So many people own a Google Home Mini thanks to many businesses giving them away as part of subscription or other deals. The problem is that it is not portable and is tethered to a powerpoint. Luckily, for those who want to take their Google Home Mini out-and-about Ninety7 offer a solution, a portable battery.
Earlier this year we reviewed the Ninety7 LOFT portable battery for the Google Home and while it was a great product the Google Home, thanks to it’s weight, is far from easily portable. The Google Home Mini on the other hand is a lot smaller and a lot lighter. The JOT battery from Ninety7 looks to be an affordable solution so when we got hands on it we put it through its paces.
The JOT is basically a cup in which the Google Home Mini sits. There is a shelf within the cup to allow you align the Google Home Mini power port to the one in the JOT. Along with that there is the same four battery life LED lights that we saw on the LOFT and a pair of “eject” buttons to help you extract the Google Home Mini when required.
The battery is a hard plastic that although plastic, is extremely solid and well constructed — weighing just 210 grams it is no inconvenience to carry around with you. There are the same four lights on the front of the JOT that we saw on the LOFT battery and although they give an approximation of the battery level of the JOT, with only four lights you can imagine that it isn’t very accurate: +/- 12.5%.
To charge the JOT just plug in the Google Home Mini charger to the battery and leave it for a bit. The battery is a 5000mAh battery and Ninety7 state a battery life of up to 8 hours. Assuming you are taking this outside to play music you will see a battery life lower than this. In testing we saw the battery life around the 4 hours mark as a routine — playing music most of the time on it. Standby time with some music played was 8 hours though.
The JOT is of course charged via the microUSB port, same as for the Google Home Mini, so can be charged with any microUSB AC adapter. For those who want more than the above battery life a portable charger will also work and was able to charge it up for me with no issues at all.
Connecting the speaker to the phones Wi-Fi hotspot just required me doing it at home before heading out into the wild — same as for the LOFT battery. It can be done remotely but is not easy and I required two phones to be able to do it.
What’s good about it?
So many of us own Google Home Minis. They are relatively cheap and for many an impulse buy. We have seen supermarkets give them away as well as newspapers as part of a subscription along with many other promotions. With so many in circulation the requirement of purchasing a new Bluetooth speaker is no longer required. You already have one, with Google Assistant integration. Slap on the JOT and you have a portable Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speaker that sounds decent with a half decent battery life.
Lightweight. At 210 grams the JOT adds very little weight to the Google Home Mini, making it extremely portable.
What could be improved?
Battery life was a bit less than I would have hoped for after the longer lasting LOFT battery for Google Home but with something so lightweight and small it is not surprising that it did not last as long. There are of course other ways to charge the battery such as a portable charger if you do need more life.
The four lights give a very general idea of the battery life left on the JOT — it would be nice if they could somehow make it more accurate.
Should you buy one?
If you do not own a decent portable Bluetooth speaker but own a Google Home Mini then yes you should buy one. If you want a decent Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speaker with Google Assistant integration and already own a Google Home Mini then yes you should buy one — it is cheaper than a decent Bluetooth speaker with Google Assistant integration.
For many out there this is a great idea, even if just for a speaker to use in the backyard while having a BBQ — add in the Google Assistant integration and you can control your smart home functions at the same time.
The JOT is available in both carbon (black) and silver variants and is available now for $59.95 from JB Hi-Fi, Amazon AU and some other local retailers. If you are on the look-out for something relatively cheap for someone for Xmas then this something I would consider.
Ausdroid is keeping the device to continue to monitor its use