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Google Nest Mini launched in India: why is it a big deal?

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Google has discreetly launched the Google Nest Mini in India. The small, puck-shaped speaker is available on Flipkart for Rs 4,499 and comes to our shores a little over a month after being made available globally. 

Google's Nest Mini in Charcoal and Chalk
Google’s Nest Mini in Charcoal and Chalk

The Nest Mini is the latest in the line of Google Home products, a series of Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers in the vein of products like Apple’s HomePod and Amazon’s Echo lineup. 

The Nest Mini at a glance

  • Previously known as the Google Home Mini, Nest Mini is the second generation in Google’s line of small speakers with Google Assistant at the forefront. 
  • The Nest Mini has the same dimensions as its predecessor but is a little heavier. 
  • The Nest Mini has a durable fabric top made from 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles.
  • The Nest Mini has the ability to control compatible smart home devices.
  • It comes with all the features of Google Assistant. 
  • The Nest Mini features a 40mm speaker driver and has the ability to stream audio over Bluetooth, Chromecast and Chromecast Audio. 
  • It also has three microphones to help decipher your voice in loud environments. 
  • The Nest Mini also has a machine learning chip, to help speed up the Google Assistant. 
  • Charcoal and Chalk are your colour options at launch. 

The speaker also supports a variety of streaming services in India like YouTube, Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn and Wynk Music to name a few. 

What’s Warped

  • The Nest Mini has a better, clearer sound than the Home Mini.
  • The on-board machine learning smarts speed up Google Assistant response times by understanding your voice better over time. 
  • The Nest Mini can be paired with another Mini for stereo sound. 
  • With the built-in-wall mount, the Mini can take advantage of the wall for added resonance to provide clearer sound.  
  • Can be used to set up multi-room audio, if you have more than one of Google’s speakers. 

Besides the improvements to hardware, Google has made Assistant smarter too. For instance, you can set up Voice Match which can automatically recognise a person by his speech and provide personalised responses. You can connect up to six Google accounts to take advantage of the Voice Match feature.  

What’s Not

  • The speaker isn’t particularly loud when not mounted. 
  • For a few thousand more, Google Home is a better option. It’s available for Rs 6,999 on Flipkart now.
  • There is also no 3.5mm line-out for any wired connections, which is a bummer if you wanted to use those expensive wired headphones you just bought.   

So should you buy a Google Nest Mini?

  • Not if you already own the Home Mini, The Nest Mini isn’t a substantial upgrade over the original. 
  • For first time users, it’s a nice, cheaper alternative for people just dipping their toes into the smart speaker category. 
  • It also makes sense if you are heavily invested in the Google ecosystem. 
  • If you aren’t so stuck up on Google Assistant and all its snazzy features, then the Echo Dot Mini 3rd generation is cheaper
  • If you are looking for a small speaker that has decent sound and built-in-smarts, then the Nest Mini is perfect. 
  • If you are looking for a small speaker for a party, this isn’t the one to get. 

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