Hey My Nerd Birdies!
It has been a long time since the last tech article and so I thought I would kick start a wonderful series of reviews with a very small but powerful Google product. It had so much hype at its launch back in October 2017 but has also had its fair share of competition from the Amazon Alexa.
Despite battling out between the two smart devices I bought a Google Home Mini around a month ago and I have enjoyed its basic functionalities.
Using it in conjunction with my Google Chromecast, Spotify account and Samsung Galaxy S6 – has been faultless. Here is my review.
The advancement of voice technology is still growing on me. I can be honest and say I never use the Google Assistant function on my Galaxy S6 and so have always wondered whether I would find use in a Google Home Mini.
When it comes to commands though the game has changed. Where I don’t need to speak into my mobile phone to search something as I already have the device in my hand and obviously the time to type and search. I find it useful for moments where I do not have my phone nearby and no time to stop what I am currently doing i.e; getting ready for work. I can shout
out a command or ask for an update and get it without having to stop what I am doing.
I can say the following commands such as “Hey google, play MarzBarVlogs on The Den TV” or “Hey Google, play Spotify Playlist ‘2018’”. The bonus one with this is with multiple devices set up it still works smoothly and you can specify where you would like it to play from , The TV (Connected to ChromeCast) or The Den Speaker (The Google Home Mini Itself). I can even ask the Google home some basic commands to find out more information about the time or the weather but I managed to set up my place of work and home address in the settings section. So now I can simply ask how long will it take to drive to work, and it responds with the traffic info and approximate time.
Of course the Google Home Mini is not just all work, it is some
play too and you can have a little banter with it and ask for jokes to be told, a rap to be performed or even ask for ‘Yo Mamma’ insults. How handy is that?!
I just asked “Hey Google, do you lie?”, The response? “The only thing that should lie is a rug, or a dog if you tell it to”. Banter!
I even customised my shortcuts so that I can impress a friend or 2 by saying “Hey Google, I am in that kind of mood” and it begins to play a specific playlist from Spotify called ‘Love’ which has classic love and romance themed songs. Don’t judge me!
I have my PC hooked up to a decent Gear4 speaker system and my Samsung TV also has great sound quality. I own a Goodmans Retro Bluetooth Record Player and a cheap portable mini Bluetooth speaker so I am not in need of another Bluetooth speaker. However, I must say the Google Home Mini is very impressive for sound quality and plays the music quite loud. However I find the louder you make the speaker volume the louder you will need to shout if you want to change the song or volume via voice activation. Of course it’s beneficial for it to have such a good speak though when you want to pair it with your Ipad for example and control the music on Spotify when you have people over for some light music in the background. It works a treat with any paired Bluetooth device, even my PC.
Aside from the mic on/off button at the side of the Google Home Mini you have a touch sensitive gesture to the left and right of the fabric top to adjust the volume down/up. This is helpful especially if you have the music playing super loud and need to adjust it without voice commands.
The mute switch on the side for the mic is presented near the back of the google Home Mini near USB connection for power. I have it currently plugged into my mains. The pebble shaped tech is lightweight but doesn’t feel cheap. I have the coral Google Home Mini but it does come in other colours such as chalk and charcoal. I love the coral and if you are trying to go fro a splash of colour in a tech setup this does just the job!
If you are looking for sound quality that will blow your friends away then I would suggest looking into the Google Home Max which sports “Smart Sound”, an adaptive audio system that uses machine learning to automatically adjust sound output based on factors such as the environment (including placement and sources of noise) and time of day. Analysts considered Home Max to be a more direct competitor to other speaker products such as those of Sonos and Apple’s HomePod.
In part 2 of this review I will be exploring more advanced features of the Google Mini Home, the actual reason why I bought it in the first place. My love for tech is not based on the corny jokes it can tell me. Rather, I look forward to using it as a smart speaker to connect my devices and other home products.
In the next review you will be able to read my thoughts on light integration, appliance control, and smart tech apps. Plus much more.
For those who would like to know more about how to use the Google Home Mini Here is where you can learn all you need to know.