Nest Mini: Say hello to the newest (and smallest) Google Assistant smart speaker

The Google Home Mini gets a new name with its second generation. Here's what we learned about the $49 Nest Mini at Google's Pixel event.

Molly Price Former Editor
2 min read
Sarah Tew/CNET

Google announced a new small smart speaker, the Nest Mini, on Tuesday at the company's Made by Google '19 event in New York. The Google Home Mini was released in 2017, a smaller, more affordable speaker than the Google Home that came before it. With all the same Google Assistant capabilities and a more affordable $49 price, the Google Home Mini proved to be one of Google's best sellers. 

Our full Nest Mini review: Google's smallest smart speaker keeps getting better

The new version of its smallest smart speaker is called the Nest Mini, as Google moves toward a Nest-branded line of smart home devices that includes the Nest Hello, Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max

Watch this: New Nest Mini promises better sound, smarter features

The Nest Mini will also be $49 (£49, AU$79), and is available for preorder today and in stores in the US and other countries on Oct. 22. While the Home Mini and the new Nest Mini look nearly identical at first glance, there are a handful of important updates. 

Google added sky blue to your color options for the Nest Mini, in addition to coral, chalk and charcoal. The fabric on the top looks and feels similar to Home Mini, but it's made from 100% recycled plastic.

On the back of the Nest Mini, there's a wall mount hook, so you can hang the speaker on the wall instead of setting it on a table or countertop.

Inside, the Nest Mini boasts a brand new speaker, which Google says will put out twice the bass of the Home Mini. There's also a faster processor and a machine learning, or "ML" chip. 

That chip helps Google Assistant learn, anticipate and recommend commands that you use frequently, like turning on the lights or setting an alarm. The speaker will begin to remember those commands, store them locally and execute them.

There are three microphones on this speaker, one more than the Home Mini, and they work with something Google calls Ultrasound Sensing. The speaker emits tiny inaudible chirps, which then bounce off objects in the environment, reflect back to the microphones and tell the device if someone is near.

Hover your hand above the Nest Mini and two new LED lights will illuminate on each side of the speaker, indicating where to tap for volume adjustment. Pause and play touch controls are on the top. 

Promising better sound and more features than the Google Home Mini, the Nest Mini could prove an even better value than its predecessor. Stay tuned as we test out the Nest Mini in the CNET Smart Home. 

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