Bye-bye Google Home Mini and Google Wi-Fi, hello Nest Mini and Next Wi-Fi. At the #madebygoogle event, Google continued the rebranding of the former Google smart home products, so now the Nest Mini succeeds the Google Home Mini, while the second generation of Google Wi-Fi has become the Nest Wi-Fi.
Of course, rebranding is not as important as features for us technology enthusiasts, but it does show that Google now differentiates between the mobile hardware products that run under the Pixel branding and the smart home products that will now be under the Nest brand. Google sees the main difference between Pixel and Nest products as being that the latter must be more intuitive to use, as they usually have to be operated by several people.
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Nest Mini - old optics, new technology
The Google Home Mini was a box-office hit for Google, because at an original price of $50 (now $30) you got a small loudspeaker including a voice assistant with which you can listen to music and control smart home devices and because it was so compact it could be discreetly placed in the house. Of course, the successor Nest Mini should offer all this, but there are also a few things that the Nest Mini can do better than its Home Mini.
On the outside, the Google Home Mini and the Nest Mini could easily be confused, Google has hardly changed anything about the design. The only note: on the back of the Nest Mini there is now a wall bracket.
Inside, Google has now given the Nest Mini a third microphone, which is mainly intended to provide hotword recognition. For a faster response, Google has equipped it with more computing power. A machine learning chip is responsible here.
Since the Nest Mini is supposed to sound better than its predecessor, it gets an improved amplifier, which especially enhances the bass performance. According to Google, the Nest Mini is twice as strong in the low-frequency range. In addition, finally, two Nest Minis can be combined to create a stereo pair.
Google will launch the Nest Mini on September 22 in Europe at a price of €59. Altogether the Nest Mini is offered in four colors, but only the color variants Carbon and Charol come to some regions. The colors red and blue are also offered in the US.
Nest Wi-Fi - mesh network including Google Assistant
With Nest Wi-Fi, Google is not only bringing a technically improved Google Wi-Fi successor onto the market for home networking, but it also looks even better. Nest Wi-Fi still consists of two different components: The Wi-Fi router and the Wi-Fi access point. Google has now given the router a higher range, so that it should now cover an area of 120 sqm. But more interesting is the new access point, which is not only a Wi-Fi satellite for the mesh network, but it also contains a Nest Mini, so it can be used as a smart loudspeaker including Google Assistant.
As with Google Wi-Fi, the Nest Wi-Fi is also sold as a single components. Here the prices for the router are €159 or €139 for the access point. Or you can use a bundle consisting of a router and an access point. This then costs €259. There will no longer be a bundle of routers and two access points as with the predecessor due to the increased range. According to Google, the bundle of packages will loosely cover an area of 210 m2. The sales launch for the Nest Wi-Fi has not yet been decided but is expected to take place in 2019.
On the software side, Google Wi-Fi users will soon have to prepare for a changeover, as Google will gradually integrate all functions for Wi-Fi products into the Google Home App. If one then remembers the rebranding, then the app, which until now was called Google Home, will certainly be renamed Nest Home in the near future.