(Pocket-lint) - Google has announced two new devices: Home Max and Home Mini.
It has expanded its Google Home lineup from one speaker with built-in Google Assistant two three speakers with built-in Google Assistant. The two new models, Home Max and Home Mini, are meant to compete with Apple HomePod and Amazon Echo Dot, respectively. While one is a premium device with a premium price and sound, the other is more limited yet affordable. Here's what you need to know.
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Home Max and Home Mini: Design
- Dimensions: 336.6 x 190 x154.4 mm
- Weight: 5,300g
Home Max remind us of other "pill"-shaped speakers, only it's boxier, and like the Home Mini, it comes with acoustically transparent fabric. Google said you you can place the Home Max vertically or horizontally (it uses a magnetic base to keep it from falling over). It also features two 4.5-inch woofers alongside tweeters, which are covered by the fabric speaker grille that comes in chalk or charcoal colours.
- Dimensions: 98 x 42 mm
- Weight: 173g
Home Mini is little puck with fabric on top. In fact, Google said it thinks fabric is "core to the product experience". Home Mini has four LED lights under the fabric, though, in order to let you know when it's in the middle of interacting. And it comes in three colours: coral, chalk, and charcoal. It's a pretty simple product overall. It'll basically compete with Amazon's tiny Echo Dot device.
Home Max and Home Mini: Specs
- Two 4.5-inch dual voice-coil woofers
- Two 18mm custom tweeters
- Always-on Google Assistant: Yes
Home Max works with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and comes with two dual voice-coil woofers and two custom tweeters. It also has far-field mics for voice recognition, a quad-core ARM processor, and orientation and ambient light sensors. It powers via USB-C, has a 3.5mm jack, and supports multi-room audio as well as Android and iOS devices. It can handle touch, too, so you can tap to play or adjust volume.
- 360 sound with 40mm driver
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support
- Always-on Google Assistant: Yes
The Home Mini is a lot like Echo Dot. It has an always-on assistant, but it's packed into a smaller, cheaper form factor. You wouldn't necessarily use this to play music, like you would with the original Home or Home Max, since it only has a 40mm driver. But Google said it can connect wirelessly to any any speaker with built-in Chromecast, so you can always ask Assistant to throw your tunes over to that device.
Home Max and Home Mini: Price
- Costs $399 in the US
- UK pricing is unknown
Home Max is priced at $399 in the US. There's no word yet on UK pricing.
- Costs $49 in the US
- Costs £49 in the UK
Home Mini is priced at $49 in the US and £49 in the UK.
Home Max and Home Mini: Release date
- Available in the US from December
- Will arrive in the UK in early 2018
Home Max will be available from December 2017. It's coming first to the US, and then it'll launch in the UK and elsewhere next year.
- Available in US and UK from 19 October
- Preorders now open
Home Mini will be available from 19 October in all seven Home markets, including the UK. Preorders start 4 October. In the UK, you can pre-order from Google Store. You can order it from there, too, or from Currys PC World, Maplin, John Lewis, Argos, EE, and Carphone Warehouse.
Want to know more?
Check out these promo videos from Google: