With the nest Hub, Google’s first smart screen finally arrives in Europe. We have had time to test the smart home device and we offer you our first impressions of this combination of digital photo frame, smart home control center and Google Home.
Google Nest Hub – Availability and price
The Google Nest Hub can be ordered in advance for a few weeks at the price of 129 euros in the Google store and with several online distributors, and is on sale from May 28. This makes the device 30 euros more expensive than Google Home (99 euros), but of course it also has more to offer. In the next few days, the smart screen will also be available in various consumer electronics stores.
It is available in the colors "chalk" and "carbon". This changes both the color of the speaker cover and that of the back. The wide edge of the front screen remains white in both cases.
Tablet + Google Home = Nest Hub
Basically, the Nest Hub It looks like the mini version of a Google Home Max, with a tablet attached to the front equally small. Consequently, the base is a full-range wedge-shaped speaker with the same fabric cover as other Google smart home devices, such as the Home Mini.
The smart screen rests firmly on a rubber base 6.7 inches wide and is non-slip. Thanks to the weight of 480 grams, if you do not write on the screen with unnecessarily high power, you should not take the risk of knocking it down. Otherwise, only the white power cable of both versions stands out at the rear. The speaker sits on top of the Google logo, throwing the sound back.
The 7-inch screen has a wide frame that houses the EQ ambient light sensor and two far-field microphones at the top. There is no possibility to change the angle of the screen. On the back of the screen there is a volume switch and a hardware switch to deactivate the microphone. If the latter is disconnected, it is indicated by a small red LED on the front.
Little one, but thug?
A 7-inch LCD panel (1,024 x 600 pixels) is used as a screen for the Hub from Google Nest. Its brightness can be adjusted in ten stages through the software, but otherwise it does so automatically based on the data collected by the light sensor. This not only ensures that colors and contrasts are adjusted according to lighting conditions, but also that the screen darkens at night and only shows the time.
The touch screen reacts quickly to the inputs when they are tested for the first time and convinces by the automatic adjustment of the color of the content shown and the good contrasts. Although the small 7-inch screen probably finds its place in your home due to its size, it remains questionable whether the small screen will not be too strenuous in the long term when it comes to visualization and operation. But that is what we will find out in our full analysis.
Smart home center and Chromecast in one
We configure the Nest Hub as usual through the Google Home application on the smartphone. Among other things, you can also specify if you want to show preselected photos or images from your Google Photos account. The operation from the home screen, which shows the time, time and information on the displayed image, is performed by touching and dragging.
If you drag from top to bottom, you will have access to your smart home devices connected to Google Home. You can control your lights, select a routine, select a device to transmit or access a camera. If you swipe from the bottom up, you can use the quick options to adjust the brightness and volume, switch to DND mode, set an alarm clock or change to the settings.
With a single touch the Google Cards known by the Google Assistant are opened. Depending on the selection, the current news in video format or the favorite playlists of Spotify videos or YouTube. If you drag from left to right on the home screen, the smart screen will only show the time, which is ideal for the night.
Google Assistant and all that entails
According to Google, the Nest Hub It should be operated primarily through the Assistant. Most of the commands you know about Google Home (Mini) work here. This means that you can show time, upcoming appointments or how to work, search for music or play the radio, as well as show and cook recipes.
Thanks to the integration of Google Cast, you can also use the smart screen as a Chromecast and streaming media for the device. However, there are restrictions here: there is still no integration with Netflix, but it is planned.
For our final test, of course, we will take a closer look at the media and information that Nest supports. Hub. According to Google, it should have another update with new features.
Strong but flat sound
The sound coming from the small speaker with a sound pressure level of 80 dB at 1 kHz and 1 meter away is solid. It seems more than enough to listen to it while cooking, either the recipe read aloud, the video of YouTube or the song that sounds.
But of course, you cannot expect a sound masterpiece at this time. It's a little louder than the Google Home Mini, but it doesn't sound as good at maximum volume, especially when you turn the volume up to more than 50 percent, the sound seems quickly tiny. The sound is flat and lacks bass. Unfortunately there is no possibility to connect the Nest Hub to a better speaker via jack or Bluetooth.
Google Nest Hub – Technical specifications
|118 x 178.5 x 67.3 mm|
|1024 x 600 pixels (170 ppi)|
After our first test, the Google Nest Hub Looks like lots of fun. The screen gives a good first impression and the associated extended interaction possibilities are well implemented. The sound is enough to have some music next to it or some short videos of YouTube, and the control of the smart home is comfortable thanks to the large buttons even on the small screen.
Therefore, the smart screen has significant added value compared to digital frames, which experienced a sudden boom just a decade ago. At the moment, the only question I have to ask myself is what is the best location of the smart screen in my own home. In the kitchen, the reproduction of music, recipes or videos seem interesting. In the living room, however, much more time is spent, also in the bedroom, but not awake.
I will carry the Google Nest Hub from room to room in the next few days and weeks and I will tell you what is your best location.
Google Nest Hub
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