Update: Google has sent an official picture of the new Nest smart speaker so the launch must be imminent.
We could soon get a successor to the Google Home smart speaker, according to details obtained from a recent FCC filing.
9to5Google spotted the filing, which initially included a model number (GXCA6), an FCC ID, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth details and the name ‘Wireless Device.’ It wasn’t immediately clear which device it was. Further, the model number didn’t fit with any of Google’s existing product lines, with ‘G’ models typically representing Pixel phones and ‘H’ usually seen on smart speakers and displays.
However, it appears the GXCA6 device also passed through a regulatory authority in Japan and, thanks to Twitter account ‘Android TV Guide’ (@androidtv_rumor), several images of the mystery product leaked. Based on these images, it seems the GXCA6 is Google’s rumoured upcoming smart speaker codenamed ‘Prince.’
It still isn’t clear what Google plans to call this speaker, but since it seems poised to replace the Google Home, my guess is it will sport Nest branding like the new Nest Mini. Likely, it will just be the ‘Nest Speaker.’
— Android TV Guide (@AndroidTV_Rumor) July 9, 2020
Further, the images suggest the Prince speaker will take on a similar aesthetic to the Nest Mini. That means an all-fabric design, although the overall shape of the speaker looks rather weird.
Oddly, it’s hard to tell which way the speaker is supposed to go. It’s fabric on all sides except for one end, which is rubber. However, that rubber end doesn’t really look like a stable base for the speaker to stand on, but it doesn’t make sense for it to go any other way.
The speaker also sports a physical mute switch like the Nest Mini instead of the button on the original Google Home. Google seems to have changed up the plug as well, getting rid of nifty hidden plug seen on the original Google Home for something that just plugs into the back of the speaker.
9to5 also reports that Prince will have larger drivers, which should contribute to improved audio quality.
All in all, it looks like the original Google Home will soon get a nice upgrade, although I definitely have some concerns about the design. Hopefully it will look better in person.