Google, like some other tech companies, is having a strange year when it comes to new product launches. It’s not really a secret that a new Nest speaker is on the way a looks to be called the ‘Nest Audio’.
The search giant had to cancel its Google I/O event but since then has really only launched the Pixel Buds outside the US, leaving fans waiting for gadgets like the Pixel 4a and a new Android TV-powered Chromecast dongle dubbed Sabrina.
What is the new Google Nest speaker?
We say the smart speaker is no secret because its existence became known back in June. Sources told 9to5Google that the upcoming device is codenamed ‘Prince’ and would be a new ‘standard Nest-branded smart speaker’.
You might think of it as the Google Home 2, but the firm has been moving a lot of its smart home branding to Nest, so it could be named Google Nest, Google Nest Home, or something else entirely.
When does the Nest Audio launch?
Google has confirmed that it will host an online ‘Launch Night In’ event on 30 September at 7pm BST, where it will reveal “our new Chromecast, latest smart speaker and new Pixel phones.”
The invite doesn’t tease much more about said smart speaker, but it seems likely that it’s the expected follow-up to the standard Google Home.
How much will the new Nest Audio cost?
The original Google Home speaker costs £89 (although originally £129) so we’d expect the replacement to be in a similar ballpark.
That’s also how much an Amazon Echo 3 costs, which is a key rival, so Google is unlikely to stray far from that figure.
The above tweet from Quandt says it will cost around 100 Euros and a follow-up posting a link to Lowe’s displays it at US$99. This also confirms it as being called ‘Nest Audio’, as does this leaked photo of the final retail packaging in Walmart.
— Marcos Frausto (@SweetDaddy69)
September 24, 2020
The new Nest speaker is being heralded as a rival to the Sonos One, which costs £199 but Google will likely undercut this price by a long way.
What are the new Nest Audio speaker features?
We can get a reasonable idea of what the Nest Audio speaker for 2020 will be like as a leaked set of images showing the ‘GXCA6’ device popped up online via Android TV Guide.
— Android TV Guide (@androidtv_rumor)
July 9, 2020
Google then responded unusually by providing US media with an official image (at the top) for the Nest speaker along with a short video (below).
It shows that the speaker looks rather different from the original Home with a completely different shape and a fabric coating similar to the Nest Mini.
Like it’s little brother, the speaker will have four LEDs hidden under the mesh to show things like volume level and when the Google Assistant is listening. Whether it will have touch-sensitive controls is unconfirmed but we would guess it does.
On the back, it has the usual hole for a power cable and a switch to turn off the microphones.
In terms of colours, Google uses some interesting names but back in the real world it looks like it will arrive in mint green, pink or light blue/grey. Although Quandt says it will be in “Charcoal and Chalk as usual.”
Google’s official video might be short but does show that you can pair two Nest Audio speakers together to create a stereo setup and use your voice for control, of course. Interestingly, the final part with the girl bringing the speaker to someone and asking “what is this for?” suggests that it could be battery-powered and therefore portable.
This would be a new feature as previous models all need to be plugged into the mains. If it is portable then it would make sense to offer Bluetooth connectivity much like the Sonos Move.
As if we needed more confirmation of the device Roland Quandt has posted the following image showing it sitting on a coffee table along with the remote from the rumoured Chromecast with Google TV and the Pixel 5 in green.