Should I buy the Google Home Mini?

Find out if the Google Home Mini is the perfect smart speaker for you now

Google Home Mini
(Image credit: Google)

There’s a great Black Friday deal on the Google Home Mini right now, with the top-rated smart speaker discounted down to £19. Should you buy it, though? The short answer is “yes”. The longer answer is “yeeeesssssss”. Here’s why.

Why would I want a Google Home Mini anyway?

The Google Home Mini is one of the easiest ways to get into smart home technology. It’s a tiny smart speaker that gives you all the power of its bigger sibling, the Google Home, but it’s much smaller, cuter and cheaper. It runs Google Assistant, the same digital assistant you may have in your smartphone: Just say “OK Google” and tell it what you’d like it to do.

And it can do a lot. You can get it to answer questions, play music, tell you the weather forecast or the traffic conditions, wake you up, time your cooking, tune into your favourite radio station, control smart bulbs from the likes of Philips Hue and much more. When it was £50, the Guardian said it was “brilliant”. At £19, it’s even more brilliant.

What are the alternatives to the Google Home Mini?

The closest rival is Amazon’s Echo dot, which does much the same thing but with stronger links to Amazon’s various services. The price of that one goes up and down like a kangaroo in a lift; in the run-up to Black Friday, Amazon cut its price to £22. If you’d rather go with Apple, there isn’t a similarly cheap option: its HomePod is nearly £300.

Is the Google Home Mini speaker’s sound quality any good?

It’s not going to have you hurling your existing, expensive hi-fi into the bin but it’s crisp and clear and you can usually hear it over the washing machine or cooker hood. It’s not very bassy but you can connect it to a Google Cast-enabled speaker over Wi-Fi later on if you wish. Unlike Amazon’s option there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack to connect another speaker.

What about my privacy? Will the Google Home Mini listen to everything I do?

Google says no. You can go into any time and delete details of any activity.

Who should buy the Google Home Mini?

If you haven’t already dipped your toe into smart home tech, this is a brilliant way to do it. It’s really easy to set up – just connect it to your Wi-Fi via the Google app on your phone or tablet – and it’s really handy to have. 

Black Friday sales around the web

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (