The first Google Home Mini sneaked into my life about a year ago. Now, three of these small devices already occupy different corners of my house. It’s pretty clear that, to me, Google doesn’t need to convince me of the usefulness of these speakers, but that may not be your case.
That is why the brand launches, two years later, a renewal of its most basic and affordable smart speaker. Only now it is no longer called Home Mini, but Google Nest Mini, and also sounds better than the previous one despite costing the same. But there are more things you should know about him.
Google Nest Mini technical sheet
|Google Nest Mini|
|Dimensions||98 mm diameter, 42 mm high
181 grams weight
1.5-meter power cable
|Material||Upper part: resistant fabric made of 100% recycled plastic bottles
Housing: made of at least 35% recycled plastic
|Speakers||360-degree surround sound with a 40 mm transducer|
|Microphones||3 long-range microphones|
|Processor||64-bit quad-core ARM CPU at 1.4 GHz
High-performance machine learning hardware
|Connectivity||802.11b / g / n / ac (2.4 GHz / 5 GHz) Wi-Fi, Chromecast integrated, Bluetooth 5.0|
|software||Google Assistant integrated
Compatible with Android and iOS (Google Home app required)
|Feeding||15 W power adapter|
The best of the Google Nest Mini
Google introduced the first Home Mini in 2017, with the aim of bringing the Google Assistant’s capabilities to a wider audience in a smart speaker whose price did not exceed 60 euros. Considering that, in comparison, the original Google Home cost about 30 euros more, it was clear that sound quality would not be its greatest virtue.
So it was. Without being bad, the audio of the Home Mini was sometimes compared to that of high-end smartphones and considered remarkably inferior to that of Google Home in terms of quality.
Now that changes. Google says that the bass of the Nest Mini is twice as powerful as those of the original model, and the truth is that the difference is noticeable.
The biggest change is found in the speaker’s ability to reduce distortion at high volume levels, which helps make the Nest Mini capable of generating a clearer, more understandable sound and, above all, more audible even when we are in a different room.
Sound quality also rises. Although the equalization tends to rely too much on the bass – something that can be solved thanks to the equalizer integrated into the Google Home app – the warm and round sound emitted by it’s 40 mm diameter speaker is appreciated.
During these weeks of testing, I have also been able to appreciate a better detection of voice commands, I fear that thanks to the third speaker that introduces the Nest Mini.
To close the section on sound, it is necessary to comment that the audio can be even better when one of the peculiarities of this new generation of the speaker is used, such as the ability to hang it from the wall.
Instead of introducing a totally new design with this second generation of the Nest Mini, Google has decided to take the path, in my opinion, more successful. The Nest Mini is, except for small details, visually traced to the original model. We are again facing a small circular device covered in fabric , with a plastic lower housing that houses the power connector and the switch to fully activate or deactivate the microphone, as well as the new integrated wall bracket that allows the speaker to be placed in anywhere in the house – as long as there is a plug nearby.
As an interesting detail, it is worth mentioning the fact that the fabric of its upper part is made entirely of recycled plastic bottles, something to be appreciated considering that it is an affordable device, which will potentially become in the homes of millions of people around the world.
In addition to that, Google’s decision not to make changes that are too noticeable in the device’s appearance means that the Nest Mini doesn’t stand out from the rest of the “Home Minis” we might have in our home , something important for those maniacs of the order they were thinking of adding one of these new models to their connected home.
But there are some interesting changes. For starters, the power connector is no longer micro-USB, but Google now uses a standard circular connector. In addition, to the LEDs of the upper part are added two other sides, which indicate the position of the capacitive buttons to increase and decrease the volume. In that sense, it is now also possible to press on the center of the speaker to pause or resume multimedia playback.
In short, except for the new power connector, which really does not imply advantages or disadvantages in terms of the use of the device on a day-to-day basis, the rest of the details introduced help to make the experience with the Nest Mini more intuitive.
Those who already use and take advantage of Google Assistant probably do not need to know everything this virtual assistant can do for them. And if not, just take a look at our Google Assistant guide on Android and Google Home.
Therefore, this is not the time to stop to examine all the voice commands that can be executed in Google Assistant through the Nest Mini one by one. Just remember that simply saying “Hey Google” or “Ok, Google” out loud, the speaker will be activated and it will be possible to make inquiries or manage devices in our connected home. There is also the possibility of playing content directly on the speaker thanks to the built-in Google Chromecast, either by asking the Assistant himself or by sending the content from our mobile or tablet.
As a novelty in this regard, a new artificial intelligence engine integrated into the loudspeaker is introduced, which learns from our simple questions and queries made more frequently to answer them as quickly as possible in the future and without the need to consult on the Internet. Unfortunately, this function is only active in the United States at the moment.
Other new functions are the ability of the devices to automatically adjust the volume level depending on the ambient sound, a feature that will not be entirely noticeable if the speaker is located in a room or office free of noise; or the ability to turn on the upper LEDs when we approach the Nest Mini while playing audio to quickly check the volume level, thanks to a new ultrasonic transmitter. A function very similar to this, by the way, is also available on the Google Nest Hub smart screen thanks to a recent update.
Opinion and final thoughts of Andro4all
And that’s it? What about “the worst of the Nest Mini”? Honestly, it is so difficult to find real hits to this device that I find it totally unnecessary to dedicate a section to its inconveniences. It is true that it is not without shortcomings – especially the fact that some functions are only available in the United States – and that it does not introduce new developments such as a 3.5 mm headphone jack, but in my opinion they are more than justified for the improvements in terms of audio quality and user experience and the fact that its price has not increased.
That does not mean that, if you already have a Home Mini, it is worth replacing it with this new edition; After all, a device of this type is designed to last well beyond the two years of life that the original model has. On the other hand, if your idea is to expand the number of smart speakers in your connected home, the Nest Mini is today the one that offers the best balance between audio quality, ease of use and price.
Price and where to buy the Google Nest Mini
Anyone who wants it can be done with the second generation Nest Mini since last October 21 through the Google Store. As I said before, its price has not changed compared to the Google Home Mini last year but remains at the same 59 euros. It can be bought in colors Chalk and Charcoal.
|Should I buy the Google Nest Mini?|
|Conclusions||The Nest Mini is a Google Home Mini with better audio quality, which also introduces changes that bring even more value to the experience, and all for the same price as always.|
9.0 Google Nest Mini
An improved audio and the same price as always? Yes, thanks.