Google Home Mini vs Nest Mini: Which Entry Level Device is Better?

Google Home Mini

Both the nest mini and the home mini are both entry-level smart home devices from the brand. The nest is a second-generation and newer model, so you can expect some upgrades. Let’s go over a bit on what you can expect. 

Google Home Mini vs Nest Mini – Take a look at the Design

In terms of the exterior, nothing changed much. Both units have the same dimension and the same perky round shaped exterior. However, when you flip the unit, you will notice that the nest mini has a small low hook at the back. This makes it easier for you to mount the nest mini to your wall without the need for extra hardware. So it can be a more sustainable option for your home. 

But everything about the exterior is the same. They have the same feel and the same texture. And both are equally quirky devices.

However, there is a slight change in the grill fabric design of the nest min. And this is not noticeable to the public eye. 

Everyone and everything is hopping on the green bandwagon nowadays. Why not? The sight of the poor polar bear clinging on a thin sheet of ice or dead seagulls from eating plastic are enough for most to make a change, at least the decent companies. Thus, in line with going green, the nest mini’s fabric is now made from recycled plastic bottles. And the external enclosure is manufactured from 35 percent of recycled bottles. 

Cables and connections

Instead of a mini plug, the nest mini makes use of a full-sized plug. This change is warranted since it will consume more power than the home mini. This second-generation google home device is packed with more power in terms of amplification, which I will elaborate on later. Thus, the need for a more full-sized cable.


Both Google home devices can be initiated with a tap. The difference is that nest mini provides a clearer direction on things. With the home mini, when you tap the side of the unit, the dots at the center will start to blink. But with the nest mini, there’ll be lights that will indicate where to touch the soonest you approach the device.

It’s because the newer model has an ultrasound detector that lights up once your hand gets near the device. This allows you to pause the music. So you can halt tunes if you tap at the center of the device. And you can play it again by lightly tapping the center. It will also lighten up once you get near the speaker, so it will show you where the volume buttons are. The older model does not have any sensor in the middle of the device.

The nest mini is also equipped with ultrasound technology. This means that the LED lights will brighten up if you’re playing music. 

More microphones

The older model is equipped with 3 microphones while the nest has 4. So the newer model will be able to pick up more sounds and voice better in other rooms. Thus, it can also respond better and faster to voice commands. 

Sound quality

The Google mini home is a great entry-level device. But its sound is not that desirable. It’s okay if you’re going to use this to answer your questions or to play music “sometimes.” But if you’re going to jam every day, you’ll find the sound quality lacking.

And if we’re going to compare it to other smart home devices such as the Google Max or the Apple home Pod, the sound is nowhere near the same. It’s a “you get what you pay for” kind of device, with the sound quality compromised. But don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great device for those just venturing into the smart home system.

With the nest mini, however, the brand was able to redeem itself. Both entry-level home devices basically share the same price tag. But the sound quality of the nest mini, though still inferior compared to the more premium models that I’ve mentioned above, isn’t too shabby. 

In addition,it has a deeper and more powerful bass sound. It makes the sound more natural and richer. This is mostly due to the custom 40mm driver.


Fill your entire house with music

Both devices can group nest speakers or other Google home devices to fill your entire house with songs. But what sets the nest apart is that it can pair two speakers for true stereo sounds. It’s something that the home mini would not be able to do. 

Google assistant

Both share the same functions since they are both powered by Google assistant. So you can still control your smart home devices, set up a calendar, stream music through different music apps, and even access calls for free in the US. The latter is a new feature that both units now have. 

Nest mini vs Amazon Echo Dot clock

How about other entity-level smart home devices? How will the nest mini fare?

The Amazon Echo Dot is a third-generation device that has a slightly higher price compared to the nest mini. It also has physical buttons for the commands and a LED clock embedded in the mesh fabric that circles the device. 

The light is diffused so it can be a better alternative if you don’t want an in your face LED lights that you get from the Google mini home devices. The design is also more subtle and simple. But if you want perky, I have to give it to the nest.

As for the function, I experienced a bit of lagging sometimes with the Echo dot. Sometimes it takes longer for Alexa to respond to a music play request. On the other hand, I didn’t encounter such trouble with the nest mini. I think it’s because it has a learning chip. So it doesn’t always process things in the cloud but the device itself. So if there is a bit of glitch in connectivity, it won’t be affected that much.

And since it’s tied to Google Assistant, it’s very easy to hover through the calendar, YouTube, and stuff. But here’s the thing, when it comes to sound quality, the Echo dot is better. So you have to choose your priority.

So to help you decide, ponder on this. If you have other home devices that are tied to an Alexa ecosystem, the Echo Dot will be more convenient. Whereas, if you are invested in a Google ecosystem and you often use Amazon for shopping, the nest mini will serve you better.


  1. The inclusion of a hole for the morning the nest mini is a great addition. However, I have discovered that such a feature is needed for this model to function at its best. The nest mini does have better amplification and sound compared to the home mini. But for you to be able to take advantage of it, you crisp to mount it on the wall. Otherwise, the sound will not be as clear and crips if you’re just going to leave it on a table.
  2. The nest mini’s new features cannot be upgraded. So if you want to take things up a notch, you have to buy the latest model.
  3. The sound quality is significantly improved with the nest mini. However, it’s still considered an entry-level smart home device. So you cannot really expect it to perform at par with other premium smart home devices such as the Google Max. But as I have mentioned above, it’s not shabby for its price tag.
  4. Both devices have the same affordable price tag. So it’s a no brainer to choose the nest mini over the home mini. You’ll be paying for the same price but with upgrades on the control and sound quality. It’s also a greener option. So there aren’t many questions on which is a better purchase.

The nest mini without a doubt fared better in my meter. You’ll be getting more of your money’s worth. But keep in mind that it’s still an entry-level smart home device, so you have to manage your expectations. It can be an upgrade from your old home mini. Or maybe use both at the same time since the older model is also quite useful.