Google Home Mini – Smart Speaker Review

I recently snagged the Google Home Mini smart speaker with a packaged deal on a Nest Hello (review coming soon!!). Now that we’ve been using it for a few months, I’m comfortable posting my thoughts on it. Check out my opinion on everything from unboxing to daily use below.

Packaging

I go into this with full understanding that Google isn’t really a hardware company (it pains me everyday as a Pixel fan…). I understand the packaging, etc. isn’t really the focus here. With this in mind Google does a pretty decent job boxing up the Google Home Mini. It’s nothing to write home about and I wouldn’t say I’m impress by the presentation, but it doesn’t detract from the product.

Hardware

I already told you my thoughts on Google hardware, so I wasn’t expecting much here either. Fortunately this is just a smart speaker. Google has the chops and know how to make something so simple and basic, so this one turned out pretty great. It’s aesthetically pleasing (if you like the look of a smart speaker) and yet has a subtle and basic feel to it. It’s really light, but still feels like it’s not going to shatter into a million pieces if you do drop it. I didn’t spend a ton of time examining the construction, but upon basic review didn’t find any flaws or concerns. It has a port for the power cord, a small Orange button (for mute) and a very well hidden reset button (didn’t even know it existed until I had to use it).

On-Display

My wife and I aren’t really smart speaker/high-tech everywhere type people. We are slowly starting to integrate smart tech into our house and while we appreciate the conveniences, we don’t want to be overwhelmed by these products! With this in mind, we were able to put the Home Mini up on a cabinet that makes it mostly hidden without actually being hidden.

Using It

Right out of the box this thing setup like a breeze, no issues. I had to reprogram it once due to changes in my WiFi and it hardly skipped a beat. It never seems to go offline (unless something else is wrong) and it handles communication impressively. I have a Pixel and the Google Assistant isn’t amazing… I’m now convinced that that’s a phone/mic issue. This little guy impresses with each query. After just months, I’ve got it setup to make calls, update my thermostat, lock the door, and more. It doesn’t seem to skip a beat with those commands and understands any random query I throw at it.

Honestly, my only complaint is that the smart technology behind the speaker fails every once in a while. Sometimes it doesn’t have a good response because of a complex question. As far as the actual speaker being able to understand me and respond accurately, Google has really crushed it.