Let's start off by saying, I was adamantly against this thing. Call me old fashioned, but I don't like the idea of a device listening in on us. (Insert tin-foil hat joke here)
Seth, however, is smitten with the thought of controlling every light, plug, and TV in our house using only a voice. So, after a bit of research and coming to the realization that our phones essentially listen to us all day anyway, we got a Google Home Mini for Christmas.
And... I wanted to hate it.
Honest, I did.
But let's be real, asking a robot to turn any light on I want, makes me feel like I'm George freaking Jetson.
So, let me break down my informal review of the Google Home Mini.
Features I Love
The mini took about half an hour to set up, including installing two smart lights, and a chrome-cast.
I like that it's such a small device, and because ours is white and gray, it really kind of fades in the background.
-Simple to Use
The boys can even use it. We keep ours in the living room, so we don't have to worry about them playing music or shows that we haven't approved.
It's so nice that they can just say "Hey Google, play Christmas Music" and then we've got an impromptu dance party on our hands. (BTW, Christmas just won't die in our house. If I hear Mariah Carey one more time, so help me God)
-Connects to Lights/TV
This is pretty obvious, but it's really convenient to only use a voice to control certain things. With young kids, my arms are often full and so I love that I can come downstairs and just ask google to turn the lights on, without having to put the baby down.
-Gives your notifications
If I have any reminders or upcoming events on my google calendar, the mini will show one light on, and as soon as I ask "What are my notifications?' it will list off anything on my calendar. This has been incredibly handy, especially because I don't often have my phone on me.
-Recognizes Distinct Voices
The Mini can tell the difference between our voices, and this feature is worth it's weight in gold in my opinion. The boys can't access anything we don't allow them to (Our calendar, certain shows, etc..) because it recognizes their voices. I am in love with this feature!
Feature I'm Not Crazy About
-Lights have to stay in the "ON" Position
In order for the mini to be able to control the lights, they physically have to stay in the "On" position. If they get switched off by guests, it kind of defeats the purpose of having smart lights in the first place because we have to hop up and turn them back on. This obviously isn't a huge deal, and certainly not a deal breaker.
I realize how lazy that makes me sound, and I PROMISE I'm not some bum, but I was trying to think of things I could possibly dislike about the mini, and that was literally the only thing I could think of!
So, I've obviously crossed over to the dark side, and now want to connect ALL OF THE THINGS. We're planning on slowly changing all of our lighting to smart lights, and installing a Nest here in the next year or so.
Do you have a Google Home, or an Echo? How do you like it?
*This post is not sponsored. All thoughts and opinions are my own