Google Mini vs Nest Mini: A Comprehensive Comparison

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In the evolving world of smart home devices, two prominent options stand out: the Google Mini and the Nest Mini. These compact smart speakers, while similar in many respects, have distinct features that set them apart. In this article, we’ll compare these devices across various aspects to help you determine which one suits your needs best.

FeatureGoogle MiniNest Mini
Design and BuildSimple, fabric-covered design with LED indicators and capacitive touch controlsSimilar fabric-covered design, built-in wall mount, LED indicators
Sound QualityBasic sound quality with a 40mm driverEnhanced sound with the same size driver, better bass
Microphone CapabilitiesStandard two-mic arrayUpgraded three-mic array for better voice recognition

Pricing and Availability

Google Mini

The Google Home Mini, an earlier version of the smart speaker, typically retails less. Its affordability makes it an appealing option for those looking to enter the smart home ecosystem without a significant investment.

Nest Mini

In contrast, the Nest Mini, which serves as a revamped version of the Home Mini, is priced slightly higher. This price point is comparable to similar products in the market, such as Amazon’s 4th-generation Echo Dot. The Nest Mini’s enhancements, particularly in sound quality and design, justify the modest increase in price.

Summarizing Points:

  • Google Home Mini: Less expensive.
  • Nest Mini: Newer model with improvements.

Design and Build

Home Mini

The Home Mini boasts a simple, disc-like design covered in fabric. It employs three LED dots for function indications and has capacitive touch controls on the sides for volume and other commands. The device offers various color options but requires a separate accessory for wall mounting.

Nest Mini

At first glance, the Nest Mini closely resembles the Home Mini, but it comes with a built-in wall mount, eliminating the need for additional accessories. It offers similar color options and also includes capacitive touch controls and LED indicators. The Nest Mini is slightly smaller, although the difference is minimal.

Summarizing Points:

  • Both devices have a fabric-covered, disc-like design with LED indicators.
  • Home Mini requires an accessory for wall mounting, while Nest Mini includes an integrated wall mount.

Sound Quality and Functionality

Home Mini

The original Home Mini features a 40mm driver but is noted for its lack of significant bass output. It comes with a standard two-mic array, capable of handling basic voice commands and interactions.

Nest Mini

The Nest Mini retains the same size driver (40mm) but offers a notably better sound experience, with improved bass and more omnidirectional output. Additionally, it upgrades to a three far-field mic array, enhancing its ability to recognize voice commands in noisy environments.

Summarizing Points:

  • Home Mini: Basic sound quality with a two-mic array.
  • Nest Mini: Enhanced sound with significant bass and a three-mic array for better voice recognition.

Differences and Similarities

The key distinctions between the Google Home Mini and the Nest Mini lie in their design, sound quality, and functionality. While both devices serve as capable smart home hubs, the Nest Mini edges out with its superior audio, built-in wall mount, and improved voice recognition. However, for users primarily interested in the Google Assistant’s capabilities and looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Home Mini remains a viable choice.


  • Both devices function as smart home hubs with voice control capabilities.
  • Similar design aesthetics with minor variations.


  • Nest Mini has better sound quality and an upgraded mic array.
  • Nest Mini includes a built-in wall mount, unlike the Home Mini.

In conclusion, while the Google Home Mini offers basic smart speaker functionality at a lower price, the Nest Mini stands out with its enhanced audio, design improvements, and better overall performance. The choice between them depends on your specific needs and budget considerations​​​​​​.

Detailed Questions on Google Mini vs Nest Mini

1. What are the key differences in design and aesthetics between Google Home Mini and Nest Mini?

The Google Home Mini and Nest Mini, while similar in appearance, have distinct design elements. The Home Mini features a simple, fabric-covered disc design with LED indicators and capacitive touch controls. Its aesthetic is minimalistic and fits comfortably in various home settings. However, it lacks a built-in wall mount, requiring additional accessories for such installations.

The Nest Mini retains the familiar disc shape but includes a built-in wall mount for easier installation. Its design, marginally smaller than the Home Mini, offers slight variations in color options and maintains the touch controls and LED features. This subtle redesign enhances the user experience, particularly in terms of ease of installation and placement flexibility within the home.

In summary, while both devices share a cohesive design language, the Nest Mini edges out with its integrated wall mount and slightly updated color palette, making it a more versatile option in terms of home integration and aesthetic appeal.

  • Google Home Mini: Fabric-covered disc design, requires accessory for wall mounting, offers basic color options.
  • Nest Mini: Similar design with built-in wall mount, slightly smaller, and has slightly different color options.

2. How do the sound quality and microphone capabilities compare between the two devices?

The sound quality of the Google Home Mini is adequate for its size, featuring a 40mm driver. However, it lacks significant bass, making it suitable for basic audio needs. Its two-mic array provides decent voice recognition but may struggle in noisy environments.

The Nest Mini showcases a notable improvement in sound quality. Despite having the same size driver, it produces richer sound with more bass, creating a more immersive audio experience. Additionally, the upgrade to a three far-field mic array significantly enhances its ability to capture voice commands accurately, even in louder settings.

In conclusion, the Nest Mini offers superior audio performance and voice recognition capabilities, making it a better choice for users seeking quality sound and efficient voice interaction in their smart home devices.

  • Google Home Mini: Basic sound quality with a two-mic array.
  • Nest Mini: Enhanced sound with significant bass and a three-mic array for better voice recognition.

3. What are the functional differences in terms of smart home integration and controls?

Both the Google Home Mini and Nest Mini serve as efficient smart home hubs, capable of controlling various devices and executing voice commands. However, there are subtle differences in their functionality and integration capabilities.

The Home Mini, as an earlier version, offers basic smart home control functions. It integrates well with a range of devices and services, but its capabilities are somewhat limited compared to newer models. This makes it a suitable choice for basic smart home setups or for users new to smart home technology.

The Nest Mini, while maintaining similar compatibility with smart home devices, includes additional features like ultrasound sensing for improved touch control interaction. It also benefits from Google’s continuous updates and integrations, making it a more future-proof choice.

In essence, while both devices effectively control smart home functions, the Nest Mini provides a slightly more advanced and intuitive user experience, making it a preferable option for those seeking comprehensive smart home control.

  • Google Home Mini: Basic smart home control capabilities, suitable for simple setups.
  • Nest Mini: Advanced features like ultrasound sensing, continuous updates, and broader integrations.

4. How does the user experience differ between the two devices in everyday use?

In daily use, both the Google Home Mini and Nest Mini offer a seamless experience with Google Assistant, providing voice control, information retrieval, and smart home management. However, the user experience varies slightly due to design and technical differences.

The Home Mini, with its basic design and sound capabilities, offers a straightforward user experience. Its interaction is simple, making it an accessible option for users seeking essential smart speaker functions. The device’s limitations in sound quality and voice recognition do not detract significantly from its utility in routine tasks.

The Nest Mini enhances the daily user experience with its superior sound quality and more responsive microphone array. These improvements make interacting with the device more enjoyable, especially for users who value audio performance. Additionally, its integrated wall mount and updated design elements contribute to a more refined and convenient user experience.

Summarizing, while both devices provide a competent and user-friendly experience, the Nest Mini’s advanced features offer a more enjoyable and efficient interaction, particularly for users who prioritize audio quality and design in their daily smart home usage.

  • Google Home Mini: Basic, straightforward user experience, suitable for essential smart speaker functions.
  • Nest Mini: Enhanced daily experience with better sound, responsive microphones, and convenient design features.

5. What are the long-term considerations when choosing between the Google Home Mini and Nest Mini?

When considering long-term use, several factors differentiate the Google Home Mini from the Nest Mini. The longevity of these devices in terms of support, updates, and compatibility is crucial for users planning to integrate them into their smart home ecosystem for an extended period.

The Google Home Mini, being an older model, may face limitations in terms of future updates and support. As technology advances, the device’s compatibility with new smart home products and services might be restricted, potentially diminishing its usefulness over time.

The Nest Mini, designed as an upgrade and replacement for the Home Mini, is likely to receive ongoing support and updates from Google. Its advanced features and integration capabilities make it a more future-proof choice, ensuring compatibility with emerging smart home technologies and standards.

Ultimately, the Nest Mini is a more sustainable option for long-term use, offering continued support, updates, and compatibility with evolving smart home technology. This makes it a more suitable choice for users seeking a smart speaker that will remain functional and relevant in the years to come.

  • Google Home Mini: Potential limitations in future support and compatibility.
  • Nest Mini: More future-proof with ongoing support, updates, and broader compatibility.

FAQ Section

1. Is the Google Home Mini still a good buy?

  • The Google Home Mini is a good option for those seeking a basic smart speaker at a lower cost, but it may lack long-term support and updates.

2. Can the Nest Mini control smart home devices effectively?

  • Yes, the Nest Mini can effectively control a wide range of smart home devices and is continuously updated for broader compatibility.

3. Are there major differences in size between the two models?

  • The size difference is minimal, with the Nest Mini being slightly smaller but hardly noticeable in practical use.

4. How does the sound quality of the Nest Mini compare to other smart speakers in the market?

  • The Nest Mini’s sound quality is notably superior within its price range, offering rich bass and clear audio, making it competitive against other smart speakers.

5. Is the Google Home Mini compatible with all Google services and apps?

  • Yes, the Google Home Mini is compatible with most Google services and apps, making it a versatile device for Google ecosystem users.

6. Can the Nest Mini be used in any room of the house?

  • Absolutely, the Nest Mini’s compact design and built-in wall mount make it suitable for use in any room, including spaces mentioned in “Essential Smart Home Devices for Apartments.”

7. Does the Google Home Mini require a separate hub for smart home control?

  • No, the Google Home Mini acts as a standalone hub for controlling compatible smart home devices.

8. Are there color options available for both the Home Mini and Nest Mini?

  • Yes, both devices come in various colors, allowing users to choose one that best fits their home decor.

9. How user-friendly are the Google Home Mini and Nest Mini for beginners?

  • Both devices are designed with user-friendliness in mind, making them suitable for beginners in smart home technology.

10. Is it worth upgrading from the Google Home Mini to the Nest Mini?

  • If you’re seeking improved sound quality, better voice recognition, and future-proof features, upgrading to the Nest Mini is worth considering.

By understanding these aspects of the Google Mini vs Nest Mini, users can make an informed decision that aligns with their needs and preferences. Whether it’s integrating these devices into an apartment setting, as discussed in “Essential Smart Home Devices for Apartments,” or considering them as part of a broader smart home system, these insights provide valuable guidance.