Google's second generation of its smallest Google Assistant speaker comes in the form of the Nest Mini.

The Nest Mini replaces the Google Home Mini, and while it looks very similar, there are a few differences and a few upgrades. Here's how the Nest Mini compares to the Home Mini and what the differences are.

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What's the same between the Nest Mini and Home Mini?

  • Design
  • Features
  • Price

The Google Nest Mini and Home Mini share the same cute puck-like design and they offer the same dimensions too. They are both circular with a material covering and they both feature LED lights at the top, which light up when Google Assistant is activated.

The two devices also offer the same main features in that they both offer Google Assistant built-in, like the other Google Home devices and Nest Hub devices, allowing you play music, control smart home devices and ask Google pretty much any question you want an answer to, whether that be what the weather is like, what your calendar is like for that day or how old Einstein was when he died.

The price is also the same between the Home Mini and the Nest Mini with both costing $49/£49. You might find the Home Mini cheaper now however.

What's different between the Nest Mini and Home Mini?

There would be little point in releasing a second generation model if there were no improvements, so unsurprisingly, the Nest Mini offers some upgrades to the Home Mini.

Design 

  • Nest Mini: Built-in screw mount, more sustainable
  • Home Mini: Accessory required for wall-mounting

While the main design between the Google Home Mini and the Nest Mini is the same, the Nest Mini adds a screw mount on the rear, allowing the device to be wall hung.

This makes the Nest Mini much more flexible when it comes to placement, given the wall-hung option is built-in rather than requiring an additional accessory, like the Home Mini.

Additionally, the Nest Mini is more sustainable than the Home Mini, made from 35 per cent recycled plastic, while the fabric is made from recycled bottles.

Controls

  • Nest Mini: Tap volume controls, pause controls, physical microphone mute button
  • Home Mini: Tap volume controls, physical microphone mute button

The Google Home Mini has a physical microphone mute button and it's also possible to control the volume with a tap on each side of the device.

The Nest Mini meanwhile, also has a physical microphone mute button, but the volume tap controls are now next to the LED lights on the top of the device and there's an ultrasound detector built-in that lights up when your hand approaches, allowing you to tap to pause too.

Sound

  • Nest Mini: 40mm driver, 360-degree sound
  • Home Mini: 40mm driver

The Google Home Mini is a great little device for an entry point into Google Home, but it's sound quality isn't as good as the other devices in the range. Fine for background music and for answering your questions, but not necessarily a device you'd use to listen to music day-in-day-out.

The Nest Mini meanwhile, hopes to improve that with a new hardware platform and 40 per cent better bass response compared to the Home Mini. 

Features and hardware

  • Nest Mini: Three microphones
  • Home Mini: Two microphones

Along with sound improvements, the Nest Mini adds a third microphone compared to the Home Mini. Google claims this will allow the second generation model to respond to voice better and faster than the original model.

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Conclusion

The Google Nest Mini retains the cute, compact design of the Home Mini that we know and love, but it makes it more sustainable, whilst adding the convenience of a built-in wall mount.

The second-gen device also improves the sound quality, adds more on-device control and adds an extra microphone for better voice response, whilst retaining the same price. 

The Nest Mini is a no brainer over the Home Mini if you are choosing between the two. If you are considering an upgrade, you'll get some good improvements over your Home Mini, but it's probably worth considering the Nest Mini as an extra Google Assistant device in your home, rather than a replacement to the Home Mini as the Home Mini is still great.