Review: Google Nest Hub smart speaker with screen

By reviews / 29. April 2020

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Google Nest Hub is the newest video speaker from Google, and it’s Google’s first made by Google speaker offering with a screen. I had the opportunity to live with the Google nest Hub in my house, and here’s what I learned.

What is Google Nest Hub?

Google Nest Hub is a smart speaker with a 7″ LCD touchscreen display. It has the Google Assistant built in so you can ask it questions, to do information searches, or to control your smart home devices. Read on for more about what it can do.

Can I use Google Home Hub with other smartphones?

While Google Hub is designed to maximize the Google ecosystem experience, it works absolutely perfectly with iPhones for example. Just download the Google Home app from the app store.
Want to lean in on what the Google Assistant can do for you? I’ve got a section on that further down. But first, to the features!

Features of Google Nest Hub

Adaptive Screen
The 7″ touchscreen is an LCD screen with a feature called Ambient EQ light sensor. The sensor detects the amount of light in the room and adjusts the screen brightness and colours so it looks natural and right. I noticed this right away in my living room; it’s easy to look at and read and looks soft and is without glare or harshness.

You can tap on the screen to access menus, commands, settings or to swipe through content. of course this being a Google Assistant speaker, you can also do most things with your voice.

Screen quality & watching videos

The screen quality on the Google Hub is quite good. It’s sharp and clear and even though it’s on the smaller side, it’s easy to watch things like cooking videos or music videos. I probably wouldn’t want to watch a movie or a TV show on it, but I guess you could.
Speaker quality & sound

Since sound and voice are such a big component of these devices, it’s only right that they sound great. Google has been doing quite well on the audio quality front (Read my review of the Google Home and Google Home Max speakers here) and this **** doesn’t change with the Hub.

Overall it sounds good, though sitting side by side with the Home Max, it is noticeably smaller sounding. On its own merits, however, the Home Hub sounds good; certainly as good as the regular Google Home device or Amazon’s Echo device.

If I did notice anything, I’d say it leans a bit toward the high end when it comes to sound quality. I listened to jazz and it sounded nice, but when I put on more bass-heavy music, say something like Dre’s Next Episode, it was still pretty thin on the bass. Even so the speaker gets pretty loud, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble hearing it.

Style & Looks
Google is winning when it comes to design. I’ve generally found all its devices to be chic, modern and sexy looking; real showpieces in your home that don’t scream “I’m a techy device”. The Home Hub is no different. With a super compact, sor of floating screen design, it doesn’t take up as much real estate, as , say the Amazon Echo Show, and it isn’t as stout as, say Apple’s Home Pod.

Full smart home control
The Google home hub automatically gives you control over most of your smart home devices. If you have smart lighting, like Phillips Hue, a Google Chromecast TV, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth speakers, a Nest thermostat or numerous other devices, you can get control over them using your home hub.

Perhaps surprising to some, the Google Nest Hub doesn’t have a camera imbedded in it like Amazon Echo Show. While a camera would in theory allow you to make two-way video calls, or snap photos, I’m not convinced this is actually a highly used feature on this kind of device. The last thing I want to do is be tethered to a screen that’s plugged into the wall while having a video conversation. If I want to do that, I’ll use my Apple iPhone and try FaceTime or use another platform, like Google Duo on my phone.

What can Google Assistant do?
If you’re new to the whole smart digital assistant thing, you might be wondering what they can really do for you.

There’s an ever growing list of what the Google Assistant can do, and all you have to do is say, “OK, Google…”
Overall thoughts on Google Next Home Hub

Overall I really like the design and size of the Google nest home hub. It’s sleek and compact, and it is pretty convenient to have that screen displaying the time, or photos, or to glance up at the weather. The screen itself is truly adaptive and looks nice in the room. Plus, with the smarts of the Google Assistant, you can ask it almost anything and control almost any smart home device.

Overall if you want to get yourself a smart digital assistant with a screen, the Google Home Hub would be a great choice. It sells for about $169CAD from the Google Store.

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