It wasn't so long ago we were raving about the capabilities of Google Home, the company's first home assistant speaker product, which uses Google Assistant to answer your queries and control your smart products. 

Now, chasing Amazon and its Echo Dot - which uses the seller's Alexa voice assistant - Google has announced Home Mini. Which, as its name suggests, is a miniature version of Home with less focus on the speaker component.

It's hard not to call Google's latest anything but "cute" too. Just look at that macaron-shaped sweet slice of Google Assistant control - especially in its orange finish (or "Coral" if we're using Google speak).

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However, Google isn't quite hot on the heels of Amazon. It was only a week prior to Home Mini's announcement that Amazon unveiled the Echo Spot - a small, more ball-shaped Echo with a screen and enhanced capabilities. It really does look as though 2017 will become the year of the smart home and smart assistant wars.

But back to Google Home Mini for a moment. Available in three colours (Chalk, Charcoal and Coral), this fabric covered Home is a smart little helper. Although it was too loud at the Made by Google event to use the product, it will deliver hands-free Google search, Maps, play your Music (YouTube Music and Spotify being the two major supported services), control your smart devices (Nest thermostat, Philips Hue lighting, many more), control apps (Netflix), give calendar updates and more.

Following the original Home's launch, Google Assistant now also adopts Voice Match, meaning the service learns your (and your family's) voice to only respond as necessary. It can even call your friends for free (in the US and Canada, the feature is coming to the UK later this year).

That's just the tip of the iceberg, really, as Google Home Mini can plug into all kinds of situations and be tuned to suit your personal home life as necessary. And if you're not looking to buy a full-size Home because you're non-plussed about its speaker capabilities for music, then Home Mini is a cute and affordable way into the system. Whether it's enough to see off Amazon, however, remains to be seen.

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Google Home Mini will be available from 19 October, priced $49/£49. Bargain.