The Google Home Mini may not cost much, but this tiny device makes accessing Google Assistant a breeze, and therefore all of your smart home devices too.

Hardware

Google Home Mini
The Philips Hue Go dwarfs the Google Home Mini. Pardon the dust…

This tiny, device is less than 4″ in diameter, and just under 2″ in height, so it really doesn’t take up any room at all. The cord has a lot of length, which has a plug at one end, and a micro-USB at the other. Many complain this isn’t USB-C, but I couldn’t care less since it’s just going to stay where it is.

The bottom has a vibrant orange padding that is soft to the touch, but has a solid grip too, so you won’t have to worry about this sliding around on your table.

The top is a fabric which comes in three colours; Chalk, Charcoal, or Coral. Mine is Chalk. Under this fabric are four lights which help show you when the Google Home Mini is listening, thinking, talking, and adjusting volume. Tapping on either side of the unit also adjusts volume control.

You used to be able to touch the top-centre of the device too to enable it to say a command instead of saying, “Okay/Hey Google”. However, Google disabled this in a software update to privacy issues.

When it comes to sound, I admit it isn’t anything to really rave about. It is very loud, clear, and concise. There’s not much low end in comparison to the original Google Home, so if your primary goal was good sound with music playback, I’d recommend opting for the larger Google Home, or even the upcoming Google Home Max over the Google Home Mini.

Software

When it comes to software, there isn’t a whole lot to say. It’s Google Assistant. It’s awesome.

On your phone or tablet, you’ll need to install Google’s Home app (Android or iOS) to set everything up. Once that’s done, you’ll rarely need to use the app again.

One tip I’ll share right away, especially if you live outside the US, is to keep the Google Home Mini’s language setting as English (US) and not something like English (Canada). I’ve explained this reasoning in a prior article.

Price

The price is probably the biggest pro to this device. The Google Home Mini is only $49.99 USD ($79.99 CAD). Compare that to the original Google Home, which had cost me $179.99 CAD. If you’re just looking for something that’s ready for voice command input to help you out around the home, this is a fantastic choice to get you started, or to add to other rooms if you already own the Google Home.