Google is reportedly planning to launch a new Nest-branded smart speaker. The device has been given the codename 'Prince' and is said to look familiar and unassuming, thus fitting in with the fabric-based designs of the Nest Mini and Nest Hub.
As reported by 9to5Google, sources familiar with the device say it is devoid of display and fashioned in a similar vein to the Sonos One. If true, that would mean larger speaker drivers than the original 2016 Google Home, which has a 5cm speaker and a pair of 5cm passive radiators at its base. The Sonos One features a tweeter and mid-woofer as well as two class D amplifiers.
In terms of number of drivers, the new Google product could sit somewhere above that of the original Google Home, but just below the 2017 Google Home Max, which features two woofers and two tweeters.
Adding to the competition is the fact that Google recently filed a lawsuit to countersue Sonos, in a mounting feud over wireless speaker patent infringement.
Of course, we can expect Google Assistant to be at the helm of the new Nest product in terms of smart functionality. Although the source didn't provide intel on any unique software capabilities, it's safe to expect any new Google smart device to build on existing functionality of the current range. Features like stereo speaker pairing – originally found on its sibling the Google Home Max – will probably be supported.
The final name for the Nest-branded smart speaker wasn't revealed (sadly, it probably won't be called Prince), nor when it will launch. As for pricing, we can speculate that the new speaker will be dearer than the original Google Home, yet more affordable than the Home Max – but nothing concrete.
Google looks set for a busy 2020, with plans for the Pixel 4a smartphone and an Android-based Nest/Chromecast dongle codenamed Sabrina. And, lest we forget, its eagerly-anticipated Pixel Buds 2 are already on sale.
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