The latest in Apple’s line of smart speakers is affordable. However, can it outperform Amazon and Google’s competitions?
It’s been about two and a half years since Apple started making smart speakers called HomePod. Unlike the other smart speakers that had the price and smart assistant features in mind, Apple focused solely on superior audio quality, even though it was more expensive than the competition. That wasn’t a smart move, however, and Apple had to lower its price and retailers had to give further discounts so that someone could buy it.
Now they have introduced the HomePod Mini, which costs $ 99. It’s smaller, cheaper and, thanks to the new Siri, also covers the smart assistant part well. It’s already better than the original when it was released.
Advantages and disadvantages
The HomePod Mini is built like a magical 8-ball and has a flat, touch-sensitive plastic pad that can be used to activate Siri, play or pause songs, and change the volume. It has LEDs that light up and swirl when Siri is listening or responding. It glows white when you’re playing music and green when you sue it as a speakerphone during a call.
The pros are:
- Good design. Only takes up as much space as the average paperweight.
- The price is good compared to the other HomePod.
- For something that small, the sound and quality is good.
- Siri works really well.
Now the disadvantages:
- Still heavily dependent on other Apple devices and services.
- Sound cannot compete with the competition.
- Volume controls are fiddly and could have been more stable.
- Siri is still not as good as the Google Assistant or Alexa.
In conclusion, it’s a step in the right direction for Apple, but it still hasn’t kept up with the competition. Hopefully in the years to come.