If you’re in the market for a multipurpose speaker to help you around the house while also delivering good quality sound, the Google Nest Mini might be what you’re looking for.
It’s easy to use, reasonably priced, and works with many smart home devices. You get access to Google Assistant, and you can control it with your voice or through your phone via Bluetooth.
Let’s take a closer look at the Google Nest Mini and see if it’s for you.
What Is the Google Nest Mini?
Google Nest Mini is the most affordable Google Assistant smart speaker you can buy. It’s created as a rival to the Amazon Echo Dot, designed to deliver improved sound quality from previous generations. It promises faster Google Assistant responses and more sensitive voice recognition.
Despite Google’s claims that the Nest Mini offers 40 percent more bass, it’s more than likely that you can’t tell the difference between the sound quality compared to the previous Google Home Mini. After all, it can be hard to appreciate bass from a speaker the size of a hockey puck or even notice it.
The Nest Mini is affordable and produces satisfactory sound quality, but it’s far from perfect. The speaker provides a full and crisp sound, but it doesn’t have 3.5mm audio output, and it falls short on boasting room-filling sound. It’s best to manage your expectations to avoid disappointment.
Google Nest Mini Price
The Google Nest Mini retails at $49 but frequently gets discounted. The discounts seem to be frequent, and if you can wait, it’s a great way to save some cash.
More Google Nest Details
Dimensions: 3.85 inches x 1.65 inches
Weight: 6.38 ounces
Connectivity: WiFi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, Chromecast
Speakers: one 40mm driver
If you’ve seen the Google Home Mini, you know how Nest Mini looks. They’re physically identical with a puck-like design. The speaker has curved sides with a rubber bottom and a top half covered in fabric. It comes in an array of colors you can choose from—red, grey, black, and blue.
The Google Nest Mini is more eco-friendly as its top gets made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles and its body from 35 percent post-consumer recycled plastic.
You can see that Google Assistant is listening by looking at the four LEDs on top of the panel, shining through the fabric. You’ll also find two more LEDs right under the edge of the fabric on either side of the array. They control the speaker’s volume and light up every time you touch them.
If you’re playing music and approach the top with your hand, that motion lights up the LEDs and shows you the volume and where to tap using ultrasound presence sensing. If you tap on the left or right edge, you’ll adjust the volume. A tap on the four central LEDs pauses or plays the music.
You’ll find a microphone mute switch and a single connector for the included power adapter on the back of the Nest Mini’s base. It even has a keyhole on its bottom, so you can hang it on the wall if you want.
The voice recognition performance appears improved, largely thanks to the third microphone on the speaker. It helps filter out extraneous noise.
The Nest Mini also has a new dedicated machine learning chip that helps speed up responses a bit, making the communication more conversational and not so robotic.
Google Nest Mini and Google Assistant
To summon Google Assistant, all you have to do is say “OK, Google,” or “Hey, Google.” After that initial command, you can proceed with your question or request. As mentioned, the four LEDs on top of the Nest Mini light up to indicate that the speaker is listening.
While you can’t choose the wake word, like you can with the Amazon Echo speakers, you can pick who talks back to you: a male or a female voice.
Google Assistant is casual in the language and syntax you can use. It can still understand you without you having to use specific phrasing.
You can ask for all manner of general information, like sports scores and weather. It can set timers and alarms for you, as well as remind you of upcoming appointments. You can even use Google Assistant to help plan your day.
You can even use it to make hands-free calls to numbers in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Or you can make calls over Google Duo.
Google Assistant’s compatibility list with smart home devices may not be as impressive as Amazon Alexa, but it still includes most major brands of smart lights, smart outlets, smart thermostats, and smart locks.
You can create programmable routines with it. For example, when you say, “Hey Google, good morning,” it knows to turn on the lights and list your plans for the day.
For music fans, Google Assistant can play tunes from many popular services including Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, and Deezer. It can even tune into radio stations. Though you can’t find and play music from any other sources, you can use connect your phone to access other services.
You can use Google Assistant to find recipes, play some audio-based games, and even shop via voice from retailers. You can also play audiobooks from Google Play Books.
Google Nest Mini Pros
- Improved sound and performance
- Option to wall mount
- Google Assistant
Google Nest Mini Cons
- No significant changes over Google Home Mini
- Bass is weak
- No 3.5mm audio output
- No room-filling sound
Is the Google Nest Mini Right for You?
The Google Nest Mini is a relative newcomer in the Google lineup. Following the footsteps of the Google Home Hub becoming the Google Nest Hub, the Google Home Mini became the Google Nest Mini. And despite the new name, not a lot has changed.
The Nest Mini delivers a crisp sound but fails to fill the room. If you look at its specs, it does have a lot to offer. But the bottom line is that it’s not quite enough for you to purchase it at the full price. It’s best to wait for a discount.
If you’re looking for a Google smart speaker that doesn’t break your budget and provides an excellent sound for its price range, the Nest Mini will do you right. It has its flaws, but the positives outweigh the negatives.
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