Google’s First Home With Screen Already Offers More Privacy Than Amazon’s Echo Show

Amazon may have been the first to offer a smart home display with the Echo Show , but Google has just surpassed its competitor in one key category: privacy.

In collaboration with Lenovo this week at CES 2018, the search giant unveiled its new smart display . The device runs Google Assistant and several other Google services without third-party support. Like the Echo Show and Echo Spot, it also has a video calling camera, but unlike Amazon devices, it has a physical shutter that covers the lens when you don’t need to use it.

This is a huge plus for anyone concerned about privacy, especially if you plan on storing your device in a private place like on the nightstand next to your bed. Covering your camera is as easy as flipping a hardware switch on the side of your device, so you don’t have to worry about Google (or worse, some random hacker) spying on you while you sleep.

Apart from our privacy concerns, Google’s new product has another advantage over Amazon’s gadgets. It can play YouTube videos, but Echo Show cannot, due to the ongoing altercation between the two companies. You will also have access to other Google apps like Duo for video calling and Google Photos.

However, when it comes to pricing, Amazon still offers the best deals. Lenovo Smart Display starts at $ 199 for the 8-inch screen and up to $ 249 for the 10-inch version (both models are listed as “coming soon” with no set release date). The Echo Spot is much cheaper at just $ 130, while the Echo Show costs $ 230 – both versions are also available now.

It is of course possible that Google may release its own even cheaper hardware in the future, although there is no guarantee that the version will include a switch to turn off the camera like Lenovo does.

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