People who pre-ordered Apple's smart speaker, HomePod, will receive them on Friday.
If you're still on the fence, the early reviews might not convince you to buy the $350 iPhone speaker.
Early reviewers focused on high-quality sound, impressive bass, incomplete Siri integration, and overall incompatibility with Spotify and Android phones in a series of reviews published on Tuesday.
Here's what the critics are saying about Apple's newest product:
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The bottom line:"But Siri on HomePod is embarrassingly inadequate, even though that is the primary way you interact with it. Siri is sorely lacking in capabilities compared with Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Siri doesn’t even work as well on HomePod as it does on the iPhone."
The bottom line:"You can’t ask Siri to look up a recipe. You can’t ask Siri to make a phone call. (You have to start the phone call on your phone and transfer it to the HomePod to use it as a just-okay speakerphone.) Siri also can’t compete with the huge array of Alexa skills, or Google Assistant’s ability to answer a vast variety of questions."
The bottom line: But if you own an iPhone, an Apple Music subscription and at least one HomeKit device, then you are the target market for a fantastic sounding $349 speaker that works best with all of that stuff.
The bottom line:"But HomePod, like the audio vacuum it was tested and developed in, exists in a silo that doesn’t seem to take into account how people actually use smart speakers. It works supremely well within Apple’s orbit, but not outside of that. The HomePod’s software, in its current iteration, doesn’t work where many people live — on Android phones or in Spotify — and that keeps a good smart speaker from being a great one."
The Loop's Jim Dalrymple — "HomePod offered so much more quality that it was quite literally laughable to hear the others.'"
The bottom line:"HomePod is smart, it looks great, and it sounds incredible. I don’t know what else you would want in a home smart speaker."
The bottom line:"Some of the HomePod’s other downsides are less understandable: in particular, the lack of a radio and the fact that some of the features are restricted to the owner’s phone being present, which makes the HomePod feel less like a new type of home computer and more like an extension of one person’s iPhone."
Read the full review here.
The bottom line:"At the same time, the new speaker can be an exercise in frustration at times, especially when you request something of Siri that Apple’s digital assistant can’t deliver on HomePod. In answering to your “Hey Siri” vocal commands, Apple’s assistant can perform many of the same table-stakes tasks as Amazon’s Alexa on Echo’s or the Google Assistant on Google Home speakers—from setting timers and reminders to informing you of the weather and traffic, turning on smart lights, or solving math."