Remember the useful Google Assistant Google Home Mini? Well, we got something similar but better, it is Google Nest Mini with the same price as before ($49). The biggest difference between the two speakers that look identical from outside is the name “Nest” from “Home”.
Of course, there are still some changes here and there. Among all the improvements that they made, some are better sound a new mounting hole, an additional built-in microphone, and smarted and faster Google Assistant. The Nest capacitive touch controls have also been shuffled and refined.
If you don’t have a smart speaker yet, Google Nest Mini is a great pick to start. With just $49, it is worthy particularly with the smart home voice control that it has. Considering the inexpensive price it offers, you don’t have to confused what to choose.
Just put the Google Nest Mini next to Home Mini and you need time to telling them apart. They both have the same oval shape, the same cover made by fabric, and when Google Assistant is active, they both turn on four LEDs on the top of the fabric. More closely, you will see the new mounting hole when you turn on The Nest Mini, makes you easy to hang the Nest Mini on a hook.
Another change made by Google is the Nest Mini’s charging port. The Micro-USB that sets in the base of Home Mini is now gone and replaced by a barrel-shaped charging port. That is some disappointment to customers, because you can charge Home Mini with 5V Micro-USB charger before. Nest Mini need bigger power though, and it can gain more power for it’s 15W from it’s own charger.
Buttons and Controls
The Nest Mini’s controls looks no different from the previous one, but there are some improvements if you look carefully. The Nest Mini’s mic mute is the same with the base of Home Mini, and you need to hold the speaker steadily with one hand to flip the switch to the other.
Then the invisible buttons on the right and left side of the Nest Mini to let you increase and decrease the volume. On the Home Mini, you can pause or restart the speaker by long pressing those buttons. But on the Nest Mini, you have to tap the top of the speaker to pause the music. Now tapping the top button on Nest Mini will not wake Google Assistant.
In another change, when your hand nears the speaker, the sensors will activate the LEDs on each side to told you that the volume buttons on the side are ready. I think the invisible volume buttons in Nest Mini is a nice thing to have because they make the design look more cleaner.
With Google Assistant, you surely will spend more time talking to Nest Mini then tapping it. It is even more useful if you’ve organized your life with Google Account, so it can warn you about your upcoming appointments, sending you driving directions, or with Nest Mini’s support for Google’s Duo voice ang video calling app, you can make voice calls to your Google contacts.
Google also added a new machine learning chip to Nest Mini, give it capability to be more responsive to Google Assistant by handling more of its processing chores locally rather than in the cloud. Google may improve Nest Mini’s machine learning in the future to make more benefits to speeding up the performance.
Google also added a third far-field microphone to the Nest Mini to make the speaker more sensitive to your voice when you are across the room. The Nest Mini’s listening skill is outperformed the Home Mini’s skill, it still can hear your sound from 30 feet away, while the Home Mini can only hear your voice by 25 feet away.
If you have another Nest in your home, you can easily put your smart speaker around your house with distance. Google Assistant is really a smart match to your Nest cameras, doorbells, thermostats, and Nest Secure home security system.
Don’t forget about Nest Aware whom make a great partner to Nest Mini in its ability to warn you about suspicious sounds. With the inexpensive price that Nest Mini has, you could always easily pair it up with Nest Aware by putting several speakers around your house.
Music and Sound Quality
Nest Mini got a custom driver and now have twice bass response than the Home Mini, also clearer sound with less distortion. The new driver helps a little with better music. The sound is clearer and punchier than the Home Mini.
You can pair Google’s smart speaker with another Bluetooth speaker if you want to, or pair two Nest Minis together.
The Nest Mini also compatible with major music streaming services, such as YouTube Music, Pandora and Spotify. When you connect them, it will show up as Spotify Connect device in Spotify desktop.
Beside the sound improvement, there is also this feature that boosts the speaker sound when you are listening to the news, while some other noise happens near the speaker, although the boost is not that great.
Finally the Nest Mini’s intercom and voice-calling abilities. Just say Google to call your kitchen or to dial one of your Google contacts.
Nest Mini or Echo Dot?
Remember Amazon’s Echo Dot? Well, with the improvements made by Google to Nest Mini, its up to you which one to choose. They both have the same price, same size, and some basic features. Either have good sound quality and same helpful Alexa and Google Assistant, they have their own strengths, weakness and customs.
The Nest Mini’s touch controls are pretty neat, but the Echo Dot physical buttons are practical. Google Assistant is great at answering your questions, but Alexa have more smart-home extension.
At the end of the day, its your choice of assistant that can influence your decision. You can choose Alexa if you want more control with your smart home with its skills. If you prefer the Google services or protection in your home with Nest devices, please go with the Nest Mini.
And don’t forget that you can just use two of them to make a full use of the smart assistant, considering that the price tag of both device is not that expensive.
Now that we have unfold all the capabilities and probability that the Google Nest Mini has. The useful of Google Assistant and all the improvement that they made including clearer sound, a mounting hole and the touch control. With just the same price ($49) you can have this mini speaker that can help you with your everyday smart and secure life.