Google Nest Mini 2nd generation (coral)

"Google's Nest Mini makes an already good device even better and remains the first choice among affordable smart speakers."

  • Fast answers

  • Adjusts the sound based on background noise

  • Environmentally friendly materials

  • Affordable price

  • The maximum volume could be louder

  • Same look as the previous model

This review was updated by Digital Trends editor John Velasco on 07/30/2020.

The Nest Mini (2nd generation) is the newest mini speaker from Google. The Nest Mini was released on October 22, 2019 and offers a number of improvements, including: B. better sound, faster processing and much more to offer the user a better experience than its predecessor. Similar to the predecessor, it is a wonderful entry when you finally want to go on board with a smart home. It complements the Google product range with previous devices such as Google Home and Google Home Max.

It is interesting that Google still sells its predecessor, the Google Home Mini, at a lower cost. However, if you crave something with more substance, you should consider Google’s current smart displays – the Google Nest Hub and the Nest Hub Max. We tested the Nest Mini to see how it did against the rest of the pint-sized smart speaker pack.

Same look, but only a few design improvements

The Nest Mini looks almost identical to the Google Home Mini. It is 1.65 inches tall and 3.85 inches in diameter. It has a fabric design and the same rounded shape. The Nest Mini is available in four colors: chalk, charcoal, coral and a new sky color. We received the chalk color for our evaluation.

Google Nest Mini on the tableJohn Velasco / Digital Trends

The new Mini has some design improvements over its predecessor. Although you may not notice much of a difference at first glance, the differences become clearer during the setup process. For example, on the back of the device there is a small cut-out for a screw that you can use to attach it to a wall. The upper fabric area of ​​the Nest Mini is made from 100% recycled plastic, while the outer casing is made from at least 35% recycled post-consumer plastic. The Nest Mini is slightly heavier than the Home Mini (181 grams versus 173 grams), and you can feel the quality of the craftsmanship when you hold the Nest Mini in your hand.

Key controls, sensors and connections

The Mini is powered by a 15-watt power supply, which is connected to a DC socket. This is a change from the Mini standard Micro USB connector. Even though it would have been ideal to purchase USB-C, since the Nest Mini is unlikely to move around frequently, Google is perfectly fine with choosing a proprietary connection. There is no 3.5mm audio jack to connect an external speaker, but Bluetooth support.

Erika Rawes / Digital Trends

The Mini also has a side switch to turn the microphone off, so you can turn the microphone off at any time. The volume controls are capacitive touch buttons, but are now on the sides of the device – with associated embedded LEDs to indicate their placement. If you touch each side of the device, the volume will increase or decrease.

Manual volume control is not required on the Nest Mini, however, as the device automatically adjusts the volume to the background noise in the room. We noticed that the Nest Mini produced louder music and reactions during many conversations or on television than when the room was completely quiet.

Better sound, but if you put it next to the Echo Dot …

The Nest Mini has a 360-degree sound and the same speaker driver (40 mm) as the Home Mini. With the Nest Mini, however, Google has updated the audio tuning software to improve the sound quality. It is said to have a bass twice as strong without affecting the sound quality.

Google Nest Mini on ledgeJohn Velasco / Digital Trends

When we heard the same songs one after the other on the Nest Mini and on the Echo Dot 3rd generation (with a 1.6 inch driver) at full volume, there was no doubt that the Echo Dot 3rd generation had a louder sound and had a stronger bass. However, the sound of the Nest Mini was clearer and we could hear every level of music – clear midtones, high notes and bass.

When it comes to speech recognition, the Nest Mini is top notch. It hears commands even in the loudest situations and we believe it outperforms the Echo Dot 3 in this area, although the Dot has four far-field microphones and the Nest Mini only three.

A faster assistant

Google has expanded Nest Mini with a machine learning chip with up to a TeraOPS computing power, with which the device can process commands locally. We absolutely noticed a difference in the response time and quality of the Mini's responses.

Google Nest Mini on the wallJohn Velasco / Digital Trends

It quickly answers specific questions like, "How much does it cost to remodel my kitchen?" and then it listens and immediately answers questions like, "How long will it take to remodel my kitchen?" The answers are becoming more useful and more detailed.

Try these new features

Google is adding more and more features to its home devices. The Nest Mini can make free calls using Google Duo (it basically acts as a home phone) and you can use it as an intercom to call other Google / Nest speakers at home.

In addition, you can use stream transmission and transfer content (music, podcasts, etc.) with your voice from your Mini to other compatible devices. Google Nest speakers can now control more than 30,000 different smart home devices. You can let the Nest Mini speak multiple languages ​​and more.

Improved voice match support

Did you know that Google Assistant can send personalized information to multiple people around the house? Google Assistant can now support up to six person voices with Voice Match on a smart speaker or display, so you only get relevant details that concern you.

Adjust the sensitivity of "Hey Google"

In busy or noisy areas, the Google Assistant may start up accidentally. If you want to adjust the sensitivity when the wake-up phrase "Hey Google" is spoken, you can now do so through the Google Home app.

wash your hands

It is more important than ever to make sure that you wash your hands properly, especially if the pandemic continues to spread. The Nest Mini offers a brand new feature to help children. They just say "Hey Google, help me wash my hands" and a melody will play from there for 20 seconds to give them an adequate time to wash their hands.

Find your keys

Isn't it annoying if you've left your keys somewhere at home while you're late for an appointment? Your Google Nest Mini can help you track them down using one of Tile's Bluetooth trackers. To track them down, just say, "Hey Google, where are my keys?" From there, Google Assistant reports the last known location.

Cooking dishes at home

Having trouble figuring out what to cook? With Google Assistant, you can get some ideas with the ingredients you already have at home. You can just say, "Hey Google, what can I do with flour, lemon, and sugar?"

Our opinion

We were somewhat surprised that Google waited so long to update its mini speaker, but didn't make any drastic changes to the overall appearance of the device. This is partly because they didn't want to fix what wasn't broken. Google made changes to the Mini only when needed to maintain the affordable price without compromising on design quality.

Is there a better alternative?

It depends on whether. Some people may prefer the Echo Dot 3rd generation (retail for $ 50) or the Echo Dot 3rd generation with LED clock (retail for $ 60) simply because of them prefer the Amazon Alexa Assistant or the Amazon Alexa app. Some people think that the Google Home app is not as intuitive and user-friendly as the Alexa app. Amazon's Echo Dot speakers also have a 3.5mm audio output jack, while the Nest Mini doesn't.

The Nest Mini now offers a faster and smarter assistant. Yes, the Echo Dot offers a slightly better app and more options (more speaker selection, more smart home product compatibility, compatibility with Apple Music, etc.), but the Nest Mini still has a lot to offer for those who like Google Home devices. It's also $ 49 online, a bit more than its predecessor, the Google Home Mini ($ 39). If you don't really want to save money, you'd better invest in the newer Nest Mini.

Do you want more options? Check out our favorite 2019 smart speakers.

How long it will take?

Longevity and longevity are areas where Google Nest speakers are generally successful. In the past, Google routinely makes important updates to its assistant than to its smart speakers. In this way, customers can be sure that their devices are not immediately out of date, as they will be replaced by an updated version a few months later.

Should you buy it

Yes. If you're looking for a powerful, fast, and attractive smart speaker at an affordable price, you won't be disappointed with the Nest Mini.

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