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Echo Dot vs HomePod Mini: Which is better? Your buyer’s guide

The battle of Amazon v Apple, but which smart speaker is right for you?

HomePod Mini vs Echo Dot

At Apple’s recent ‘Hi, Speed’ event the main focus was of course the reveal of its flagship phone the new iPhone 12 – but the announcement of the HomePod Mini hardly went unnoticed.

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A smaller, cheaper alternative to the costly HomePod, this Mini edition will be Apple’s first entry-level smart speaker – putting it directly in competition with the popular Echo Dot, which also saw a new generation announced.

It’s not the first time Amazon and Apple have competed – the two business giants both have streaming services with Prime Video and Apple TV+, as well as competing tablets with the iPad and Fire range.

Amazon seemed to comfortably have the upper hand, the Alexa speakers are a household name worldwide – we’ll see if Apple can claim the crown by outlining the key differences between the two.

What is the difference between the Echo Dot and HomePod Mini?

Echo Dot vs HomePod Mini: Price

The big one – and despite both being marketed as budget smart speakers, there’s actually quite a bit of difference between the two. The UK price for the HomePod Mini is now confirmed to be £99.

The Echo Dot, on the other hand, is half the price at £49.99. The older 3rd gen edition is even cheaper – and went as low as £18 on Prime Day.

Echo Dot vs HomePod Min: streaming Service support

While Amazon does push their Amazon Music service, the Echo speakers work with a variety of streaming services such as Apple Music, Deezer, iHeartRadio, Pandora, SiriusXM, Spotify, Tidal, TuneIn, and Vevo.

HomePod was previously only compatible with Apple Music, but now supports iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and soon services such as Pandora and Amazon Music.

Bear in mind that while the Echo Dot supports Bluetooth playback, the HomePod Mini only supports AirPlay from Apple devices.

Echo Dot vs HomePod Mini: Size

Amazon Echo Dot

With the debut of the 4th gen Echo Dot, both speakers now sport a spherical shape. They’re both practically the same size too – the new Echo Dot is 89mm tall, while the HomePod Mini just slips below that bar at 85mm.

Neither choice will hog a particularly large amount of space, so it comes down to personal preference in colour and design. The HomePod Mini is available in White and Space Grey, with the Echo Dot in charcoal, glacier white and twilight blue – with the extra option for an LED clock.

Echo Dot vs HomePod Mini: Voice Assistant

There’s not a huge amount of difference here, so again this might come down to personal taste. If you own several Apple products and are used to Siri, it makes sense to get the HomePod Mini to keep your settings and preferences. However, unlike Siri, Alexa is available as an app on Android and iOS – so you aren’t locked to your iPhone for HomePod and voice control.

Siri arguably just about has the edge on language recognition, though Alexa is becoming more and more intelligent due to the growing number of skills.

Echo Dot vs HomePod Mini: Smart Home control

The Echo Dot has the advantage here, as there is a ridiculous number of Echo accessories and Alexa-compatible devices. If it’s a smart home product, there’s a good chance it will work with Alexa.

The HomePod Mini, on the other hand, but the HomePod Mini only works with Apple’s Homekit range. However, if you’ve already bought into the Apple ecosystem, the HomePod Mini will work with just about every Apple product – you can take calls on your iPhone, listen to music on your Mac or play sound from your Apple TV. Receive messages through your AirPods or Apple Watch, and switch music control just by holding your iPhone near the HomePod.

Apple
Apple

Echo Dot vs HomePod Mini: Speaker

The Amazon Echo features a 1.6-inch dual front-firing speaker, while the HomePod Mini uses a single full-range driver and two passive radiators. Neither speaker has been released or properly tested – but it seems as if the HomePod Mini will be able to boast 360-degree audio.

Echo Dot vs HomePod Mini: Making Calls

The HomePod Mini requires an iPhone to make calls, but can also make intercom calls to other Apple devices in your household. The Echo Dot, however, can call anyone with an Echo or the Alexa app on their phone.

Should you buy the Echo Dot or HomePod Mini? 

Deciding which smart speaker to buy may well depend on what other devices you own already. If you own an iPhone or other Apple gadgets, it may make sense to stick with Siri and use your HomePod Mini to communicate with your entire Apple range.

If you’re largely out of the Apple ecosystem are on a budget, then the Echo Dot may be for you – it’s most importantly cheaper, but also boasts support for more streaming services and a bountiful supply of compatible smart home devices.

Buy the HomePod

Buy the HomePod Mini

Buy 4th gen Echo Dot:

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