FIRST LšŸ‘€K: The New Google Nest Mini (2nd Gen Google Home Mini)

FIRST LšŸ‘€K: The New Google Nest Mini (2nd Gen Google Home Mini)


So here it is – the brand new second gen Google
Home Mini! Sorry, the Nest Mini, as it’s now called. So this is a quick video to see
what’s new, what’s different and whether it’s a worthy upgrade! Hi! Welcome back to another Switched on Network
video, I’m @paulfp and this channel covers technology, gadgets and the Internet so if
you’re new around here please think about subscribing! So just over a week ago, Google announced
this little fella, the new and rebranded Nest Mini, which is effectively the upgraded second
generation of the Google Home Mini. So what’s new? You’ll notice that looks
almost identical, although it’s also available in this new “Sky” colour. Although the
fabric mesh covering might look the same, it’s actually now made from 100% recycled
plastic bottles, whilst the enclosure is made from 35% recycled plastic. That definitely
sounds like a good idea to me, I don’t know why anyone would ever want to send perfectly
good plastic to landfill when it can be so easily reused! So nice work, Google. Let’s
see everything made from 100% recycled materials sometime soon, yeah? The other visual difference is here on the
back where they’ve added a wallmount. This was a glaring omission from the original design
if you ask me, but I guess to be fair to Google it was, at the time, a very new type of device
so it’s only with the benefit of hindsight that we can now see how much sense it makes
to be able to wall mount them. I even made a video on this channel early last year showing
how to wall mount a Google Home mini with a cheap 3D printed wall bracket, so it’s
good to see they’re responding to customer behaviour and desires! The key feature that Google are pushing with
this launch is improved sound quality, and the bass it produces is apparently twice as
strong now, thanks to the beefier speaker inside. I was always pleasantly surprised
at how good the audio quality was from the original mini. Good, I mean, for such a small
speaker – and depending on where it’s mounted and the surrounding environment. But listening
to music in the kitchen whilst preparing food and washing up has been a big part of using
the Home Mini for us, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how the new Nest Mini compares.
In fact, if you want to see a direct side-by-side comparison video of the sound quality on the
Home Mini and the Nest Mini, recorded using a professional shotgun microphone in an acoustically
treated studio, click the i in the top corner or click the link in the video description! Other improvements include better voice recognition
thanks to an additional microphone which will hear you better in noisy environments, and
a machine learning chip built into the device itself which means that some Google Assistant
features can run more quickly and be computed on the device itself, rather than relying
on latency-laden API calls over the internet. They’ve also added in these subtle lights
which light up when your hands get close so you know where to tap the device to turn the
volume up and down – although to be honest, I never had a problem remembering on the first
one! You can now tap the top to pause and restart music, just like you can on the full
size Google Home, so that’s useful if you’re walking past the device on your way out of
a room and want to just tap to stop, rather than having to speak. On a slightly negative note, for some reason
known only to Google they’ve done away with the micro USB power connection and instead
put this proprietary one on instead. The U in USB stands for Universal and the big advantage
of that is that if you lose or break the power cord, you’ve probably got several gathering
dust in a drawer so it’s no big deal. However with this one, if you break it you’ll need
to buy a new one – and I couldn’t see them for sale on the Google store. Comparing the two power adaptors, the Google
Home Mini is rated at 5V 1.8A, so 9 watts, and the new Nest Mini is rated at 14V 1.1A,
giving 15.4 watts. So the new mini draws much less current, but at a higher voltage, resulting
in higher power – presumably for that onboard machine learning chip, and maybe even for
the significantly bigger driver in the speaker. However, USB-C can support 5V at 3A, so 15
W, with only two extra resistors, or if you support USB Power Delivery, can go up to 20
V at 5A, so 100 Watts, for things like monitors. So it’s a curious decision by Google not
to power this thing with a USB-C connector… maybe down to cost and licensing reasons. The big disappointment for me, though, is
that they’ve missed the opportunity to add in a headphone jack or audio output on this
Mini. That’s especially disappointing as the Echo Dot here from Amazon has his, and
with Google having discontinued the Chromecast Audio, I was hoping – and, if I’m honest,
expecting – that the new Mini would have a headphone jack to take the place of the excellent
Chromecast audio. Maybe they’re thinking that the sound is better so you’ll not need
to plug in an extra speaker? I had been planning a video showing how to
mod a Mini to add in a headphone jack, but was ready to abandon that video idea when
they announced a new Mini was in the pipeline… but it looks like that video’s back on,
so subscribe to the channel and it’ll be with you soon! So, the Google Home/Nest ecosystem seems to
be getting better with age and maturing like a good wine, although the naming system has
become a bit of a confusing mess! It’s great to see that you can now transfer
music and podcasts from device to device, click the i to see my video on that new feature,
and another “missing” feature that I mentioned in my video of Top 5 things Google Home can’t
yet do was that unlike with the Amazon Echo you couldn’t call between Google Home devices
and use them as an intercom, only broadcast short pre-recorded messages. Well, via integration
with Google Duo that feature is now available… although I’m not sure if it’s quite working
properly because every time I try it it ends up calling my mobile rather than the device
it says it’s going to call! I’ll make a video about it once the early-bird quirks
are ironed out! So, over to you! What do you think of the
new Nest Mini? Are you disappointed by the lack of headphone jack or excited by the better
sound? Let me know in the comments below and if you’ve enjoyed this video please give
it a thumbs up, subscribe to the channel and take a look at some of the other videos on
screen now. If you enjoy the videos on this channel and
you’d like to help support me so I can continue making more videos like this one, there’s
also a link on screen now to Patreon, so please do take a look! That’s all for now, thanks for watching
and I’ll see you in the next one!

3 comments

  1. My Google home mini is on an EU plug that's connected to the 220v shaver. House not burnt down in 2 years šŸ¤·ā€ā™‚ how many watts is that then?

  2. Thanks for the video. I have been scouring the internet trying to find more information about the intercom feature. How it works… Does the room to room work like a call that needs to be answered, or like the drop in feature on Echos? This was a major reason why I adopted Alexa vs Google, as my family has adopted the intercom featureand and it would be hard to take that feature out of my home swapping to Google. some have told me that the older Google minis will work with this feature while others have said it's specific to the nest mini. Any additional information you have about this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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