March 23, 2018

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

05 October 2017, 12:47 | Yvette Williams

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Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL Price in India Announced

Google kicked off its hardware event today with a couple of new additions to its line of connected speaker products for the home.

On Wednesday, at its Made By Google event, Google revealed its second smart speaker device: Google Home Mini, a tiny version of Google Home. It sounds impressive in theory and doesn't disappoint in practice, though it remains to be seen how the speaker's automatic reconfiguration systems will perform in environments that are less controlled than Google's convention venues.

Following that, this year, Google could be giving out another bundle in the form of 2 gen headset and not Google Home Mini. Google says over 1,000 smart home products now work with Assistant. It comes in two colors: chalk and charcoal. If you're interested, here's hoping you're in the U.S. - the Google Home Max is a U.S. exclusive until "early next year" when it starts shipping elsewhere. It's hard to tell exactly how loud without more thorough testing, though the internet giant claims that the device is 20 times more powerful than the 2016 Google Home. The speaker has dual 4.5-inch woofers for better bass performance. Max also uses Smart Sound, an audio experience powered by AI that adapts to your preferences, providing spatial sounding based on where you place the speaker in the room, just like Apple's HomePod, which is also due out later this year. It has Cast functionality, as well as input via stereo 3.5 mm jack. You can change the orientation of the speaker to suit. "If I will say 'Play my favorites", Home will be able to recognize my voice and it will play my favorite songs rather than my sister's songs. The Google Home Mini is priced at the same $49 as Amazon's Echo Dot, though the company didn't mention package discounts like Amazon regularly offers when purchasing three Dots. That big ticket does include a 12-month subscription for Youtube Red, which would otherwise cost $120.

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New Google Home Max super speaker.

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. One thing's for sure: we'll find out very soon.

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