Google Home Mini
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Google Home Mini Review
The 3-Minute Google Home Mini Review
Google’s Smaller Smart Speaker Offering
By Graeme Messina | September 6, 2018
Features & Design: 4/5 ● Performance: 4/5 ● Value: 4/5 ● Sound Quality 4/5
The Google Home Mini is a cheaper, scaled down version of the original Google Home Speaker. It has features very similar to Google’s original Home device, but with many added features and fixes. It has a pebble like shape and sits very comfortably on most surfaces. Google has fixed the lack of appointment making capabilities, as well as adding a voice recognition feature.
Google has fixed some of the original issues that made the Google Home speaker a little less feature filled than the Amazon Alexa, and that has bridged the gap quite a bit. The only real drawback is for those that do not actively use Google services, which is easily remedied as signing up is free.
Is it for you?
The Google Home Mini is an even smaller, more com-pact design than its predecessor, making it even more unobtrusive than before. This makes it much less likely to be knocked over or bumped, while retaining all of the features that made the original unit so popular. Voice recognition means that multiple users can now use the device, as Google knows who you are just by the sound of your voice.
Meet the Google Home Voice Activated
Google listened to the feedback that they received after releasing the original Google Home product. People wanted a smaller, cheaper device that was similar to Amazon’s smaller devices, and they were able to pull it off. The only real difference with the Google Home Mini is the lack of touch controls, other than the volume controls, and there is no Bluetooth or 3.5mm headphone jack, which may or may not be a big deal for your requirements.
What we like
The voice recognition has to be the best update that this platform has received. Now, different users can ask Google to make calls, set appointments, and organize their lives without any additional prompts. Google simply listens to what you say, identifies you by your voice, and then proceeds with your requests.
The lower profile is a stylistic success, making the unit look incredibly unobtrusive as it sits on your desk, shelf, or coffee table. A single USB Type C connector cable, plugged into a power adapter, is the only cabling requirement that can be seen when the unit is plugged in.
The lower price, combined with all of the improvements, and smaller device footprint, make this an incredibly easy smart speaker to recommend.
What we don’t like
The only real draw back here is the fact that there is no additional connectivity, such as Bluetooth or a 3.5mm head phone jack connector. It would have been great to be able to stream local content to the speaker with these two methods, especially if you are stuck without an internet connection for some reason.
Again, volume, although clear and crisp, could have been somewhat louder for some people. As a general speaker, it does a great job of reproducing music and voice, but don’t expect it to blast high volumes for social gatherings and parties.
Should you buy it?
If you enjoyed the functionality and simplicity of the previous Google Home, then this will definitely feel like a logical addition to your setup. Having multiple devices in different rooms is one way to make sure that your voice commands are always heard, giving you a proper smart home experience. Overall, this is a great sounding speaker with added functionality and great pricing.