It’s Day 1 of our 12 days of Christmas on the Best Buy blog, and if you’re looking for a gift to get people talking, look no further than the Google Home Mini.

The Google Home Mini is a good entry point into learning how a digital assistant can work in the home. It’s small, compact and can be set up anywhere inside. You can check out my full review of the device, but in the meantime, here are some reasons why it should make the cut on a Christmas shopping list.

A Christmas gift that responds to voices

The Home Mini has Google Assistant built-in, using microphones to listen for queries. Think of it like a Google search engine accessible by voice. Saying, “Hey Google,” or “Ok, Google,” and then following up with a command or question triggers it into action to respond.

Set it to respond to different voices in the home, with up to five separate accounts supported. Ask it to do something from across the room, where its far field mics can pick up voices.

Four LEDs on top signify that it is listening and pulling in the information. It could be a simple question about a person, place or thing, or inquiring about weather and traffic. If you need to move it from one room to another for any reason, just unplug and plug it back in again to pick up where it left off.

A recent update now allows for two commands simultaneously. Saying something like, “Hey Google, set an alarm for 8AM and give me a weather forecast,” will see both done in sequence.

Give the gift of music all year long

The Home Mini works with any speaker that has a Chromecast Audio plugged in through the Aux-In or headphone jack. Stating a musical preference is all that’s needed to push the audio out of the speaker over Wi-Fi.

Play music through Google Play Music or Spotify. The Home Mini allows subscribers of either music streaming service to verbally select a song, artist, album or playlist, even the ones they created themselves. Select a radio station through TuneIn, or play a podcast on demand.

It also works with the Chromecast HDMI stick plugged into a TV, making it possible to ask to watch a show or movie from Netflix. It can do the same with YouTube too. And if there are good speakers connected to the TV, streaming audio services work that way as well.

Google Home Mini controls your smart home devices

Google made the Home Mini to be versatile, and that includes controlling compatible smart home devices. I suggested some of the best, which you can see here, but the gist is that voice commands can tell these gadgets what to do.

Turn smart lights on or off, brighten or dim them, or change colour. Make it warmer or cooler with a smart thermostat. Stay alert whenever the home security camera detects something.

More devices are added regularly, expanding the scope and functionality of the Home Mini as a voice assistant.

Google Home has potential, and the Google Home Mini makes it easy to give it a try anywhere in the home. It’s a good gift idea for anyone looking for a little help around the house.

Check out all 12 of our gifts suggestions



Editor Cellular/Mobile Technology
I’m a fortunate man in being able to do the fun job of following and reporting on one of the most exciting industries in the world today. In my time covering consumer tech, I’ve written for a number of publications, including the Globe and Mail, Yahoo! Canada,, Canoe, Digital Trends, MobileSyrup, G4 Tech, PC World, Faze and AppStorm. I’ve also appeared on TV as a tech expert for Global, CTV and the Shopping Channel.


  1. The Google Home Mini looks amazing, I’ve seen these becoming more popular. As a busy mom it would be great to have when my hands are tied!

  2. wow,,now this would be a great prize to win so I could gift it to my daughter whom has been raving about all the Google Gadgets,,, Sweet

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