Known as the Google Home Mini and Nest Mini—Home Mini being 1st gen and Nest Mini being the 2nd—both smart home/speakers are Google’s version of Amazon’s line of Echo devices. Both versions can support multiple smart devices throughout the home, use Google Assistant, play music, and answer questions. They’re also similar in design, shape, and size. So, what are the differences—and is it worth the upgrade?
The Google Nest Mini gen 1 is similar to gen 2 in aesthetics. However, overall, the 2nd gen Google Nest Mini is competitively priced, offers a new color, has improvements in audio and ultrasound tech, and has an added wall mount and eco-friendly hardware.
The Home Mini was Google’s attempt at carving out a chunk of Amazon’s territory in which Amazon has been a dominant force with its vast array of Echo devices. While the Home Mini has several nice features, the audio underperformed in expectations, and the Nest Mini aims to improve where its predecessor lacks. Below, we’ll discuss the differences between the two devices and whether the next-gen is worth the upgrade.
Google Nest Mini Gen 1 vs. Gen 2: Features
The Nest Mini upgrades were focused on everything the Home Mini lacked. Google did an admirable job addressing customer frustrations with the Home Mini’s underwhelming audio.
|Google Nest Mini||Google Home Mini|
|Audio||360-degree sound with 40mm driver and 40% bass increase||360-degree sound with 40mm driver|
|Aesthetics/Design||1.65 x 3.85 in. / Chalk, Charcoal, Coral, and Sky||1.7 x 3.9 in. / Chalk White and Grey|
|Wall-Mountable||Built-in||Yes, with third-party mounts|
|Processor||Quad-core ARM CPU 1.4GHz||ARMADA 1500 w/dual-core ARM Cortex A7|
|Bluetooth||5.0 IEEE 802.11b/g/n/ac||4.1 IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac|
Google claims that the Nest Mini comes with a 40% bass boost, making sounds richer and more resonant. A major criticism against the Home Mini was the very poor sound design and quality, especially when matched up against its competitors.
Both devices are roughly the same size, but the Nest Mini added new color choices and is constructed using 38% more eco-friendly materials than its predecessor.
The price points for either Nest Mini or Home Mini are excellent for smart home speakers, and the Home Mini price was reduced by $10 with the introduction of the Nest Mini.
The Nest Mini also has a stronger processor, making it a quicker and more responsive device. Also, it includes “ultrasound technology.” Ultrasound uses LED lights to illuminate the touch controls whenever you approach the device while music is playing. With the addition of Bluetooth 5.0, the Nest Mini is the obvious choice—from a tech perspective—between the two.
The Nest Mini also comes designed for a wall-mount, a feature absent from the Home Mini. You can purchase third-party wall mounts that work with the Home Mini, however.
Other Differences Between Google Nest Mini Generations
Aside from the tech upgrades in Bluetooth, processor, audio, and ultrasound, there’s not a whole lot that sets the two smart speakers apart. The design changes are subtle, with the ultrasound tech in the Nest Mini improving your ability to locate the buttons on the top while music is playing.
However, one major feature difference is how each device is reset.
- On the Google Home Mini, the reset button is tiny and located on the bottom of the device close to the power cord. Holding the button for a full fifteen seconds until there’s a confirmation sound.
- On the Google Nest Mini, the process is the same, except the reset button is the center button on top of the device, in the center. Holding it for fifteen seconds will successfully reset the device.
As far as how each device is used as a smart home hub, the difference is very little, if any. Google eliminated many compatible devices when it chose to rebuild its smart home brand from the ground up. As each new brand becomes compatible and Google continues to update the Home Mini and Nest Mini, they’re both likely to remain the same with compatibility.
Google’s support for the Home Mini may also come to an end. Currently, the Nest Mini was designed as a replacement, and it’s becoming more difficult to even find a Google Home Mini, much less be concerned about how much longer Google will support its firmware.
Comparisons aside, the Google Home Mini is no longer being sold by Google. You can still find it on various online retailer sites, but one has to wonder how much longer Google will bother with firmware updates for the device.
If you were considering switching to the Nest Mini, not only will you avoid that potential scenario, but you’ll also get a smart home hub with upgraded audio, processor, and Bluetooth.
With the addition of eco-friendly hardware, a built-in wall-mount option, colors, and ultrasound, all for only $10 more than the Home Mini, grabbing a Nest Mini is a solid choice.