Google Home price, release date, features
Google Home wireless speaker giving domiciles a sci-fi feel.Google

At a media event later this autumn, Google is expected to reveal a smaller, cheaper version of its smart speaker, the Google Home.

The new product will square up to the Echo Dot by Amazon, itself a smaller version of the retail giant's smart speaker, the Echo. With a smaller Home, Google will open up its voice-activated assistant, unimaginably called Google Assistant, to more budget-conscious consumers.

A cheaper Home will also give existing owners the opportunity to buy a second or third device for use in other rooms of the home - just as how Amazon promotes the Dot, which at launch was sold in a six-pack for customers who wanted voice control of their music and smart home gadgets in every room.

Although a near-carbon copy move to that of Amazon, Google's rumoured branching out to the lower end of the market is at odds to Apple's upcoming smart speaker debut.

Powered by Siri, Apple's HomePod goes on sale later this year for $349 (UK prices have yet to be announced), well above the $129 Google Home (£129 in the UK) and the $150 Echo (£150). The Echo Dot, which has its own speaker for voice delivery but ideally needs to be connected to a speaker of your own for music, costs $50 (£50).

The news of a smaller Google Home comes from Android Police, which claims the autumn media event will also include a new Chromebook Pixel laptop, plus the second generation of Google's Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones.

The Echo and Echo Dot duo have become a runaway success for Amazon since they were launched in the US in late 2014 and the UK two years later. Each uses Alexa, the company's voice-activated personal assistant to play music, answer questions, manage calendars, read news reports, control smart home devices and much more.

Last year, Google held an event to launch the first Pixel smartphone on 4 October, so we could be seeing its replacement - and a smaller Google Home - in the next few weeks.