there is no better option for the Russian-speaking population than Yandex.Station. And this did not happen because Yandex managed to make the most high-tech column. From a hardware and operational point of view, Amazon Echo and Google Home outperform it in all respects. But they do not support management in Russian, yet we don’t see a big problem in this, you can always find “crutches” if you really value quality.
Those who freely understand and communicate in English can safely take one of the foreign speakers. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages, but in comparison they keep a stable, identical and high level in all characteristics.