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Google Home Unboxing and Setup!

google home unboxing

Google Home is available and we have a couple in-house to start our testing. No, we won’t be doing a 1-day review. Instead, we’ll actually do quite a bit of testing and get back to you with findings on whether or not this is an item your home needs. After all, with Google Assistant involved, these unitsΒ should only get better the more we use them.

As a recap, Google Home is Google’s answer to the Amazon Echo. It costs just $129, though, so it’s quite a bit more affordable. But beyond the price, this thing is powered by Google, sports a built-in speaker, and also works with all of your Cast-ready devices, as well as a number of Google services (Play Music, YouTube, Calendar, Keep, etc.). It’s very much the hub that you may have been waiting for.Β 

Of course, it works with a handful of services and smart home products, like Spotify, IFTTT, Nest, SmartThings, and Philips Hue. More will arrive before long, but those are the initial offerings.

It’s all controlled with your voice and a couple of commands: “OK, Google” or “Hey, Google.” If you have multiple devices, the nearest or best one takes your command, plus you can control various units throughout your house from individual rooms. It’s pretty slick and should just get better and better over time.

Enough intro stuff, here is our unboxing and setup tour.

  • jim

    First time someone says ok Google it wakes up and every phone in the house responds too. Lol

  • Ryan

    Seeing all of the comments it looks like a really limited beta product. I’ll wait a bit. While I was excited for Google to release something of their own as a competitor it doesnt even support their own products properly at this point and only has like 2-3 partners.

    Im sure, like Chromecast, it will be really useful within a couple of years, but I doubt its price is going to go up or its going to be impossible to get so I will invest then. Plus this gives me time to decide what comes after my Nexus for me. The Pixel isnt worth the money and the way Google just keeps screwing up messaging, social, tablets, etc I might finally just cave in and go to Apple.

  • Oh wow! That is an amazing stuff! I would like to have such thing at home.

  • BuckNut614

    Should have had multiple account support at launch.

  • Jake Montague

    Get $5 Samsung Pay promotion code 2D3C62

  • Brandon Shaw

    Ok, after a couple of days playing with this sucker I really only have one complaint. I prefer having spotify as my main source of music. Since you can only have one account if I’m listening to something on my phone away from the Home device and my wife is at home and has Home play something else then it hijacks what I’m playing. Shouldnt Spotify make the device an additional device within Spotify since it is only on the wifi and not relying directly on my phone? Its just my account. Is there a work around for this? Am I doing something wrong?

    • Droid 1967

      that could be very funny at work πŸ™‚ better use headphones

  • Mark Heil

    Can’t get it to work with my Vizio TV with built in Cast.

    • PerhapsNever

      There’s supposed to be an update coming soon to fix that (either from Vizio or from Google).

  • N8shon

    Please test how this interacts with the Samsung Smart things Hub. I have two Samsung R7 speakers that I would like to control using Google Home and I’d love to see what the extent of that functionality is.

    • PerhapsNever

      Right now, Home only supports switches and lights in ST. So, you can turn on/off items and adjust dimmer settings. I don’t know if they are going to add more support than that. I’m STILL waiting for ST to support starting/ending routines outside of the app. I can’t even trigger a routine through IFTTT to ST. ANNOYING.

  • Gekko

    seems like such an unnecessary device.

    • NexusMan

      Like most things covered on this site.

  • Joe Mihalich

    So here’s a question. You showed the demo of how the phone handed off the command to the home device when both picked up the command. So, if you have a google home in your kitchen, and another one in the bedroom, and let’s say you’re in the bedroom, does it know which home to hand off the command to?

    • NexusMan

      It goes to the one that hears you the best., which in your scenario would be the one in the bedroom.

      • JRomeo

        what if you walked into the kitchen, would it still think you’re in the bedroom?

        • NexusMan

          It would then continue to respond for future prompts from whatever Home device hears you best.

          • JRomeo

            but the kitchen device doesn’t hear me best because i spoke in the bedroom, and i was silent when i walked in the kitchen. it would probably wait until i spoke in the kitchen before it started responding in the kitchen.

          • NexusMan

            Not really sure what you;re saying. If you’re silent, of course it won’t say anything. The Home device that hears you the best always answers. SO if you spoke in the bedroom. It answers in the bedroom. If you walk in the kitchen and say nothing, then no device will respond until you speak in the kitchen, then it responds in the kitchen.

  • theluxscientific

    Every time that stupid Pixel commercial plays of the 4 people on the train asking for Korean BBQ because they’re so hip, my Google Home picks it up and tells me about Korean BBQ near my house. Glad it works, but irritated that Google has a commercial that states “OK Google!”

    • steadymobb

      This happens with my amazon echo all the time when the commercials come on

      • Lauraaheffner3

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj169d:
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
        !mj169d:
        ➽➽
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash169HomeBrandGetPay$97Hour β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…::::::!mj169d:….,……

    • QuadKore

      Oh damn! I HATE that commercial and I don’t even have a Google Home to set off lol. That would drive me nuts!

    • NexusMan

      Lol.

    • Bob

      Korean restaurants lol and it is a Verizon Pixel commercial… what do you expect?

    • sc0rch3d

      sad thing, my phone responds 100% to that commercial and barely responds to me saying it 50% of the time (even after the “voice training”)

  • Mike Keck

    After all the wikileaks showing Eric Schmidt scheming with the Clinton camp to spy on us I wouldn’t want that thing anywhere near my home.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Oh shut up. Sheesh.

      • Droid 1967

        I hadnt seen that but the wiki leak emails are actual email and are real. and if what he says are true i can understand his apprehension. and that doesnt matter which candidate or party would be involved.

        • NexusMan

          Actual and real according to who?

          • Mike Keck

            They are DKIM signature verified. #spiritcooking

          • Droid 1967

            really? i was just stating his concern was real didnt want to get into a political thing, but there has not been any denials that the emails are real, no once have you seen that thye were fake even on every liberal new station. you just see rusia blamed for the hacks. not once has anyone said thats not true that isnt a real email ever sent. wasserman had to resign over the emails, dont think that would of happened if it was false, the now chairman of the democratic party was fired from cnn when the emails showed she gave hillary questions that were to be asked during the debates with sanders. as i said i didnt see anyting regarding google working with hillary and still cant find anything regarding that, but the emails that have been leaked are actual emails, there is no question or denials of that.
            I make no stance on my opinion of the emails or either party, just that the emails are legit and although i dont find anything regarding what the poster stated if that is true it would be concerning.
            i just know 1 thing with both of these candidates i wish we could just note 7 them and recall the whole thing.

          • NexusMan

            Actually, that is not true. There have been questions of the validity of the content of the email.

          • Droid 1967

            ok i just did a search and while i saw some things about questioning the validaty they all stated that thee was nothing to prove otherwise. but its all good. as i said i only stated that his concern seemed legit if his facts were true and that stll dont see anything regarding google spying for clinton but i did find some other interesting info i hadnt known about google that was disturbing. but im still trying to get with these commercials that said would you rather never use the internet again or drive again. man i hate walking but im kinda hooked on the net what to do πŸ™‚

    • ChristianTexan1

      After all the publications showing Trump scheming with mafia bosses I wouldn’t want him anywhere near anything.

  • Andrew

    Mine works well with my WEMO through IFTTT. It actually worked faster than it used to with the Do button.

  • ilovetechnology

    Can you use Google Home without having a smartphone or tablet around?

    • NexusMan

      Yes. It works through the cloud over wifi. It’s not connected to your phone or tablet.

      • ilovetechnology

        Any way to set one up without a smartphone/tablet?

        • NexusMan

          Doesn’t seem like it. You need the app on an Android or iOS device.

  • NexusMan

    Kellen, I appreciate you not saying “that command,” but you said something before you even opened the box that set mine off. Lol.

  • NexusMan

    Ha ha! I’m loving it! From my couch, I just said “OK Google, play Droid Life Google Home Unboxing video on the Living Room TV.” And now I’m watching it.

  • nickles96

    Great review! Can’t wait..
    For sale: Amazon Echo. 4 months old. Barely used.

    • Loonytik

      How much?

  • Orlando aka Pixel XL

    The sound is really good, it’s nice on my desk…I approve

    Shhhhhooop ahhhhh

    • NexusMan

      ANyone figure out how to do multiroom sync yet?

      • Allen

        You have to lump the G Home’s in a group and specify that you want to play audio on the group

  • NexusMan

    My setup is not happening without some glitches. It took about 5 tries before it was able to connect to my wifi. Then once I got through all that, it told me there was an update ready to install. I attempted to install it, and after about 2 minutes it told me it was “taking longer than expected. Let’s troubleshoot.” I clicked the troubleshoot button and it just took me back to the Home app homepage. I went to my device list, and the Google Home wasn’t even there. Eventually I restarted my phone, reopened the app, and now the Home device is showing, but there’s still no sign of that update again.

  • tu3218

    Learning more and more about mine. For Spotify, you need to have a premium account. Stupid!

    Pandora working well! Can even thumbs up with your voice. However, I can’t say okay my top country playlist, or rock n roll. You have to actually pronounce an artist’s name. Which is really stupid. Most the playlist I listen to on Pandora are genre related playlists. Ugh. So much potential with this device but hindered in a lot of dumb ways.

    • Ugh, good to know on Spotify.

      Google Play won’t play my “Thumbs Up” playlist, which is the one I always listen to.

      • tu3218

        Yeah I tried doing that as well and nothing. Nor recently added either. So it seems across all apps, it can’t pick out broad terms like that. Must be specific songs or artists.

        However, my wife approves of it lol of all the much cooler tech I have, she was pretty amazed by it.

        • NexusMan

          It actually can play your playlists, just not any playlist listed as an “auto playlist”

          • tu3218

            It can’t play the thumbs up playlist which isn’t an auto made playlist. That’s the main one I’d like to play too.

          • NexusMan

            Check your playlists in the Play Music App. Yes, we all, manually add thumbs up to songs to create our “Thumbs Up Playlists,” but Google Play Music still lists the Thumbs Up Playlist under “Auto Playlists” along with “Last Added,” and “Free and Purchased.” And as I said, for some reason, it won’t play anything under “Auto Playlists,” but it will play any of my other playlists.

          • tu3218

            Yeah you’re right. Not sure why it’s considered an auto playlist but it is. Unfortunately. Hopefully they fix it.

          • NexusMan

            Me too. Another thing I discovered is there doesn’t seem to be a way to shuffle the playlists. So every time I play a particular playlist it plays the songs in the same order every time. That needs to be addressed too.

          • At least for Spotify, if you say, “Ok Google… shuffle,” after it starts playing then it shuffles starting with the next song. But it’d be nice if it’d shuffle by default instead of having to say three commands to get to that point: “OK Google, play XXXXX playlist.” “Ok Google, shuffle.” “Ok Google, skip this track.”

          • NexusMan

            Thanks for that! Yes, it also works with Play Music. I guess we’re on our own to discover these things as we go along.

      • NexusMan

        Yea. That’s wack. Works with my other playlists, but can’t play any of the “Auto Playlists”

      • steadymobb

        Oh wow, that’s the only one I listen to. Good to know.

    • Joe Mihalich

      Same thing with Sonos, need a premium spotify account. I expected that with Home. But still, sigh….

    • Kayak83

      Oh, I know I know! Buy the premium membership and pay for the music!

      There, I fixed it.

  • DalvikDroid

    Thanks for the unboxing tour! Just set my first one up in the kitchen to replace our Echo. Any word on when the different color bases will be available? Also curious if we’ll be able to request a specific base color when we order a Google Home rather than ordering the base separately for extra $$$.

    • I dunno, but we need new colors stat. The grey is fine, but pretty boring.

      • James_75

        they call that Pixel grey I believe…

    • NexusMan

      I do know they are giving false info in the box, because inside the box it says the additional base colors are “Available Now,” on the Google Store…

      Like you, though, I’m hoping they begin selling them with the different colors out the box.

  • Brian Neumann

    “OK, Google”… The phrase we shall not speak…

    • Pedro

      My alarm will be going off in 6:11.
      Google Play Music has Talking Heads playing.
      The calculator has 0 on it.

      edit: I just opened up my Pixel C. It has 0 on the calculator.

    • Joe Mihalich

      It seems like it would have been a easy decision to make the home command something other than that so they don’t conflict.

      • Joe Mihalich

        I just saw on android police that you can actually say Hey Google to google home and it will respond. That’s good news.

        • Brandon Bunker

          yep. i’m using just, “Hey, Google”. otherwise, many phones would go crazy πŸ™‚

          • Brandon Bunker

            Droid Turbo 1 would allow for whatever you wanted to set as the wake up phrase. I hope we see that kind of thing again.

  • EdubE24
    • Lulawsisson

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj285d:
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !mj285d:
      ➽➽
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash285DirectNextGetPay$97Hour β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…::::::!mj285d:….,…….