Last month I received one of my favorite little gifts for my birthday in which during that time I didn't think I needed. I never thought I was would need to have a smart device in my home (because I am superwoman that's why!) but this little donut has become one of my most helpful tools in my house. Since I can't afford my personal assistant yet, Google Home Mini is the cheapest way to get into turning your home into a smart home. PSA: This is my own review and I was not paid or sponsored by Google. I literally want to share my honest opinion on a product that would make a great holiday gift for a reasonable price. Ok soapbox done, you can read on ...
First thing: The main selling point for the Google Home Mini is its price. It only cost $49. But this Black Friday you can literally get $20 off the price at major retail stores like Target and Best Buy. If you're looking for an easy way into the smart home, Google Home Mini is the cheapest way to do that. And yet it doesn’t feel cheap. In truth, if you have a Google Home, you pretty much know how the Google Home Mini works. And, if you don’t, it’s easy enough to figure out. Once you download the app onto your phone, it basically sets itself up and teaches you how to use it to ask for information, set timers and control whatever other smart devices you may have about.
Where do I use it: It sits by my bedside and has the main function of controlling my bedroom lights, turning Netflix on my TV, setting the alarm, telling me what the weather is every day and playing music while I work. As a stand-alone speaker, Google Home Mini is decent. It’s best for background music while I work or do chores.
How to use it: The Mini, just like the Google Home, is always listening for its trigger phrases, “OK, Google” or “Hey, Google.” Google Home Mini has a mute function, which will shut off the microphone. If ever you want to, you can flip that mute switch. Hey Google, turn on The Punisher on Netflix ... easy peasy. Google Home Mini has all the new features just like Google Home, as well, including the ability to make hands-free calls through the speaker, using your smartphone. So, if you’re busy working around the house and need to call somebody, you can do that, and it can show up as a call from your own number. If you lose your phone, ask Google Home to call it for you – on Android devices, it will even ring if your phone is muted. (It can’t override a mute setting on the iPhone.) You can also use Google Search as a sort of phone directory, to call the “nearest pizza place,” etc.
So, while Amazon may have a wider spread of products and Apple may pursues hardware excellence, Google’s focus is on function. So far, it’s working. There's probably still alot I haven't discovered yet with Google Home Mini, but for what its worth, it has become my little assistant around the house. This is definitely a must-have for that techie in your life without breaking the bank.