Sony launches LF-S50G smart speaker with Google Assistant


But the Sony LF-S50G Wireless Speaker looks less like Google Home and more like Apple's HomePod.

No doubt many more will follow, along with the Zolo Mojo from Anker and the TicHome Mini from Mobvoi, as this looks set to be a hotly contested consumer tech category, especially with Apple's HomePod enters the fray this December (albeit at a much higher price point than these offerings).

Besides introducing the Xperia XZ1, Xperia XZ1 Compact and the XA1 Plus smartphones, Sony also introduced a new accessory for music lovers at the ongoing IFA 2017 conference in Berlin today.

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Sony's smart speaker, the LF-S50G, will be available in the United Kingdom from November priced at approximately £200. On the frontside, there's a digital clock display, a splash-proof design that's ideal for the kitchen, and a 360° speaker system. Only the Amazon Tap has a similarly water-resistant build. Just like with a Google Home, you can say "Ok Google" at any time to ask it questions.

Google Assistant on the S50G not only lets you control music, but you can also control lots of different smart home devices, including Chromecast, Nest, and Philips Hue. All of them support Wi-Fi connectivity and can be set up in synchronisation to give a better audio. The GA-10 can stereo pair and many can act as a multiroom system (which can be controlled by voice, too), while you get most of the usual music services such as Spotify, Google Music, TuneIn and Deezer. In plain words: you can adjust the volume by drawing a ring in midair above the speaker, or skip tracks by sliding your hand over the device. Increasing or decreasing volume requires you to make a circular motion with your finger, and responded as quickly as physical volume keys when I tried it. The sides of the speaker turn into an LED clock display, while at the top, there are various sensors.

Just as Google teased yesterday, with the notion that more products featuring Google Assistant were on the way, a new smart speaker powered by Google's digital assistant has been announced by Sony at IFA. Google is well positioned with its search engine to collect language data on the internet and improve the performance of Google Assistant. At the event Sony boasted its LF-S50G for the sound quality, billing it better than Google Home.

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Sony claims that its table top smart speaker is powerful enough to fill up an average size room or even your kitchen.

The inside smarts are the same, with Google listening for your command and following your instructions.

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