Since Amazon took almost three years to redesign and replace the trailblazing Echo, it should come as no surprise that the original Google Home, released in November 2016, will probably go without a direct follow-up effort this fall.

Instead, the search giant’s own smart speaker “family” is set to grow by at least one new member next week, namely a smaller and cheaper Google Home Mini targeted at the latest Echo Dot.

This is expected to break cover at a jam-packed event, alongside two (or perhaps three) upgraded Pixel phones, a refreshed Daydream View VR headset, and a convertible Pixelbook computer like no other.

But there’s an outside chance a surprise Google Home Max will also see daylight on Wednesday, October 4, with premium stereo sound allowing it to compete against slightly “dumber” speakers too, like the $299 Sonos Play:3.

The name is tentative, mind you, and the list of features largely mysterious, but whenever it does come out, this bigger, “hher-quality” and higher-priced Google Home should sport a “premium” design and top-notch build materials as well.

No word on a screen, so it may not take on Amazon’s costliest Echo right now, the $230 Show. But if it arrives in stores before the holidays, which all in all seems unlikely, it’s definitely going to challenge Apple’s powerful and futuristic-looking $349 HomePod. Now this is what we call heated competition.

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