Google Nest Hub is a modern speaker with an illuminated screen and voice control via Google Assistant.
The intelligent display is only 18 x 12 x 7 centimetres and weighs 480 grams. It also fits on a narrow shelf and is more compact than, for example, the Lenovo Smart Display (8 inches).
A 7-inch panel dominates the front of the Google Nest Hub, which is unfortunately framed by a wide frame. Hence, the Nest Hub does look unmodern – but the low price has to come from somewhere.
Google Nest design
The designers have made the best of the limited resources available for the Google Nest Hub. The fabric design used in all of Google’s hardware products looks valuable. Where plastic is visible, the surface is matt; moreover, it does not feel cheap.
Besides, attention was paid to a closed and attractive back so that the Google Nest Hub could also be placed freely in the room. On the backside, there are a discreet volume rocker and a switch to turn off the microphone. Since these physical buttons are often unused anyway (voice can adjust the volume), this positioning makes sense.
The excellent quality does not show conspicuous features, making us happy owning a Google Nest Hub.
What is included?
Thanks to the 7-inch screen, Google’s Nest Hub is pleasantly slim. The speaker is not as bulky as Amazon Echo Show 2 but offers more mesh than the small Amazon Echo Show 5, so it fits everywhere. Visually, the Nest Hub is appealing because of its typical colour. It is available in white and dark grey. There efficiently is only one connection – for electric power. Sadly, supplying the Nest Hub with a USB stick or operating it without electric power is impossible.
Despite compatibility with streaming services like Spotify and YouTube Music, the Hub is unsuitable for music playback. At least the two microphones — meaning that several microphones work together — function well. The Smart Display responds instantly to voice commands.
Google Nest controls your home
Instead of a movie player, Google undoubtedly sees its Nest Hub as an intelligent home control centre. By voice or touchscreen, you can conveniently control compatible devices like smart lamps and smart thermostats.
You can see the image from the Nest security cameras on display. Given the focus on intelligent home functionalities, it seems logical that Google takes over the Nest brand for its home products and merges the two lines.
Google Service on Demand
Google services are undoubtedly at the forefront of the speaker: users access Google Maps, Google Calendar or Photos. If desired, they can seamlessly combine several functions into routines. The Nest Hub switches on lamps and heaters on the excellent morning command and reads out the weather forecast and then the news.
The screen adequately supports the information with appropriate displays, for example, traffic data with a map with red traffic jams – very practical. The Nest Hub’s advantages also come into play in the kitchen: if desired, it reads out recipes from various portals illustrated and step-by-step. You set the pace yourself with “OK, Google, go on!
Furthermore, Google Nest Hub lets you watch your favourite Netflix episodes next to you. This is with Crystal clear picture and relatively good sound.
Google Nest - downside
If desired, you can place phone calls via the Nest Hub – but only via the “Google Duo” service and with other “Duo” users. A camera for video calls is not integrated. On the one hand, the Amazon Echo Show and Lenovo smart display devices have their noses in front.
Hence, to prevent the assistant from pricking up its ears every time it says “OK, Google”, you can switch off the microphone on the back of the device.
Having never used a Google smartphone, I needed time to manage the desired setup. For instance, replacing the sliding pictures took more time than I thought since we wanted to provide one of the Google Nest Hubs to our mother-in-law and share photos during the Covid-19 lockdown.
In conclusion, the functions are very limited in this day and age. The price is right, but you have to be able to live with the limitations. Because they are not usable for its initial purpose, the two Google Nest are in the electronic waste bin.
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