REVIEW: Google Nest Hub - A Google-Powered Smart Display
While Amazon may have had a head start on Google with its smart speakers and the evolution into devices like the Echo Show, Google is quickly gaining ground globally with its Google Nest Hub, rebranding its former Home Hub offering.
Design & Hardware
The Google Nest Hub has a 7″ 720p LCD touch display that allows Google to show you a visual representation of what it’s telling you. Above the display is an Ambient EQ Light Sensor that will automatically change the brightness of the display depending on the lighting situation in your room.
Next to the Light Sensor are the far-field microphones that allow the Google Assistant to hear you, which along with Chromecast are built into the Google Nest Hub. The device also has Bluetooth 5 capabilities.
The back of the device has a mic mute switch and the stand has a fabric decoration that is reminiscent of the Google Home Mini’s design. The right side of the device has the volume buttons.
The speaker on the Google Nest Hub is Full-Range and can get fairly loud but it can sound distorted as high volumes.
The Google Nest Hub comes in a number of colours including Chalk, Charcoal, Aqua and Sand.
The Google Nest Hub is available now for €89 from the Irish Google Store online.
If you’ve ever used a Google Home device then the Google Nest Hub will feel very familiar. You can ask the Google Assistant questions about the weather, your commute or even just random facts.
You can also watch Netflix and YouTube videos on the Google Nest Hub, allowing you to do tasks such as cooking while following along with video recipes or just catching up on your favourite show while you do the dishes.
When you do ask a question, you’ll get a visual response on the Google Nest Hub’s screen. For example, if you ask “Hey Google, what’s the weather?”, it’ll show you the forecast for the next few days and also play bird chirping sounds if it’s sunny out or thunderstorm sounds if it’s going to rain.
There are also a number of ways to customise your Google Nest Hub, such as choosing a clock face to show when you’re not using the device, ranging from a digital clock to traditional clocks with hands.
With the hub, you also have a great way to control your smart home devices such as Philips Hue – you can either use your voice or press a virtual on/off button for a specific light or room.
And if you have a video doorbell like the Nest Hello, everything comes together seamlessly, allowing you to see your doorbell’s camera feed when someone rings the doorbell.
Since the Hub doesn’t have a camera, you can’t make video calls over Google Duo with it, however you can still make Google Duo audio calls, allowing you to chat on the phone while your cooking or doing the dishes as well.
Setting up the Hub is fairly easy – all you need is the Google Home app on your Android or iOS device. Follow a few steps and you’re ready to go.
The nice thing about it and other Google Home speakers is that they all support multi-user support so each person in the home can link their own Google account, which knows your personal voice.
So when you’re talking to the Hub, the Google Assistant is able to recognise that it’s you talking and not other household members.
Overall, the Google Nest Hub is a great addition to the Google Nest/Home family with a more visual way of interacting with the Google Assistant. It also makes for a very impressive smart picture frame that blends into most environments given its clever EQ Light Sensor.