May 8, 2019
Ryan Whitwam

Nest Absorbs Google Home Lineup, Announces the Hub Max

Google’s smart display lineup is getting a boost at I/O. Although, it’s not really Google’s smart display lineup anymore. The Google Home team is merging with Nest, and the first consumer-facing effect is rebranding the Home Hub as the Nest Hub. There’s also a new smart display, the larger Nest Hub Max.

While the Nest Hub was a puny 7 inches, the Hub Max will sport a 10-inch touch screen. It has the same overall design as the older Hub, though. The screen looks like a tablet that’s been mounted to a small fabric pedestal. The larger screen will make the Hub Max easier to see from across the room, but that also means more light. Thankfully, the Hub Max keeps the ambient light sensors of the Nest Hub. Thus, it can adjust the color temperature to be easier on the eyes as the sun sets.

The Home Hub was notable at launch because it lacked a camera. This might have helped privacy-conscious people get cozy with the Assistant-powered display. The Hub Max does have a camera, and it lives up to the Nest branding. The Nest Hub Max has an HD Nest Cam built into the face. You can add it to your Nest app and use it like any other Nest camera.

That camera isn’t just for security. The camera also supports Google Duo video calls and messages, and it can even learn your face to change what’s on the display. You can already teach Assistant your voice to allow it to provide personal results when you ask it questions versus someone else in your house asking. With the Hub Max, you can use “Face match” to get personalized content when you look at the display. For example, when you look at the Hub, it shows your next calendar appointment. When someone else looks, it’s their calendar data.

The Hub Max also improves on its smaller sibling with a powerful speaker setup. The Nest Hub was little more than a Home Mini with a screen, but the Hub Max has full 2.1 sound with two 38mm tweeters and a 78mm rear-firing subwoofer.

You can expect more of this Google Nest branding shakeup in the coming months. As for the Nest Hub Max, it should go on sale this summer for $229. The smaller Nest Hub has also dropped permanently from $149 to $129.

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