First Listen: Google Nest Mini Speaker

Ruben Fields
October 16, 2019

Today, Google held its MadeByGoogle event where it announced its latest hardware including the updated Pixel Buds, Nest Home Mini, Pixelbook Go, and Pixel 4 smartphone. Google boasts that its Nest Wi-Fi system can deliver 20% better coverage and much improved performance. The Google Home Mini, for example, has been replaced with a marginally different Nest Home Mini. On stage today, Google said that a router and a single point is enough to cover 85% of homes in the US.

The Google Nest Mini retails for $49 and you'll be able to find it in all the same places you previously saw the Home Mini. It's in that app that you can share WiFi passwords with guests, set device priority, perform a speed test, create a guest network, or set family controls.

At the Made by Google 2019 event today, Google announced the next step in its home wifi initiatives, introducing the Nest Wifi router and Nest Wifi point. Bluetooth also gets a punch up to v5.0 instead of 4.1 with Wi-Fi at 802.11 b/g/n/ac. That's in addition to the LEDs that run across the middle to show that Google Assistant is listening to you.

Google caused a stir this summer when it transitioned away from the Works With Nest platform to a new system called Works With Google Assistant.

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If you want to start off with multiple points, the price is $269 (router + point). The company has launched a new Nest Wifi which comes with an inbuilt Google Assistant speaker (Nest Point). As customers like to hide those ugly looking routers.

That's what Google means by improving the performance. For most people, this likely won't be a big deal, as only a few devices even support the standard.

The newly-announced Nest Wi-Fi system consists of two units: a Wi-Fi router that's meant to be wired into your modem and a Nest Wi-Fi point that boosts coverage into areas where the primary router has trouble reaching. It has a clean aesthetic, doubles as a smart speaker and is easy to use. The lack of Wi-Fi 6 compatibility might make the Google Nest Wifi a hard sell for anyone with a Gigabit internet connection, but that is likely a very small group of potential buyers. The Pixel 4 comes with a radar sensor built-in, which allegedly gives you super-fast facial detection for phone unlocking - "Motion Sense", as Google calls it, which also allows gives you the ability to quickly control your device using gestures. We just wish it was a little more future-proof.

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