After getting my bonus, I went ahead and bought the Apple HomePod Mini from Shopee.
The shop is selling the HomePod Mini for S$155 (available in both Black and White), and after a S$10 CitiBank voucher, I paid S$145 for it with free shipping within Singapore as my purchase is above S$35.
I find the price is reasonable because if you get it from the U.S. directly, it cost US$99 (S$133), and that excludes shipping to Singapore. Shipping to Singapore will probably cost you another US$20 (S$27), making it a more expensive choice.
This Apple HomePod Mini is authentic as I have checked the serial number against Apple’s Service and Support Coverage.
I love the braided cable, and I wish going forward, Apple will include this braided cable instead of the usual rubber-coated cable.
This is a Hong Kong set since it comes with a Apple 20W USB-C Power Adapter with a folding UK 3-pin head. monmartechnology also threw in a free 3-pin UK plug adapter, so I guess that some sets are from the U.S., and I am lucky I got the Hong Kong set.
Set up is straightforward. Bring your iPhone near the HomePod Mini, and follow the on-screen instructions.
English (Singapore) is not available as a language to choose from in HomePod Mini, so I picked English (United States). You will also be prompted to change the Siri’s language in your iPhone to English (United States) to match the HomePod Mini.
Audio quality-wise, I find it is decent given the size and price. The bass on the HomePod Mini is not as strong as I like it to be.
In terms of the mini category like Google Home Mini, Amazon Echo Spot, and Amazon Echo Dot (1st Generation), HomePod Mini wins with audio quality.
I hope Apple will reintroduce the normal HomePod with a Sonos One’s price range, as Sonos One has an excellent audio quality to price ratio.
The intercom feature on the HomePod Mini is interesting. Though I think it will give my wife a shock suddenly hearing my voice in the living room despite not physically being there. To use the intercom feature, you have to say, “Hey Siri, intercom, it’s time for dinner.” There is no app for it.
I love the Handsoff feature of the HomePod Mini. Just bring your iPhone near the HomePod Mini and tap transfer to transfer the song you are playing to the HomePod Mini.