Photos of Google's Home Mini update leaked out just yesterday, rather dampening the excitement for today's official announcement, but the Nest Mini is now official. As expected, it appears almost identical to the model originally released in 2017, except for a handy wall mount hole on the bottom. The price is a familiar $49 (£49/€59).
Although it may look like little has changed, the Nest Mini apparently offers better audio than before, with 2x stronger bass for a "richer and more natural sound." Another upgrade is something we saw hinted at in a Google Home app update long ago — ultrasound for proximity detection. With this feature enabled, Nest Mini will light up its volume controls when you approach it, which is pretty neat. There's also a dedicated machine learning chip on board with one TeraOPS of computing power to make it even more helpful. Apart from that, it will work in much the same way as the first-generation Home Mini.
A new intercom feature will let you speak to any Nest/Home speaker or display from another in your house, or from your phone if you happen to be out — think of it as an extension to the pre-existing broadcast capability. Google Duo audio calls also came to Home and Nest speakers recently.
Three of the four color options for the Nest Mini will come as no surprise — Chalk, Charcoal, and Coral — but there is a fresh light blue hue, dubbed Sky. And the "fabric" cover is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, which is a nice touch.
You can pre-order Nest Mini from the Google Store today, and it'll be available for purchase from October 22, costing $49 (£49/€59). To begin with, it will go on sale in the following 22 countries, according to the Google support site:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States (except Puerto Rico).
Play/pause top touch control is back
For those of you wondering, there is a play/pause capacitive button in the middle of the Nest Mini is, as well as the volume up and down buttons on the side. Some of you may remember that Google had to permanently disable that button on the Google Home Mini because of a bug that would cause it to record voice audio constantly — something our very own Artem discovered. Thankfully, the new Nest Mini reinstates this helpful input.
2x stronger bass
Google had previously claimed that the new Nest Mini has 40% stronger bass compared to the first generation Home Mini. This has now been updated on the Google Store to state "2x stronger bass." That's likely because Decibel isn't a linear scale of loudness. It could be that the dB number is 40% bigger, but the perceived loudness is twice as much.
Left: Previous Google Store listing. Right: Updated listing.
For more information, see Google's blog post.