Google Home Mini joined the race of smart speakers back in 2017 and, stands tall as the obvious choice for seniors with disabilities and their caregivers. Despite its diminutive size, Google Hub Mini does pretty much everything its larger sibling can, hooking into the smart home network and drawing on Google Assistant to answer questions. It can also play ‘Shape of You’ from Google Play Music or Spotify, and does so without the heft of the Google Max smart speaker.
Design and Build
Available in white Aqua (turquoise), Chalk (light gray), Charcoal (dark gray) and Coral ( red-pink), the dinky device fits in any room, no matter how the interior is decorated. Boasting a hockey-puck style, it has minimal buttons and connections; just a mute microphone switch at the back. Touch controls on Google Home Hub Mini act as audio control as well; just tap on top of the device to play, pause or resume the music. And lastly, it has four LEDs on its top to respond to the voice or touch.
Features, Sound & Control
The icing on the cake is, of course, Google Assistant, just as it is on Google Home. But don’t expect Mini to be as smart as the original Google Home. Consider it as a perfect pair for Google Home Hub with Google Assistant. Mini has one Micro-USB port on the back, well recessed into the plastic casing. And, just over an inch to the left of it is the control for disabling voice detection.
For such a tiny piece, it’s pretty loud and supports HE-AAC and LC-AAC audio formats. Perfect to hear daily podcasts, weather forecast, news, what’s coming up on the calendar and much more besides. Tap on either side of Mini to turn the volume up or down; tap in the middle to pause or play, or press and hold to get the mighty Assistant.
- The Mini can make calls to landlines and mobiles – a lifesaver during an emergency.
- If there’s a Chromecast on the home network, then the Mini can cast photos, YouTube Videos, favorite Netflix series, or content from Google Play Movies & TV, up on the big screen with a voice command. Hours of entertainment guaranteed!
- It even plays music, too: YouTube Music, Spotify, Deezer, etc. can be linked up, via the Google Home app. It’s even possible to set up two Minis as a stereo pair.
- If the elderly parent or grandparent is struggling with vision impairments that make it reading impossible, or they just prefers to listen to them, purchase audio books through the Google Play and stream through the Mini.
- Then there is a growing number of devices that work with Assistant, from Philips Hue bulbs to Nest smart thermostats.
- It’s a great help around the home. Google Hub Mini also makes it possible to group devices (to turn on and off all lights at home, for example).
Google Hub Mini: Setting up
To get started, power it up by plugging into an outlet. It will start looking for the phone after lighting up. Download the Google Home app on Android or iOS phone, then tap and talk your way through privacy settings, voice commands and more. Be sure to set the location of the Google Home Hub Mini, as it is mandatory to get the accurate weather forecast, traffic alerts or commute times.
If a voice match for Google Assistant is already set up, it can be transferred over to the Google Hub Mini.
The Mini smart speaker is the perfect choice for caregivers who’re looking for a smart Google Home Hub with Google assistant. It is small and almost cheap enough that one may end up buying one for every room.