In a press event in New Delhi, Google announced the launch of Google Home and Google Home Mini in India. The niche smart home market in India generated quite an interest last year with the launch of Amazon Echo devices powered by Alexa.
Originally announced at Google I/O 2016, Google Home was launched in the US in October 2016 (yeah, it’s been a while!) while the Google Home Mini was launched a year later in 2017. The third variant – Google Home Max – is not coming to India though.
Despite its lower price tag, the Home Mini will be able to do almost everything the standard Google Home can do and the only difference between the two speakers is largely centered around the audio hardware inside.
At the moment, Google Home only supports English, but support for Hindi will come later this year. Although, because it is powered by Google Assistant, Google Home recognizes Indian accents quite well.
In India, Google Home supports popular Indian music streaming services (and Netflix) like Saavn and Gaana, apart from Google Play Music and TuneIn. Other services like Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube Music (which requires YouTube Red subscription) aren’t supported since these services are not available in the region. For local news, Google has partnered with leading media outlets of the country like The Times of India, NDTV, Aaj Tak, and Dainik Bhaskar.
While Google has shared that Google Home works with over 1500 smart home devices from 200+ brands, only a few like TP-link, D-link, and Philips Hue are popular in India – although still expensive with limited mainstream adoption.
While affordability issues haven’t yet made smart home products mass market in the country, Google’s smart speaker range will see considerable interest since there’s a large Android user base in India already, and a lot of people are already familiar with Google Assistant.
The Google Home is priced at ₹9,999 ($154) while the Home Mini is priced at ₹4,499 ($69), and both devices will be available online exclusively on Flipkart as well as via 750-plus offline retail stores across the country including Reliance Digital, Croma, Bajaj Electronics, Vijay Sales, Sangeetha, and Poorvika. The price includes six months of complimentary subscription to Play Music. While Google Home is available in the Chalk color variant only, the Google Home Mini is available in Chalk and Charcoal color variants, with Coral coming soon.
What are your thoughts on the Google Home and Home Mini, and would you like to get hold of one? Tell us in the comments!