Highlight: Improved sound, faster response
Get it for: Rs 4,499
After the Home Mini, Google has now launched the Nest Mini and the second-generation smart speaker offers improved audio quality and competes with Amazon Echo Dot.
If you are new to smart speakers and the idea of holding a conversation with a voice assistant, then the Nest Mini can be considered as an entry-level option.
The Nest Mini is powered by Google Assistant and you need to talk to it by saying “OK Google”. It looks like a hockey puck and comes in charcoal and chalk colour options.
The device might look portable and handy due to its small size but note that it needs to be plugged into a wall socket since it is not battery-powered. There is also a hook to hang it on the wall.
You can talk to the Nest Mini to play you songs or podcasts, give weather updates and set alarms. You can also converse with the speaker in Hindi. The experience is similar to what you get while using Google Assistant on your smartphone.
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You can use the Nest Mini to control other smart devices too. It can also be set up as an intercom within your home and make calls between devices through Google Duo. Also, you need good Wi-Fi connectivity in your house.
When compared to the older Home Mini, the Nest Mini offers better connectivity and audio quality. The new version is faster and automatically adjusts volume to ambient sound. Google has deployed a dedicated machine learning chip in the speaker to learn commands and process them locally for faster response.
Having said that, the Nest Mini is not a full-fledged speaker in itself. The volume level is low. It is just a companion device which helps you get your routine job done by just talking to it.
As far as the debate between Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa is concerned, it depends on which ecosystem you are into and which one you find more personalised to your needs.
The Nest Mini is a cool smart speaker that you can play around or if you need a companion device to control other smart home devices then this one gets the job done.
(The writer is with gadgetsnow.com)