Published: Thu, October 05, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Google Home Mini hands-on: Smaller, cheaper, subtler

Underneath a fabric speaker grille, Google has also packed in 0.7-inch tweeters, an acoustic brace and a range of far-field microphones.

And there's a good reason for that! If you're balking at the $400 price, that's probably because this speaker isn't meant for you. The Google Home Mini is priced at the same $49 as Amazon's Echo Dot, though the company didn't mention package discounts like Amazon regularly offers when purchasing three Dots. The search within the platforms supported by Google Assistant now runs on a voice-matching technology that enables its products like Home, and now Home Mini, to recognize each person's voice in the home and their preferences. It won't even make fun of you for listening to "Drops of Jupiter" by Train or anything.

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In the connected homes division, Google launched its Google Home Mini. Google says over 1,000 smart home products now work with Assistant. This feature is powered by Google AI and the speaker now supports music services like Spotify and YouTube Music. Voice Match is rolling out to markets and will be made available from the box on the new Google Home devices. It can sit in either vertical or horizontal orientation, and it comes in both "chalk" and 'charcoal'.

It's a Google Home, but smaller! Last night, they pushed a new Google Home Preview Program update to participants that included a new Night Mode, plus the Google Home app UI got a big refresh.

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It's about a fifth of the size of the standard Google Home. Google is providing users a free 12 months subscription to YouTube Red.

This feature, while it's actually something really basic, can have many different utilities: you can use a broadcast for telling your friends something in another room, you can use one for waking up your children in the morning, and a lot more! In this case, telling your Home "where's my phone" will ping the nearest Android device paired with your Google account. Priced at $49 in the United States, the device is already up for pre-orders in the country and will be made available starting October 19. It includes the same features featured in a cylindrical speaker that Google rolled out past year in response to Amazon's Echo. Google Home Max will be available in December for $399.

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