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Our Favorite Smart Home Gift For The Holidays

This post is sponsored by Walmart and SheKnows Media.

‘Hey Google’ isn’t just something you say to your phone anymore! The Google Home smart home speaker arrived last year to help make your life a little easier, and this year Google is back and smaller than ever! The Google Home Mini is a smart home speaker that fits in your hand, but it’s about to make a huge difference in your day-to-day life. We had the chance check out a bunch of smart home products at Walmart this season and, at just $29, we thought the Google Home Mini was the perfect gift for anyone looking to dip their toes in to the smart home world!

The Google Home Mini connects to your home’s Wi-Fi network, giving you immediate access to the Google Assistant. With simple, natural voice commands, you can do Google searches, ask about the weather, check your calendar, and set alarms (and shop over a million Walmart products!) — all while leaving your smartphone tucked away. We could all use a little less screen time, right?

But, the Google Home Mini has a lot more to offer than that! It’s surprisingly powerful in more ways than one, and you can tell it’s been designed with care to be a speaker you’ll want to display proudly. It’s why the Google Home Mini is one of our favorite new gadgets this holiday season, and it’s why you can expect it to be one of the hottest holiday items at Walmart this year!

The Google Home Mini can also help keep a busy family organized. The speaker supports multiple profiles, allowing each person to check their own calendars. Best of all, no one needs to identify themselves — Google Home Mini will recognize each person by the sound of their voice.

Alright, you all know the Google Assistant can tell you the weather. We love that. But what you’re really going to love is how the Google Home Mini and the Google Assistant make it so easy to settle in once you get back home from work! You can start your much-needed Netflix binge session or get some music going with just a few words. The Google Home Mini can even be used to control your Chromecast, opening up tons more entertainment options!

It’s a product you’ll be consistently impressed with and surprised by, too. It’s got booming bass performance for such a small speaker, and it’s perfect for some nice background music while you’re cooking or knocking out the household chores you haven’t automated yet!

But let’s talk about how gadgets don’t have to look like gadgets…

We see it in wearables, and we see it in the home — ugly gadgets. These days, we expect our gadgets to match our sense of style, and that means those machines need to look as good as they work. That’s another reason we’re so impressed by the Google Home Mini. This rounded speaker is covered by specially made fabric that gives the speaker a sleek, modern look. It comes in different colors, too — you can opt for a Chalk (a light grey that fades into the background), Charcoal (a beautiful dark grey), or Coral (a bright red that boldly announces its presence).

Now, let’s talk about that fabric a little more, because it really is special. It’s touch-sensitive — you can tap on either side to lower the speaker’s volume or pause music. That’s allowed Google to dispense with buttons altogether, giving the base a nice, sleek look. The only control you’ll find on the base is a switch for easy muting in case you’d rather the Google Assistant not be listening. And they’ve got plenty of partners…including Disney!

Smart home speakers aren’t very smart without a little help from some friends, and the Google Assistant is making new ones left and right. The Google Home Mini can be used to control third party services like Spotify, Pandora, Netflix, in addition to shopping millions of Walmart products!

Google Home Mini can also control smart home gadgets from the likes of Belkin, Philips, and Nest. You can even create more complex voice commands with IFTTT, or group commands together using the Home app — there’s nothing more satisfying than turning off the lights, adjusting the thermostat, setting your alarm, and locking the doors all by simply wishing the Google Assistant a good night!

And like we mentioned, even Disney has joined in! Kids can use Google Home Mini to play fun little games like Mickey Mouse Adventure just by interacting with Mickey using the speaker’s mics!

So, it’s a source of family fun, a time-saver, and a way to have to stare at your smartphone screen less — and it looks fantastic on pretty much any piece of furniture! That’s a gadget we can get behind. You can grab the Google Home Mini now from Walmart for $29! And, here’s a bonus —customers who purchase a Google device from Walmart and link their Walmart account will get up to $25 off their first Walmart purchase on Google Express. More on that here.