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Home > New Gear > Google Nest Hub review: smart speaker with a screen
Google Nest Hub review: smart speaker with a screen

Google Nest Hub review: smart speaker with a screen

By  Fields Corrielus 2019-07-09 732 0

The Google Nest Hub is a smart speaker with a colour screen - and makes the competition look pale. The test reveals why.

Google Nest Hub

Test conclusion: What you need to know

The combination of a smart loudspeaker and display is appealing: On call, the Google Nest Hub plays music and radio, switches lights on and off and displays YouTube videos on its small screen, for example. It turns out to be a practical kitchen aid and a smart alarm clock, especially as it doesn't take up much space on the worktop and bedside table.

The good

The bad

Fleet response to enquiries

Sound only mediocre

Display good for weather and traffic information, for example

Few connections

Easy to set up


The idea of combining a smart speaker with a speech assistant with a screen is not entirely new. Amazon already offers the Echo Show, even in its second edition. Even in the Google world, the concept is not fresh. The Lenovo Smart Display has been on the market for a few weeks now. The advantage is obvious: Some information from a smart loudspeaker or the connected speech assistant is even more valuable with visual background. For example, the weather forecast for the next few days or the traffic situation on the way to work. Now there is such a combination of Google: The Google Nest Hub is a Google Home Mini with a flanged 7-inch tablet. The COMPUTER BILD test shows what the combination can do.

Google Nest Hub under test: Google services on call

Where the Echo Show 2 and the Lenovo Smart Display with their 10-inch screens (screen diagonal of 25 centimeters) need plenty of shelf space, the Google Nest Hub makes itself pleasantly slim. So it fits on every kitchenette, on the bedside table or somewhere on the shelf. As a member of the Google family, the Nest Hub uses a number of Google services and displays photos of the user, makes calendar entries, shows YouTube and road maps - all voice-controlled via the Google Assistant. If desired, several functions can be combined into routines so that the Nest Hub switches on lights and heating, reads the weather forecast and then the news. You know this from the Google speakers. The screen of the Nest Hub supports the information, for example with the display of a map including red marked traffic jams - very practical. Any smartphone can do this, but with the Google Nest Hub you can do it hands-free - just on call. In the kitchen, for example, this is particularly practical. There he reads on request recipes of various portals such as - beautifully illustrated and step by step, the user sets the pace with "OK Google, forward! That also works with YouTube videos. The selection by language is however laborious, the Nest Hub starts equal with the next best Youtube video to the mentioned keyword, a hit list for the selection by fingertip does not give it there, probably however with the cook prescriptions.

Google Nest Hub in test: Missing camera

In theory, the Nest Hub can even be used for telephoning. But that only works with Google's Duo service, and only between Duo users. A camera for video calls is unfortunately not built in. The Amazon Echo Show and the Lenovo Smart Display have their noses in front. On the other hand, the missing camera might soothe one or the other data protector, because Google doesn't have the opportunity to look into the smart home. So that the assistant doesn't pick up the ears with every "OK, Google", the microphone can be switched off with a switch on the back of the device.

Google Nest Hub: The Little Janitor

Google sees its Nest Hub as a control center for the smart home. For this purpose, the Group has fundamentally redesigned the Home App and added a fresh function called Home View. This is a kind of dashboard that lets you keep an eye on all smart devices - such as heating thermostats, light switches, smoke detectors or door locks - and control them via a screen. Apple HomeKit sends its greetings. Smart devices can be switched on or off both by voice and by simply tapping on the corresponding device symbol. Given the focus on Smarthome functionality, it's only logical that Google should take over the Nest brand (previously the brand for thermostats or smart door locks) for home products and merge the two lines. It remains to be seen to what extent the video image of a nest surveillance camera can be displayed on the hub screen in the future.

Google Nest Hub: Mini TV for the bedside table

Despite the small screen, the Google Nest Hub can also be used for TV reception and video playback. In the test the live stream from the ZDF media library could be started with the simple command "OK Google, show ZDF", Pro7 was also shown without any problems. With RTL, ARD or "Das Erste" this didn't work, the question about the "Tagesschau" was answered by Google with the corresponding YouTube video. The online video store Maxdome can also be used with the Google Home Nest, but the screen is very small for feature films. But the display is not bad. The colours still look clear and brilliant from the side, the brightness automatically adjusts to the surroundings.

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