Google introduces Home Mini and Max smart home managers
Google’s Pixel 2 launch event is today, and while the smartphones may be the focus of the show, Google also introduced a few new interesting devices. Google Home Mini and Max are coming to Google’s Home device lineup to fill some specific niches and, more importantly, compete with similar devices from its strongest competitors in the smart home business, Amazon and Apple.
First up is Google Home Mini, which looks like a squashed Google Home. The small device is obviously designed to compete with Amazon’s petite Echo Dot. Home Mini can connect to other smart appliances and devices, much like its big brother. However, Home Mini has a distinct advantage over Amazon’s device: voice control. Home Mini, like the larger Home, can be fully controlled by the users’ voice. Saying “Ok, Google” activates the device, which will then listen for contextual commands to control various connected devices. There’s also a small speaker built into Home Mini, and while it won’t blow anyone away, it should be suitable for podcasts and some light music streaming. For users wanting a bit more oomph, there’s Google Home Max.
Max is another smart home manager, but unlike Home and Home Mini, the main focus is sound quality. Designed to compete with Apple’s upcoming HomePod, Max features two large subwoofers and Google’s “Smart Sound,” which supposedly tunes the sound profile for the current environment. It should be noted that this is a feature also touted on Apple’s HomePod. Max will also be able to control smart-enabled appliances and devices like the standard Home and Home Mini.
Google’s Home Mini will retail for USD $49 and can be pre-ordered today with a full release scheduled for October 19th. Home Max will retail for $399 and will be available in December. Home Mini will be available in red, gray with a white base, and black with a white base. Home Max will be available in Chalk (white) and Charcoal (grayish black).
Google Pixel 2 Launch Event