Technology is designed for the sole purpose to make life easier. When technology has been perfected, the next step is to make it smaller. Such is the case for the Google Home Mini, which is designed to function like the Google Home, but smaller, more compact, and with a more affordable price tag.
The design for the Google Home Mini is circular, about four inches in diameter, and stands just under an inch high. The top is flat and has four LED lights that displays what function the Google Home Mini is doing- listening, processing, or muted. The device has a cloth cover the covers the top half of the device. The colors for the cloth comes in light gray, dark gray, and coral red.
There is a button on the top allowing for press-to-talk functionality, and a switch on the side allowing the microphone to be muted. Although there is a mute switch, there is a spoken functionality that allows the user to mute the Google Home Mini by command. There are also buttons that allow the speaker on the device to control the volume.
So far, a few issues have already come to light. The most prominent is the top button having “phantom presses.” The already manufactured devices seem to have an issue where the top button that can be held down to say a command can activate without being pressed, resulting in random recordings many times throughout the day. To resolve this issue, Google is currently deactivating this button, meaning users will have to use the Google Home mini by speech only.
The cloth cover also poses an interesting case. Because a cloth cover is a rarity, most devices can easily be wiped down to be cleaned. This cloth cover may be complex to clean, leaning towards being vacuumed than being wiped down. Also, cat owners may have an issue of their cat confusing the device for a toy or a scratchpad. The three colors of the cloths are designed to be easily matched with any interior design, but different colors should be an option in later versions for a more broader match for any room.
Due to the three full sound speakers on the Google Home being reduced to only one, top blasting speaker on the Google Home Mini, users of the Home may find it difficult to adjust to the volume of the Mini. Although the mini has a small design, the ease of portability is lacking. The device still needs to be connected to an outlet, whereas a battery that can be charged could allow for better portability in future models.