Technology

Google launches new £49 smart speaker to rival Amazon's Echo Dot

The Home Mini is a smaller and more affordable version of Google Home.

Google has unveiled a new smart speaker to take on Amazon’s rival product, the Echo Dot.

The Google Home Mini, priced at £49, is a smaller and cheaper version of Google Home and costs the same as Amazon’s hands-free, voice-controlled counterpart.

Like its older sibling, the Mini works using Google Assistant, the company’s artificially intelligent personal assistant that rivals Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Samsung’s Bixby.

A year after launching the Home, the technology giant’s first AI-powered smart speaker, the Home Mini will be available to buy in the UK and the US from October 29.

Like the Home, the Mini responds to voice commands and can answer queries as well as carry out commands such as streaming music and also controls other internet-enabled devices around the home such as smart lights, thermostats and TVs.

It also has a voice match feature that recognises up to six people.

The doughnut-shaped device, which is small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, comes in three colours – chalk, charcoal and coral.

As well as launching its new smart speaker, Google is unveiling new personal assistant features that include broadcasting messages to multiple devices.

For example, saying “Hey Google, broadcast it’s time for dinner!” will play the message on all the Google devices across the house to inform family members about their evening meal.

Google Home Mini.
(Google)

The command “Hey Google, goodnight!” can turn off all the lights, turn down the temperature and remind the user of their first meeting next day.

Another key feature that allows the user to search more than three million recipes and follow step-by-step cooking instructions from the smart speakers is set to be rolled out in the next few days.

The Mini comes with built-in far-field microphones that provide a 360-degree sound effect.

The Google Home Mini is available to pre-order online at the Google Store as well as several retailers including Currys PC World, Maplin, Argos, John Lewis, EE and Carphone Warehouse.

Google also unveiled its new flagship Android phones – the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL – at an event in San Francisco on Wednesday.

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