The KIWI Design Battery Base G1 is a small accessory device for the Google Home Mini, created to make the smart speaker portable by ensuring up to 12 hours of continuous use, thanks to the built-in 7800 mAh battery. The Google Home Mini was released a bit over a year ago and it is a smaller version of the Google Home in an attempt to cover more of the smart home segment and provide some serious competition to the dominant Alexa personal assistant speaker from Amazon.
But there was one thing that didn’t make much sense: if the Google Home Mini is already that small and lightweight, the portability should have been a default option, but, unfortunately, it was not, so devices like KIWI Design G1 come into the spotlight.
The base itself is a bit larger than the Google Home Mini, measuring 1.96 inches in height and with a diameter of 4.17 inches, but it keeps the same form as the speaker with the top cut off and with a large cavity to accommodate the speaker (resembles an ashtray). The case is made of hard plastic on the inside, but it’s covered by a thick silicone layer which besides giving the devices a soft feel, it also has the role of protecting the Home Mini in case it falls to the ground (considering that the speaker is now portable, this is a scenario that may happen more often than before, especially if you have kids). Furthermore, while the Google Home Mini weighs 0.38 lbs as a standalone device, it gets significantly heavier when attached to the base (0.81 lbs).
The Home Mini simply gets inserted from the top of the KiWi stand and the silicone walls ensure that dust or any other type of particle won’t enter between it and the speaker. That’s really useful when you keep the device in the kitchen, just be careful with the fabric on the top of the Home Mini, since, while it looks great, it remains vulnerable to accidental spills – Google really likes using fabric on its devices as can also be seen on the case of the Google Pixel 2.
It’s great that you can snuggle the Home Mini almost completely within the base, but does that change in any way the quality of the sound from the speaker? Absolutely not, KIWI G1 won’t affect the sound quality at all – it’s true that the Home Mini doesn’t sound as good as its bigger sibling, but that’s a story for another time.
The base can power up the Home Mini through the small USB cable which can be found on the top of the KIWI base and to recharge the battery, you’ll be able to find the microUSB port on the bottom of the accessory, next to Power On/Off button (5V / 1.8A input).
KIWI hasn’t added a dedicated cable, but you can use the cable from the Home Mini if you don’t have another charging cable available. From 0 to 100, the battery charges up in about 8 hours if not connected to the Google Home Mini, otherwise, it will take even longer (I was curious if a Fast Charging adapter would finish the job quicker, but since I don’t have one available, I got no way of testing it – let me know in the comments section if you did).
In order to see the battery charge level, the manufacturer has added four bright LEDs on the front of the device which, unfortunately can not be turned off. For me, this was not a problem, but for other users, the bright in-your-face LED indicators may be a bit annoying.
Note: The KIWI Design G1 Base is available in grey (the model that I got), black (dark grey) and orange, so it can fit with every version of the Home Mini. The KIWI G1 base also comes with a loop tie, so it can easily be carried around.
Design-wise, the KIWI Design G1 is one of the best available bases for the Google Home Mini, it’s made of quality materials and it gives the device the portability element that it desperately needed. The base makes sure that the Home Mini remains non-compromised regardless of the environment (kitchen or outside) and it can also easily behave as an outdoors speaker if you have a strong enough WiFi signal.
KIWI Design G1 Rechargeable Battery Base
- Cool Design
- Adds The Portability Factor
- Ensures 8 Hours Of Continuous Use
- Protects The Home Mini In Case Of Falls
- Indicators That Show The Status Of The Battery
- Slow Charging Time
- The LEDs Can't Be Turned Off