Meet the Google Home Mini, a $49 Amazon Echo Dot Alternative

Don't expect big sound out of the new Google Home Mini - the diminutive size means this is more focused on being a voice assistant than being a killer speaker. Aside from the Google Home we got back in 2016, we now also have the Google Home Mini, which offers all the features of the regular Google Home in a way smaller package, and the Google Home Max, which has full-blown stereo speakers for an enhanced listening experience.

The front of the Max is covered in the same fabric as the Home Mini, though the coral color will not be available.

Both the devices are part of the Google Home product portfolio thus featuring Google Assistant support and will have all the features and functionalities that was featured in the earlier Google Home speaker. This compact device projects 360 degree sound and makes use of far-field microphones.

When is the Google Home Max release date?

The device costs $49, and is available on October 19 - you can pre-order it starting today. Google says the speaker will, by default, play a little quieter first thing in the morning (but of course you can override this if you need waking up a little more urgently).

Design and Display

Google is selling the Home Max for nearly US$400, US$50 more than the HomePod.

Perhaps the most intriguing new feature is Smart Sound.

Better still, the hands-free calling feature that was only available in the U.S. and Canada is now coming to the United Kingdom, too.

When it comes to audio, the Google Home Mini boasts a 360 degree speaker which is tuned for voice rather than music. Users can simply tap on the earbud to trigger the Google Assistant or change the track. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, Google claims the speaker can automatically adjust its output to its surroundings in a matter of seconds. You won't be able to swap colours or buy different base textures like you can with the regular Home. This feature is powered by Google AI and the speaker now supports music services like Spotify and YouTube Music. One phrase will basically be able to turn on the lights, roll up a window shade, read the news for you and even start boiling water.

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