Amazon Echo Dot VS Google Home Mini

Two of our favorite smart speakers, they offer all of the smarts in a more affordable package than the rest. But which one is the best?

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The Good

The second-gen, mini-size Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker is just as smart as the full-size Echo at half the cost. It boasts more skills and third-party integrations than its rival, the Google Home Mini, and it also includes an aux-out jack for quick, direct connections with external audio setups, which the Home Mini lacks.

The Bad

The Home Mini offers noticeably better sound quality out of the box, and Google Assistant is better at pulling from the internet to answer a wide variety of questions.

The Bottom Line

The Echo Dot takes Amazon's popular smart home speaker and wraps it in an ultra-affordable package -- but the Google Home Mini is a very worthy competitor.

Overview

The Good

The Google Home Mini puts all of the smarts of Google Assistant into a small and affordable package. The Mini sounds surprisingly good for its size and features a colorful design that can blend into your home's decor.

The Bad

The Mini's touch controls aren't intuitive, it doesn't have a line-out jack like the Amazon Echo Dot, and the built-in Google Assistant still doesn't have quite as many features as the Dot's built-in assistant, Alexa.

The Bottom Line

The Google Home Mini stands tall as one of the best affordable smart speakers out there, along with the Amazon Echo Dot, but it doesn't do enough to supplant the Dot at the top of the list.

Ratings

Design

The Google Home Mini looks less industrial than the Amazon Echo Dot, but the Dot has a line-out jack and a clearer LED to show when it's listening. Call this one a tie.

Features

The Mini has done a great job of catching up to the Dot on this front, but the Dot still works with more smart home devices and has more skills.

Performance

Both smart speakers hear your commands reliably, respond accurately to a wide variety of questions, and can tell jokes and play games. The Dot can hear you a little better if you're talking quietly.

Sound quality

Given the price and size of these smart speakers, you might be pleasantly surprised by how good they sound when they're playing music. The Mini gets the edge as it's less tinny and can hit higher volumes.

Overall

At this point, the two smart speakers are neck and neck, so you could prioritize either if you prefer Amazon or Google products. The Echo Dot still has a slight edge overall, thanks to its line-out jack and superior feature count.

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