Smart Home

Google Nest Hub: everything you need to know about this smart display

This article is about Google Nest Hub. It will tell you everything you need to know about this smart display gadget from Google.
5/5 - (1 vote)

The smart display has since the The first Google Nest Hub introduction had a successor called Google Nest Hub 2. They are virtually identical to each other, apart from a few different features. Since the new model has completely replaced the old model, we simply call it the Google Nest Hub. The Google Nest Hub was previously known as the Google Home Hub and appeared in 2018 in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. In this article we answer the question what exactly is the Google Nest Hub (2)? And what can you do with it?

This is the Google Nest Hub

The Google Nest Hub is basically a smart speaker like the Google Nest Audio and the Google Nest Mini, but with a 7-inch display. The Dutch-speaking Google Assistant is also present on this device, which means that you can again ask questions and control your smarthome with your voice. In addition, however, you now also get to see visual information. Are you asking for the weather forecast? In addition to an answer through the speaker that the Google Assistant gives you, you will also immediately see visual information about the weather in the coming days. In addition, you can, for example, view recipes, start a YouTube video and view it on the display, control your smart home via the touchscreen on the Google Nest Hub and even a Netflix series see.

The display of the Google Nest Hub makes us call such a device a smart display, or smart display. It has all the functions you know from the Google Home/Nest speakers, but also with a visual display. Do you want to know how high the Martinitoren in Groningen is? Your question appears as text on the screen, so you can immediately check whether it went well. You will then receive an answer through the speaker and you will also see a picture of the Martinitoren with the text that it is 97 meters high. It is also nice to use the smart display with children. Question: What sound does a cow make? The Google Assistant gives the cow sound and also immediately shows a picture of a cow. So children can play and learn at the same time. And it doesn’t just work with animals, but pretty much anything that comes to mind in terms of questions.

What can you do with the Google Nest Hub?

The Google Nest Hub serves as a smart speaker and shows information directly on the display. Google has made various services available for this smart display. YouTube, Google Maps, Google Search, Google Calendar, and Google Photos are all available. You can also operate the smart home. The display as you know it in the Google Home app on your smartphone can also be found on the display, but slightly different. Google calls this view “Home View.” With this you do not have to control the smart home with your voice, but you can immediately switch on the lamps, set the thermostat a degree warmer or switch off a smart switch via the touchscreen.

Do you have a security camera at home or a video doorbell? The smart display can also show the images live. This way you immediately know who is at the door. Don’t feel like opening the door? You can immediately choose a response via the display or answer via your voice, which is then played via your smart doorbell. By the way, not all smart security cameras or video doorbells work on the Google Nest Hub. Google Nest products, of course, do. The Google Nest Doorbell for example, automatically shows the live view of the video doorbell when the doorbell rings and you can respond directly via speech or via the touchscreen. With other brands you have to ask for a live view first, so that is a disadvantage. Support for 3rd party video doorbells is still on its way, so it has yet to come.

An important part of the Google Nest speakers is your own personal morning program. Do you wish your Google Nest speaker good morning? Then she tells you the weather, your agenda for the day, the traffic information to work and you also get the latest news. This works the same on the Google Nest Hub, with the advantage that you now see the weather forecast on the screen, your agenda for the day is displayed and you immediately receive traffic information via Google Maps. Of course we can routine can also be started in this way, whereby the lamps slowly burn brighter or the curtains open slowly.

You don’t have to use your voice every time to activate the smart display. This can also be done by simply touching the screen. For example, the dashboard shows the weather, music you’re listening to, YouTube videos, popular messages or an alarm you want to turn on. Here you can easily swipe from left to right. Of course, this model is also just a speaker. So you can just listen to music and you can also make the Google Nest Hub part of your homemade speaker group in your smart home.

What can’t you do with the Google Nest Hub?

It is important to know that you cannot download apps on the smart display. You’ll have to make do with the features that are available, although Google will of course constantly provide new updates for a better experience. For example, Netflix is ​​now available. A web browser is not available, so you cannot surf the internet as easily on the display. Casting from Spotify or YouTube Music, for example, is very easy and works exactly as you are used to. The Google Nest Hub interface continues to evolve. For example, the first version even got a completely new operating system with Fuchsia OS but since the front looks exactly the same, you won’t notice any difference.

Video calling is also not possible. A smart display is ideal for video calling, but unlike competitors’ smart displays and the newly announced Nest Hub Max, you can’t make video calls with this model. There is no camera available, not even on the new Google Nest Hub 2. You can, however, make calls via Google Duo. In addition to only audio calls, you can also make video calls with this, where you can see the other person on the display, but of course they can’t see you due to the lack of a camera.

digital photo frame

Not using the Google Nest Hub? By means of your photo collection via Google Photos, the display can serve as a digital photo frame. You can easily choose photos yourself or, for example, use photos of family or friends. For example, via Live Albums you can already see the holiday photos of your family, while they are still on holiday. Would you rather not? You can also choose to simply display the time or opt for photos from Google itself.

The Google Nest Hub also has a physical button to turn off the Google Assistant. There are also physical volume buttons and two far-field microphones, so that the device can hear you even if you are a little further away. The EQ sensor is new. This ensures that the brightness of the screen becomes higher or lower as needed. In a bright environment, the brightness increases to be able to read the screen properly, but at night the brightness of the screen becomes much lower. This way you will never be blinded by the display.

It is not yet known whether all functions that we know of the American Google Nest Hub are also directly available for the Netherlands. The Google Nest Hub thus provides a more complete experience, by not only making sound, but also showing images.

New on the Google Nest Hub 2

The Google Nest Hub 2 has completely replaced the first version in the store. That is not a problem for these articles. Both smart displays can do exactly the same, look almost identical, both have the Dutch Google Assistant and have an identical 7″ screen with the same resolution of 1,024 by 600 pixels.

A new color temperature sensor, an extra microphone and a faster processor are a few minor differences, in addition to the machine learning chip for faster answers to your questions. The sound is also slightly better when you start listening to music on the new version.

The biggest innovations are the Soli technology, a sensor that can track your movements, and support for Thread, a wireless smart home protocol that is also the basis of Matter that will be released later this year. However, the Soli technology can also track your sleep, so you can see exactly how you slept every morning. This feature was not present on the first version of the smart display.

You can read the detailed review of Google Nest Hub here.

Price and availability

The Google Nest Hub 2 has a suggested retail price of 99.99 euros, which is cheaper than the first version that was for sale for 129 euros. However, if you are looking for the best offers, you can sometimes buy the smart display for 50 to 60 euros each.