Google is known for its ability to make extremely simple devices which perform great. Google Home mini is one such device. It is supposed to be the device with which Google is entering the smart speaker segment, which earlier was ruled by Amazon with its Echo devices. The Home mini is a direct competitor of the Amazon Echo dot ( read its review here ). I have spent some time with the Home mini, so let’s get into the review:
Google has always made its devices extremely simple to operate, and the Google Home mini is no exception. You just have to download the Google Home app from the Play Store, and make sure that the Home mini and your smartphone are connected to the same Wi-Fi, and follow the instructions given on screen. After that, you’re good to go, its really that simple. To download the Google Home app, click here.
The Google Home mini is made to help you control your smart home appliances and act as a hub of your activities. It is powered by the Google Assistant, and can do all the thing that Assistant is capable of doing. You can ask the Home mini question like ‘Who is Isaac Newton?’ or ‘What is 1 USD in INR?’, or ask about the weather conditions, or have it play your favorite tracks. It relies on the search capabilities of Google for most of its tasks, and we all know how much of an expert Google is at searches.
One thing that I noticed was that it did not have the ability to connect to my Apple Music account, or search for music on YouTube. It had only a few services like Google Play Music, JioSaavn, Gaana, and Netflix.
One major downside with the Google Home mini was that it did not have any battery, so it would only work when connected to a wall socket. This seriously limits its portability factor. It would have been nice if Google had given some rechargeable batteries in the Home mini.
One look at the Google Home mini, and you’ll see how simple and elegant it looks. It has a denim-like fabric on its upper face and hard plastic on its bottom. It comes in four colors, Charcoal (dark grey, that I have), Aqua (bluish-green), Chalk (light grey), and Coral (light pink). It feels very premium to hold and will look good on a desk or a table. There is a micro-USB port for charging, which was kind of surprising as a USB-C port would have been better. There is also a mic on/off toggle on the side of the device.
An interesting feature that the Home mini had was the touch controls on either side of the speaker. The touch controls could be used to control the volumes of the music or the voice. The touch controls were fun to use and extremely convenient.
Sound and Microphone
A speaker is supposed to play music, right? And that is one thing the Google Home mini does right. The treble and the mid-tones were crisp and clear. Even at high volumes, the Home mini did not let the treble sound shrill. Though, one thing that I noticed was its complete lack of bass. The lack of bass does take away the punchy factor from any song that you listen to. It also lacked instrument separation and there was a loss of detail. The volume gets sufficiently high, enough to fill a small room.
The microphone was extremely good at listening to my voice. It was even able to register my voice from across the room, and even while playing music.
The Google Home mini is a great choice for anyone looking for a good smart speaker under Rs. 5000. It check off all the right boxes, it sounds good, has a high volume, has a smart assistant, and a good microphone. The only downside to it being its inability to be used without connecting to a power socket.
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