Despite a step down in portability and volume, we think the Google Home Mini is the best entry-level personal assistant. If you live on Gmail, Google search and Google Drive, this is likely the product for you.
For half the price, you still get most the power of the full-sized Google Home. We've always found the answers from Google Assistant to be higher quality than Amazon Alexa. Thanks to voice recognition, every member of your household can sync calendars, contacts and more, then receive tailored responses for each voice. We also like the "Broadcast" function where you can tell the Home Mini to broadcast a message across all Homes – perfect for alerting children to wake up or go to bed.
While we like the voice recognition, we dislike that you have to register your voice with Home for it to work - guests can't use it. We also don't like the fact that the Mini needs to be plugged into an adaptor to work.
For those who have a home stocked with "smart" products, this will be the personal assistant for you. If having a more powerful speaker is also important, the Echo can supply.
Compatible with just about any smart device you could have – lights, electronics, thermostats and more. For those who find themselves constantly buying products on Amazon, you can easily do so by talking to your Echo. And no one can complain about the drop in price. A small but nice bonus – free calls to anywhere in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
If you already have an Echo, it might not be worth the upgrade. Besides an improvement in speakers and noise cancellation, the two generations are very similar.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
We chose to compare the Google Home Mini to the Amazon Echo 2nd Gen based on their capabilities. Both can play music, control smart home products, answer questions and plan your day. While others have chosen to compare the Mini to the Amazon Echo Dot, we think they aren't equal. The biggest reason is the Dot cannot play audio (music, podcasts, etc.) unless it is connected to a speaker. Read more below.