ARTICLE – Google joined the smart speaker market in 2016, and has since released the Google Home and Google Home Mini. Now there’s a new device, the Google Home Max, which came out in late 2017. In a world where tech devices are getting smaller, the Max needs to have some serious advantages over the Mini to make bank.
Having two competing Google devices may be difficult to wrap your mind around, but they offer different features for different wants and needs. Both devices have Google Assistant, so what other differences are there?
The cost of a product can be the most deciding factor for many consumers, and these two devices certainly have a large price margin. The Google Home Mini costs anywhere from $33 to $49, while the Google Home Max has a solid price of $399. There is no competition here, but there are explanations.
The Max is brand-new, so the price hasn’t even had the chance to start dropping yet. Meanwhile, the Mini has been out for a while and experienced even further price drops during Black Friday sales. In short, if you prefer the Max over the Mini, patience is key to finding the best price.
The most apparent difference between the Max and Mini, other than the price tag, is the size. The Mini is shaped like a hockey puck and is 3.86 inches wide by 1.65 inches high, weighing in at 6.10 ounces. In comparison, the Max is a giant. The Max is rectangular and is 13.3 by 6.1 by 7.5 inches, weighing nearly 12 pounds.
The size and shape of the devices are because of the speakers, which is where the Max shines. The speaker in the Mini is a single 40-millimeter speaker driver. The Max, again, is a beast. Dual four-inch woofers, another two 0.7-inch tweeters, and microphones with far-field voice recognition make up the Max’s audio system. If you’re going for sound quality, the Max wins by a landslide.
Some other small features give these devices some individuality. Colors probably won’t be your deciding factor here, but the Mini is available in white chalk, gray charcoal and pink coral, while the Max only has the charcoal and chalk going for now.
In other news, they both connect to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Chromecast. However, the Max also comes with USB-C and a 3.5-millimeter audio jack to connect to a home entertainment system. The outstanding speaker system, coupled with an auxiliary output, is the main reason for the still-steep price. In time, the Max will absolutely be worth the budget-breaker.
Despite Google only recently releasing the Max, there are worries about availability. The Google Home Mini is available in both American and UK stores, particularly Best Buy and Currys. The Max is so far only for sale in America at stores like Best Buy, Google Store, and Walmart.
As of now, there is no peep of the Google Home Max being available in any other country. The most likely answer is the Max will eventually be available anywhere, but the lack of a guarantee isn’t comforting. Only time will tell, but it is worrisome that Google hasn’t released it overseas yet.
For all their differences, the Max and Mini have a lot of similarities, since they both share the Google Assistant. Both systems have the basic Google advantages, such as answering questions, getting recipes or finding out traffic updates. The devices can also play the radio, music and even podcasts.
As Google becomes a more powerful company, so does their technology and connectivity to other devices. Google Home products can make hands-free phone calls either by saying a name from your contact list, mentioning a business or by reciting the phone number completely. Assistant can also control other smart home devices, like lights, thermostats and any other device you may have connected.
Both the Max and Mini have their advantages and weaknesses. The Mini is more cost-effective, smaller, portable, comes in an extra color and is available in several countries. The Max has a better audio package and connects to your home entertainment system.
The Max and Mini are two entirely different devices, depending on what you plan to buy them for. If you want a home entertainment speaker you can talk to, the Max might be for you. If you want a device that not only reminds you of appointments but also knows a lot of trivia, maybe the Mini fits your lifestyle better.
If you want a digital assistant for an affordable price tag, you might as well buy the original Google Home Mini and not worry about all the extra bells and whistles.
Images via Google