Let’s compare the strengths and weaknesses of our assistants in combination with Philips Hue. Since Google finally also supports Philips Hue room and scene import, and some smart home features have been added to Alexa and Google recently, it’s going to be a head-to-head competition.
Now, that we have looked into Philips Hue – Smart Lighting needs a Smart Setup and we examined the setup of our 3 Assistants, it is time to compare them and draw a conclusion.
If you are interested in the setup, review and voice commands of a particular assistant with Philips Hue, you can find the posts here:
- Siri and Philips Hue: Setup, Review and Voice Commands
- Alexa and Philips Hue: Setup, Review and Voice Commands
- Google Assistant and Philips Hue: Setup, Review and Voice Commands
Comparison of the Three Assistants
Please note, that any of the features below can change silently over night, if Philips, Apple, Amazon and Google only decide to improve and update.
Mobile Hint: tilt your smartphone for a better table view!
and Siri (Gen 2 Bridge required)
|Amazon Alexa||Google Assistant|
|Configuration: Supports larger setups (Multiple Philips Hue bridges)||YES||N/A||N/A|
|Configuration: Import Philips Hue Rooms||YES: Imports all rooms, which you have configured in the Philips Hue App.||YES: Imports all rooms, which you have configured in the Philips Hue App. (Gen 2 Bridge required)||YES: Imports all rooms, which you have configured in the Philips Hue App. (tested with Gen 2 Bridge)|
|Configuration: Import Philips Hue Scenes||NO: You need to create the scenes for HomeKit in the Philips Hue App.||YES: Imports all scenes you have configured in the Philips Hue App. (Gen 2 Bridge required)||YES: Imports all scenes you have configured in the Philips Hue App. (Tested with Gen 2 Bridge)|
|Voice Commands for turning lights ON / OFF||YES*||YES*||YES*|
|Voice Commands for setting scenes||YES*||YES* (Gen 2 Bridge required)||YES*|
|Voice Commands for setting the brightness||YES*||YES*||YES*|
|Voice Commands for setting colors||YES*, extensive color set||YES*, basic color set (Gen 2 Bridge required)||YES*, extensive color set|
|Voice Commands for color temperature||N/A||YES* (Gen 2 Bridge required)||N/A|
|Assistant Feature: Regrouping lights/rooms/scenes||YES: Apart of defining HomeKit scenes in the Philips Hue app, which include up to 4 rooms, you can group your rooms into zones (e.g. downstairs)||YES: You can re-group lights and rooms and scenes with the Alexa Smart Home Groups||NO: A light can only be part of one room.|
|Assistant Feature: Configuring Automations||YES: You can define automations in the Apple Home app based on:|
- When people arrive
- When people leave
- A time of day or sunset/sunrise
- An accessory is controlled
- A sensor detects something
|PARTLY: You can define Alexa routines based on:|
- Voice commands
- A time of day
|PARTLY: You have 6 routines predefined, which you can configure to your liking:
- Good Morning
- Leaving Home
- I'm home
- Commuting to work
- Commuting home
|Assistant Feature: Shortcuts||PARTLY: you can define your own command names through HomeKit Scenes to control multiple smart home accessories.||YES: you can define your own command names through Alexa routines, which can combine multiple smart home actions (and recently also Music)||YES: You can define shortcut commands, which execute any longer phrase (including music commands) You can combine up to two actions in one shortcut.|
*Note, for an extensive list of voice commands, see the dedicated assistant posts above.
So, how to draw our conclusions from this table?
In the end, it is a matter of personal taste. How, do you like to setup and configure, talk to and automate your Philips Hue lights?
With Google’s recent update all three are very close in ease of setup and configuration. With Alexa and Google, it is more like “plug and play”, everything which you have already configured in Philips Hue is imported. As long as you use only one Philips Hue bridge, this is great! Siri supports larger setups with multiple bridges and this makes up for having the additional effort to configure the HomeKits scenes.
Incredible what Apple, Amazon and Google have achieved here. I can remember the time when you had to say “turn off something” and were not able to say “turn something off”. These days are over!
One might choose Alexa as winner here, personally, for me she is not. The restriction of having unique names for everything with Siri in HomeKit, makes the voice control much more predicable and solid. Alexa replies too many times “a few things share that name, which one do you want?”, mostly to fail after that. Google has a robust voice recognition, with some room for improvement around the new features, like scene support.
My personal winner regarding smart home features is Siri. She supports an extensive automation feature set through HomeKit and the Apple Home app.
Alexa made progress by supporting smart home groups and routines.
Google finally also supports routines, but only the predefined ones. The shortcuts are a nice feature to customize up to two actions.
My Personal Conclusion
As you see, only half a year after I initially wrote up this post, many features have been added to Alexa and Google. The assistants provide smart home features in their own distinct ways and it is just a matter of taste, which one you prefer.
For me personally, still Siri wins because she supports multiple bridges, regrouping and automations through sensors. But that are only the features which are important to me, I am sure you have your own preferences!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this “showdown”. You can find more competitions here:
- Musical Assistant Showdown: Who will win, Siri, Google or Alexa?
- Assistant Showdown with Nanoleaf Aurora: Who will win, Siri, Alexa or Google?
- Assistant Showdown with Logitech Harmony: Who will win, Alexa or Google?
- If you’d like to read more about Siri, see: Apple Siri.
- For more Alexa posts, check out Amazon Alexa.
- More Google Home posts are here: Google Assistant.
If you have questions or feedback – maybe I overlooked some cool feature – please leave your comment below. You can subscribe to get notifications when I am updating this post.