Google Nest Mini 2nd Gen review: Good small smart sound

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Quick Verdict: There's not enough new in the Google Nest Mini 2nd Gen to make it worthwhile an upgrade, but if you're after a small smart home speaker it's an inexpensive way to start.

  • Better audio than the original Google Home Mini
  • Gesture controls for easier volume detection
  • Microphone pick-up is good
  • Still not a great music speaker
  • Custom power connector rather than Micro USB

From the outside, the only thing that might appear to have changed in the Google Nest Mini 2nd Gen is the name, with all of Google's smart home gear now adopting the Nest brand.

The Google Nest Mini 2nd Gen has bolder and brighter sound than its predecessor, the Google Home Mini. That's the smart speaker that Google rebranded into the Google Nest Mini – or, I guess now the Google Nest Mini 1st Gen – when it switched its smart home line branding exclusively over to the Nest nomenclature.

The Google Nest Mini 2nd Gen is generally a better device for smart home use thanks to improved microphones and the ability to easily mount it on a wall. It's an easy pick if you're just starting out on the smart home journey and Google's Assistant is your platform of choice.


Design

Design

  • Incredibly similar look and feel to the Google Home Mini.
  • New colour options.
  • Fabric mesh is actually recycled soft drink bottles – very cool!.
  • Wall mountable.
  • Ditches Micro USB for charging.
Google Nest Mini 2nd Gen

Performance

Performance

  • Improved audio, but still only suitable as a small office speaker.
  • Microphone pick-up is much better.
  • Simple motion controls work, but they're still a gimmick.
Google Nest Mini 2nd Gen

Verdict

Verdict

  • A good simple smart speaker.
Google Nest Mini 2nd Gen
Should you buy it?

Google's original small smart speaker has been very popular in Australia, thanks to both its inconspicuous nature and its low asking price.

The Google Nest Mini 2nd Gen is that same speaker with those same advantages, along with better audio and better microphones. There's not really a huge argument in favour of ditching a working Google Home Mini/Nest Mini in favour of the newer model, because the differences aren't that massive.

However, if you're just starting on the smart home journey, or you need an additional speaker for voice pick-up coverage in a larger array of existing Google-compatible smart speakers, it's easily your best bet.


Pricing and availability

The Google Nest Mini sells in Chalk, Charcoal, Coral or Sky finishes in Australia for $79.

Google Nest Mini 2nd Gen

Smarten up your house with the small yet powerful Google Nest Mini.

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Specifications

Google Nest Mini 2nd Gen
Overall score: 4

General

Camera
No
Voice Assistant
Google Assistant

Connectivity

Bluetooth Support
Yes
Wireless Network Support
802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz)

Audio

Speaker Information
40mm driver
Streaming Support
Spotify (free)
Spotify (Premium)
TuneIn
iHeartRadio
YouTube Red
Google Play Music
Apple Music
Audio Out
No
Microphone Array
3

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