Singapore Launch of Google Home Smart Speakers

April 18, 2018

18 Apr - Google has officially launched its Google Store in Singapore where folks can buy products directly from them. At the same time, why not also launch the Google Home smart speakers with localized content? Sure they've already been released in various other countries but that's a small footnote, no?

Google Store
While store.google.com/sg existed for some time selling various hardware like the Pixel Buds, they were selling through intermediaries like Lazada (for Chromecast) and Singtel (for Pixel 2 XL). What's the difference now? Well, they're now selling the hardware directly to you. Last time, you'd have to monitor the stock on Lazada so now, this direct B2C model makes purchasing that much simpler. 

Content
Singapore Press Holdings is doing a tie up with Google to allow listening of podcasts from The Business Times and The Straits Times. In addition, the Google Home devices are supposedly localized with local content in the lines of 'Where is the nearest kopitiam (coffee shop)?'. There's also support of selected features pertaining to OCBC Bank and Singapore Airlines where certain queries can be posed like how to finance a new home or a flight timing. 

Oh yes, there is some audio hardware too, yea?

Google Home (SGD 189)
The Google Home needs practically no introduction. 

If it does, this is a smart speaker running on Google Assistant. Trigger it with 'Hey Google' or 'OK Google' and state your query. The Apple fanboys would turn their noses as they'd likely engage solely with Siri but the reality is Google Assistant has evolved considerably in voice assistant capability since its inception. Its key competition would be the Amazon Echo (with Alexa) and Apple HomePod (with Siri). 

Google Home Mini (SGD 79)
The Mini has been the speaker of choice for those wanting affordability with a petite frame (98 x 42mm). It comes in 3 colors - Charcoal, Chalk and Coral. Its direct competitor is the equally compact Amazon Echo Dot running on Alexa. There's Wifi, Bluetooth support and is powered through a micro-USB port. 

The Google Home devices are up for purchase from 20 April. 
Interestingly, Google Home Max is not among those launched in Singapore as yet. The Google Home Max is available in the US at USD 399. 

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