This video contains repeated uses of the Amazon Echo trigger word “Alexa”. To prevent your Echo from responding, watch with headphones.
The Amazon Echo and Google Home have all sorts of abilities. But is asking them something out loud actually faster than doing it yourself?
To find out, we enlisted our friends at Gizmodo (who have an Echo) and presented a challenge with Lifehacker’s very own video producer, Abu. We timed how long it took to ask Alexa a question, and waited for her to complete the task. At the same time, Abu looked up the information on his phone (and, in some cases, performed the action IRL).
The verdict? Well, it depends. Certain answers Alexa gives are wordy, meaning a task like reading the day’s headlines is faster if you’re just glancing and scrolling. But if you have smart home devices hooked up to voice control, you could shave off a few seconds, say, turning on a light. And the biggest win for the digital assistant? Doing basically anything with dirty hands.