Google Nest Mini or Amazon’s Echo dot? I am sure a lot of us have been caught with this tasking decision of which smart speaker you should get for your home or office. And while there share a lot of similarities, there are some factors that differentiate them, which may help you make your decision.
Mini smart speaker are just like your regular smart speaker, but with a sacrifice of large speakers for a cheaper and smaller speaker. Mini smart speaker are great for those starting in home automation or for people who are on a tight budget. Currently, there are two major smart speakers in this size range, and there are: the Echo Dot and Google Nest Mini, but which should you get? Well, in this post, we will be comparing Echo Dot and Nest mini to help guide you on which mini smart speaker to get.
Looking at the two, you would notice that both speakers share some similarities in design, with only a few differences that distinguish them.
For the Amazon Echo dot, you have a hockey-puck shaped speaker that measures 3.9 inches wide and 1.7 inches tall. At the top of the device, you have the signature Amazon button layout, which are the Volume up/down button, Alexa summon button and the mute microphone button. You will also notice a couple of holes that house the microphone for picking up voice commands.
In the middle, you have a fabric cover that goes around the Echo dot that covers the speakers, and if you opt for the Echo Dot with clock, you get an LED that displays the time. The Echo dot is available in multiple color options. You can get it in Heather Grey, Plum, sandstone, or charcoal color. Around home furniture, the Echo dot looked sleek and elegant with the fabric cover in the middle.
Just like the Echo Dot, the Google Nest mini has this Hockey-puck shape, but unlike the Echo dot with a plastic covering at the top and bottom, the upper part of the Nest mini is cover with fabric while the base is made of plastic. Which makes it looks like a premium speaker despite the low price tag of the speaker.
Underneath the Nest mini, you have the speaker, microphone, the Google Signature 4 color Led, and a three-button layout, which are the play/pause button and volume controls. Turn over the speaker to its rubber base, and you will find only find the USB power port and mute mic toggle, No 3.3mm jack here sadly unlike the Echo dot.
When it comes to aesthetics, although there isn’t so much difference, the Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker wins this round, it has this premium look to it that sets it apart. Compared to the Echo Dot 2nd generation, the 3rd gen is a considerable refresh in design.
But that’s not to take anything away from the Google Nest mini smart speaker. The overall fabric cover on the nest mini makes it looks sleek and elegant. Both speakers should easily fit in anywhere you wish to place it, from the kitchen counter, living room, or even bedroom.
Buy The Echo Dot
The setup process of both smart speakers was relatively straight-forward, put in a few minutes, and you should have everything set up.
For the Google Nest mini, once you have picked the speaker from its box, plug in the USB power cable and power up the device. Now download the Google Home app from either the Google Play store or the Apple app store and link the Nest Mini with the app. After that, proceed to give it a name and connect it to your home WiFi, and your Nest Mini is ready to serve you.
While for the Echo Dot 3rd gen, once you have plugged in the barrel port, head over to your respective app store and download the Alexa app. On the Alexa app tab on the devices icon and add the Echo dot as a speaker, give it a name, and you are done with the Echo Dot setup process.
Both the Echo Dot and Nest mini produce impressive sounds for their price and compact size. Audio quality from both devices was clear, crisp, and loud with reasonably deep lows. But analyzing them individually, you will notice some differences from the two smart speakers. Underneath the fabric covering on the Echo Dot 3rd gen, you have a 0.8″ tweeter and a 3″ woofer, which blast sound in 360° direction.
For quality, the sounds coming from the Echo Dot was impressive, the highs were clear and loud while the lows were deep and punchy. The 3rd gen also sees Amazon include Dolby processing for better audio performance.
Stepping over to the Google Nest mini, you have a 40 mm driver underneath the fabric covering. Unlike the Echo dot, you get a single 360° speaker. For sound quality, even though the Nest mini has only a single speaker, the audio performance was excellent. You may not get the element separation your get from the Echo dot, but you still get crisp and clear highs and punchy deeps. For its size, I was impressed with the sound produced by the Nest mini.
Needless to say, both these smart speakers were not designed with heavy media consumption in mind, I found them most useful for sending voice commands, reading news, Drop-ins, and so on. If you want a smart speaker for playing music, you should probably go for more prominent speakers like the Google home max or the Echo smart speaker.
Smart Home Intergeration:
When it comes to features and smart home automation, both smart speakers have a lot packed in them. There both come with different smart Assistants, Alexa for the Echo Dot and The Google assistant for Nest mini.
With both voice Assistant, you can request for a weather update, read the news, play music, play trivia games, and so much more with only your voice. And thanks to the 360° omnidirectional microphone in both smart speakers. There should be able to pick up voice commands easily.
If you have a couple of smart devices around your home, the Echo dot and Nest mini can serve as a smart hub for controlling Devices like lights, switches, robot vacuum, TV, doorbell, and so on. Both speakers are compatible with products from big names like Phillips hue, Lyfx, Eufy, SmartThings, and so on. But when it comes to numbers, Alexa has a higher number of compatible devices with about 25000+ devices.
Both Assistant also supports smart home automation and routines, which means that you can group some smart home devices to work together and create conditions that trigger an automation to be executed. For example, you can create a bedtime Automation that turns off your TV, lights, and turn on your security cameras. Or automation that turns on your lights and TV whenever you get back home and so on.
Buy Nest Mini
Price is always a huge determining factor when choosing between which speaker to pick. Fortunately, both speaker comes with low price tags. The Amazon Echo Dot currently sells for $30, but if you wish to go for the Echo Dot with clock, it will cost you an additional $30, which is $60, While the Google Nest mini cost $35. You can get both speakers from Amazon with the link below.
For connectivity, both the Amazon Echo dot and Google Nest mini works over WiFi and Bluetooth only. And since most smart home devices support WiFi, controlling them won’t be an issue. But It is sad to see neither of these smart speakers supports ZigBee or Z-wave protocol. If your home has a lot of ZigBee or Z-wave devices, you are better off getting a dedicated smart home hub to help organize and control all your smart home devices. The benefits of Zigbee and Z-wave is the faster response time and low bandwidth it consumes.
Read More: Top 5 Smart Home Hubs For 2020
So between the Echo Dot and Nest mini who won? Well, considering every factor, I can say the Amazon Echo Dot wins this one. The Echo Dot slightly outshines the Nest Mini in most aspects. Audio performance was noticeably better on the Echo Dot, it was slightly louder, and thanks to the 3″ woofer, the lows were significantly better.
I also preferred the Echo Dot design mostly because it’s new and different from the Echo Dot 2nd gen, unlike the Nest mini, which maintained the same design as the previous version, at $30 Echo dot is cheaper than the Google Nest mini. But that not to say that Nest Mini is not an excellent smart speaker. The Nest mini also got a significant upgrade to its audio performance from its predecessor, design-wise, the materials used to design the speaker look premium, and at only $5 higher than the Echo Dot, it’s not so much of a jump in price.
If your home is built around the Google home Ecosystem, then getting the Google home speakers is a no-brainer. But if you are starting your first smart home project or looking to save money on a mini speaker, both the Google Nest mini and Echo Dot are perfect options for you, But on paper, the Echo Dot 3rd generation comes out on top.