Google first released its portable smart home assistant Google Home Mini in the fall of 2017. The smart speaker looks classy (better than Echo dot) and matches Echo dot with respect to the music quality. Initially, the Google Home mini did not have compatibility with some popular smart devices at the time such as Ecobee. However, manufacturers were quick to realize the potential of Google Home mini and started adding compatibility with Google Home. Now Google Home mini has a wider range of products other than Google smart devices that can work with it and deliver amazing smart home experience.
There is just so much you can do with Google Home Mini- setup alarms, put reminders, get the latest news updates, make phone calls, control your smart home devices, and much more.
Google Home Mini Review Design :
The design of Google Home mini has been completely covered with a plastic mesh covering. The mesh is actually conductive to your touch in a few areas. Microphone on the mini is quite good and can pick up your voice over ambient sounds like rain etc.
The design of the Google Home is also pretty nice, I think it looks better than Amazon Echo dot, and I also love that Google Home Mini is available in 3 colours including peach, chalk grey, and charcoal black. Though you can operate the Google Home mini with just your voice, there are few physical controls on the surface of the Mini. Tap left and right sides of the speaker to increase or decrease the volume, or tap and hold to play or pause the media.
And lastly, whenever you navigate with your voice or touch, the Google Home Mini will illuminate four LEDs on its top surface to show that your action has been registered. Moving down to the lower half, the Home Mini features a Micro USB port on its rear to provide power (this device is battery-free, like the Amazon Echo Dot) and a microphone switch that enables you to active listening.
Turn off your chrome cast connected TV:
If you have a Google Home and a Chromecast connected to your TV, you might be able to ask Google to turn your TV on and off. Firstly, your TV has to support HDMI-CEC, which lets the Chromecast send commands to your TV over HDMI, and your Chromecast has to be plugged into a power outlet, instead of getting power from your TV set (reason, if the TV was powered off, the Chromecast wouldn’t work). It’s a cool feature for those who meet those requirements.
The Google Home app’s settings to let you set a default video and audio source for when you ask the device to start streaming something.
Music and media playback:
Here you can hook up to a lot of streaming service accounts through your Google Home Mini such as Spotify, Google Play music, Netflix, Pandora, and Youtube.
Now Google provides the music service with no adds on youtube premium. I have used Google music so much so that it learned my listening habits and started recommending the music I like with great accuracy. It happened to me many times that Google suggested the next song exactly the type of song I listen to, and it sometimes surprises me by switching the language without disappointing me with its suggestion. With more usage of the Google Home Mini, the algorithms sort out the patterns of music you like.
Voice recognition and calls:
Google Home has voice recognition technology that can differentiate different people talking to it. This feature is incredibly useful if multiple people are using the same Google Home Mini. Based on the person, Google Home mini can provide personalized services such as looking up the calendar, checking events, and making phone calls from the contact list of the speaker.
Another feature is that when you make a phone call through Google Home, it can display your own phone number on the caller ID to whoever you’re calling. Previously, it would just display a random number.
Finding your lost phone :
Sure, Google can call anyone from your contacts list with a few simple commands. If your phone has disappeared, there’s no reason to waste time in searching for it. Instead, just give a command to Google Home Mini saying “OK, Google, find my phone.” Google Home Mini will ask a clarifying question “OK, should I call the number ending in XXXX?”. Once you confirm, you should hear your phone ringing.
If you have an Android, your Google Home Mini will make sure it rings even if you left it on silent mode. That’s pretty good.
Kids entertainer :
Google is adding a bunch of features, and “family fun” is one among them. These features are mainly designed to entertain your kids or help your kids play games. Google Home Mini can also understand and recognize your children’s voice, and it’s adding support for supervised Google accounts, known as Family Link accounts.
Equipped with a library of knock-knock jokes and animal noises, the Google Home Mini can provide your kids endless fun. You can ask Google to tell them a story, play a game, or beatbox for them. And with responses to commands like, “Hey, Google, what’s that smell?” they’re sure to be rolling. You can even now set character alarms for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Lego City, Lego Life, or Lego friends. All you have to do is say, “Hey, Google, set a Lego Friends alarm for 8 am” and your Google Home Mini will take it from there.
Choose a new voice :
Google has introduced a second voice option for the Google Assistant, which means you’ll also get to hear from Google Home Mini in a different voice (Male and Female sounding voices). Good on Google for continuing to offer the only major voice assistant that steers free of gendered names and descriptions. You can also change the slang and tone of the voice just by passing voice commands to it.
Final verdict :
Great quality product. Google Home Mini or Google Mini snaps into the frame securely, the plastic is well molded and doesn’t look cheap. An efficient product that is equipped with many great features. I loved this product a lot and it is also available at an affordable price.