Bixby vs. Google Assistant

Google Assistant dominates at home, while Bixby is great for outdoors

Google Assistant and Samsung Bixby are the two top Android smart assistants. Both perform tasks and answer questions for users with Android devices. We took a look at both to see which one stacks up best for your smart home compatibility and hands-free needs.

Bixby vs Google Assistant

Overall Findings

Google Assistant
  • Functions centered around Google smart home products.

  • Many non-Google smart home devices support Google Assistant.

  • Compatible with popular media services.

  • Control Google Assistant from the Google Home app.

  • Enabled in Android Auto.

  • Functions not as needed when away from home.

Samsung Bixby
  • Many Android smartphones have a dedicated Bixby button.

  • Many functions specific to Samsung devices and apps.

  • Opens apps on some Samsung devices.

  • Voice commands control functions in certain apps.

  • Works with Bixby Home to review content from certain apps.

  • Bixby Vision translates languages and identifies places and things.

  • Functionality being expanded to Samsung Smart TVs.

On Android mobile devices, Google Assistant and Samsung Bixby accept voice commands to perform a variety of functions. Both have similar smart assistant features. While Google Assistant is uniquely integrated with the Google Home ecosystem, Samsung Bixby has great features for when you're out and about.

Access Google Assistant with the voice command OK Google or Hey Google. For Bixby, say Hey Bixby.

Smart Home Integration: Google Wins, Bixby Is Gaining

Google Assistant
  • Integrated with the Google Home universe.

  • Many smart home devices support Google Assistant.

  • Control Google Assistant enabled devices from the Google Home app.

Samsung Bixby
  • Tied to the Samsung SmartThings hub.

  • Will have functionality with the Samsung Galaxy Home speaker.

  • Limited to the Samsung universe.

Many Google Assistant functions are centered around smart home products, including Google Home and Google Home Hub. There are also hundreds of smart home devices from brands that support Google Assistant, such as smart speakers, smart displays like the Lenovo Smart Display, and smart security cameras. Once connected to your account, you can use Google Assistant to control any of these devices with voice commands.

While many smart home devices come with apps to control settings and individual functions, all Google Assistant enabled devices can be controlled with the Google Home app, making it easy to connect, disconnect, and troubleshoot devices in one location.

When it comes to smart home integration, Bixby is tied to the Samsung SmartThings hub, which controls smart appliances in homes through a mobile app. Ask Bixby to show connected devices, add devices, or search for new devices. Tell Bixby to set the temperature on your thermostat or play the next song on your playlist. You can even talk to your smart refrigerator with Bixby.

When the long-awaited Samsung Galaxy Home speaker arrives, Bixby will have more functionality. Samsung announced the speaker in 2018 but as of early 2020, it still has no release date.

Key Features: More Features Always Being Added

Google Assistant
  • Compatible with many popular media services.

  • Use the Google Home app to control devices if you're too far away for voice commands.

  • Embedded in Android Auto.

Samsung Bixby
  • Full capabilities available on the Samsung Galaxy S10 and S9, plus the Galaxy Note 9.

  • Handsets have a dedicated Bixby button.

  • Bixby Vision offers unique features.

Google Assistant is a more evolved technology, but Bixby is improving rapidly.

Google Assistant is compatible with most popular media services, letting users enjoy music, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks by asking the Google Assistant.

When you're away from home or too far away to make voice commands, use the Google Home app to control devices. You can also connect different services to the Google Home app to make your voice commands more granular.

If you have Google Chromecast and Google Home, link your Netflix account to the Google Home app. Then, you can use voice commands to start shows and movies without manually casting the Netflix app from your phone.

In addition to smartphones and home devices, Google Assistant is enabled in Android Auto, which is becoming standard in many vehicles. The smart car software is compatible with vehicles from Nissan, Honda, Aston Martin, and Lamborghini, among others.

As for Bixby, much of its functionality lives on smartphones. Bixby’s full capabilities are available on the Samsung Galaxy S10 and S9, plus the Galaxy Note 9. Limited capabilities are available on other Samsung Galaxy devices. These handsets have a dedicated Bixby button, granting users easy access to the assistant. While Samsung is opening up Bixby to greater compatibility with third-party apps, many functions are specific to Samsung devices and apps.

Other Bixby functions include Bixby Vision, which identifies items in a photo, translates languages, and scans QR codes. It can also scan documents and turn those documents into PDFs.

Hands-Free Accessibility

Google Assistant
  • Voice dictation.

  • Many accessibility functions.

  • Users may have fewer reasons to go hands-free when traveling.

Bixby
  • Good at executing phone operation voice commands.

  • Voice commands control functions within certain apps.

While Google Assistant for phones is powerful and functional, users may have fewer reasons to go hands-free when they're out and about. Some common uses for Google Assistant on phones include voice dictation to create and send text messages and emails. Still, many users operate their smartphones with their hands as a primary function.

Google Assistant functions are available for users who require those features, including those with accessibility needs. Google has touched a lot of bases when it comes to identifying the specific hands-free needs of its users.

Voice commands are Bixby's strong suit. It's good at executing commands that control the phone. For example, if you want to send an email, instruct Bixby to open a mail app and send an email to someone, then start dictating.

You can open apps with the Hey Bixby voice command, and control the functions of certain apps like Google Maps, Uber, and Expedia.

Final Verdict

Google's ecosystem is well-established, and while Samsung's ecosystem is a work in progress, it is improving quickly. When the Galaxy Home smart speaker arrives on the scene, things may even up between Bixby and Google Assistant. For now, however, Bixby has less compatibility with third-party hardware and services, so Google Assistant gets the edge.