Google Home + Google Home Mini review

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Thread Starter
Sep 21, 2007
I have had a Google Home Mini for 2 years ever since it came out, and recently upgraded to the Google Home.

One thing for sure, it is smarter at answering questions than Amazon Echo Dot, which I also purchased for comparison. Google has it's Google search engine, and that adds a lot of smarts with countless people's queries to use as experience. Google Home's web site outlines what it does very well. The Google Home app also has some suggestions to point you to try things that Google Home understands. The list of things it understands is constantly growing, as Amazon Echo and Google Home are constantly competing.

Google Home (mini and bigger brother) has streaming music, free or subscription. If you opt for free, when you ask for a song, it will not directly play That song, but play a mix of songs by the same artist with other artists mixed in. If you subscribe, it will play the song you asked for directly. Free wise, you can also request radio channels. Also there are also free 'channels', like today's pop songs and so on.

Google Home Mini has no bass, oweing to it's small size. So orchestral music will lack that umph. Google Home has decent bass, and that's why I upgraded. As an alternative to buying the Google Home, you can purchase the Google Home Mini and add your own Bluetooth speaker, which could be cheaper. Starting 2018 I think, both Home Mini and Home have added the Bluetooth feature. I have yet to try this.

Playing classical music via voice command is difficult I find. I can never remember the exact opus, whether it was B flat or B major. The preferred way is to use Google Play Music on your smartphone to search for it. That will give you a list of songs with the proper names. And there is a 'cast' button to have the song directed to the Home or Home mini. In addition, you get a list of genre's, and what's popular and so on.

YouTube does not seem to have the cast button yet, and you would need to pair your cellphone's Bluetooth to the Home or Home Mini.

A particular feature that I like is to have Google remember my groceries list. Just ask Google to add eggs to your shopping list. And then when you are at the supermarket, you can pull up that list on your cell phone and shop accordingly.

The installation is simple, just power up the unit, turn on Wi-Fi, and install the Google Home app from Play Store. The app will find your device, ask you to make a name for the location, like 'Fred's Home' or 'Fred's Office', make a name for your device, and add the device.

If you subscribe to Google Music, the service will be attached to the Gmail address of your phone. (If you use several gmail addresses, you can choose which one) There is a free one month try out period. It is $10 per month afterwards. And you can unsubscribe from within the Google Play Music app. Spotify Music streaming is also supported.

Note for Wi-Fi: the SSID must be displayable, some routers can opt to hide the SSID. Also you cannot have AP Isolation, which stops one Wi-Fi connection from touching another. If you don't plan on using Google Play Music, you can turn both these features on after setup without affecting the Home or Home Mini.

If you also speak another language, you can also request songs in that language. For example, even though I don't speak a word of Hindi, I can ask Google to 'play some Hindi pop music'. Music unites us all.

I think Google presently understands English (U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, India, Singapore), French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish (Spain). And they say it is going to expand to 30 languages by year's end.
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