Google Nest Hub smart speaker has been renewed with a screen with a new generation with so little change for the eyes and ears that you may find the bet soporific (excuse me). Better than better, because this way you will experience its main novelty, a sensor capable of detecting how, how much and when we sleep. We have thoroughly tested the Google Nest Hub (2nd gen), so much that we fell asleep trying.
Google Nest Hub Specification(2nd Gen)
|SCREEN||7 inches, 1,024 x 600 pixels|
|PROCESSOR||1.9 GHz ARM Quad Core|
|SPEAKER||1.7 inch driver speaker|
|SENSORS||Soli with Motion Sense|
sensor Temperature sensor
|MICROPHONES||3 long-range microphones|
|PORTS||Power port 15W|
A Déjà vu in design
The Google Nest Hub (2nd gen), due to its new functions, was born with the predisposition to replace the alarm clock of a lifetime. And the truth is that it fits very well on the nightstand.
The absolute protagonist of the device is the screen, with a comfortable size to view statistics, routines, time or the agenda, but rather scarce in diagonal and resolution if our idea is to use it to watch series (here the characteristics of the tablets shine like device to take us to bed and see something). Of course, videos from time to time we can see without problem.
The big “but” of its design is in the front bezels : with thinner edges it could gain a couple of centimeters more screen without growing in dimensions.
Where there is a great compaction work is in its rear, although I already anticipate that this space so August takes its toll on the sound. In conclusion, the Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) takes up little enough space to share space with the book you are reading and the bedside lamp.
The word to define it aesthetically is functional. It combines plastic, rubber to support it on the table and not damage the surfaces and mesh fabric for the base. In rooms decorated in a youthful, geeky way or with the usual IKEA furniture it fits, but in rooms where there is a more chic decoration, more premium lines and materials would fit better.
Sound: a fair and sufficient quality
As we have seen in the design section, the space destined to house the drivers is reduced and the technical sheet shows this: it integrates a 40-millimeter transducer, like the smaller brother of the family, the Google Nest Mini, far the ambitious (acoustically speaking) Google Nest Audio and even the veteran and discontinued Google Home. What about its predecessor? Well, according to Google, the new model offers up to 50% more bass than the original Hub, also with a 1.7-inch driver. But big changes in hearing are not expected.
This context serves to advance something: it is not a device for those who want to enjoy music, at least not for demanding ears. And is that the size of the drivers has an impact on sound quality.
It is not that with its acoustic configuration we cannot set a whole room like my master bedroom and, if we turn up the volume, half a house (70 square meters), but our recommendation is not to take it above 5 – 6, since the distortion when the volume is high is noticeable.
It offers a fairly flat sound, suffering especially with the bass, decaffeinated and unclear if they are pronounced, hence soft ambient music or light pop is where it works best. I haven’t had a chance to test the original Hub, but the distortion is noticeable.
Its three microphones do the job of listening to us when we are in bed or in the room, but beware of turning up to medium and high volumes and / or leaving the room, because we will have to force our voice command.
However, in the scenario of use for which it has been designed – that is, on the bedside table next to us – it fulfills to start the day with joy and wake us up (or go to sleep).
Functionality: Google’s muscle is just the beginning
It has been approximately three years since smart speakers arrived in Spain and in this time my experience of use has not changed much except for one “small” and important detail: the screen. Giving orders with your voice is comfortable, but viewing results graphically helps understanding and speeds up the task.
The screen of the Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) has a size similar to that of some notebooks and agendas and it is not accidental: it comes in handy to see our events, the weather, calendar, reminders and the like. I have already explained previously that due to quality and diagonal it is not the best to watch series (it is compatible with platforms such as Netflix or Disney +, in addition to Chromecast), but it is comfortable (more than mobile due to the form factor) for watch YouTube videos.
This model also has a set of sensors that enhances its use in the bedroom by controlling how our sleep is through a set of sensors that detect how much and how we sleep based on movement, breathing, light and temperature.
This promise has generated me a lot of curiosity from the beginning and the truth, I have put it to the test a lot, sleeping as a couple even to look for the tickle ( spoiler : it does not go well). And yes, he is able to guess the hours in which I am in bed, but he is not very precise when I guess what I sleep with: it is enough to be relaxed and lying down to confuse him. In general, it fails when you wake up on time or when you make a quick escape to the bathroom. In any case, I take it as an approximation that helps me to know that I am not getting enough sleep. And that is always an incentive to take note and try to take more care of my sleep routines.
I have not been able to verify snoring in a moderately serious way, but I have some testimonies that confirm that from time to time I can snore for a short period of time, especially if I have gone out the night before or if I have a cold. Surprisingly, the data provided seems to fit. That Google tell you that you snore is a what a time to be alive book. I want to finish this section with an extra that I have appreciated a lot to sleep: its direct access to relaxing sounds with a timer.
Talking about the Nest Hub utility (2nd gen) is largely about what is behind it: the big G, or what is the same, the vast Google ecosystem and its muscle and intelligence. Having the search engine at your fingertips to answer questions or control the home automation of compatible devices justifies for many users the purchase of a
speaker Intelligent Screen.
Thus, discovering in a few seconds what is on the billboard, asking if Goiko’s is open, knowing the time of the weekend or in which year Celine Dion won Eurovision is sucked. Similarly, having my robot vacuum cleaner cleaned or turning off the living room light is a sentence away.
But at this point in the movie, we’d like to ask attendees for more. Based on my experience, Google is the one that best copes with Spotify, but it still suffers when I ask for something a little far-fetched from Spotify. Or when I pronounce the title of a song in a regular way. And in general, when I make long orders. Déjà vu, to other moments, other models and even other ecosystems. I want to be able to speak to him as if he were a person and to understand me. And not only that, I want other less techies to be able to do it too.
Google Nest Hub (2nd gen), our opinion
As we anticipated in the intro, the second generation of the Google Nest Hub is an aesthetically and soundly conservative version, which is not necessarily bad news. It is true that Google could increase its base to accommodate a more ambitious acoustic configuration or take better advantage of the edges to achieve a larger screen. And this could be of higher quality.
… but this would probably imply raising the price and here the balance between functionality, cost and competition comes into play. The 100 euros that the Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) costs places it at a fair price between the Echo Show 5 and the Echo Show 8, its main rivals, which is also its main competitor in devices and ecosystem.
Even the 7-inch diagonal is between 5.5 “and 8” for Amazon models. They are not screens for viewing high-flying content, but they comply. And Google has an ace up its sleeve in this area: the integrated Chromecast. And it also simply “complies” at the sound level, serving us to listen to the radio, streaming music or podcast without great fanfare. But we don’t expect great sound quality from an alarm clock radio either.
And while the Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) is much more than that, its sleep monitoring inevitably lands it on the bedside table. Perhaps it is not the summum of precision, but together with other gadgets such as bracelets or smart watches they help us to be more aware of our activity and lifestyle.
Device specifications aside, Google is still very much Google and that is evident in the large amount of compatible home automation, in its own services and alliances with third parties and of course, in the muscle of its search engine. A set that is a guarantee when choosing a smart speaker / display.
The Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) does not stand out in anything, but the set convinces : for its compliant spirit in all facets, details such as the Chromecast or the Soli sensor and its price, quite adjusted for the market.