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?

Affiliate Disclosure: CNET may get a commission from retail offers.
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.

Videos / Photos

model 2nd Generation, Black
  • Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation, White)
    Amazon Echo Dot - 2nd Generation, White 5578864 $14

Specs / Prices

model Charcoal
  • Google Home Mini (Chalk)
    Google Home Mini - Chalk ga00210 $49
  • Google Home Mini (Coral)
    Google Home Mini - Coral ga00217 $49
$40
$49
Speaker System
microphone Integrated Components microphone
active Amplification Type active
integrated Audio Amplifier integrated
wireless Connectivity Technology wireless
Audio System
smart speaker Type smart speaker
Power Device
AC power adapter Power Source AC power adapter
Header
Amazon Brand Google
Amazon Product Line Google
Echo Dot Model Home Mini
1 Packaged Quantity 1
Network & Internet Multimedia
Bluetooth, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n Connectivity Interfaces IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Miscellaneous
black Color charcoal
black Color Category black
Speaker System Details
Bluetooth, Smart Speaker Type Smart
Connections
audio line-out Type USB
mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm Connector Type 5 pin Micro-USB Type B
Internet of Things (IoT)
Yes Internet of Things (IoT) Compatible Yes
Bluetooth, WiFi Communications Technology WiFi
Alexa Intelligent Assistant Compatible Google Assistant
direct Voice Controlled direct
Dimensions & Weight
1.3 in Height 1.7 in
3.3 in Diameter 3.9 in
5.75 oz Weight 6.1 oz

More VS