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The Google Nest Mini is round with a 9cm diameter and is 4cm thick; there is a choice of four colours: chalk; sky; coral or charcoal.
There are three touch controls on the device volume down, volume up and mute. The only physical connection is the 1.5 metre long micro USB to mains plug.
The initial setup requires the Google Home App which is available on the iOS or Android store. Once setup is completed you can run the Nest Mini totally from your voice so the phone does not need to be present.
One of the Nest Minis partners is Spotify (normal cost £9.99 a month) this come free once you create their account. While there is a free alternative this would normally have restrictions like adverts every few songs but not with the Nest Mini version, no adverts.
I used this in my bedroom and told it what time to wake me up and even told it to play Bill Evans for thirty six minutes to help me to get to sleep.
When you first wake I can ask it for the current weather so without drawing the curtains I know what conditions are.
You can ask it questions like how many ounces in a kilo or how do I get to Basingstoke as two very random ones.
The initial setup notes where you are so even train or bus times should be available and it even knows the walking time to the station.
Unlike other devices that need to lay flat this offering can be hung on a wall and there is an eye to hang it on.
Its size does restrict the total volume but it is plenty for a reasonable sized room.
While the volume can be controlled from the unit it can also be controlled by voice, the instruction leaflet suggests starting with ‘Hey Google’ but ‘OK Google’ also works. If you have had a Google device before it already knows your voice, my tests with this item were while I had a heavy cold and it still knew me.
It can also link to other things like a Calendar and Google Assistant and with the right kit you can even get it to control your heating.
One small difference from the Google Home Hub is that you cannot tell it to sleep, but it does understand stop.
I was more than happy with the Nest Mini and the sound it gave and just saying wake me at 6.50AM is a lot easier than setting a clock as you just speak it and the voice says it back and alarms are only set for that one single time.
At the £49 it’s a good buy, and for me anyway free Spotify makes it a no brainer.
Nest Mini is available from the link below for £49.99 with free delivery.