With the launch of the HomePod, many are comparing it to the likes of the Amazon Echo and Google Home, which makes sense since the speakers come with Siri built into it, which essentially puts it in the same category as the others. However despite all of this, Apple has never really billed it as a smart speaker, at least not in the same way Amazon and Google has.
However if it were to be used as a smart speaker, how would it fare? Unfortunately not that well, at least according to a test conducted by Loup Ventures (via 9to5Mac) in which in a test of 782 queries, the HomePod only managed to answer 52.3% of the questions correctly, which pales in comparison to the Google Home which managed 81%.
Part of the reason is because of the limitations of the HomePod, in which despite it having Siri built into it, will not be able to perform all of its functions due to hardware. Loup Ventures claims that taking that out of the equation resulted in accuracy jumping to 67%, which actually puts it ahead of Alexa (64%) and Cortana (57%).
The upside is that during their testing, they found that the built-in microphones in the HomePod were excellent at picking up commands and that it understood 99.4% of all queries they threw at it. That being said, this seems to be in line with the reviews of the HomePod, in which many praise the audio quality of the speakers, but note that it does pale in comparison in terms of “smarts” compared to what Amazon and Google are offering.