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$49 Google Home Mini announced to compete with Amazon’s Echo Dot

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It’s a small, stone-shaped smart speaker

Google announced a smaller companion to its Google Home smart speaker today, called the Home Mini. The device, which will cost $49, is very much like Amazon’s Echo Dot: it takes Google’s voice-controlled Alexa competitor, Google Assistant, and packs it into a smaller, quieter, and cheaper form factor. (The Echo Dot also costs just under $50.)

The Home Mini is not designed explicitly to play music. Rather, it’s meant to get the Google Assistant into more rooms of your home, making it better for getting news and schedule updates, listening to podcasts, and sending instructions to other Google-connected products like a Chromecast Audio-equipped speaker. Google says it will also connect wirelessly to any speaker with Chromecast built in. Unlike Amazon’s Echo Dot, however, the Home Mini does not have a 3.5mm jack, meaning it can’t be plugged into a traditional audio system for playing music and instead must be paired via Chromecast.

We saw the device pop up quite a bit in a number of different leaks this past month, most recently just yesterday when Walmart accidentally posted a listing for the product on its website that included both the $49 price tag and the three available color options. Still, Google did have some under wraps news to announce: it’s bringing Home to Japan, and the company is also bringing multi-user support to all Google Home markets around the world.

The new Home Mini will be released on October 19th, and will be available from major retailers in all seven current Home markets. It will be available in gray, black, red, or what Google refers to as as “chalk,” “charcoal,” and “coral.” Preorders start today.

Update 5:35PM ET, 10/4: Clarified that Google Home Mini does not have a 3.5mm jack.

For an exclusive look at all the new Google devices announced, check out our interview with CEO Sundar Pichai.