Google Nest Mini (2nd Gen) Overview: Even Quicker, Even Smarter
“Google’s Nest Mini makes an already good system even higher and stays the go-to choose amongst reasonably priced sensible audio system.”
- Fast responses
- Adjusts sound primarily based on background noise
- Eco-friendly supplies
- Reasonably priced worth
- Max quantity might be louder
- Identical look because the earlier mannequin
Whereas Amazon has made fairly a number of updates to its Echo audio system and shows, Google hasn’t been as fast to replace its sensible speaker lineup. Because the search big launched the unique Google House Mini in 2017, the corporate made quite a few updates to the assistant that powers the system, however they didn’t launch a brand new model of the speaker itself… till now. The Nest Mini (2nd Technology) is Google’s latest Mini Speaker. Releasing on October 22, 2019, the Nest Mini is meant to have higher sound, sooner processing, and different enhancements that present a greater expertise for the consumer.
We examined out the Nest Mini to see the way it stacks up towards the remainder of the pint-sized sensible speaker pack. Right here’s our full evaluation of the Nest Mini (2nd Technology).
Identical look, however few design enhancements
The Nest Mini seems nearly an identical to the Google House Mini. It’s 1.65 inches tall and three.85 inches in diameter, and it has a material design and the identical rounded form. The Nest Mini is available in 4 coloration decisions: Chalk, charcoal, coral, and a brand new sky coloration. We obtained the chalk coloration for our evaluation.
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The brand new Mini has a some enhancements in design over its predecessor. Though chances are you’ll not discover a lot distinction at first look, the variations develop into extra obvious throughout the setup course of. For example, there’s a small cutout for a screw on the again of the system that means that you can mount it on a wall. The highest material portion of the Nest Mini is comprised of 100 p.c recycled plastic, whereas the exterior enclosure is comprised of no less than 35 p.c post-consumer recycled plastic. The Nest Mini is barely heavier than the House Mini (181 grams vs. 173 grams), and you’ll really feel the standard of the craftsmanship once you maintain the Nest Mini in your hand.
Button controls, sensors, and ports
The Mini is powered by a 15-watt energy adapter linked to a DC energy jack, a change from the previous’s normal microUSB connection. Despite the fact that it could’ve been supreme to get USB Kind-C, provided that it’s unlikely for the Nest Mini to be moved continuously, it’s completely alright for Google deciding to go along with a proprietary connection. There’s no 3.5 mm audio jack to attach an exterior speaker, however there’s Bluetooth assist.
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The Mini nonetheless has a microphone off slider swap on the aspect, so you possibly can disable the microphone anytime. The quantity controls are capacitive contact buttons, however they’re now situated on the edges of the system — with accompanying embedded LEDs to point their placements. Once you contact all sides of the system, the amount goes up or down.
Manually controlling the amount isn’t all that essential with the Nest Mini although, because the system mechanically adjusts its quantity primarily based on the background noise within the room. We seen when there was plenty of dialog or the when television was taking part in, the Nest Mini would produce louder music and responses than when the room was fully quiet.
Higher sound, however once you put it subsequent to the Echo Dot…
The Nest Mini has 360-degree sound and the identical dimension (40mm) speaker driver because the House Mini. Nonetheless, with the Nest Mini, Google made updates to the audio tuning software program which might be assist to enhance the sound high quality. It’s presupposed to have two occasions stronger bass with out compromising on sound readability.
John Velasco / Digital Developments
Once we listened to the identical songs on full quantity, one after one other on the Nest Mini and on the Echo Dot third gen (which has a 1.6-inch driver), there was little question the Echo Dot third gen had louder sound and stronger bass. The Nest Mini’s sound was clearer although, and we may hear each layer of the music — clear mid tones, excessive tones, and bass.
In terms of voice detection, the Nest Mini is prime notch. It hears instructions even within the noisiest of conditions, and we really feel it outperforms the Echo Dot Three on this space regardless of the truth that the Dot has 4 far-field microphones and the Nest Mini solely has three.
A Quicker Assistant
Google added a machine studying chip with as much as one TeraOPS of processing energy to Nest Mini, which permits the system to course of instructions regionally. We completely seen a distinction within the response time, and within the high quality of the Mini’s responses.
John Velasco / Digital Developments
It shortly solutions particular questions like, “how a lot will it price to rework my kitchen,” after which it listens for and instantly responds to observe up questions like, “how lengthy will it take to rework my kitchen.” The solutions it offers have gotten an increasing number of helpful, and in addition, extra detailed.
A characteristic wealthy system
Google continues so as to add an increasing number of options to its residence gadgets. The Nest Mini could make free cellphone calls by way of Google Duo (it mainly acts as a house cellphone) and you need to use it as an intercom to name different Google/Nest audio system within the residence. Moreover, you possibly can reap the benefits of stream switch, and transfer content material (music, podcasts, and many others.) out of your Mini to different suitable gadgets together with your voice. Google Nest audio system can now management greater than 30,000 totally different sensible residence gadgets, you possibly can have the Nest Mini communicate a number of languages, and a lot extra.
We had been a bit shocked that Google waited so lengthy to replace its Mini speaker, but it didn’t make any drastic adjustments to the system’s general look. Partially, that’s as a result of they didn’t wish to repair what wasn’t damaged. Google made adjustments to the Mini solely the place wanted, sustaining the reasonably priced worth, with out compromising on design high quality.
Is there a greater different?
It relies upon. Some individuals might choose the Echo Dot third gen (retails for $50) or the Echo Dot third Gen with LED Clock (retails for $60), just because they like Amazon’s assistant Alexa or the Amazon Alexa app. Some individuals really feel the Google House app is just not as intuitive and user-friendly because the Alexa app. Additionally, Amazon’s Echo Dot audio system embody a 3.5 mm audio output jack, whereas the Nest Mini doesn’t provide one.
However as of proper now, the Nest Mini brings a sooner and smarter assistant. Sure, the Echo Dot comes with a slightly higher app and extra choices (extra speaker decisions, extra sensible residence product compatibility, compatibility with Apple Music, and many others.), however the Nest Mini nonetheless has so much to supply for individuals who get pleasure from Google House gadgets.
Need extra choices? Try our favourite sensible audio system of 2019.
How lengthy will it final?
Sturdiness and longevity are areas the place Google Nest audio system are likely to thrive. Traditionally, Google routinely makes landmark updates to its assistant than to its sensible audio system, and this permits clients to really feel assured figuring out their gadgets received’t instantly develop into out of date as a result of they’ll get replaced by an up to date model a number of months later.
Must you purchase it?
Sure. If you would like a strong, quick, and engaging sensible speaker for an reasonably priced worth, you received’t be upset with the Nest Mini.