If there was any doubt that Google's October 4th event will include a miniature Home speaker, Walmart just erased it. The big-box retailer briefly posted a listing for the Google Home Mini that not only shows off the puck-like Assistant device, but gives an idea of what to expect when it launches. The Mini will reportedly ship around October 19th for $49, and you might not even have to pay that much. You see, Walmart has an tie-in with Google Express that cuts $25 off the price of orders until January 15th. That means you could be paying as little as $24 -- not bad for a brand new alternative to the Echo Dot.
As you've no doubt noticed, Walmart's imagery also includes a render of the Pixel 2 XL, the larger of the two Android Oreo phones Google is expected to announce on the 4th. It doesn't reveal much that you don't already know (Evan Blass recently had a closer look), but it's one more confirmation of the Pixel 2 XL's thin-bezel design and stereo speakers.
There's not much mystery to the Home Mini, that's for sure. Ultimately, it's a cut-down version of the Home that drops any pretense of being music-friendly in favor of a lower price and that compact profile. It could be joined by the Home Max, a high-end speaker that focuses much more on quality and might rival the Apple HomePod or Sonos' upcoming voice-guided speaker. Between the two Home models, it's clear that Google wants to take on the broader smart speaker market, not just carve out a niche for itself.