Google Nest launched way back in 2018 and wasn’t perfect by any means. It had a lot of issues along with a smaller display and the lack of a webcam. Google recently launched the Google Nest Hub Max, a successor to the original Nest Hub that tries to accentuate the appeal of the home automation device. Google Nest Hub Max is now the sharpest weapon of Google’s home automation arsenal that acts as a central monitoring hub for all the connected devices. Let’s see how much things have improved from the first iteration in this improved yet pricier version of the Google Next Hub. Go through the Google Nest Hub Max Review.
Google Nest Hub Max Review: Technical Specifications
Nest Hub Max brings a significant improvement in the display, adds a wide view webcam, a powerful stereo speaker system, and much more.
Nest Hub Max Smart Display & Speaker : Design and display
The Google Nest Hub Smart Display sports a slant speaker base design to provide an angle for the display. The display is not detachable and is embedded with the speaker frame. It is surely among the best-looking smart speakers cum display to control your IoT devices. It weighs around 1.32 kilograms and is clearly not meant to be carried around. Google bundles a short 1.5-meter power cord that can be tricky to use on a center table or almost any place away from the wall socket.
Nest Hub Max sports a 10 inch wide LCD with 1280 by 800 resolution. It is a touch-enabled display with beefy bezels. It is clear that Google wasn’t going for sleek aesthetics. The top bezel houses a webcam along with two microphones. It has a privacy shutter button that disables the camera and microphone when not in use.
Google Nest Hub Max: Speakers
Speakers are located in the backside and double up as a slanted base for the display. Google Nest Hub Max has one 30 Watt woofer and two 10 Watt tweeter positions to give the illusion of a surround sound experience.
Google Nest Hub Max: Connectivity
Nest Hub Google Smart Display & Speaker uses Wi-Fi 5 connectivity and Bluetooth 5.0 to pair with devices. It doesn’t have any visible USB port for connectivity and lacks an auxiliary port. The only port available on the device is the one for plugging in the power cord. It has Chromecast built-in and also supports Thread protocol to connect with various IoT devices.
Nest Hub with Google Assistant Smart Speaker: Features
Google Nest Hub Max: Audio Quality
The speakers inside the Google Nest Hub Max are capable of delivering good music output with a deep focus on the bass. The audio is far superior to what you get on the Google Nest Hub and is slightly inferior to the Amazon Echo Show. The larger chassis allows the 30 Watt woofer to perform to its best of capabilities and is audible enough even in a larger room. The positioning of the speakers is off-putting as it bounces the sound waves in a linear direction and isn’t the best in terms of surround sound experience.
Google Nest Hub Max supports video conferencing and calls via Google Duo (the latest update brings Zoom support). The video quality is fairly average and the small camera tries to squeeze in as many details as possible. The webcam supports gestures that can be used to issue commands like raising your hands to silence the music, etc. With a 127 field of view and face tracking, the camera can focus on the primary subject i.e you even if you are constantly moving across the room. There is also a face match feature that recognizes the user with the help of face recognition and then showcases personal messages, emails, and other relevant suggestions.
Google Nest Hub Max comes with the Nest cam support that acts as a secondary security camera for your residence. You can easily keep tabs on your home employees, pets, elders, and children, even when you are away. Google also provides a Nest Alert system that can warn you about intruders and mishaps. The Nest Alert system is not free and requires an additional subscription.
Google Nest Hub Max comes with the support for popular streaming services that include Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Paramount Plus, Starz, and Blu Magic. It still does not support Disney Plus which leaves a lot to be desired for the users. It supports music streaming via Spotify and YouTube Music, along with support for a few podcast apps and radio apps. The choice is very limited for an avid music lover who has to rely on chrome cast to play music from their favorite streaming service on the Google Nest Hub Max.
Google Nest Hub Max supports photo display and creates a live album from your google photos account to display on the screen. You can create a shared folder of photos and then keep updating it so that other family members with the device can see what you are up to. A tiny collection of supported games and a few news channels are also available to the users of the Google Nest Hub Max. You can make direct purchases via a few supported services including Costco, Adorama, and even Dominos. Yes! You can order a pizza with your Google Nest Hub Max. Still, it has to work a lot on popular services integration to make it challenging to other similarly priced devices.
Smart Home Controls
Google Nest Hub Max can easily communicate with your IoT devices and monitor them. If you use Nest ecosystem security and automation devices, the experience becomes much more seamless as compared to integrating IoT solutions from other brands. Google Nest Hub Max supports smart bulbs, smart switches, security cameras, and other smart devices from Robovac, Phillips, D-Link, Xbox, Thermostats, and much more. The list sounds promising but has a lot to cover so that it becomes a central monitoring and command hub for your smart devices.
Google Nest Hub Max requires you to swipe up excessively to see cards that contain information about your devices. The information layout needs improvement as you have to unnecessarily swipe for even tiny info such as the current weather, music track, etc. All of this can be clubbed on the screen because let’s face it, the Google Nest Hub Max has no dearth of display space. The Google Assistant experience is superb and the voice commands work well while fetching concise information. You can manually instruct our smart device via the dashboard or can issue voice commands, both of which work well.
Google Nest Hub Max offers a limited functionality OS that shows you your smart devices, recommendations, and cards. I found the experience to be quite bland as there is nothing much to do except swipe cards. The ambient light sensor does its job well and dims or brightens the display as per the change in lighting.
Is it worth upgrading over Google Nest Hub?
Yes, by all means. Google Nest Hub is discontinued by the brand from March 2021. You can buy one of those but I wouldn’t consider it a smart move. The Google Nest Hub Max has better audio, better display, a functioning webcam with Nest cam, and many more minor improvements under the hood. If you have a Google Nest Hub, don’t worry as the product will keep receiving updates and fixes. Also, Google Nest Hub Max is probably one of the few devices to be priced below other competitors and can be bought for 230 USD.
Google Nest Hub Max has its fair share of flaws. It doesn’t have a rotating display like the Amazon Echo Show, the UI isn’t the best, the privacy shutter is absent and you only get a button that turns off both the microphone and camera. Despite all these flaws, Google Nest Hub Max has what it takes to be a monitoring and access station for all your smart devices. I would suggest Google Nest Hub Max to users that need better audio quality and are already invested in the Google Nest ecosystem. Also, check out Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Review.