Google and Amazon are two of the most powerful players in the smart home market. They both offer a wide range of smart speakers for your home. Late last year, Amazon upgraded the third-gen Echo Dot speaker by slapping an LED clock on its face. Google also launched the Nest Mini for budget-friendly buyers. In this Google Nest Mini vs Amazon Echo Dot with Clock comparison, let’s check out how they stack up.
They both have similar prices. The Nest Mini was launched at $49, but you can get it for as low as $35. The Amazon Echo Dot with Clock was launched at $60, but it can be picked up for around $45 on sale.
Google Nest Mini vs Amazon Echo Dot with Clock: Design
They are both small, puck-shaped smart speakers covered in fabric. The Echo Dot Clock has a blue light ring around the top to let you know when Alexa has been activated. At the top of the speaker are buttons for activating Alexa, volume controls, and muting the mic. The Amazon device has four microphones compared to just three on the Nest Mini.
The Echo Dot Clock is available in Sandstone, Charcoal, Plum, and Heather Gray colors. It has an LED clock embedded in the mesh fabric circling the speaker. The clock’s light is diffused to ensure that it doesn’t distract or annoy users. The clock also eliminates the need to constantly ask, “Alexa, what is the time?” You can also use it as an alarm clock.
The Echo Dot Clock measures 99 mm x 99 mm x 43 mm and weighs 300g. In contrast, the Nest Mini measures 98 mm x 48mm, and weigh just 181g. Both devices get Bluetooth support, but only the Echo Dot Clock has a 3.5mm audio jack to let you connect it with external speakers.
In contrast, the top part of the Google Nest Mini is covered with fabric while the bottom part is made of rubber. It has four LED lights in the middle of the top panel. The capacitive volume buttons are located on either side of the device. You have to touch the left or right side of the speaker to adjust the volume. Its capacitive buttons don’t feel as easy to use as physical buttons on the Echo Dot Clock.
The Nest Mini also has a dedicated button on the side to mute the microphone if you are concerned about privacy. Google has launched the Nest Mini in Chalk, Sky, Charcoal, and Coral color options. The Nest Mini features a small hole on the back to let you mount it on the wall if you want.
The Nest Mini also features an ultrasound sensor that can detect when you are standing close to the smart speaker. When you are close to the speaker, it will automatically activate the LEDs to show you the touch-based volume controls.
Google Nest Mini vs Amazon Echo Dot with Clock: Audio quality
The Echo Dot with Clock is equipped with an improved 1.6-inch speaker driver. The Nest Mini gets a 1.57-inch driver with 360-degree sound. Though they both deliver pretty good audio, neither device is for hardcore audiophiles. However, the Nest Mini doesn’t produce sound as good as the Echo Dot Clock. Amazon’s device produces louder sound with more powerful bass.
The Nest Mini produces 40% more bass than its predecessor, but the audio distorts at higher volumes. Of course, you can use the equalizer to adjust the bass and treble, but it goes only so far.
The Echo Dot Clock comes with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. There are thousands of smart home devices that support Alexa. The Nest Mini supports Google Assistant. Both Amazon and Google are constantly improving their voice assistants. They are both pretty good at picking voice commands, even from a distance.
You can use the the wake words ‘Alexa’ or ‘Ok Google’ to control music playback, ask for news updates, check the latest weather, and ask questions. They also allow you to control other compatible smart home devices with your voice.
The Nest Mini’s Google powered search function is much better than the Bing-powered search on the Echo Dot Clock. Another advantage of the Nest Mini is that it has a built-in machine learning chip that lets the speaker learn your voice commands over time and process them locally. Yes, the processing happens on the device itself rather than in the cloud. The Echo Dot Clock doesn’t process queries locally, which is why there is a longer learning curve.
Which is better for you?
Both are excellent smart speakers for budget-conscious buyers. The clock on the Echo Dot makes it a useful nightstand device. The Nest Mini can be mounted on a wall and has a built-in machine learning chip. So, which device should you buy? That depends on which ecosystem you are invested in. If you have Alexa-powered smart home devices, you would be more inclined to buy the Echo Dot Clock. If you are deeply tied into the Google ecosystem, it makes more sense to go with the Nest Mini.