With smart home devices flooding the market, it can be difficult to choose what to go with, let alone the smart home device with the best ecosystem (e.g. what brand, such as Amazon or Google, can provide you with the best software experience from their smart home devices). Of course, price might set some people off from a smart home device — the most popular on the market, the Google Home and Amazon Echo, sit at around $100. It’s a lot to take a risk on for something you may or may not be able to integrate into your life.
That’s why Google and Amazon have both come up with more affordable, miniature options of their smart home devices — the Google Home Mini and the Amazon Echo Dot. Follow along below, and we’ll go over the differences between these two miniature smart home devices and show you which one is the best.
Google Home Mini
The Google Home Mini is essentially a Google Home, only in a miniature form. It lacks some features, such as the top controls the Google Home had, as well as a microphone sensitivity that isn’t nearly as strong. However, in functionality, the Google Home and Google Home Mini are practically identical. The hardware downgrades that are apparent in the Google Home Mini are quite necessary, bringing the price down by $50 or more.
The Google Home Mini is nice because you get all of the functionality of Google Assistant, but it’s also a nice, affordable, low profile package. Since it’s so affordable and so small, it’s easy to buy a few of these and put them in every major room — the living room, the bedroom, etc.
Unfortunately, you can’t pick up a Google Home Mini from Amazon, and can only grab them from the Google Store. Check it out for yourself below.
Buy it now: Google Store
Amazon Echo Dot
The Google Home Mini, in function, of course has a lot of similarities to the Amazon Echo Dot as well. They’re both smart home devices designed to assist you in everyday tasks, such as inquiring about the weather, traffic, ordering things online, etc. The Amazon Echo Dot, of course, does all of that, but within Amazon’s own ecosystem.
The Echo Dot has some notable hardware differences than the Google Home Mini — seven far-field microphones (five more than the Google Home Mini), a 3.5mm audio jack, and an integrated 0.6″ speaker. Bluetooth audio support is included.
With Bluetooth audio output and its 3.5mm audio jack, the Echo Dot is able to connect up to almost any speaker or AV receiver, which is a little more than the Google Home Mini can do. The Amazon Echo Dot is really nice, having one major advantage over the Google Home Mini, which is the sheer integration abilities. With Alexa and the Echo Dot, there are thousands of “skills” you can add to it, expanding its functionality. The Google Home Mini has no such feature.
The Echo Dot really is a nice device, and similar to the Google Home Mini, it’s affordability and low profile design make it economical and easy to buy a few and put them in different rooms. Check out the Echo Dot at the link below.
Buy it now: Amazon
Both the Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot look like attractive options, possible even the Google Home Mini more than Amazon’s offering. After all, the Home Mini has the backing and support of Google, so you know your product, software wise, will always be taken care of with upgrades and such.
The Google Home Mini can be seen as a lesser product, primarily because Google built the Home Mini off of the success/platform of the Echo Dot. It’s more of a copy than anything — you can even see that in the cheaper hardware. So, the question remains: which should you go with?
Ultimately, it depends on the ecosystem you’re already involved with. If you already use Google products substantially, you’re going to get the most out of the Google Home Mini. But, if you use Amazon products more than Google, you’ll find that Alexa in the Echo Dot can serve you a whole lot better than Google.
And if you can’t make a choice, the Amazon Echo Dot is obviously a more quality product, featuring better hardware and possibly even a better ecosystem.