Google Home Mini is a basic $49 smart speaker
If you feel the regular Google Home is overkill when you just want to ask about the weather, you’re in luck: As rumored, Google has introduced the cut-down Home Mini. For all intents and purposes, it’s Mountain View’s take on Amazon’s Echo Dot. The puck-sized, fabric-covered device drops music-grade speakers in favor of a narrow focus on Google Assistant voice commands (including a Find My Phone feature) and, as you might imagine, a lower price to match. At $49, it’s competitive with the Dot and decidedly more accessible than the standard Home. Pre-orders start now, and it ships Oct. 19th to all seven countries where Home sells today.
Is it a perfect replacement for Amazon’s tiny speaker? Not quite: You can’t plug in a wired set of speakers, so you’ll have to stream to a Chromecast-enabled speaker (whether through an adapter or built-in) if you want music. You might also prefer the Echo Dot’s approach to on-device playback controls. The Home Mini is certainly more fashionable, though, and it’s the only real game in town if you want an always-on Google Assistant gadget at a low price.
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