Google may not be looking to catch up to Amazon in terms of the sheer size of the e-commerce giant’s smart speaker portfolio, at least not yet, but Big G’s Home Max is larger, heavier and significantly more powerful than everything ever released under the Echo label.

It’s obviously also a lot pricier than a standard Amazon Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Spot or even the 7-inch touchscreen-sporting Echo Show, which probably explains why smart home enthusiasts have received it with middling overall excitement.

Unveiled way back in early October, alongside the cheaper and cheaper Home Mini, the Google Home Max has at least succeeded in beating Apple’s premium HomePod to market.

As suggested a little while ago, the $399 “Smart Sound” streamer is up for grabs today from Best Buy in both Charcoal and Chalk color options. Bizarrely enough, the manufacturer’s own US e-store still only lets potential buyers join a waitlist for future orders and deliveries.

Meanwhile, Verizon appears to be able to ship the “Chalk” flavor already, possibly in limited numbers, with Big Red’s “Charcoal” variant however listed as out of stock. Other retailers, like B&H Photo Video, simply say the Google Home Max is “coming soon.” Unfortunately, we don’t expect any discounts in the near future, and this is quite a tough sell at 400 bucks, no matter how you look at it.

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