Smart devices are plentiful and the Google Nest Hub can create order in this large collection of smart devices. Over the years I have all versions of Google Nest Hub extensively used and tested. That's why I'm happy to share everything I've learned, what you can do with it and whether you should buy a Nest Home Hub at all.
What is Google Nest Hub?
First of all, I will answer the question: what is Google Nest Hub? Google Nest Hub is a smart device, with a screen, that can be used as a central point within your smart home. With the hub you can control and connect all kinds of other devices via Google Home, but you can also give voice commands via Google Assistant.
Google Nest Hub is, as it were, the center of your smart home and offers a number of interesting extra options through the screen. More on that later.
The Google Home Hub is a relatively small device, but it has great possibilities. Before I go deeper into the possibilities and what you can do with it: first an overview of the smart home hubs that are currently being made by Google.
In the comparison below I show what the Google Nest Hub can compared to the Nest mini, but also the Nest Audio. In essence, the latter is a WiFi speaker, but there are also a number of features of a smart hub.
Stream camera/doorbell images
Smart device notifications
Now that the similarities and differences are clear, I'll take a closer look at the Google Nest Hub.
Google Nest Hub: what can you do with it?
De Google Nest Hub, what can you do with it? That is of course a fairly general question, but below I have made an overview of the most important functions that you can use with this smart display.
In any case, this list gives a fairly complete picture of the possibilities if you decide to buy this smart screen.
- As a voice assistant - The Google Nest Hub (2) also has a microphone (or actually three) and can therefore be used to give voice commands. You do this with the command 'Ok Google' and then, for example, 'turn on the lights'. You can also ask all kinds of questions, with 'Ok Google, how much does an elephant weigh', after which Google Assistant will answer.
- Watch videos – With the Google Hub it is possible to watch videos from YouTube, for example. Not necessarily ideal on a 7 inch screen, but the possibility is of course there.
- Use as a digital photo frame – It is possible to start your own slideshow on the Hub, where you can compile your own lists via Google Photos. In this way you actually have a digital photo frame.
- Control your smart home – If your smart home products are compatible with Google Home, you can connect them. You can then operate the smart home devices via speech or via the screen. Here you can also set all kinds of smart routines. Know more, check all about Google Home devices.
- Speaker – The hub can also be used as a speaker, which can be controlled via WiFi and Bluetooth.
- Chromecast - With the built-in Chromecast is it possible to stream content to this smart device.
- Use as an alarm clock – You can also use the Nest Hub as an alarm clock or alarm clock. You can put this next to your bed, see the time and possibly use an alarm.
- Track your sleep with Sleep Sensing – With Sleep Sensing you can track how you sleep on the Google Nest Home Hub 2 (not on the first version). If you activate this, Google will track how you sleep, including sounds. In addition, there is a motion sensor that keeps track of whether you are sleeping peacefully, tossing, or just lying awake. You can view this data in the Google Home app. For now, Sleep Sensing is a free feature, it may become a paid option later.
- Operate with hand gestures – Due to the Soli radarchip that is in the Google Nest Hub 2, it is possible to operate the device with hand gestures in front of the screen. For example, you can stop music or snooze your alarm.
Google Nest Hub: the details
Before I delve deeper into using the Google Nest Hub, first of all an overview of the functions, pros and cons and the specifications of this smart device.
Google Nest Hub (2nd gen)
The Nest Hub is a smart hub that can (and wants) to be the central point of your smart home. Operation is via the touchscreen, or via speech, with which you can give commands (Ok Google, turn on the lights).
In addition to being the central point in your smart home, the Google Hub also allows you to track your sleep with Sleep Sensing, and the built-in Chromecast can you stream content.
De Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) is a complete device that can definitely be a good addition and is ideal for use with, for example, the Nest Battery Doorbell.
- Screen: 7-inch touchscreen (1024×600)
- Dimensions: 17,7 12 x x 7cm
- Weight 0,56kg
- Wireless network: 802.11 b/g/n/ac (2,4 Ghz and 5 Ghz)
- Bluetooth: 5.0 + Thread (but not yet active)
- Chromecast: built-in
- Speaker: full range speaker with 4,4 cm driver
- Microphone: 3 far-field microphones (incl. switch to turn them off)
- Sensors: Proximity sensor, Soli-Sensor (motion sense), Ambient EQ light sensor and Temperature sensor
- Processor: Quad-core 64-bit ARM CPU at 1,9 GHz
- Colors: White, black, sand and fog
- Smart hub (incl. screen)
- Can also be used as a voice assistant (Ok, Google).
- Sleep Sensing works better than expected
- Swipe gesture control
- Sound and microphone work well
- Can be used as a photo frame
- Interface is sometimes a bit slow
Google Nest Hub 3
Google would be working on a new version for 2023: the Google Nest Hub 3. This updated version of this smart display would have a number of striking improvements.
For example, the Google Nest Hub 3 a detachable tablet as a screen. This way you can use it in a completely different way and you are much more flexible. For example, you can see who is at the door on the couch, but you can also operate the lamps via the screen at the dining table. Useful.
In terms of operating system, there are also a number of options. That's what Android is called, but Chrome OS also passes by. But we also have the OS of the Chromecast and Fuchsia. My guess is Android, but whether this will actually be the case, we will not know until the launch.
When the Nest Hub 3 will be officially launched is not yet known, but this new, smart device is eagerly awaited.
Drag up Sensing Google Nest Hub
An interesting feature on this device is Sleep Sensing. With this function, Google keeps track of how you sleep after you have given permission for this.
This of course means that you have to put it next to your bed so that the sensor and microphone can be used. These two sensors make an analysis of your sleep session, which is then displayed on the screen and in the Google Fit app (Android en iOS) can be seen.
After the analysis of your sleep by Sleep Sensing, you will receive personal recommendations to improve the quality. This could, for example, be a different bedtime or wake-up time.
Sleep Sensing makes the Google Nest Hub 2nd gen is an interesting smart device and thus offers a unique function for smart home hubs.
For now, Sleep Sensing is free to use, in 2023 this will be integrated into Fitbit Premium (€79 per year).
So, Google Nest Hub: buy or better not?
Of course, you're here for the answer to the question of whether you have the Google Nest Hub should buy, or better go for another screen.
If you are also going to use the visual aspect, such as displaying camera streams, or the doorbell, or simply want a touchscreen for operating and streaming, then it is definitely a good choice.
If you're looking for a 'simple' speaker, the Google Nest Mini may be a cheaper option.
My advice: Yes, the Google Nest Hub is simply a well-thought-out, feature-rich smart display that is definitely worth buying!
To make this as easy as possible, I've made a price comparison for the Google Nest Hub, which is updated daily with the current prices.
10 handy Google Nest Hub tips
There are many possibilities with the Nest Hub, which is why I've listed ten useful tips to get even more out of this smart display.
Before you get started, it is good to do some reading. For example, we have created a manual for the Google Nest Hub to install en reset. Do you want this Installing a smart display via Windows is also possible, but it takes some effort.
1. Control your smart home with Google Nest Hub: choose the right products
De Google Nest Hub has many features, but becomes even more useful if you can connect external devices and services to it. Think, for example, of smart lamps, a doorbell, cameras, thermostat or other devices.
As soon as you decide to purchase a new smart home product, make sure it has support for Google Home/Google Assistant. This way you can also connect (and operate) this device with this smart display.
Also read: 100+ Google Home devices in a row
2. Add and manage users on the Home Hub (max. 6)
It is possible to add extra 'persons', so that everyone has their own 'profile'. This can even be activated depending on voice recognition.
You can also set routines for each user, in which a number of 'events' follow each other. You can find more information about this in our extensive Google Routines guide find.
Setting up users makes the experience with Google Assistant even more personal, so if you use the device with several people, this is definitely an interesting option.
3. Use as a digital photo frame
I can still remember very well that we used to have a digital photo frame in the room. SD card in it and all kinds of selected photos came by all day.
That's exactly what you can do with the Nest Hub: use it as a digital photo frame. You can use Google Photos for this, where you can store (up to 15GB) photos for free.
4. Use the Nest Hub while cooking
Perhaps this is not the first thing you would think of, but this smart display is also very useful during cooking. Especially because you can give voice commands (so even if you have dirty hands) and videos can also be played.
In my area I know people who have put the Google Home Hub in the kitchen, because they find it so useful as a cooking aid.
5. Useful as a timer or alarm clock
If you use Sleep Sensing, you have the Home Hub next to your bed and you can also use it as an alarm clock. In fact, you can snooze it, for example, by a hand gesture in front of the screen.
But timers are also very useful: for example, you can set an alarm for the potatoes or vegetables by saying 'Ok Google, set the timer to 20 minutes'. This is a feature that I often use myself, very useful especially because this is done with voice control and you can see how much time is left.
6. Connect with IFTTT
If you want to make optimal use of Google Assistant and therefore the Hub, you can also link it to a service such as IFTTT. This makes it possible to link different systems and platforms together.
For example, you can create your own voice commands, or sync the notes you make with Google Assistant with your iPhone reminders.
In any case, on IFTTT there are many options for connecting services. Here one list with the most popular and most used in a row.
7. Mute the microphone
Sometimes it's not a nice idea if Google is "listening in" all the time. The microphone is always 'on' to pick up commands like 'Ok Google'.
This is also easy to switch off by turning a button on the back. With this hardware switch you can easily switch off the microphone so that it is no longer listened in. Sometimes a nice feeling.
8. Get started with routines
Routines are perhaps one of my favorite features on this smart screen. For example, it is possible to get an overview of the news, weather, traffic jams and your agenda for that day by saying 'Ok Google, good morning'.
Google has made a number of standard routines for you, but you can also get started to adjust them or, of course, create your own routines.
9. Connect all kinds of services and services
Google Assistant has the ability to connect all kinds of services and services. For example, you can use your Spotify or Netflixconnect account.
This also allows you to use the screen directly to stream or play content and you do not have to use the Chromecast functionality. Among other things, it is possible to connect to services such as Netflix, Spotify, Disney+, YouTube, Google Podcast, Apple Music and much, much more.
10. Set an extra 'sound' to confirm your command
Especially if you haven't had the device that long, it can be useful to set a sound to play when "Google" has heard you. So when you say "Hey Google," or "Ok Google," a tone plays, letting you know the Hub is listening to you.
Turning this on – especially in the beginning – will give you a better sense of how to give the commands so that they can be executed.
De Google Nest Hub is an interesting device with many possibilities. In this article I have tried to describe the possibilities as best as possible. But you may still have questions or want more information.
If you leave a comment below, I will do my best to answer the questions as quickly (and well) as possible!
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