A “reliable source” has informed the site that not only will the Nest Mini have far better audio quality out of the box than its slightly weak sounding predecessor, but it will also have a 3.5mm stereo jack. That means that you can output to any of your better sounding speakers, essentially making your dumb speaker smart.
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That may not sound like a huge deal, but it put a real crimp on the original device’s style. While the built-in speaker was perfectly serviceable for podcasts and chatting with Google Assistant, music sounded weak and tinny. And although you could stream music to other devices, it required them all to have Chromecast Audios attached, pushing up the price.
By contrast, all three generations of Amazon’s Echo Dot have had 3.5mm stereo jacks built in, as well as supporting Bluetooth. Personally I’ve always found Google Assistant considerably smarter than Alexa, but I would still make the Echo Dot my recommendation for somebody wanting to dip their toes into the world of smart speakers, purely for the added flexibility of the 3.5mm jack.
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But that’s not the only upgrade the Nest Mini will be getting over its predecessor. The report also says that it will have a built-in wall mount, meaning you won’t need to find a table to prop it up on. It’s not clear whether this will just be groove for hanging it on a screw or something more bespoke, but it’s interesting that the company sees this as a common enough use case to compensate for.
Finally, the Nest Mini is said to have proximity sensors built in, which should display the current volume levels when it senses that you’re close.
There’s nothing yet on release dates, but it wouldn’t be hugely surprising if it debuted alongside the Pixel 4 this autumn. Watch this space.
What would you like to see in Google’s next mini smart speaker? Let us know what you think on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.