Google successfully came out with Google Home Mini that squeeze all the smarts of the original Google Home into a cute and compact package. Many reviews have recommended this Mini as an alternative option if you are opting to buy Amazon Echo Dot. It only priced at RM 199 which is an affordable price and it may worth the value. Thus, if Google Assistant is worthy Amazon competitor then Mini is the one that get people hooked.
Mini looks more attractive than the Dot and it performs miles better as a stand-alone speaker. While Alexa still rules in some areas, but Mini composed to eat into Amazon’s lead. The Home Mini has three colours, chalk, charcoal, and coral. Google kept things simple with the Mini’s design. It is small and round, but its curved sides give it a softer look. The top of the Mini is swathed in a grey fabric which adds to its hominess. Hidden beneath the cloth are four LEDs that light up when you simply say “Hey, Google”. At the same time, it also functions as touch controls though there are not obvious. You could just tap on the right and left side of the speaker to adjust the volume. Google Home Mini is small, but its mic constantly picks up voices even when you are far away or music is playing. Moreover, you can ask Mini to turn your smart home gadgets on and off, look up for food recipes, control Netflix and Youtube. A physical switch on the back of Mini allow to deactivate the microphone.
The Google Assistant is pleasant and helpful as it generally good at finding answers to whatever questions you can think to throw at it. The Assistant voice is female by default, but you can always toggle the setting in the Home mobile app’s preferences section. Voice matching features enables some tricks like linking your voice to Netflix profile, broadcasting messages, stream any videos on your TV and more. However, your TV must support voice control. The best thing with Google Assistant is that there are numerous ways to make use of it. It can wake you up, tell you mornings’s weather, headlines and traffic conditions. Besides, it able to entertain your children with jokes or games. Additionally, Mini can assist to set timers in the kitchen or even read you through recipes while you are occupied. Also, if you are always absentmindedly leaving your phone around the house, Mini could find your phone by ringing it even you set to silent or Do not disturb mode and even if you don’t have cellular connection because it works over Wi-fi.
Now comes to audio performance, small speakers like this Mini arent going to replace any of your full-scale home audio. Still, you will be surprised by how much sound Mini can produce. I have tested it by playing some music over Mini and it sounded stronger than I have expected.
In the beginning, Google Home get critics such as Google’s developer ecosystem still lagging compared to Alexa skillset. Now, Google Assistant is compatible with more than 5,000 devices across every major smart home brand. Google stands to do so well with the Home Mini. It is never been easier or cheaper to go all in on the Assistant. By all the measures, Google Home Mini checks all the boxes.