Review of Google Home Mini, a smaller powerful voice assistant at an affordable price tag

Google Home Mini

6 May 2018 OCworkbench

If you have been fascinated by Google Home’s power but the price wasn’t within your budget, the Google Home mini might tbe answer with a lower price tag and a smaller footprint that fits right at the corner of your room.

Google Home Mini is the answer to amazon echo dot. It is a speaker with microphone listening for instructions by voice. After configuring with your voice, you can instruct it by saying “Hey Google” and give it instructions.

Although you can’t ask it to make a cup of coffee for you but you can ask it for the day’s schedule by saying ‘Hey Google Good morning’. It will read you the daily news from SPH and other sources which you can configure.

In addition, you can create an appointment, play video on your chromecast tv screen, switch on/off the lights, streaam your favourite radio channel. You can also ask for the weather, traffic conditions etc. It can also help in maths and answer queries like “which is the fastest animal on earth”. You can also ask it to play light music before you go to bed.

Shaped in the form of a donut, it is so tiny that you can fit next to your bed. It comes in 3 colours – light grey, dark grey and coral red. If you are thinking of changing the fabric, it is probably not possible right now. On the side of the device is a mute switch which maintains privacy. There is mini USB port for powering up the device. As there is no rechargable battery built in, you always need to power connected to the device.

The speaker embedded is loud enough to be heard across the room and in the hall. Unfortunately, the device seems to have some difficulty understanding some commands. e.g. Tune in to 96.3 FM, sometimes it works but sometimes i would have to say play 96.3 FM before it work. Some other radio stations doesn’t work.

If you misplaced your android phones, you can ask Google Home to find your device and it will send a ring signal to sound it off.

You can also ask questions like “What is the share price of xxx company” or “What is the price of bitcoin?”. Sadly to say, it couldn’t answer the price of Ethereum.  It also couldn’t make phone calls like what Google Voice Assistant does on your Android mobile phone.

 

As the device is set to your Google account, setting the locale to your country is important as it will act slightly differently. For example, you can ask where can I find the best rojak or NTUC which is specific only to Singapore.

As Google Express is currently only available in the US, you can’t order groceries or food using voice yet. I am sure this will be made available in various regions when they tie up with the respective retailers.

It would be useful if it can recognise other language e.g. Chinese. It can only do translations but it still requires voice commands to be in English.

The Google Home also does not come with a rechargable battery. You need it to be powered by a power plug. You can use a battery pack to power it if you need it far from the power outlet.

In Conclusion, the Google Home mini is a nice add on for the family that everyone will have hours of entertainment around it.

The Google Home Mini now retails for SGD 79 at retail store.

Lazada has some retailers selling at a lower price. You can check it out here.

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