Google Home Mini was announced at the Made by Google event on 4th October 2017.
The new Amazon Echo-Dot like digital helper is a cheaper, smaller and a less feature-packed device over its larger sibling, the Google Home.
It was about time, too. The Echo Dot has so far been a fantastic alternative to those pricier digital assistants, and it has no real opposition until now.
Price and release date
The Google Home Mini comes in three colours: chalk, charcoal and coral. You won’t be able to swap colours or buy different base textures like you can with the larger Google Home.
It's available for pre-order right away and you'll find it available through other retailers on 19th October.
Free with every Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
Those interested in the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will be pleased to know that a Google Home Mini ships with every purchase made through the Google Store.
Here are the terms and conditions, from Google's website: "Limited-time offer applies to redemption of one Google Home Mini device, chalk colour only, with the order of a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL from Google Store in the UK, starting 4 October 2017 until 31 December 2017, while supplies last. After a qualifying purchase of a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, a promo code will be emailed approximately 4-6 weeks from the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL delivery date."
Also see Google Home review UK
What’s the difference?
The difference between the Google Home Mini and its regular-sized alternative? Well, aside from it being smaller and cheaper, this mini version scraps the high-quality speakers of its bigger brother, with the focus solely on Google Assistant. Still, it has a small speaker driver that will output sound.
The device needs a power adapter and isn't intended to be portable, just like the Echo Dot.
Thanks to Voice Match, you'll be able to set tasks and control smart home appliances around the house.
Better still, the hands-free calling feature is now coming to the UK, too.
If you'd like to control the speaker by physical touch inputs, you can do so by simply tapping or holding the side of the speaker to increase and decrease the volume. It houses a small speaker, too - useful for basic music playback.
The Home Mini looks very much like a small-sized Google Home device. It has rounded edges and a sleek design, which blends into living room spaces.
In terms of connectivity, there's dual-band WiFi with MIMO and Bluetooth. To power the device, you'll need to use the microUSB port.
At first glance, the Google Home Mini looks like a step in the right direction. We don’t all have £129 to spare for a digital helper, so offering a cheaper alternative at £49 is has been badly needed.
Whether or not the Google Home Mini will be a better purchase than the Echo Dot remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure they are bound to be popular.