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Google Home Hub Review

Google Home Hub Review

Posted   10.22.18
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87 Engadget Score
An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.
87

An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

Google’s Home Hub is unlike most other smart displays on the market. With its small size and soft fabric exterior, the Home Hub is well-suited for nearly every room in your house. The notable absence of a camera helps alleviate privacy concerns, which makes it ideal for personal spaces like the bedroom. The display is colorful, sharp and there’s an intelligent light sensor that’ll dim and adjust it appropriately depending on the surroundings. Combine that with Google Assistant smarts and an affordable price point, and the Home Hub is a highly compelling choice for a smart display.

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Pros
  • No camera
  • Beautiful display
  • Simple minimalist design
  • Affordable compared to the competition
Cons
  • Might be too small for some
  • Sound quality is just OK
87 Engadget Score
An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.
87

An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

87
 

Critic

Not yet scored
 

User Reviews

40
Kris
A poor product that's more likely to be frustrating than useful. - Engadget
90
Brendt
Great addition to kitchen/bedroom
80
Kevin
I'm starting to venture into very Google-integrated territory, with my Chromecasts...read more
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Score Breakdown

 
72
Average user Score
 
50
cynic13
07.25.19
The home automation interface is really awful, with too much whitespace and awkward, non-configurable organization. All devices are organized into rooms, but that doesn't match how I want to control things. Media control similarly is awkward, with Google Cast limitations but without the full Google Play Music or Play Movies interface. Audio quality is only mediocre - think Google Home MIni. And without a camera, you can't use it for video chats. I look forward to the Nest Hub Max but I regret buying this device. It's nicely made but doesn't come close to its potential. In my home it's essentially a combination of smart photo display and Google Home Mini.
 
40
HangmansNoose
07.25.19
I use the Nest Hub as an alarm clock in my bedroom. It mostly works really well with a couple of exceptions: 1. The microphones have trouble picking up voice commands. It will occasionally not respond to commands if I'm not directly speaking at it. For instance, it frequently will not respond if I'm lying in bed on my back, despite the Hub being only 2 ft away on my nightstand. 2. The display gets way too dim in dark rooms. As I said, I use this as an alarm clock and I'd like to be able to actually see the time in the dark. But the Hub automatically dims itself to the point where it is barely readable. You can adjust the brightness for when the Hub is active, but the light sensor automatically drops it back down to the lowest brightness setting once the Hub goes idle.
 
90
TigerInCO
07.25.19
We've had the Google Home (Nest) Hub since the first time the price dropped below $100. Recently it's been seen on sale for less. Is it worth $129? Maybe. Is it worth $75? Definitely. It gets used daily in our house. Most of the time the answers provided could just as easily be returned from your smartphone, but normally we're yelling at it from the kitchen or dining room to check the weather, adjust the home theater volume, or set a timer or reminder. None of these actually require a display, but it is nice to get visual feedback. I would and do recommend this to everyone that is looking at home automation or just as a slight upgrade to a Google Home Mini.
 
80
jpfeifer
07.25.19
The display on this is excellent and likely its best selling point. The display and integration with google photos makes it hands down the best digital picture frame i've ever used. I initially bought one for my kitchen as I have a very small kitchen and the size is perfect for that scenario, but upon seeing how little light it emits when it goes into its low light mode I bought another to use as a smart alarm clock. The idea of having an always on screen next to my bed seemed like a bad idea to me, but the light from this thing is less intrusive than most alarm clocks i've used. Using it in the bedroom definitely makes the lack of a camera a plus as well. Having a camera in my bedroom has always felt... unsettling... to me. The cons of the nest hub are probably not a surprise for anyone. For me personally I have a huge audible library and not being able to use it on google assistant has always been annoying. While there isn't really anything google can do about this, it does prevent me from using the device for something I listen to every day. I could cast my audio from my phone to use it for that, but at that point I might as well just use my phone speaker. While the nest hub does sound much better than my phone, the audio quality isn't by any means stellar and listening to an audiobook is a situation I just don't really care about a moderate bump in sound quality. The other biggest cons for some people would be screen size and the lack of a camera, but for my uses I consider both of those things to be features. At full price the nest hub is something that is worth its money if you're in the market for a smart screen. With the frequent discounts it's something that you can't believe the value you're getting out of it for the price. The two I've bought I got for $50 and $70 and honestly wish I bought a couple more of them for that price.