Back in the summer, Google announced that we would be seeing Google Assistant-powered speakers this fall from a range of third-party manufacturers, including Sony, Panasonic, Anker, and Mobvoi. So far, only Sony's offering is available for purchase, but today Mobvoi is joining in by putting the TicHome Mini speaker up for pre-sale.
First announced at IFA 2017 in Berlin, the device is small and portable, with a handy carrying strap. It has all the functionality you would expect from an Assistant-powered device, essentially making it a Google Home that you can take with you as you move around your house. You can ask for news and traffic updates, set alarms, and ask general questions, plus it can be hooked up to other service providers such as IFTTT or Nest to control various actions in your life.
|Supported Languages||English, German, French, Japanese|
|Colour||Black, white, teal, pink|
|Size||110mm diameter, 43mm height|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi - Dual band 2.4GHz & 5GHz, support 802.11a/b/g/n, NFC|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 4.2 with Classic, High-Speed & Low-Energy|
|Mic||Dual mic array|
|LED||Arrays 4pcs RGB LEDs|
|Buttons||Action key, volume up, volume down, power key/mic mute|
|Battery life||Standby time (with Wi-Fi connection): up to 6 hours|
|Included in the box||TicHome Mini, Micro-USB cable, user guide|
Portability is the key selling point of the TicHome Mini, which should last about 6 hours on standby, although obviously less when playing music for long periods. It has an IPX6 rating which means it can withstand splashes, so you don't have to worry about using it in the kitchen or the bathroom. As it also functions as a standalone Bluetooth speaker, the TicHome Mini can be taken outside the home and away from Wi-Fi, albeit without the Assistant functionality. Mobvoi's TapConnect technology ensures easy NFC Bluetooth pairing through a simple tap.
I've been using a pre-production TicHome Mini (above) for a couple of days, and my initial impressions are fairly positive. The 3W speaker itself may be a little underpowered, but for a price considerably less than a full-size Google Home and with the added portability it might make up for that. It's certainly better than the speaker on my phone and I've enjoyed being able to easily carry it around with me as I go about my day. Check out my full review when it goes up in the next few days to find out more.
The TicHome Mini will retail for $99, but the pre-sale price starts at just $79. You can order yours today from the Mobvoi site, in either black, white, teal, or pink.