The Google Home MIni was announced last week along with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones. The Google Home Mini is Google’s 2nd smart assistant speaker. The size of a donut, it’s available in 3 different colors, black, grey, and coral.
What is the Google Home Mini?
The Google Home Mini is a little speaker with Google Assistant (virtual assistant). Google Assistant allows you to ask questions, set reminders, play music, activate smart-home devices (such as connected light bulbs), and much more. You can use Google Assistant on your phone also. The Home Mini is activated by voice. You can say “Hey, Google” or “Ok, Google” to activate it. The Home Mini is fairly simple. It’s the size of a donut (Google’s words, not mine). It stays connected via micro-USB. Not sure why they didn’t go the USB-C route. The top of the speaker is fabric, and you can see the four LED lights.
The Home Mini is fairly simple. It’s the size the of a donut (Google’s words, not mine). It stays connected via micro-USB. Not sure why they didn’t go the USB-C route. The top of the speaker is fabric, and you can see the four LED lights. Next to the micro-USB port, you have a button the mutes and unmutes the mic. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a 3.5mm jack like the Amazon Echo Dot speaker has.
Setting up and Using the Google Home Mini
Setup is pretty easy on the Home Mini. Just download the Google Home app (available for both iOS and Android) and run through the prompts. You just have to enter your Wifi credentials and that’s pretty much it. You can also enter your credentials to music apps such as Pandora.
The Home Mini does a great job of listening across the room. You can also have it stream content to other Chromecast devices around the house. That is pretty cool. You can also get routines done with the Home Mini since it works with IFTTT. I haven’t got the far yet, but at the size and price point, that’s a very dope feature. Voice Match is pretty cool in the sense that it identifies who is speaking to the Google Assistant. You can have it do all of the “Google” things like translate, tell you a recipe, and of course find music for you.
Until a few days ago, you could also activate the Home Mini by touching the top of the assistant. Google disabled that feature due to some of the speakers bugging out and activating on their own. While the Home Mini speaker is great to listen to a couple of tracks, I wouldn’t use it for a full listening session. You can’t connect it via an audio cable. Womp.
While I don’t use it to make phone calls (I hate having calls on speakerphone), you can use the Home Mini to do that. The person I called, heard me fine but sounded like I was far away. The Home Mini doesn’t support G Suite yet, so it will mostly be for personal use when it comes to the calendar appointments.
The Home Mini is super affordable at $49. Like I said before it’s available in three colors. You can get it from the Google Store. It’s great if you want to have a small speaker around the house that can help out with information and music playback, you would definitely enjoy the Home Mini. It’s a fun way to control music and get answers to many questions. If you ordered a Pixel 2, you get a Home Mini with it. If you want a more powerful speaker with Google Assistant, you can go with the regular Google Home, which is more than double the price (ranging from $129-$149). If you want to test drive the Google Home Mini and other Google products that were announced at the Made by Google event, stop by the Google Pop Up Shop in New York City.