New Google Nest Hub is a bland update to a brilliant smart display – here's why

New Google Nest Hub offers much of the same, but little in the way of big changes

Google Nest Hub
(Image credit: Google)

A shiny new Google Nest Hub is soon to arrive in these here parts, and despite reports of one significant upgrade, the latest info shows that the next Google Nest Hub will look the same, feel similar, and perform in much the same manner. If you’re anything like us here at T3, then ripples of disappointment are probably searing through your body, as you'd probably expected a chunkier reboot. 

With our range of best smart speakers becoming ever more central to our smart home set-ups, we’ve always rated the Google Nest Hub as a wholly capable screen-cum-speaker that boasts a robust design and merits the extra cost, especially if YouTube, Google Photos, and wider smart home integration are your main goals.

Since the first release, the time has quickly whiled away: the Google Nest Hub Max has dropped, dialing up the smart experience to greater levels of audio and video performance; Amazon has bolstered its position in the sector with the Amazon Echo Show 10 that brings bags of technical brilliance; more, you’ve got speaker-centric entries like the blisteringly sleek Apple HomePod Mini that performs its smart assistant duties down to a tee.

But, with all these grand smart innovations in-between, Google's response is to rest on its laurels, seemingly in no rush to innovate its hardware. The predicted updates all feel very lackluster: the next Google Nest Hub looks set to keep “the same design language” as the existing iteration, adhering to the same demure structural tones of its predecessor, and the cloth-colored underneath.

Of course, there’s nothing overtly wrong with this design, but you’d have thought that two years was more than enough time to concoct a fresh new look – even Lenovo has had time to weigh into the sector with the Lenovo Smart Display

That said, there will be a small color addition, though: you’ll be able to pick the Google Nest Hub in light blue, alongside the existing soft pink, aqua, black, and gray. It’s hardly groundbreaking stuff, though, is it?

Other new features could see improved audio output quality and the addition of one far-field microphone to the two that already live in the Google Nest Hub. This aims to elongate the distance from which you can activate voice controls: “OK, Google”, even voice-issued volume controls. Something that's important to the seamless running of smart systems, and essential to our best soundbar list.

Reportedly, the chief new attraction to the new Google Nest Hub is the ability to track your movements during the night to assess sleep quality. It would look to track sleep in a similar vein to the Fitbit Inspire HR, appearing on our best Fitbit list, or mimic the sleep-tracking abilities of other Google-owned Fitbit devices from our best sleep tracker guide.

According to the sources in the report, the new Google Nest Hub is arriving “sooner rather than later”. However, for now, it's probably not top of our ones-to-watch list with the less than tantalizing news around its updates. T3 will keep you posted with more information as and when it comes. 

Source: TechRadar