The Good The Google Home Mini is a stylish-looking speaker with surprisingly strong sound quality. The Google Assistant is a capable Alexa competitor, especially thanks to its ability to search out detailed answers to a wide variety of questions.
The Bad There isn't much the Home Mini does that Alexa can't do, too. It also lacks a line out jack, and requires Chromecast Audio in order to connect with at external speaker setup.
The Bottom Line The Google Home Mini is a great device, and a no-brainer for existing Google Home users -- but it isn't the Echo Dot-killer Google probably needs it to be.
Sounds great but lacks vision
If you want something from the internet, you Google it. We've been doing it for decades — more than a trillion searches per year by Google's own estimates. Google is so good at it that it gets to be its own verb.
But then came Alexa, the virtual, voice-activated assistant in the Amazon doubled down with the , a much smaller smart speaker with an irresistibly low $50 price tag. After yielding Amazon a two-year head start, Google finally released the to compete with the Echo, but Amazon had already captured a commanding share of the market. Even more problematic — the Echo Dot had quickly become an even bigger hit than the Echo had been.smart speaker. People started getting what they wanted from the internet just by asking for it. Soon,
All of which brings us to October of 2017, and the arrival of the Google Home Mini. It's the product of a company that's still in catch-up mode, a verb that's trying to remain present tense in a category that's evolving rapidly. And, like the Echo Dot, it's a very good product.
Seven years in, Nest is finally hitting its smart home stride
Nest started out slow, but Google's smart home company is quickly picking up the pace -- and surprising us with a connected device for nearly every situation.
Nest's Hello doorbell, other new devices, won’t be sold on Amazon
It’s just the latest in the bitter feud between Google and Amazon over the future of the smart home.
Nest Hello doorbell and Nest x Yale lock go on sale today
Months after they were first announced, the video doorbell and smart lock are finally available to buy online.
A Nest temperature sensor is here at last, folks
Nest now has a temperature sensor to accompany its Learning Thermostat and Thermostat E.
Get ready to use Amazon's Alexa to send friends money
Software company Daon has developed a way for you to send money to other people via voice assistant. Banks may adopt the new tech as soon as this year.
Six Google Home routines are ready to roll
After teasing it for months, Google's first batch of routines is coming this week, letting you activate loads of smart home functions with one command.
Developers can now build custom commands for Google Assistant
A washing machine with Assistant built in could recognize commands for its specialized cycles.
HGTV addicts, rejoice: We're going to a home and housewares show
At the International Home + Housewares Show, which starts Saturday in Chicago, we expect to see a lot of new gadgets and appliances that could make your home life easier -- or at least more interesting.
Laughing Alexa gives Jimmy Kimmel interview, mocks humans
Commentary: After Amazon's assistant spontaneously laughs out loud, the late-night host asks her why. He suspects she might be HIllary Clinton.
Your August doorbell just got free video clip storage
August adds free 24-hour video clip history for Doorbell Cam and Doorbell Cam Pro customers.
Yes, Alexa is suddenly letting out evil cackles for no reason
What's so funny, Alexa? Amazon's smart assistant isn't telling. And it's got some people creeped out.
Nikon, Sony join startup Scenera for better security cameras
An alliance called NICE hopes to make cameras smarter and let you expand what they can do as easily as adding apps to your smartphone.