Google Nest Mini ups the smarts but keeps the cheap price tag

The latest budget Assistant smart speaker goes live

Nest Mini is latest budget smart speaker
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Google has taken the covers off its latest smart speaker, the Google Nest Mini.

The 2019 Mini follows in the steps of the Home Hub range, by adopting the Nest branding; it's obvious that Google is putting all of its smart home tech under the Nest banner - see the new Google Nest Wifi that has also just gone live.

But back to the Nest Mini, the design is pretty much exactly the same as the Home Mini, with that familiar fabric covering and puck-shaped form factor. That's a deliberate move from Google, with product lead for Assistant devices Ed Kenney telling us that it's a device that has sold in the "tens of millions".

Hands on: Google Nest Mini review

However, while the big changes are to be found inside the smart speaker, there are some nice upgrades on the build. Firstly, there's more LEDs up top. You now have a visual indicator on both sides to show where the volume up/down physical touch points are, either side of the familiar capacitive touch panel that sits front and center.

The fabric covering, while it looks the same (and indeed comes in the same threecolors as the previous generation) is more eco-friendly - made of 100% recycled plastic bottles. The green credentials of the Nest Mini on the whole are pretty good actually - 43% of all the materials used are recycled.

One tiny, but super useful aesthetic change is that on the back of the Mini there's now a screw mount built into the base, making it much easier to wall-mount the speaker.

The audio quality is noticeably better thanks to an improved amplifier. During our demo with the Nest Mini we were played a couple of songs and while a Mini should never, ever be your main speaker, it would probably be fine for a bit of kitchen radio action.

The Nest Mini packs in a new machine learning chip to make the Assistant quicker and smarter than ever, and there's now a third microphone up top, which makes the Assistant much less likely to mishear you, especially in noisy conditions.

The new Google Home Nest Mini costs the same as the previous model, even with all that extra tech packed in. So that's $49 for the cheapest ticket to the Google Assistant smart speaker party. It will start shipping on 22 October.

Stay tuned for our Nest Mini hands-on review.

TAGGED    speakers    google

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