Moving beyond the original chalk, charcoal, and coral versions, the popular Google Home Mini voice-activated speaker has taken a cue from mid-century modern design with a new aqua version. Clad in the same soft fabric as its sister products released last year, the aqua version will be available on the Google Home store and Walmart later in October.
Beyond the minty aqua fabric, the Google Home Mini fundamentals are still the same. The speaker retains the rounded puck shape, and the same Google Assistant voice activation engine inside will respond to a growing library of commands that begin with “Ok Google” or “Hey Google.”
They will also have the identical, nicely-integrated white power puck and cable, a setup that mostly disappears when plugged into a wall outlet. In contrast, the competing Amazon Echo Dot speaker has a black, more obtrusive power adapter that plugs into an outlet.
These Google speakers are also well integrated with all of the connected home products from sister company Nest, including the company’s smart thermostats, doorbells, cameras, and security system offerings. They also benefit from new languages and dialects as Google announces them for its voice assistant.
Smart speakers have been decidedly skewed toward monochrome shades to date. So, if you are looking for a smart speaker to blend more discretely into your modern decor, this new aqua Google Home Mini—or maybe the existing coral version—might be just the ticket. If you are considering or already own the larger Google Home speaker, keep in mind Google sells retrofit bases in coral, metal/carbon, and copper finishes at a cost ranging from $20 to $40.
Google has not announced the cost of the new aqua version, though the current versions retail at $49. Google is also expected to announce more products in a launch event on October 9, so it is possible they may announce a price adjustment at that time. There are also rumblings there may be a minty aqua version of the new Pixel 3 smartphone.
Tom Kolnowski is the Chief Content Officer & Founder of Digitized House Media, LLC, the publisher of Digitized House | Guide to the Connected Home. When he isn’t writing about smart home technology, sustainability, and high-performance architecture, you’ll find him exploring faraway destinations with his family.