Google Home Mini – initial impressions blew my mind (not really)
For purely selfish reasons (tired of rigging a slowly dying HTC EVO 3D to play nighttime music that the volume buttons and power button are all janked,) I got a Google Home Mini for my daughter’s room. Here’s what I like and what I don’t like after four days of use.
Paul’s Google Home Mini Likes
- Broadcast ability so I can let people know something without having to come downstairs, different room, etc. This works well in conjunction with a babyroom camera to broadcast “google want you to get some sleep”
- 4yo is capable of playing that one Taylor Swift song non-stop in a room away from me. I also don’t have to listen to The Hamster Dance in the living room any more as the dance party has moved venues.
- I can start a nighttime playlist playing in kid’s room from another room, stop the playlist without leaving the living room.
- Next to no wandering around the house to ask Google what the weather is.
- 4yo can call grandparents if she wants
- I can get some answers the the 500 questions she throws at me a day without pulling a phone out.
My Home Mini dislikes
- Touch controls are not as responsive as the Google Home (or I’m hitting them wrong)
- Cord is a bit short as I kind of want this on a wall
- Audio quality while OK is not at the level the normal Home speaker even scaled back for size I hoped for a little better. Ah well
- Hard to get it to understand me when the volume is up high
- Hey Google detection just slightly harder to make work (although that might be the room)
Findings from a weekend of use by a 4yo
- You can activate by saying “Hey poophole”
- If you tell it you love it it responds pretty well
- Not enough animal jokes?
- Broadcast mode seems like it needs a little refining
- Google can understand a lot more that I would assume it would be able to
It’s been in use since I unpacked it. Someone wanted it up and running immediately (will try and get a shot when I get it on the wall.) Due to being Micro USB powered I believe we’re going to take it on a picnic, although why we’re doing this I forgot.
Overall worth the $29 it’s going for right now. Check Walmart though as I seem to recall seeing something like $25 off with some deal there, a free Mini at Target if you get a Nest product, and I’m assuming Best Buy has something where you get a $2 discount if you buy the $90 extended warranty for the $29 product.
I’ve got my 4yo the Google Kid account now, will be moving her over to that if just to get fewer T-Swift suggestions on my profile. That will also enable me to have Man Google voice for my profile, which amuses me to no ends and annoys the everloving crap out of the kids.
Get it, or don’t. I’ve become a fan of the Google Home products for my morning news briefing, commute information, jokes, and really excruciatingly bad trivia.