What you need to know
- Google will replace the aging Google Home Mini with a Nest-branded 'Mini' speaker this fall
- It will reportedly have better sound and a built-in wall mount for kitchens
- It will also reportedly have a 3.5mm headphone jack input
There's a good chance you own a Google Home Mini. While Google owns only a quarter of the U.S. smart home speaker market, the company's been practically giving away the $50 speaker for the past year, including it with everything from Google One promos to Spotify sign-ups.
Now Google, under its newly-consolidated Nest hardware division, is planning to give the two-year-old product an overhaul. According to a report by 9to5Google, the Nest Mini will debut alongside the Pixel 4 this October.
The device's physical form factor will not be a major departure from the first-gen Google Home Mini. The Nest Mini will be roughly the same size — perhaps slightly larger — and still has much the same functionality. It's a small speaker meant to bring the best of the Google Assistant at a low, entry-level price point.
The update will include a more powerful speaker, which is a relief given the Home Mini's anemic bass; its quality was handily supplanted by the third-generation Echo Dot last year.
The Nest Mini will also reportedly include a built-in wall mount, to easily affix the speaker vertically to any flat surface, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack that could facilitate aux-in or out, depending on the purpose. Google's speakers have been criticized for forcing external sources to connect via Bluetooth or over Cast, whereas Amazon's Dot speakers have had auxiliary inputs for years.
Finally, the speaker should also have some sort of "proximity awareness," according to the report. Given its lack of camera or screen, it's unclear how this would work, but an approaching person could prompt the Nest Mini to wake up and automatically start listening, negating the need for them to say, "Hey Google."
If the Nest Mini retains its predecessor's $50 price (which has since been discounted by half during most shopping holidays), would you buy it? Let us know in the comments!
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Google's aging Home Mini speaker is the cheapest and easiest way to get full access to the Google Assistant anywhere in your home. For now.
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