Google Nest Mini is Google’s latest Assistant smart speaker with a built-in wall mount
Google’s smartphone business has had mixed success, but some of its other hardware ventures have been much more successful. Take the Chromecast, for example, a product that has brought Google Cast, and by extension easy access to Google’s library of music and videos, to millions of homes around the world. The Chromecast’s success can be attributed to its low price and ease of use, making it an impulse buy that can be picked up by not only tech enthusiasts but also the average consumer. The Google Home Mini is another product that has been wildly successful for Google for much of the same reason, and today, the company has announced a refreshed model: the Google Nest Mini.
Like the Home Mini, the Google Nest Mini is a smart speaker with Google Assistant support. You can ask the Assistant questions about the weather, traffic, places, flights, movie times, and so much more. You can create routines to automate certain actions, and you can also control any product that integrates with the Google Assistant ecosystem. Finally, you can cast any audio to the device using Google Cast or Bluetooth, which is why the device is called a smart “speaker.”
Although Google is branding it as a Nest product, the Nest Mini is virtually identical to the Home Mini. The two devices are exactly the same shape with a short, circular design, and they’re also the same size at 42mm in height and 98mm in circumference. Both devices are also covered by Google’s signature fabric material which is overlaid on top of 4 LEDs in the middle. They’re both powered by a single micro-USB cable, lack a 3.5mm headphone port for audio output, have a mute switch on the side, support Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac dual-band (2.4 / 5.0 GHz), and support Bluetooth (though the new device supports 5.0).
There is one major design difference between the Google Home Mini and the new Google Nest Mini, however. Thanks to a recess on the back, the Nest Mini can be easily hung on a wall by attaching the device to a hook or screw. Google is providing a 1.5m long USB cable in the box, but you can always use a different cable if you need to place the device further from an outlet. You can hang the Google Home Mini on a wall using any of the third-party wall mounts sold online, but now you won’t have to spend extra money just so you can strategically add more Google Assistant smart speakers to your home.
Although the Nest Mini and Home Mini look identical, the newer smart speaker produces crisper, louder audio with better bass. Google claims it has 2X bass and a more clear “natural” sound. They’ve added a third mic to improve listening in noisy environements and a new dedicated Machine Learning chip with up to 1 TeraOPS to improve speed. In addition, the new speaker has a new feature: proximity awareness to reveal the current volume.
To get one of these devices into as many households as possible, Google is selling the Nest Mini for only $49. You’ll be able to buy the device in Chalk, Charcoal, Coral and a new blue “Sky” color. Pre-orders start today at the Google Store and the device will be on store shelves starting October 22nd at Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and others.