Google Nest Mini Review: Faster, Smarter


Nest Mini (2nd generation)

“Google’s Nest Mini makes an already good device even better and remains the number one choice among affordable smart speakers.”

  • Quick answers

  • Adjusts the sound based on background noise

  • Environmentally friendly materials

  • Affordable price

  • The maximum volume could be louder

  • Same appearance as the previous model

The Nest Mini (2nd generation) is Google’s newest mini speaker. The Nest Mini was released on October 22nd, 2019 and offers a number of improvements, such as: B. better sound, faster processing and much more to give the user a better experience than its predecessor. Similar to its predecessor, it is a wonderful start when you finally want to go on board with a smart home – and want to supplement Google’s offering with earlier devices such as the Google Home Mini and Google Home Max. The company’s newest smart speaker is the Nest Audio, which is currently in the middle of its lineup at $ 100.

What’s interesting is that Google is still selling its predecessor, the Google Home Mini, for $ 39. However, if you’re craving something with more substance, consider the latest Google Smart Displays – the Google Nest Hub and the Nest Hub Max. We tested the Nest Mini to see how it performed against the rest of the pint-sized smart speaker pack.

Same looks but few design improvements

The Nest Mini looks almost identical to the Google Home Mini. It is 1.65 inches tall and 3.85 inches in diameter, and it has a fabric design and the same rounded shape. The Nest Mini is available in four colors: chalk, charcoal, coral and a new sky color. We got the chalk paint for our rating.

Google Nest Mini on the tableJohn Velasco / Digital Trends

The new Mini has some design improvements over its predecessor. While you might not notice much of a difference at first glance, the differences become more noticeable during the setup process. For example, there is a small cutout for a screw on the back of the device that you can use to attach it to a wall. The upper part of the fabric of the Nest Mini is made from 100% recycled plastic, while the outer casing is made from at least 35% recycled post-consumer plastic. The Nest Mini is slightly heavier than the Home Mini (181 grams versus 173 grams), and you can feel the quality of the craftsmanship when you hold the Nest Mini in your hand.

Button controls, sensors and connections

The Mini is powered by a 15 watt power adapter that is connected to a DC power socket. This is a change from the Mini’s standard micro USB port. While getting USB-C would have been ideal, since the Nest Mini is unlikely to be moved around frequently, it’s perfectly fine for Google to go for a proprietary connection. There’s no 3.5mm audio jack to connect an external speaker, but there is Bluetooth support.

Erika Rawes / Digital Trends

The Mini also has a switch on the side to turn off the microphone, so you can deactivate the microphone at any time. The volume controls are capacitive touch buttons but are now on the sides of the device – with associated embedded LEDs to indicate their placement. Touching either side of the device increases or decreases the volume.

However, manual volume control is not essential on the Nest Mini, as the device automatically adjusts the volume based on the background noise in the room. We noticed that the Nest Mini made louder music and responses when we were having a lot of conversations or watching TV than when the room was completely quiet.

Better sound, but if you put it next to the Echo Dot …

The Nest Mini has 360-degree sound and the same 40mm speaker driver as the Home Mini. However, with the Nest Mini, Google made updates to the audio tuning software to improve the sound quality. It is said to have twice as much bass without affecting the sound quality.

Google Nest Mini on SimsJohn Velasco / Digital Trends

When we listened to the same songs in turn on the Nest Mini and the Echo Dot 3rd Generation (with a 1.6-inch driver) at full volume, there was no doubt that the Echo Dot 3rd Generation had a louder sound and had a stronger bass. The sound from the Nest Mini was clearer, however, and we could hear every layer of the music – clear midrange, high pitched, and bass.

When it comes to speech recognition, the Nest Mini is top notch. It hears commands even in the loudest of situations and we believe it outperforms the Echo Dot 3 in this area, despite the Dot having four far-field microphones and the Nest Mini only three.

A faster assistant

Google has added a machine learning chip to Nest Mini with up to one TeraOPS of computing power, with which the device can process commands locally. We absolutely noticed a difference in response time and the quality of the Mini’s responses.

Google Nest Mini on the wallJohn Velasco / Digital Trends

It quickly answers specific questions like: “How much does it cost to remodel my kitchen?” and then it listens and immediately answers subsequent questions like, “How long will it take to remodel my kitchen?” The answers are becoming more and more useful and also more detailed.

Check out these new features

Google is always adding more features to its home devices. The Nest Mini can call Google Duo for free (it basically acts as your home phone) and you can use it as an intercom to call other Google / Nest speakers at home.

In addition, you can stream broadcast and use your voice to transfer content (music, podcasts, etc.) from your Mini to other compatible devices. Google Nest speakers can now control over 30,000 different smart home devices. You can make the Nest Mini speak multiple languages, and more.

Improved voice match support

Did you know the Google Assistant can send personalized information to multiple people in the household? Google Assistant can now support up to six people voices with Voice Match on a smart speaker or display, so you only get relevant details that concern you.

Adjusting Hey Google Sensitivity

In busier or noisy areas, the Google Assistant may start accidentally. If you want to adjust the sensitivity when the wake-up phrase “Hey Google” is spoken, you can do so now through the Google Home app.

wash your hands

It is more important than ever to make sure you wash your hands properly, especially as the pandemic continues to spread. The Nest Mini has a brand new feature to help children. They just say, “Hey Google, help me wash my hands.” From there, a tune will play for 20 seconds to encourage adequate hand washing time.

Find your keys

Isn’t it annoying if you’ve left your keys somewhere in your home while you’re late for an appointment? Your Google Nest Mini can help you find them if you’re using one of Tile’s Bluetooth trackers. To find them, just say, “Hey Google, where are my keys?” From there, the Google Assistant will share the last known location.

Cooking dishes at home

Having trouble figuring out what to cook? The Google Assistant can give you some ideas using the ingredients you already have at home. You can just say, “Hey Google, what can I do with flour, lemon, and sugar?”

Our opinion

We were a little surprised that Google waited so long to update its mini speaker but didn’t make any drastic changes to the overall look and feel of the device. Partly because they didn’t want to fix what wasn’t broken. Google only made changes to the Mini when needed to keep it affordable without compromising on design quality.

Is there a better alternative?

It depends on whether. Some people might prefer the 4th Generation Echo Dot (retails for $ 30) or the Echo Dot 4th Generation with LED clock (retails for $ 40) simply because they have Amazon’s assistant , Alexa, or the Amazon Alexa app. Some people feel that the Google Home app isn’t as intuitive and easy to use as the Alexa app. Amazon’s Echo Dot speakers also have a 3.5mm audio-out jack, while the Nest Mini doesn’t have one.

The Nest Mini now offers a faster and smarter assistant. Yes, the Echo Dot has a slightly better app and more options (more speaker choices, better compatibility with smart home products, compatibility with Apple Music, etc.), but the Nest Mini still has a lot going for those who like Google Home devices . It’s also $ 29 online, which is one of those rare situations where it sells less than its predecessor, the Google Home Mini ($ 39). Investing in the newer Nest Mini is obvious.

Do you want more options? Check out our favorite smart speakers of 2019.

How long it will take?

Longevity and longevity are areas where Google Nest speakers tend to do well. In the past, Google routinely made important updates to its assistant than to its smart speakers. This way, customers can be sure that their devices will not be out of date immediately as they will be replaced with an updated version a few months later.

Should you buy it?

Yes. If you’re looking for a powerful, fast, and attractive smart speaker at an affordable price, the Nest Mini won’t disappoint.

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