The Voice Assistant Battle! (2023)



- [Marques] What's your name?

- [Siri] I'm Siri, pleased to meet you.

- [Google] My nickname is the Google Assistant.

- [Bixby] The name is Bixby.

- [Alexa] I'm Alexa.

(bright upbeat music)

- I've talked and made jokes in the past

mostly along the lines of Google Assistant is clearly

the best virtual assistant and then Bixby, Siri

and Alexa are various levels of far behind.

But the last time I did this type of test was in 2017

so I figured we should revisit this a little bit,

retest things and figure out

If Google Assistant is

the best virtual assistant on a smartphone right now.

Also shout out to Clippy, the original virtual assistant

whose ugly Christmas sweater for Microsoft

is actually what inspired this one, the MKBHD 8-bit Drip

which you can get wall supplies last.

They're very limited

but they're at, link below.

Simple Questions

But I decided to start with the simple questions.

You know The three things that you ask from an assistant

the most often I think are the weather, timers, and facts.

So they all do fine with the weather question,

probably the number one query for me anyway.

And then for the most part,

they were also the same pretty quick

with just asking standard facts,

although for some reason they did disagree

on the height of one person.

But then for timers, for timers, for one weird reason

Siri cannot do multiple timers at the same time

on the iPhone.

If you have a timer running and ask for a second timer,

It asks you every time if you want to replace

the first timer.

Pretty basic stuff

that I'm not sure why Apple hasn't fixed yet.

Especially because you can set multiple timers

at the same time with Siri on a HomePod mini.

But anyway, I don't wanna make you watch

a whole bunch of back to back to back questions and answers

because I admit it was kind of boring when I was doing

all of that testing but I'm going to share some examples

of what I found with you and then some of the highlights

of the testing and the way it answers these questions

when you interact with them.

So here we go.

So with all the latest software updates on every assistant,

all being asked the same questions,

asked to do the same tasks with the same phrasing

and on the same WiFi connection,

most often the fastest one to answer

was Google Assistant or Siri.

But, but Siri and Bixby, in my experience,

did have the most instances of hanging

and pausing and not answering a question.

Kinda like acting like they had a poor internet connection

even though they didn't.

Not sure why they did that.

A restart of the phone helped with the Bixby one.

Siri just kind of does it randomly,

not sure why but that's a real fact.

But then with straight-up fact questions,

there is no runaway winner

which I think is a good thing.

Fact Questions

So if you ask something that's easily Googleable

or on Wikipedia, something like how tall is the Taj Mahal?

They can all get it.

Or if you ask, what do whales eat?

They all had some type of answer for me

That was the same.

Siri I found relies the most heavily on Wikipedia

as a source for almost all of its answers.

And then when it does have to go outside of that,

It just kind of throws up a web search link

often with Wikipedia at the top,

says, "Look what I Googled for you."

Now Google Assistant is the most likely to give you

a nice visual and slightly more information

then you asked for.

Bixby is powered by Google

So I would say it's the most likely to read

what Google Assistant reads word for word.

And then Alexa is the most likely to throw in

Some extra information about your latest Amazon order

Or something random.

So facts, they can all do, great.

Then there is what I'd call the device control category

because these are assistants that are on your smartphones,

They're smart speakers as well but on your phone,

you'd like to be able to help you out with things

while you can't use your hands.

And for this, there was a runaway winner, actually two

and that would be Google Assistant and Bixby.

So with the most basic, basic stuff,

They're pretty much all fine.

They can all change their screen brightness, for example,

except Alexa.

But they can also all open the camera

or pretty much any app on your phone with a voice command.

That's easy.

Setting an alarm is light work.

If you ask it actually to open the app store,

They all open their respective app stores

and Bixby opens the Samsung Galaxy Store

which is kind of cheeky.

But when it starts to get more complex,

Google and Bixby start to walk away from the others.

So if I ask it to take a selfie,

Siri and Alexa will just open the camera

but Bixby and Google open the camera,

Switch to the selfie camera

and start a self-timer and take a selfie.

If I want say play "Squid Game" on Netflix,

Both Google and Bixby will open the Netflix app,

Find the first episode of "Squid Game" I haven't seen yet

or wherever I left off and start playing it.

Siri just opens the app and Alexa is lost.

If I say start a voice recording or a voice memo for Siri,

Again, Google and Bixby open the voice recording app

and start that recording.

Siri again just opens the app.

And again, Alexa is lost.

These voice commands when they work are legitimately faster

then I would've been able to do it by hand

for the most part.

And there's a bunch of other device-specific stuff

that Samsung has programmed into Bixby where it can reach

into apps and perform specific commands within them.

So if there are apps that use a lot,

this can potentially save you a lot of time.

Bixby was also great at this last time I did it

and also Alexa is unsurprisingly the worst at device control

because they aren't making their phone.

These aren't Amazon phones.

So vertical integration is great with Siri

and Google Assistant and Bixby, not with Alexa,

not a shocker there.


What might be a little bit of a surprise though

is conversationalism.

Who is the coach of the Phoenix Sons?

Huh, how tall is he?

(soft upbeat music)

Did he play in the NBA?

(soft upbeat music)

What team did he play for?

(soft upbeat music)

As you can see, Siri tapped out

after about four questions in a row about the same thing

but Google Assistant is incredible at this.

It's good at remembering the context

and the subject of a natural conversation

and carrying that on through a bunch of questions in a row.

Where is the Taj Mahal?

(soft upbeat music)

Okay, how tall is it?

(soft upbeat music)

How many meters is that?

(soft upbeat music)

What is it made of?

(soft upbeat music)

See, again, Google remembers what we're talking about.

When is the Weeknd's birthday?

(soft upbeat music)

What's their latest album?

(soft upbeat music)

What's his real name?

(soft upbeat music)

So basically, if you're asking a bunch of questions in a row

or if you have one subject that you want

to research through the voice assistant

or get a bunch of answers on,

Your best bet is Google Assistant.

And then one more interesting thing from the crew


is that I ask just as far as getting pictures.

When you ask for pictures of something

like dogs, for example, they can all search the web

except Bixby didn't.

And Alexa, which is looking for an Amazon Photos app

for some reason.

But when you say, Show me my pictures of dogs,

Google opens and searches in my Photo album

for my pictures of dogs.

So I did a bunch of other testing like this

with a bunch of other different questions,

different styles of questions,

follow-up questions and things like that

and I've come to a pretty solid conclusion.

So if you're wondering which one is the best;


"Marques, you did all these tests,

"Which one came out as number one?"

Only one thing became exceptionally clear

Through all this testing which is that Alexa

is the worst, is far behind the others

as a smart assistant on a phone.

I mean, unless maybe you're already deep

in the Amazon Alexa ecosystem

with everything working perfectly in your smart home.

Matter of fact, this is an ecosystem question

almost as much as it is a skills question

for the assistants.

Because if you are super all-in

on one of these smart home ecosystems,

That actually could answer the question for you.

Of course, if you're all in with HomeKit,

then Siri and then iPhone is your only option

to view your cameras and see your doorbell ringing

and turn on your lights and all that stuff.

But if you are doing the same with Google Home

and Google Assistant, then you're there.

Now the next Gen Matter standard may change all of this.

It may make this section irrelevant,

maybe leave the thumbs up on this video or comment

if you're interested in a video about that specifically.

But for now, with these different silos of home ecosystems,

that's pretty important.

But I'll still say from my most common experiences

Google Assistant

and queries and the most useful things;

Across every single phone, iPhones or Android phones,

the most useful assistant is still Google Assistant.

And that's multiplied if you also happen to have

a pixel phone because then you also get call screening

and Hold for Me and all those extra pixel features.

But in general, Google Assistant is most likely to be fast.

It's most likely to give a good well-sourced answer.

It's most likely to be conversational

and remember context longer.

And it has a bunch of third-party plugs,

tons of app support.

And I also happen to have built my smart home

in the Google Home world so it's great.


Now for the second best, I'm very tempted to say Bixby.

Of course, though, this is only relevant

if you have a Samsung phone.

Also, it is saying all the same

first query responses that Google Assistant was

minus the ability to talk to a smart speaker

since Samsung would probably like us to forget about that.

But I am gonna have to put Siri in second place here.

It's fine, it's okay

it's all right, it's fine, it's not great

but it is the most well plugged into Apple's ecosystem.

So of course, if you're doing HomeKit stuff,

it's gonna work well there.

It does support a smart speaker which can do multiple timers

if you're not doing stuff all the time on your phone.

And it does support routines

which is like stacking a bunch of different commands

into one action if you're willing to dig through

the very convoluted Siri shortcuts interface.


So that puts Bixby in third place and Alexa is just bad,

It's just bad on a phone.

Like there was a phone a couple of years ago,

An HTC phone was built-in

so there was Google Assistant and Alexa side by side

on the same phone and it worked kind of well back then

But that was years ago and Alexa is just dead last

on a phone right now and Amazon knows it.

Amazon is falling behind with Alexa

and if you're just starting to use assistants

or put together a smart home or this type of stuff,

I would say avoid things that are Alexa-exclusive right now.

But until then, let me know if you agree

That Google Assistant still seems pretty far out in front

Or maybe there are some specific features that you find

the most useful in a virtual assistant.

Let me know in the comments.

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