+ Friday December 13th, 2019

After months of rumours and leaks, Google has finally announced their latest Assistant-powered smart speaker – meet the Nest Mini, a refresh of the Google Home Mini. It brings improved speaker quality and an integrated wall mounting feature along with a familiar design.

From the outside, you’d be forgiven for thinking nothing had changed except the name, but you’d be wrong – Google says it’s bringing the bass to the smaller form factor. Nest Mini provides what is said to be the maximum bass at any volume without distortion thanks to proprietary audio tuning software.

Nest Mini will also light up as your hand approaches, using ‘ultrasound sensing’ to illuminate the interaction zones on the sides. No more stabbing at the uniform fabric covering hoping to find the volume down button (and hopefully you’ll be able to stop accidentally turning the volume up).

Google has gone with four colours at launch – the traditional Chalk, Charcoal and Coral and an all-new Sky colour, apparently inspired by Lake Como in Italy. The traditional soft Google fabric cover is now made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, and the inner frames are 35% recycled, that’s certainly an encouraging sign or the future of tech.

Of course, the Nest Mini is packing the usual – and favourite – Assistant powers, from answering simple queries through home automation and streaming your favourite content. Nest Mini also features a new Intercom feature to make it easier to communicate across your house, between devices. Intercom will be coming to all Google Nest Speakers and Smart Displays.

Notably missing? The rumoured 3.5mm audio port didn’t make it into the Nest Mini, meaning it won’t be able to power your old speakers with Assistant goodness. With the Chromecast Audio officially discontinued, it seems Google has decided not to bring smart life to old speakers.

The Nest Mini will launch in Australia on 29 October for $79, and will be available from JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, and The Good Guys (and probably everywhere else that sells the original Google Home Mini). You can preorder one from the Google Store today.

Duncan Jaffrey   Associate

Duncan Jaffrey

Duncan has been interested in technology since coding "Mary had a little Lamb" in Basic on his ZX Spectrum. A fan of all things Android, most days you'll find Duncan trawling the web for Android news or quietly editing away on Map Maker.

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