Google Home Mini

8/10 AVG.
RATING

  • Google Home Mini
  • Google Home Mini
  • Google Home Mini
  • Google Home Mini
  • Google Home Mini
  • Google Home Mini

This tiny speaker shows how far Google's assistant has come.

- Nathan Ingraham, Engadget 


The Google Home Mini looks and sounds better than Amazon's smallest Alexa speaker, but it's not quite as versatile.

- Mike Prospero, Tom's Guide 

Specs / Features


Specification

Brand Google
Warranty 12 months
Release date 19-October-2017
Size 4.2 x 9.8 cm (1.7 x 3.9 in)
Weight 173 grams
(6.11 ounces)

The "1-Minute" Review

What's good

  • Clean and friendly design
  • Great voice recognition
  • Decent sound quality for its size

What's bad

  • No connection to Bluetooth speakers
  • Overly sensitive touch controls
  • No internal battery
  • Fabric cover attracts dust

The Echo might have created the smart speaker niche, but it’s no longer the only one on the block. Google's Home Mini hopes to bring more competition to the small smart speaker market.

The Mini, as the name suggests, is very small measuring in at 3.86 inches in diameter and 1.65 inches in height. Despite being a little larger than the Dot, reviewers found it more home-friendly thanks to its sloping sides and softer shape.

It comes in three colors—light gray, dark gray, and coral red. While the coral red is the brightest of all three, reviewers found each color blended in well with their interior decor and appliances.

The Mini has a textured fabric top and matte plastic bottom. Most agree that it looks nice, but some noticed it attracted a lot of dust. They further add that cats might view the smart speaker as a toy or scratching pad.

At first glance, the mesh fabric might seem like it’s just for aesthetics. However, it is touch capacitive. Tapping the top pauses or resumes play while placing a finger on the left and right side lowers and raises the volume.

Critics point out it’s quite sensitive. An accidental brush would change the volume or pause music, making it very difficult to move the device without making adjustments.

Of course, you can use voice commands instead of the touch controls to address this concern. Experts had no issue with the mic picking up commands. They had great results whether they were whispering up close or shouting across the room.

The “smart” part of the speaker integrates with Google Assistant. You can place free calls; stream music through Pandora, Spotify, and other music apps; integrate with an Internet of Things devices, like a Philips Hue; and even connect to a Chromecast and pull up YouTube or Netflix videos.

As a speaker, it’s not perfect. Reviewers weren’t expecting too much due to its small size. Still, many were impressed with how loud it was. They could hear it easily from the next room. And while sound quality wasn’t great, most agree that it was warmer and more natural than Amazon’s Dot. But don't expect much bass—the speaker is simply too tiny for that.

Unfortunately, if you want to improve the audio quality, getting the Mini connected to a better speaker might be more trouble than it’s worth. It does not have a line out jack and its Bluetooth radio only accepts incoming signals. It does, however, cast audio to any speaker with a Chromecast Audio dongle.

Perhaps the biggest drawback of the Mini is the lack of an integrated battery. That makes it far less portable and, for many, defeats the purpose of being tiny in the first place.

While the Mini offers a great price, good smart capabilities, and a decent speaker for its size, most still suggest the Dot as it offers more services and products. Still, they add that it is a good choice for those who are already invested in the Google ecosystem. CNet states, “... for all of its strength, the Mini isn’t the silver bullet that Google needs to stop Alexa’s momentum.” What Hi-Fi adds, “While it’s not quite the perfect experience, it’s hard to complain too much... just don't expect it to be a top-notch music speaker.”

Critic Reviews


Notebookcheck

A very good-looking, well-made smart speaker

from Notebookcheck

Elegant with fast and very precise voice recognition: The Google Home Mini is a nice smart speaker. The sound quality is good for this price, as well, but device control only works with compatible devices.

Read full review

Elegant with fast and very precise voice recognition: The Google Home Mini is a nice smart speaker. The sound quality is good for this price, as well, but device control only works with compatible devices.

Read full review

Less

Gearburn

A capable yet cheap smart speaker

from Gearburn

The Google Home Mini isn’t flawless, owing to a dearth of developer support compared to Amazon, the inability to drill down for hyper-specific commands and odd design choices). But for US$50 or less, it’s an ideal introduction to the world of smart speakers.

Read full review

The Google Home Mini isn’t flawless, owing to a dearth of developer support compared to Amazon, the inability to drill down for hyper-specific commands and odd design choices). But for US$50 or less, it’s an ideal introduction to the world of smart speakers.

Read full review

Less

Phonedog

Absolutely worth it

from Phonedog

While it features a mediocre speaker, the main reason you should consider buying one is for the Google Assistant. The Assistant can play music, cast entertainment to you TV, answer questions, and more, and since it works via the cloud, its functionality is always expanding.

Read full review

While it features a mediocre speaker, the main reason you should consider buying one is for the Google Assistant. The Assistant can play music, cast entertainment to you TV, answer questions, and more, and since it works via the cloud, its functionality is always expanding.

Read full review

Less

Know Your Mobile

An ideal option for the AI-curious

from Know Your Mobile

For the price, it’s pretty much impossible not to like the Google Home Mini. It’s a smart piece of technology that delivers tons of value. If you’re interested in dipping your toe in the pool that is AI, this is probably the best place to start.

Read full review

For the price, it’s pretty much impossible not to like the Google Home Mini. It’s a smart piece of technology that delivers tons of value. If you’re interested in dipping your toe in the pool that is AI, this is probably the best place to start.

Read full review

Less

Android Headlines

Your assistant in every room

from Android Headlines

With the best voice recognition on the market, personalized results for everything you can think of, exclusive games and experiences, Bluetooth HD audio connection and multi-room playback to name just a few of its positive points, the Google Home Mini is a must buy for every house.

Read full review

With the best voice recognition on the market, personalized results for everything you can think of, exclusive games and experiences, Bluetooth HD audio connection and multi-room playback to name just a few of its positive points, the Google Home Mini is a must buy for every house.

Read full review

Less

iPhone in Canada

Small and mighty

from iPhone in Canada

The point of Google Home Mini is to have Google Assistant at your beck and call. It’s great for getting the news, short bursts of music, the weather and other tidbits of information when your hands are busy (like setting a timer). I found myself using it more often than Siri (who actually u...More

The point of Google Home Mini is to have Google Assistant at your beck and call. It’s great for getting the news, short bursts of music, the weather and other tidbits of information when your hands are busy (like setting a timer). I found myself using it more often than Siri (who actually uses Siri?) in the office, despite always having my iPhone and Apple Watch with me.

Read full review

Less

Pocket-lint

Great voice-assistant, not-so-great speaker

from Pocket-lint

Home Mini isn't designed as a speaker for music, though. Sure, it has a speaker, and can connect to music services, but it doesn't sound that great. But then it's not supposed to: Mini is all about voice-control and expanding the system around your home. And on that front, it achieves exactly what it sets out to do.

Read full review

Home Mini isn't designed as a speaker for music, though. Sure, it has a speaker, and can connect to music services, but it doesn't sound that great. But then it's not supposed to: Mini is all about voice-control and expanding the system around your home. And on that front, it achieves exactly what it sets out to do.

Read full review

Less

The Guardian

A brilliant little voice assistant speaker

from The Guardian

The Google Home Mini is all the functionality of a full-sized Google Home shrunk into a small fabric-covered pin cushion. It doesn’t sound as good, and isn’t as loud, as the bigger Home, but sounds better and is louder than Amazon’s Echo Dot.

Read full review

The Google Home Mini is all the functionality of a full-sized Google Home shrunk into a small fabric-covered pin cushion. It doesn’t sound as good, and isn’t as loud, as the bigger Home, but sounds better and is louder than Amazon’s Echo Dot.

Read full review

Less

Mobile Syrup

Pint-sized voice control

from Mobile Syrup

If you're looking for a device that's capable of controlling your disparate smart home products, then the Home Mini is a viable alternative to the more expensive standard Google Home.

Read full review

If you're looking for a device that's capable of controlling your disparate smart home products, then the Home Mini is a viable alternative to the more expensive standard Google Home.

Read full review

Less

Tech Advisor

A smaller footprint and a cheaper entry point

from Tech Advisor

We're clearly big fans of the Google Assistant, and any device that makes it more accessible to the masses is well worth a second look in our book. If budget was no option then the standard Google Home offers significantly better audio quality, but for most people budget will unfortunately come i...More

We're clearly big fans of the Google Assistant, and any device that makes it more accessible to the masses is well worth a second look in our book. If budget was no option then the standard Google Home offers significantly better audio quality, but for most people budget will unfortunately come into play should they wish to set up speakers in every room of the house.

Read full review

Less

User Reviews


Darn, there are no reviews yet for this accessory. Be the first to write a review.

Resources


Review Sources and Citations Share / Embed

You can share this accessory with friends or embed the reviews widget on your website.

Q&A Forum


No questions for the moment.

Videos