Google Home Mini vs Amazon Echo Dot – Which is a Better Smart Speaker (Mini)?

When it comes to smart speaker ecosystem, the competition is becoming tougher by days. With various companies trying to capture the booming market, they have launched and planning to launch their own smart speaker system. It is fueled by the desire of the technology-driven people who wish to have a smart speaker system in their home to meet their variety of requirements. Even I also wonder what is going to be the present and future of the smart speaker systems. With plenty of options available in the market, it is hard to select the right one. They all come with their own unique features and functionalities which capture the imagination and interest of the people. The potential market of these systems is huge. I hope there will be multiple options available for the people to choose from in the near future.

With the increase in competition, I expect there will be fall in the prices of these systems. Newer technologies will make these systems even more innovative and intuitive. Nevertheless, we have to do with what is available in the market at present. In this article, we have described two of the well-known smart speaker system which has captured the market with their awesome features and applications. They are Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot.

So, let’s look at Google Home Mini vs Amazon Echo Dot.

But first, let’s look at the beginning of this competition.

At present, the smart speaker ecosystem is being dominated by Amazon, the behemoth online marketplace which has captured a large section of the market. It amazed the market with its Amazon Echo which has brought the future into reality. With its variety of offering, it is serving the requirement of a large section of people. Each section gets their own version depending on their requirements and expectations.

However, Google is trying to catch up to it with one smart device at a time. Last year, one of the largest companies, Google launched its Google Home to rival with Amazon Echo. But when it comes to a smaller version of Echo, the Echo Dot, it has lacked any sort of competition in the market. But the competition is heating up with Google releasing its smaller Google Home smart speaker system that it present in its recent event, “Made By Google” in San Francisco, California. It is called Google Home Mini. It is a new pebble-shaped speaker which is giving a tough competition to its rival, the Amazon’s top-selling Echo Dot which has been able to get its presence in thousands of consumers’ homes.

Google is now ready to capture a bigger chunk of the market with its new offering. So, we thought we should offer our readers with similarities and difference between the Home Mini and Echo Dot. We want our readers to know which is better than other and help them making a better decision to buy the right smart speaker system as per their requirements. So, we decided to put these systems against each other, and we provide the in-depth comparison of these systems. Let’s delve deeper into Google Home Mini vs Amazon Echo Dot.

Build and Design

Talking about the size, the Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot are almost similar. But when it comes to design as well as aesthetics of both the products, it varies by a huge margin. The Home Mini has a pebble-like flat design, and when it comes to Echo Dot, it is more like its elder brethren’s famous circular pill shape. When we talk about the specifics, the Echo Dot is almost 10 mm smaller in diameter and in height, when compared with Home Mini’s convex fabric top.

When it comes to the material of Echo dot, it has already familiar plasticky look as well as feel which isn’t soothing. But Home Mini is stunningly beautiful and looks way better than Echo Dot. Google also take great pride in developing its durable fabric which allows the light as well as sound to pass through easily, in-house. Talking about pursuit to perfection, it took Google over 157 tries to get the desired grey chalk color.

The simplistic design of the Google Home Mini is certainly phenomenal. It is topped off by touch-based gestures which offer access to major controls. When it comes to Echo Dot, it still depends on its labeled buttons which are included up-top. The simplicity of the Google Home Mini can be best described by the fact that it only has one physical switch which is for muting the microphone.

Looking at the Google Home Mini reaffirms the fact that it is a smart speaker system that will certainly add to the aesthetics of your home. It has tiny shape with 4 LED lights perfectly tucked under the fabric which doesn’t even make its presence on your desk. But on the other hand, the Echo Dot fails to beat the Google Home Mini in style and simplicity. It certainly makes its presence known with its blue circular ring which makes it stand out among all of its competitors. Aesthetics and look wise, if we compare Google Home Mini vs Amazon Echo Dot, Home Mini wins by a little margin. Well, of course, it does depends on the choice of the person, what appeals him the most.

Voice recognition

In terms of their important feature, voice recognition, both the devices are fairly matched. This feature has the most important task than anyone will ever execute on these smart speaker systems. Both devices use hands-free far-field recognition technology in order to listen to the commands of the user. This technology allows the speakers to listen to the activation or “wake-word” even from far distance or even during music playback. This technology makes these devices, state-of-the-art smart speaker systems.

The Echo Dot has integrated a 7-microphone array of Amazon which utilizes the beam-forming technology along with the advanced noise cancellation in order to improve voice recognition. However, at present, we don’t have any knowledge about the number of microphones that Google Home Mini has, but certainly, it has sufficient number of them to enable this device to deliver the best quality. We think it has possibly two-microphone setup which is similar to the original Home speaker from Google.

The microphones play an important role in these systems, and when we look at Google Home Mini vs Amazon Echo Dot, the result of these microphones are phenomenally good.

Another aspect we like to add about Google Home Mini is that it comes with integrated “Voice Match” technology which allows the speaker to differentiate members of the family from each other. This technology provides the ability to Google Home mini to access the account of each individual to offer the right answer. For instance, if your mom asks for her reminders, then the Home Mini will tell her meetings schedule, but when the similar query is made by your dad, then the speaker will be able to differentiate and tell him his meetings along.

Sound Quality

When it comes to sound quality of both the systems, there isn’t much difference. The Echo Dot consists of a single 0.6-inch speaker while Google Home Mini offers a 360-degree sound experience due to its larger 40mm audio driver that it consists of. This feature does provide awesome sound quality. This quality also infers that Home Mini may be a bit louder than the Echo Dot, but you won’t be able to notice the difference unless you listen to both of them in reality.

By viewing the size of the speakers, one can guess that they are not actually meant for loud and blasting music. However, with a call to offer, they will definitely provide you the assistance you require almost instantly. In case you are looking for a loud and blasting smart speaker system, then we recommend that you go for recently released Google Home Max which is about to go on sale.

Connectivity

In order to keep its simplicity ideals in mind, the Google Home Mini comes with a single micro-USB port which is present at the back of the smart speaker system. In this criteria, the Echo Dot does take the lead with the introduction of a 3.5mm headphone jack along with the micro-USB charging port which essentially means that it can easily be connected to an external speaker, physically. However, this is not possible with Google Home Mini. So when you consider Google Home Mini vs Amazon Echo Dot in terms of connectivity, the Echo Dot clearly has the advantage.

However, there are some similarities between both the smart speaker systems. Both systems provides support for Bluetooth as well as Wi-Fi connectivity. It allows you to stream audio using your smartphone to either of these smart speaker systems with quite an ease. The Home Mini does make up for its lack of 3.5mm headphone jack by means of allowing you to pair any of the Chromecast Audio-compatible wireless speakers in order to play the music.

Smart capabilities

Even though people are very much familiar with the smart capabilities of Google Assistant, it doesn’t actually mean that Alexa voice assistant from Amazon is lacking. Alexa has been around for more than three years, and it has established itself as a brand in the ever-growing smart speaker system market and also has made its way to the smartphones.

When it comes to Google Home Mini vs Amazon Echo Dot, both have AI-enabled smart assistants which are loaded with these speakers with each having their own advantages. Both of these smart speakers are very much capable of answering your queries along with streaming music, assisting you to keep up with your schedule as well as traffic conditions on your way to work. The most important feature is that both systems allow you to place phone calls using voice commands. However, we do know one fact for sure that there isn’t any doubt about the ability of Google Assistant when it comes to answering any query instantly via expansive knowledge graph of Google.

With time, the capabilities of Google Assistant have been increasing by many folds, and it now includes broadcast as well as family link features. The broadcast feature allows you to transmit a common message to each of your Google Home device present in your home while the Family Link feature allows the speaker to recognize child’s voices and then grant them access to nearly 50 activities which are suitable as per their age. On the other Hand, Alexa has managed to collect more than 15,000 third-party skills which allow it to provide additional functionalities to the Echo Dot users.

Well, we would surely like to emphasize on the fact that both Home Mini and Echo Dot has great features when it comes to providing additional features to their users. So when we compare Google Home Mini vs Amazon Echo Dot in terms of additional features, both appear fairly matched.

Talking about the abilities of the speaker regarding the help they provide to manage smart home devices, both Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot are equally capable. They both allow you to control the temperature of your home as well as lights along with security cameras and much more via voice commands on both the devices. At present, they support devices which are manufactured by likes of Wemo, Honeywell, Nest, LG and many others.

Both of these smart home speakers also come with their own companion smartphone app, both for iOS and Android. This allows you to control both, the Echo Dot or Home Mini. You can also use Google Home app or Alexa to connect necessary services like Nest, Spotify, Philips Hue and much more.

Comparison: Tech Specifications

Device Google Home Mini Amazon Echo Dot
Diameter 3.86 in (98 mm) 3.30 in (84 mm)
Height 1.65 in (42 mm) 1.30 in (32 mm)
Weight 6.10 oz (173 g) 5.70 oz (163 g)
Processor n/a Texas Instruments DM3725 Digital Media Processor (according to teardown)
Microphone far-filed voice recognition beam-forming 7-microphone array
Speaker 360-degree sound with 40mm driver 0.6-inch (16mm) speaker
Connectivity (wired) micro-USB port micro-USB port, 3.5mm jack
Connectivity (wireless) 802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5Ghz) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5Ghz) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Software support Android 4.2 and higher, iOS 9.1 and higher Fire OS, Android, and iOS
Supported Audio formats HE-AAC, LC-AAC+, MP3, Vorbis, WAV (LPCM), FLAC AAC/MP4, MP3, HLS, PLS, M3U (FLAC and OGG may work)
Materials Durable fabric top, plastic housing, non-skid silicone base plastic housing
Colours Charcoal, Chalk and Coral Black, White (can buy coloured fabric cases)
Pricing $49 $49.99

Pricing and Availability

By providing better voice recognition and a smaller price tag of $49.99, Amazon updated its original Echo Dot nearly a year ago. It convinced number of the customer to opt for upgrading their homes with voice assistance of Alexa. But Google has set its own mission to outperform the success of Echo Dot with its mini speaker enabled with Google Assistant. At present, the Home Mini is priced at $49 in order to compete with the Amazon in this budget section. So, when it comes to pricing aspect of Google Home Mini vs Amazon Echo Dot, the difference is not that much. However, it may play a key role for some people.

Their competitive pricing will make sure that there will be a divide between the consumers when it comes to owning any of the smart speaker systems, be it due to Google Assistant’s smarts or Alexa’s skill bank. At present the Echo Dot is available for buying on Amazon in few selected countries, namely U.S., U.K, India, and Germany, where Voice Services of Alexa has been launched. On the other hand, Google Home Mini will be available in total seven countries which also includes Japan. It will be available starting October 19.

Google Home Mini vs Amazon Echo Dot: The Final Verdict

Smart speaker system market is heating up. With the increasing demand of users, and their requirements of additional features and functionalities, companies are coming up with unique products with competitive prices.

When it comes to Google and Amazon, both of these technology giants are now diverting their attention towards equally capable speaker system as they can be bought together and placed in the house almost everywhere. Since the large smart speaker can be placed at only one location, the option of having a smart speaker in each room reduces the user’s need to shout out loud the commands. Both Home Mini and Echo Spot have their own unique features. When it comes to connectivity, Echo Dot has the edge over Home Mini. Aesthetically, Home Mini is quite beautiful in comparison with Echo Dot. Both of them have equally capable voice recognition technologies with advanced features. The sound quality of both the systems are exceptional. Both have competitive pricing with Home Mini being slightly cheaper.

But when it comes to selecting one out of these two, we pick Google Home Mini due to its awesome design along with its smarts of Google Assistant which enables it to keep up with the conversations actively.

The comparison of Google Home Mini vs Amazon Echo Dot is quite tough. It takes an expert to find the exact difference between both smart devices. Both of them are capable of delivering best quality output with advanced features and functionalities.

However, it is up to your decision if you wish to pick the Home Mini due to capabilities of Google Assistant with its aesthetic beauty or to buy Amazon Alexa’s skill-rich Echo Dot. No matter what you choose, don’t forget to let us know your pick and suggestions along with your thoughts in the comment section below.

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