Hands-on with Google's £49 Echo Dot-like assistant

05 October, 2017, 00:47 | Author: Randy Kelley
  • Google Home Max is the new, beefer version of Google Home with 20x the audio power

The device is a small, circular puck, with a plastic base and fabric top.

Following the original Home's launch, Google Assistant now also adopts Voice Match, meaning the service learns your (and your family's) voice to only respond as necessary. Priced at $49, it's much like the petite Amazon Echo Dot speaker.

It's available in three colors too, black, grey and coral. It's also likely a move that will help address forthcoming competition for Home from Apple, which is set to launch its own Siri-enabled premium speaker, the HomePod, by the end of this year.

Google Home Max is a large speaker, and it's housing some serious hardware behind that friendly facade. Priced at $49 in the United States, the device is already up for pre-orders in the country and will be made available starting October 19.

Pre-orders for the Home Max open on November 13.

But what's the difference between the Google Home Mini and its regular-sized alternative? Users can simply tap on the earbud to trigger the Google Assistant or change the track.

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It's also hard not to see the device as something of a jab at Sonos.

Google Home is a speaker that offers a personal assistant in any room and has been an extremely popular alternative to Amazon Alexa. This will be available in all seven countries.

The Home Max will roll out to other territories including the United Kingdom next year. Other territories weren't announced at the event. It, like its bigger sibling, comes with touch controls.

When it comes to audio, the Google Home Mini boasts a 360 degree speaker which is tuned for voice rather than music.

In terms of connectivity, there's dual-band WiFi with MIMO and Bluetooth. "Clips looks for stable, clear shots of people you know", says Google. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, Google claims the speaker can automatically adjust its output to its surroundings in a matter of seconds.

Whether or not the Google Home Mini will be a better purchase than the Echo Dot is anyone's guess. It's also a subtle way for Google to encourage customers to buy more than one Google Home device for their households.

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