Google Home Mini Review – I might finally buy a Smart Speaker…

My feelings going into this video are no secret. I’m on the record and more than once as thinking that “smart speakers” like the Amazon echo and Google home are kinda cool and with the potential to be awesome in the future. But right now, not useful enough to warrant their three digit price tags. But what if 50 bucks got you all the same functionality? Introducing the Google Home Mini: as smart as the original, but at just thirty eight point five percent of the cost. And speaking of smart, only the smartest sponsors like ZOTAC support our channel. Their ZBOX PCs are great for applications like streaming and gaming, and feature Intel’s seventh generation core processors in a tiny form factor. Check them out at the link below. Design wise, the Google Home Mini nails it. It’s smaller than a donut, weighs only a hundred and seventy grams – that’s 5.99 seven ounces – and comes in three distinct colors. Unlike its rival the Amazon Echo Dot, Mini has no visible buttons, relying instead on a touch sensitive fabric top to adjust the volume and craftily stealthed indicator lights for visual feedback. Now, originally you could tap the middle to play and pause, and to hail the assistant without using your voice, but that functionality has actually since been disabled. Possibly forever, according to a Google statement, since some kind of bug was causing the Mini to record audio without you asking. That means physically, there’s really not much to it anymore. There’s a hardware switch for disabling the Mini’s microphones outright when you want some definite privacy and then next to it, a port for plugging in the power cable. Which is USB Micro-B instead of C. What!? I mean given you get a free Mini with the purchase of a Pixel 2 phone, it would be nice if the two products had interchangeable power cables. Maybe we’ll get that on the next-gen. On the subject of the power cable, no, the Home Mini is not wireless. Though, for some things that would be kind of nice. Even if the battery life sucked, being able to cart it over to the shower, or put it on the workbench next to you in the garage would be kind of killer. With the flipside being that it could easily get lost if the battery died between a couch cushion, and, you know, Google’s got to get that money, so they would probably much rather you carry your phone around with you, and then fill your house up with these things, anyhow. Speaking of, do I need to already have a full sized Google Home for the Mini to work? And, what’s the difference between the two anyway? As with the Amazon Echo, and the Echo Dot, the only difference is the size and the price. Oh, right, and also the audio quality. So how bad is that speaker? Well, the Mini’s single 40 millimeter driver emits equally in all directions, and, actually, my first impressions, anyway, is that the speaker isn’t that bad. The assistant’s voice in particular is full-bodied and clear. And as for music? There are only a handful of phones that I’ve used with what I would call “acceptable speakers”. Many of them are even discomfort inducing at normal listening volumes for me. But this is quite a bit better than that. The quality is more on par with, or even exceeding what you might expect from a laptop, and it’s surprisingly loud, so you could use it instead of your Bluetooth speaker. That is to say as long as you have a power plug nearby. And the experience gets even better when you link a few of these bad boys along with any other Google home or Chromecast enabled devices in a multi speaker setup now compared to my solo set up at home It doesn’t sound as good but it’s really cost-effective and the voice controls let you adjust the volume of the entire group or individuals without using an app even if you want to turn down the mini that you aren’t directly speaking to With all that said I wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to music on these Especially just one of them, but I don’t think Google wants you to do that anyway. That’s what the $400 home max is for we’re hoping to review that one shortly to evaluate its superior auditory experience Because we don’t have hands-on with it yet I can’t draw a conclusion But I will say that it would have to be pretty impressive because sound from the mini can actually be piped through third-party speakers Provided that big asterisk here. They are chromecast enabled or you have a chromecast Audio dongle for them because unlike the echo dot but like the pixel to the Mini does not have a three-and-a-half millimeter audio out Jack so that you could hardline at the old fashioned way This appears to be a clear cost-saving issue and is one of our biggest knocks against this product But enough about the hardware let’s talk about the software experience Along with the visting home features like using it as a voice remote for your TV, which is so? Super cool. By the way the mini is also rolling out some new tricks Broadcast is an upcoming feature that lets you send messages throughout the house in the assistance voice “annoying eagle is returning to nest I repeat annoying eagle is returning to nest”, so that’s pretty cool and Voice match lets mini know who it’s talking to. “Okay Google, tell me about my day. Good morning Alex, It will take you 45 minutes to get to work”, so multiple users can link their accounts and commands like Call mom will actually call your mom and not your roommates mom unless That’s what you were going for which brings us to the best new ish feature free Non-emergency calling within the US and Canada which came out about a month ago, you can call any local business or any contact that’s in your phone and The thing that’s actually New new is that now you can actually link your number to it so that phone calls Coming from the Google home will look like they are coming from your phone And it’s smart so you can speak to it naturally Some stuff that seems pretty obvious to me doesn’t work yet like returning your last missed call But other things that we tried worked surprisingly well like redialing the last number that you called or Hey Google, call the closest open pizza place, “calling Pizza Hut on 56 Avenue in Surrey”, and this kind of functionality Also syncs with your phone like if you ask Mini how to get to the aforementioned pizza place It’ll beam it over to your handheld device, and it works the other way, too You can browse for recipes on your phone And then send the one that you want over to the assistant with okay Google start cooking. Like anything though It’s not a perfect product, and we do have some complaints Google home still a year later, can’t send a text message “Sorry, I can’t send text yet” probably because they don’t have enough confidence in its voice recognition to send out messages from a device that you can’t preview them on yet, and This one is even more relevant to me: It doesn’t sync with G-Suite Google’s enterprise level product. So since my entire life is basically work And I use my corporate email account for everything This effectively means I can’t use it for my calendar at all So for you though, is this the smart speaker to get? I still need that work integration but for everyone else, man, since echo still isn’t available in Canada at 50 bucks, I Really, don’t see what you have to lose. This is a great place to start if you want to join the smart speaker revolution. And speaking of joining the revolution if you’re a small business owner, Fresh Books is The way to go. Fresh Books has changed the way that freelancers and small businesses handle their accounting, with their cloud-based software It’s a way to be more productive more organized and get paid faster So you can create and send professional-looking invoices in less than 30 seconds, set up online payments with just a couple of clicks to get paid up to four days faster you can see when your client has seen your invoice putting an end to the guessing games, and The whole experience is available not just on the desktop but on Android and iOS as Well so for an unrestricted 30-day free trial go to FreshBooks dot com slash tech tips, and enter Linus tech tips and the how did you hear about us section. We’ll have that linked below So thanks for watching guys if you disliked this video you can hit that button, but if you liked it say ok google hit the like button, or Just hit it with your finger it was probably faster. Get subscribed and maybe consider checking out where to buy the stuff we featured at the link in the video description also down There is our merch store, which has nope, underneath this one, cool shirts like this one and our community forum Which you should totally join

100 thoughts on “Google Home Mini Review – I might finally buy a Smart Speaker…

  1. For the people "saying product placement bla bla bla" I say if it is product placement. It's product placement done right. Great VID Linus

  2. I own the mini and i thought the music through it was pretty darn good obviously not perfect and bass like but still great. It felt like a premium device.

  3. My Google home mini is wireless and has a rechargeable battery using a special Base called the kiwi battery base

  4. I connect mine to my Bose Soundlink 2 bluetooth speaker. That's an old speaker that doesn't even work with the Bose app. Thumbs up to Google!

  5. My Google mini called Pizza hut during this video lol, I was shouting Hang up like an idiot!!! LMAO!

  6. Delete this Video, FFS you triggered my Google to call a Pizza place, – I mean seriously how stupid can you be as a tech reviewer, at least bleep out parts to keep us all from scrambling to stop the call, you basically knowingly triggered a call for the all the Google homeowners. Careless man, really careless #UnSub

  7. I might get one for my mum and dad, but it occurred to me that my mum would love it if it was built into a robot cat 🙂

  8. Why are these "smart" speakers so stupid when it comes to functioning as simple Bluetooth speakers? I got a Google Home Mini as a gift and I was annoyed it could only function as a Bluetooth speaker that with one single device that it was manually paired with over a WiFi network and Google Home app and there was no option to simply pair it with any device through a simple hardware switch without having to connect both objects to the same WiFi network (I simply didn't have a network available). I wish they would release an update where the reset button would also function as a Bluetooth pairing button if it wasn't held long enough to reset. Like "To pair a Bluetooth device, release now. To reset Google Home Mini, keep holding."

  9. Luckily I was able to end the call my Google Home Mini made to my local pizzeria before they picked up. 😂

  10. I use a Pixel 3a and was watching this and when you told Google to redial it actives my phone to "call the clothes"

  11. My Google home mini tried to call my local pizza place when linus said the command and I had to launch myself across the room to unplug it

  12. "Okay google, call the nearest open pizza place" Thanks a lot linus, that was a hell of an awkward conversation I had to have with my local pizza place. Disliked, unsubbed, and all that.

  13. I am never ever investing in a piece of technology that listens to everything being said, records and send that file to google themselves so they can analyse it.
    They can listen to people having sex, they can listen to private conversations, they can hear bank information and a lot of other shady shit.
    No thanks, google stays the fuck out of my home.:D

  14. i got 2 o these for 14 dollars yes im not lying walmart made a mistake and accidentally listed i purchased that as soon as a saw that

  15. I'm here because Google One offered me a free Google Home Mini with free shipping and it's coming tomorrow! If anything if I don't like it I can give it to to someone who does

  16. Spotify premium subscriptions (excluding student accounts) can currently get this for free. Makes it even more worth it.

  17. Just a reminder that you can get Google Home Mini, on sales, for 25 bucks!!!
    Now you even have less of an excuse to not get on board!!!

  18. Thanks for activating my whole house and calling a couple of people in the process! You shouldn’t say “hey, google” or “okay google” in your videos. What a pain in the ass it makes it to watch your videos.

  19. this video triggered my google home mini… can you please not say hey google in your videos? I had to frantically stop mine from calling the closest pizza place

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