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(Pocket-lint) - If you're looking for an intelligent smart home speaker, then one powered by Google is a great alternative to the Amazon Echo range.

Like the Amazon Echo smart speakers, Google Home devices - most of which are now Nest branded - are available in a range of sizes. They all have Google Assistant built-in, meaning they can carry out the same tasks, but they have very different designs and specifications which will determine where you put them around your home and what you use them for.

Here's everything you need to know about the Google Home and Nest devices to help you work out which is right for you.

Which is the best Google Nest speaker for you?

Nest Mini is small and cheap enough to go into any home. It has the same Google Assistant features as its larger siblings, but in a much more compact size.

Nest Audio is the main speaker in the family, a great performer at a great price and a replacement for the original Google Home.

Google Home is the speaker that started it all, but has now been replaced and bettered by the Nest Audio.

Google Home Max is a powerful speaker, which could make it the only one you need in your home for entertainment.

Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) offers a 7-inch display, sleep tracking, all the features of Google Assistant.

Google Nest Hub Max adds a larger 10-inch display and a camera, making it a full Nest device as well as a smart display. It offers a bigger sound than the Nest Hub.

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          Google Nest Mini


          • Dimensions: 42 x 98mm, 181g
          • Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, Chromecast and Chromecast Audio
          • Audio: 40mm speaker driver, 360-degree sound
          • Google Assistant: Yes (Always-on/always-listening/voice-activated)

          The Google Nest Mini is the second generation of the Google Home Mini, and the smallest of Google's speaker range. Like the Amazon Echo Dot, it's a puck-like device that is available in four colours - all of which have fabric covers.

          Thanks to its diminutive size, the Nest Mini can be placed virtually anywhere, including wall-mounted, and even kept out of sight if you wish. It can load up content on any Chromecast device, giving you voice-controlled access to movies and TV shows from supported services.

          The Nest Mini gives you access to all Google Assistant features, so it's a smart home control device, an entertainer and a plaything.

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          Google Nest Audio


          • Dimensions: 175 x 124 x 78mm, 1.1kg
          • Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, Chromecast and Chromecast Audio
          • Audio: 75mm woofer, 19mm tweeter
          • Google Assistant: Yes (Always-on/always-listening/voice-activated)

          Nest Audio refreshes Google's original speaker, boosting eco credentials with more recycled material, while bringing in a fresh new design too. Rather than 360-degree sound, the sound is now directional, but with a good size of speaker driver and a tweeter in this compact unit, the sound quality is really good for the price.

          All the Google Assistant functions are supported, and the Nest Audio can be stereo paired to make a bigger sound delivery.

          One thing is clear - there's no reason to consider the old Google Home - the Nest Audio is better in every way.

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          Google Home


          • Dimensions: 142.8 x 96.4mm, 477g
          • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz)
          • Audio: 2-inch speaker driver, dual 2-inch passive radiators, dual microphones with far-field voice recognition
          • Google Assistant: Yes (Always-on/always-listening/voice-activated)

          Google Home is the original smart speaker from Google.

          The Google Home sports a design that's reminiscent of an air freshener, with a slightly bulbous bottom that tapers in towards the top. On the angled top of the Home there is a touch-sensitive surface that can be used to control a variety of functions. You can also change the colour of the base.

          Its sound quality is good, but it isn't fit to be your main party speaker, even if it is a step-up from the Nest Mini. It offers all the connected functions of Google Assistant, so it's a natural smart home hub, letting you control all your devices, as well as accessing a wide range of Google services, information and giving you control of your Chromecast.

          It's now been replaced and bettered by the Nest Audio, however.

          GoogleGoogle Home vs Google Home Max vs Google Home Mini Whats the difference image 5

          Google Home Max


          • Dimensions: 336.6 x 190 x 154.4mm, 5.3kg
          • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2, Chromecast and Chromecast Audio, USB-C, 3.5mm auxiliary 
          • Audio: 2 x 4.5-inch dual voice coil woofers, 2 x 0.7-inch tweeters, six microphones with far-field voice recognition
          • Google Assistant: Yes (Always-on/always-listening/voice-activated)

          Google Home Max is max by name and max by nature. It's large in size and it delivers high-quality sound that can fill a room. A large price tag puts the Google Home Max in the premium smart home speaker bracket - competing with the Sonos range and the Apple HomePod

          Packing four drivers and six Class-D amplifiers, the Google Home Max makes the sound performance of most other smart home speakers pale in comparison. We certainly found it to be capable in terms of sound, but many may recoil at the price tag. 

          We imagine most people will put one in their living room or bedroom. It's not for wall-mounting but can be positioned either vertically or horizontally making it pretty versatile. It offers all the same features as the smaller Nest Mini and Nest Audio though, just with better sound capabilities.

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          Google Nest Hub (2nd gen)


          • Dimensions: 177.4 x 120.4 x 69.5mm, 558g
          • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, Chromecast, Thread, 15W adapter, DC power jack 
          • Audio: Full range speaker (1x 43.5mm driver), three microphones with far-field voice recognition
          • Display: 7-inch
          • Google Assistant: Yes (Always-on/always-listening/voice-activated)

          The Nest Hub (2nd gen) replaced the previous Home Hub/Nest Hub making a few tweaks but with much the same design. 

          It's still a floating screen with mesh base, now with boosted audio for better bass reponse, so it sounds better. The display remains a source of information, giving you all the connected services of Google Assistant.

          But the real addition is sleep tracking. Using clever radar technology the Nest Hub can detect your sleeping patterns and provide feedback, giving Nest Hub something unique as a bedside assistant.

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          Google Nest Hub Max


          • Dimensions: 250.1 x 182.55 x 101.23mm, 1.32kg
          • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, Chromecast, 30W adapter, DC power jack 
          • Audio: Stereo speakers (2x 18mm 10W tweeters, 1x 75mm 30W woofer)
          • Display: 10-inch, 1280 x 800 pixels
          • Camera: 6.5MP Nest camera, 127 FoV, face match technology
          • Google Assistant: Yes (Always-on/always-listening/voice-activated)

          The Google Nest Hub Max is the biggest Home device with a display and ushered in the name change to Nest. That's because it incorporates a camera which can not only be used for Duo calling, but offers full Nest Cam functions too, so it also acts as a security device. It will also work with Nest's face recognition, so it can change the display details to suit different users, though it doesn't deliver familiar face alerts like the Nest Hello or Nest Cam IQ.

          Elsewhere, the Nest Hub Max boosts the experience of the smaller display device, expanding to 10-inches and offering stereo speakers backed with a woofer for better sound delivery. 

          Otherwise the Nest Hub Max supports Google Assistant offering all the experiences you'd come to expect from Google's AI system.

          Writing by Adrian Willings. Editing by Britta O'Boyle.