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Walmart spoils Google Home Mini surprise with release date and price

Walmart has a blue light special today on the Google Home Mini – the new, completely unannounced product from Google that the tech giant was supposed to unveil at its big press event tomorrow, October 4. 

Instead, a pre-order page for the tiny smart home speaker appeared on Walmart one day ahead of schedule and included both a release date for the speaker (Oct. 19) and price ($49.99). 

TL;DR: Walmart really shipped the bed on this one. 

While this is really going to put a bee in someone’s bonnet over at Google, the news is actually really useful. We now have a clear idea of what the speaker is going to look like – spoiler: it looks like a pebble covered in fabric – and a price. 

The $49 price tag sticks it in direct contention with the Amazon Echo Dot, the miniature speaker from Amazon that comes with Alexa built-in, and will make for an affordable entry-way into Google’s burgeoning smart home platform. 

Images via Droid-Life

Images via Droid-Life

Product description Redacted

Before the page was pulled down, sites like 9to5Google and Droid-Life were able to get a few of the key features of the speaker. The Home Mini will measure in at 4.53 x 4.53 x 4.72 inches, for instance, and weigh less than one pound.

The product listing refers to the speaker by its codename, “Joplin”, and adds in cutesy little details, describing the speaker as a “powerful little helper.”

You know what’s not cute? Getting yelled at by your boss for posting a pre-order page for a product that has yet to be unveiled, potentially souring a relationship with one of the most important tech companies in Silicon Valley. Whoooops.

Nick Pino is the senior home entertainment editor at TechRadar and covers TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He also has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.