Among all the surprise announcements at Google’s hardware event yesterday; Google’s answer to Amazon’s Echo Dot has grabbed the attention of airwaves the most. The company called it Google Home Mini.
It’s $49, available in three different colors and is quite a snappy little device; which is worth your attention. I had some time to play around with the device; here are some of our first impressions…
First off, the audio is a bit more convincing than the Amazon Echo Dot. It doesn’t feel a lot blatant, but it is much less tinny; which is excellent. In practice, the mic input is about as salutary as the regular-sized Home; as in it runs fine in regular use but grapples when the room sets turbulent. In my view, Amazon still owns Google strike here in specifying background sound from audio the device is playing.
Interestingly, its size and shape is not less than a donut and comes in coral, charcoal, and gray colors. The design is definitely less jutting than the Dot, though it is a bit bigger.
By design, Google Home Mini looks it’s endeavoring to be a bit less futuristic; with the whole top of the device being covered in fabric. It’s not precisely meek but suits the hipster aesthetic; that Google was running with its Daydream headsets last year. The invention also misses the writhing multi-color dots for a line of four white LEDs on the head.
Its coral color made me a bit concerned; thinking how it would stand up to dust and dir. But it looks like the gray and charcoal options of Google Home Mini would do well enough.
Moreover, the controls of Google Home Mini require you to tap only. You touch the right side of the device to increase the volume, the left side to decrease. A tap in the center stops or plays the music again; and if you hold and press for a long time; it calls up Google Assistant. There’s also a physical switch on the bottom edge of the Google Home Mini to turn off the device’s listening features.
The most significant setback is the dearth of audio output jack; so you will not be able to make it a controller for tunes. And you can only rely on Chromecast Audio dongle. Because of this, the Google Home Mini is a distinct type of device; and Google appears to be assuming this as part of a multi-room setup with this device in the bedroom; while the bigger regular-sized Home or Home Max set up shop in the kitchen or living room.
For $49 this is a powerful product that feels fairly high-quality; audio isn’t crazy loud, but the device is assuredly proficient of some light listening and utilization of some of Assistant’s developing feature set.