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Smart Home

Google Home Mini is official, takes on Amazon's Echo Dot

After months of rumors, Google has officially launched a smaller version of its Google Assistant-equipped smart speaker.

The long-rumored Google Home Mini costs $49 and is available for pre-order now.

James Martin/CNET

The Google Home Mini is real. On Wednesday in San Francisco, Google officially launched the compact version of its smart speaker. The Google Home Mini will offer the same functionality as the original Google Home. With a voice command, you'll be able to talk to the Google Assistant to stream music, control your smart home, check your calendar, and search the internet.

The Mini brings those tricks to a smaller package designed to take on the popular Amazon Echo Dot. The original Google Home emulated the Amazon Echo, but Amazon has continued to dominate smart speaker sales, thanks to the smaller and more affordable Dot. The Dot also plugs into your speakers. 

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I'm disappointed the Mini doesn't have any extra physical tricks, but you'll be able to control any Chromecast speakers with a voice command, as you could with the Home. It'll be able to take advantage of today's updates to the Assistant as well. For example, ask Google to find your phone, and it'll call it. Your phone will ring even if it's on silent. You'll also be able to broadcast a message to all other Google Home devices in the house. 

The Home will be available in coral, chalk and charcoal colors and you can preorder it today for $49 or £49. You won't have to wait long, as it'll be in stores by Oct. 19. 

The actual Mini lines up well with the rumors we heard in the months leading up to today's launch. Walmart even leaked a product page a day early. The $49 price matches the Dot, and the Mini will launch in seven countries at once. You can still control it with a touch to the top, and Google's promising 360-degree sound that'll surprise you for such a small device.

And the Mini does live up to its name: it's supposedly smaller than a doughnut and weighs less than a chipmunk. If it actually sounds good, and hears accurately, that'll be an impressive achievement.