Google Nest Mini vs. Google Home Mini

While Google Home is a full-size device, two smaller versions are available: The Nest Mini and Google Home Mini. They share the traits of being Google Assistant and when they are small in size, they do not lack functionality. Both the Nest Mini and Home Mini can play music, update Google apps, respond to voice commands, and more. So what makes these two different is that they are separate products? Read on to find out.

For more information on when is the best time to buy, take a look at our guide, along with our guide to the latest Black Friday sales of the season, as well as our Google Home deals.

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Pricing and availability

In many ways, the Nest Mini was intended to be a replacement for the Home Mini with some significant upgrades and renewed focus on the “Nest” brand and the data security it provides. Since the Home Mini is basically an older version, it is available for $ 40 or less, while the Nest Mini is available for $ 50. It also compares to competing products, such as Amazon’s 3-generation Echo Dot, which sells for $ 50.

Is the extra cash for the Nest Mini worth it? Given the sound correction and built-in wall-mounting options, we certainly think so.

The design

Google nest mini side angle on the wall
John Velasco /

The Home Mini is a small disc included in the cloth. The top of the disc uses three LED dots to communicate tasks such as running, listening, or starting setup. You can tap the Mini’s edges to change the volume, stop a process, or mute. However, this can be a bit tricky as they are not properly marked – often requiring multiple taps before they are found. There is a small mic switch at the bottom to completely turn off the mic as required. The Mini comes in many different color options, including dark blue and orange.

At first glance, the Nest Mini looks like the only one. It is very small (so slight, it’s hard to tell), and comes in slightly different color options. The model also has an integrated wall mount, where the Home Mini is required to purchase a wall mount accessory. Touch controls on either side of the device and LED lights at the top work the same way in both models.

We will also note that factory resets differ between the two devices. For the Home Mini, just below the power cord is a small factory reset button that you hold down for 10 seconds. The Nest Mini does not have this button. Instead, you turn the mic off, then hold down the center of the speaker when the LED lights turn orange, and hold for 10 seconds. If you are resetting, do not confuse these two different processes.

Smart home control

Google Home Mini
Julian Chokkattu /

Since Nest Home and Home Mini both use Google Assistant to control smart devices, they have the same functionality: anyone working on Google Assistant will work for the device. Both can connect and control multiple smart devices around the home, both can run on Android or iOS, and there is no appreciable difference here.

Google remodeled its works with the Nest program a year ago, and many smart devices lost compatibility as a result. Google replaced the old program with a strict task that has Google Assistant version (with a focus on privacy), and is gradually building compatibility with new smart devices. You can find more information about new programs and device compatibility.

Speakers and sound

The Home Mini has a 40 mm driver for sound, around the same size found in larger headphones. This is a significant decrease in accessibility and quality of sound compared to larger Bluetooth speakers such as Google Home. Unfortunately, this version of the Home Mini only has a micro-USB port for power, so you’ll need Bluetooth wireless headphones to connect it (at which point, you can only connect to your computer). It is not really designed as a music-playing machine.

Here we are Nest Mini, one of the biggest differences with the speaker upgrade. The Nest Mini still has a 40mm driver, but Google reports that it redesigned the sound system to provide bass that is twice as strong as the original model before. It is difficult to determine when the specs are the same, but there is notable sound improvement. However, neither model will be able to get close to the level of performance that a full smart speaker can reach, so they are not great for room-wide music. The Nest Mini, however, has an edge when it comes to information, reports, game hold, and other sound-related uses when the speaker will be close at hand.

Applications

Google Home Mini
Julian Chokkattu /

Nest mini and home mini serve the same purposes as smaller assistants for larger hubs. Use them in smaller locations to enhance your home system where a larger hub will be too much. Minis are mostly sitting at desks at home, in dorms, walking out of work areas, or at small counters where people will be working. They have no handy feature for telling time along with alarm clocks, but they can serve as Alarm clock Partner If you like a voice assistant in the morning.

You can also link two speakers together for stereo speech, which is worth watching. All you have to do is install the speakers together at a distance of about 10 feet. This works best if they are at approximately the same level. Then use the Google Home app to connect them together, and you’ll have a full, strong sound for a large room.

A few things to keep in mind for this arrangement: Only one of the speakers will listen to your commands, and the speakers must be of the same type to do the work. Meaning you can link two home minis or two nest minis, but not home minis and nest minis. This is one reason to buy the same model if you are buying multiple units.

The conclusion

The Nest Mini is the clear winner between these two smart speakers. It’s only about $ 10 more than the Home Mini and offers advanced sound, advanced hardware and a wider range of mounting options. Most homes will like the more robust features of the Nest Mini, but the Home Mini is a good option if you find it on sale.

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