Before unveiling the new iPhone 12 models, Apple gave us a presentation of HomePod mini. Second the intelligent box launched by the American company expects record sales, especially since the price is quite affordable for Apple fans. Again. Affordable for Apple fans 😊 $ 99 at startup, and on the European market final price will reach somewhere between 130 - 160 EUR.
What is HomePod mini and what are the differences from HomePod
Many expected Apple to come up with new smart speaker models fairly quickly after the launch of the HomePod in February 2018. This did not happen until the fall of 2020. Two and a half years later, Apple launched the HomePod mini. A much smaller speaker, which we can say at first glance that looks a lot like a portable speaker. Unfortunately HomePod mini it can only be powered from the socket, not being equipped with a battery.
Although it is a small speaker and the audio performance is much lower than the HomePod, its features cannot be ignored.
HomePod mini Vs. HomePod
Dimensions, weight and prices HomePod mini
It lacks a leaf and a bite, because otherwise HomePod mini is the size of a decent sized apple.
Height of 84.3 mm si width / diameter of 97.9 mm (on the midline of the sphere) and 345 grams weight. If you don't have a HomePod next to you to get an idea of the difference in size, I tell you that an iPhone XS has a height of 150.9 mm. That is, it is smaller with a fixed 66.6 mm than a iPhone X / XS.
HomePod (2018) has a tubular shape with height of 172 mm, width xNUMX mm si 2.5 kg weight.
The base price for the HomePod mini is $ 99, while a HomePod is listed by Apple at $ 299.
HomePod mini - Design
Impeccable. Spherical shape, well defined, covered in premium material with textile fabric. Unfortunately, the HomePod mini also comes in only two color variants. Black and white.
An interesting feature is touch surface, Which is light in its entirety when Siri listens, speaks or is touched.
It looks much better than on HomePod 2018.
HomePod mini - Connectivity, Siri and Interactions
First, what Apple doesn't specify is that the HomePod mini doesn't support any connection to its older sister, the HomePod.
You can buy two mini HomePods and you will get one stereo sound in a room, but with a HomePod and a mini HomePod you will never be able to do that. It would be strange to listen to a stereo song on two speakers with totally different audio performance.
HomePod mini is not a speaker for everyone. If you do not have at least one Apple device from which to put music or an Apple Music subscription (configured from iPhone, iPad or Mac), HomePod and HomePod mini are totally useless. These smart speakers have Bluetooth 5.0 but only recognize Apple devices. So, if you are a fan of Android or Windows PC, HomePod is not an option.
HomePod mini gets along great with all Apple devices Home application. You must have an iPhone no older than iPhone SE (first generation), an iPad mini 4 (or newer model) or iPod Touch (gen 7). a Apple Music subscription will make the speaker almost autonomous. In the sense that you can ask Siri what song, album, playlist or radio station to play, without having an iPhone, iPad or MacBook at hand.
HomePod mini will be configured by application Home from iPhone to the same wireless network as this one. A minus is the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard, compared to 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO supported by HomePod (2018). It is, however, a sufficient standard for Siri music, radio and query.
Without an Apple Music subscription, you will be dependent on music transferred and stored on your iPad, iPhone or MacBook and on your AirPlay connection. Of course, you can also connect it to the Apple TV or directly to an Apple device via AirPlay. This will allow you to play any sound from your iPhone. From YouTube videos, Facebook, online radio stations or phone calls.
Playing sound from iPhone on HomePod mini can be done by simply approaching it to the smart speaker. The sound will instantly transfer from the iPhone to the HomePod mini, and soon Apple promises new interaction experiences when the two devices are close. Music tips and podcasts on the iPhone lock screen and HomePod mini control. Everything with iPhone locked, without the need to open the Home or Music application.
The Siri voice assistant (mainly on Apple devices) is as smart as any Apple device, and by HomeKit they can all be controlled smart home accessories. Suffice it to say "Hey Siri, open lights", And Siri on HomePod mini it will activate immediately and turn on the light in the room. Also through voice commands you can send text messages, initiate calls, add reminders in Reminder, notes in Calendar and many, many more that Siri is capable of.
On the HomePod mini, Siri is able to recognize up to six voices of family members and act personalized for each one.
There is no risk that a family member may ask Siri to read another member's text messages, calendar notes, or reminder.
We will detail the Siri, Home and HomeKit experiences on HomePod and HomePod mini in a future article.
In a large house, several HomePod mini speakers can be turned into a walkie-talkie or intercom. With the new Intercom feature, a family member can send voice messages to all rooms with a HomePod mini or to certain rooms, and family members can respond very easily.
Function Intercom it is extended to other Apple devices. A voice message sent from the HomePod mini via Intercom can also reach the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad or AirPods.
Intercom will be very useful in homes with many rooms and large families. Communication between family members from other rooms will be done through a simple voice command: “Hey Siri, intercom to all romms, it's dinner time".
HomePod mini - Sound, technology and microphones
How smart is the HomePod mini, I almost forgot that we are talking about a speaker, which by definition, means… sound.
Don't expect it to be comparable to a HomePod or professional audio system. Apple, however, promises unprecedented sound on a speaker of this size. 360º acoustic propagation ensures a full and clear sound from any angle of the room, with a deep bass and clear high sounds.
The four microphones are able to ignore room noise and easily pick up voice commands, even if you are not in the vicinity of the HomePod mini.
HomePod mini will be on sale starting November 6, 2020 and is expected to be a product with very high sales.HomePod mini vs. HomePod - A premium device at reasonable prices