Now that photos of Google’s new smart speaker have leaked and its PR team has shared a little taste of the new speaker via a photo and short clip video, we have a better idea of what’s to come with this possible new generation of the Google Home.
An official announcement was expected in mid-July, but that turned out to be nothing more than the start of Google’s new daily special promotion, where each day brings a new sale. Shoppers can also use the promotion code GOOGLESTORE2DAY to snag free two-day shipping on all orders through September 6. Evidence now points to a late August release, which we’re nearing at this point heading into the last full week of the month.
The original was unveiled in 2016, so a new model has been a long time coming. You’re probably itching to know what the new Google Nest Home will be like. Here’s what we know so far.
One of the most obvious changes from the original Google Home is the size. The potential new Google Nest Home will be a bit over 8.6 inches long. The original is 5.6 inches long, so that’s a noticeable difference. Another obvious change is the shape. Instead of looking like a bloated chips can, the new Google Home looks like a very uncomfortable pillow. Also, instead of a plastic top and a fabric-covered bottom, the whole thing appears to be covered in fabric. In fact, it tends to look more like an upright Google Home Max than a Google Home.
The video and photos suggest that the speaker will come in at least two colors. The color of the device in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing looks like Google’s favorite go-to, an off-white chalk color. In the official Google photo, the device appears to be the same aqua color that is found on the Google Home Mini. It also looks like the female in the video may have a coral-colored device. If so, then Google will probably finish off the color choices with its favorite option, charcoal.
From the photos, we learned that the new device has a rubber anti-slip bottom to keep it upright, as well as a mute button on the back. We also learned it may be battery-powered, based on the teaser video that shows the young girl at the end of the clip holding the speaker and asking what it is. Finally, there appears to be a proprietary 30W DC power supply that plugs into the back of the device.
The full fabric covering and shape may indicate that this device is more geared toward better sound quality. It would be nice if this speaker had 360-degree capability, meaning it can blast sound from all sides, instead of just from the front like the Google Home Max. In the video, though, the first clip showed the speakers backed up to a wall, so we’re guessing it doesn’t have 360 capabilities. They may work as dual-stereo speakers, though, since in the first part of the video, the man has two speakers, one on each side of his head.
In the video, the woman put her Google device on the table without plugging it in. Also, the little girl is carrying the device around at the end of the video. This may indicate that it is portable. It may simply charge with the power cord and store the power in an internal battery pack. This could explain the larger size.
Price and availability
No official word has been given on the price and availability. Rumors claim that the new Google Nest Home speaker was to have been announced at the I/O conference in May, but it was canceled due to the pandemic. Google has since released a photo and a short video of the speaker, which may mean that it will be making an official online presentation soon. Google is expected to announce its new Pixel phones this fall, so maybe that’s when it will show us the new speaker as well.
According to Roland Quandt, a reputable leaker with a solid track record, Google’s upcoming smart speaker will be available “from the end of August.” He also indicates that it’ll launch with a retail price of $120. It’s an increase over the original Google Home, but it should be warranted given that it’s a substantially bigger speaker — with potentially more features as well.
Google released the affordable Google Pixel 4a to everyone’s surprise, with another potential announcement expected later this fall for the Pixel 5. The Google Nest smart speaker could serve as a distraction in between the two phones, so the end of August time frame is looking very practical.