Google is expanding its hardware portfolio in India with the launch of Google Home smart speakers. Of the three offerings in the international market, Google is launching two variants in India - Google Home and Google Home Mini.
Competing against the Echo range of smart speakers from Amazon, Google Home was announced during the Google I/O 2016 and the Google Home Mini in 2017. Google Home and Google Home Mini will be priced at Rs 9,999, and Rs 4,499, respectively. The device will be available for purchase online, exclusively on Flipkart, and in over 750 retail stores across the country including Reliance Digital, Croma, Bajaj Electronics, Vijay Sales, Sangeetha, and Poorvika.
Launch offers include a free JioFi router along with special offers on music subscriptions when purchased though Flipkart; a free JioFi router with 100GB of high-speed 4G data (worth Rs 2,499), and at select Philips Hue and Croma outlets you get a Philips Hue + Google Home Mini at a special bundled price when purchased at Reliance Digital or MyJio stores.
Also, ACT Fibernet retail customers subscribing to 12-month advance rental plans of 90MBPS and above, will receive a Google Home Mini. Lastly, users get 10 percent cashback when purchasing using HDFC Bank credit cards.
With the launch of the smart speakers in India, Google is promoting the campaign with the #MakeGoogleDoIt.
Google Home is a medium-sized smart speaker with a touch panel with LEDs on the top and a mute button at the back. By default, it comes in white and grey. Compatible with subscriptions from Netflix, Gaana, Saavn, and can be used to control Chromcast as well. Google Home will be available in Chalk. Coral will be coming soon.
With the launch of Google Home Mini last year, Google claims to have made Google Assistant more accessible at home. It has a sleek design with no corners or edges, and about the size of a donut. Its fabric enclosure is durable, yet transparent enough to let through both light and sound. Even this one has LEDs that light up to show the Assistant is listening. Even the Mini packs-in far-field microphones to hear a command even while playing music. Google Home Mini is available in two colours - Chalk and Charcoal.
Powered by Google Assistant, both the smart speakers wake up to 'Ok Google' or 'Hey Google'. The speakers can be set-up using Google Home app. When connected to a Wi-Fi network, the smart speaker can respond to voice commands such as fetch weather updates, traffic updates, directions, news, set-up an alarm, find the connected smartphone, play music and more.
Rishi Chandra, VP of Product Management and General Manager of Home Products, Google said; "We are delighted to bring our best-in-class Home products to India. These products have been customised to match the needs of the Indian consumer and you will see that Google Home is truly 'desi'. It understands Indian accents, and will respond to you with uniquely Indian contexts. Another unmatched feature of our product is that the Google Assistant can work across all your devices - giving you a personalised Assistant experience in its truest sense."
The Google Home competes against the Amazon Echo range launched in India late last year. The Google Home takes on the Amazon Echo priced at Rs 9,999. On the other hand, Google Home Mini gives competition to the Amazon Echo Dot priced at Rs 4,499. Amazon also has a third offering in the Indian market - Amazon Echo Plus. Amazon's Echo range is powered by company's own Alexa voice assistant, which has been customized to understand Indian accent and common phrases used in India.