Yesterday we talked about how LG will be using it in appliances, and now Sony has announced their connected speaker that will be called the LF-S50G. The Apple HomePod will of course feature Siri, and Bixby will handle the job on Samsung's yet to be introduced model.
With a cylindrical design reminiscent (or arguably derivative) of the HomePod, the LF-S50G is available in black, blue, and white. It's odd, really, that there aren't more speakers like this already. Like the Home, it's activated by saying "Ok Google", after which you can ask for calendar or weather information, check phone notifications, control music playback, set reminders, and send text messages. The Sony LF-S50G also has an IPX3 rating for splash resistance for the users who want to use it in the kitchen or other places that are prone to water splash. You will get a satisfactory answer far more often from Google Assistant than you will Alexa, with the latter very likely to tell you it doesn't know how to help you with that. If your mouth and hands are both full, you can wave over the top of the speaker to start, skip, or turn up the music.
I got a chance to try the gesture controls myself and found them to be quite responsive. 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.
Several companies have announced speakers with Google Assistant built-in at consumer electronics show IFA, but we like the LF-S50G and we're excited about trying out the Sony LF-S50G speaker in the real world to see how it performs. HomePod is Wi-Fi based, but the LF-S50G wireless speaker supports Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth.
In an announcement about the speaker, a spokesperson for Sony said: 'With a 360-degree vertical two-way facing speaker system, the S50G wireless speaker can comfortably fill the average room with sound'.
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The upcoming smart speaker, LF-S50G, can be used to control smart home devices like lights.
The speaker can also be controlled without voice.
We've been listening to the Sony LF-S50G in our Apartment here in Berlin and it's a great sound.
Google Assistant appeared to work well and although there was a slight delay on some occasions, this could be down to the speaker not being able to hear the command through the trade show noise so we won't judge this element yet either. Check back closer to release for a full review.