Google launched its Home and Home Mini smart speakers in India today. Both the devices were previously launched in the US and some other markets during Google’s annual I/O event in 2016 and 2017. The smart speakers will be available exclusively through Flipkart for online sales. For offline retailing, it will be available in several retail stores throughout the country. You can purchase the Google Home and Home Mini starting today.
For starters, the devices will come with support for popular services like Google Play Music, YouTube, Saavn, Gaana and Netflix among many others. Let’s know about the Google Home and Google Home Mini in detail.
Google Home is the larger variant among the two. One of the key benefits of the large size is better speakers. It has a slanting touch surface on the top which lets you perform several actions. You can use it to change volume, trigger Google Assistant and also control music playback. On the same touch panel, there are lights that form patterns and change colours depending upon the actions currently being performed.
There’s a mic on top that listens to your voice and identifies it using the Voice Match technology. On the back, there’s a mic mute button and a power status light. The lower end of the device consists of the speaker which can get pretty loud. You can configure and control its settings via the Google Home app which is compatible with devices running Android 4.4 KitKat and higher or iOS 9.1 and higher.
You can connect the speaker via Wi-Fi, it supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. However, there is no bluetooth support for the device. Unlike Amazon’s Echo, the Google Home lacks a 3.5mm audio jack as well. You can use it by connecting the AC power adapter to a wall socket. It also supports Chromecast through which you can stream movies and music on your television.
Google Home Mini
The Google Home Mini comes with all the basic functionalities and features of the large Google Home. However, it is a palm-sized round device with a comparatively smaller speaker. It can also be easily accommodated in a small space owing to its compact form factor.
One can control the device by tapping on the right and left sides of the smart speaker. This gesture can be used to change volume, start or stop alarms, timers and even calls.
Even the Home Mini’s mic has far-field support like its older sibling so you can give it commands even while being at a distance. The upper portion of the device holds its speakers as well as mic. There are lights that are visible on the fabric and change patterns depending upon its actions.
To recall, Amazon launched its Alexa-powered smart speakers last year by integrating Indian services and dialect. It was specially optimized for Indian consumers. With Google’s entry into the Indian market, the space will heat up for sure. The brand has also announced that they will be adding Hindi support later this year. One of the major use cases of such devices, controlling smart home devices is still in quite nascent stages in the country.
Interestingly, both the smart speakers are priced identical to their Amazon counterparts. The large Google Home is priced at Rs. 9,999, same as the Amazon Echo. The small Google Home Mini will cost you Rs. 4,499, similar to the Amazon Echo Dot.