Hands on with Google's Home Hub: The smart speaker for everything

Gerardo Harmon
October 13, 2018

To go along with the new phones, it also announced the Google Home Hub, the Mi Box S and the Pixel Slate. Often, the important stuff is buried within several subsections, while the less essential stuff is more prominent.

There's also no camera on the Google Home Hub, unlike the other smart displays.

On a similar note, Google is committed to the promise, which it delivered at its I/O event in May 2018, by launching a feature dubbed as continued conversation for Home Mini, Google Home, and Home Max this week.

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It took a while but Google has finally introduced its own smart display which will take on the likes of the Amazon Echo Show. If someone walks up and rings your Nest doorbell, for example, the live video will automatically appear on the Google Home Hub.

The Google Home Hub, competing against Amazon's Echo Show, was unveiled at a NY media event at which the tech giant also announced its upgraded Pixel 3 smartphone and a new tablet computer dubbed Pixel Slate. In simple terms, not HTC but Google itself, designed this year's Pixel phones.

Despite the platform divergence, most users will be unlikely to notice many differences between the third-party smart displays and the Google Home Hub.

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So no video support, but Google hopes this will make consumers feel more comfortable about having the product in and around different parts of their home. The device is tiny, with only a 6-inch screen that isn't much bigger than the body of a smartphone. From the Home app, you can set your Ambient Display to only show random images of particular faces.

We already know that the Google Home Hub has a few features not yet found on the other smart displays - such as the ability to control all smart home devices at a glance with the Home View feature. The Google Home app helps you get all the details. So while both Google-equipped "speakers" can play YouTube videos, Google is giving purchasers six months of free access to YouTube Premium, so YouTube Music and general YouTube can be enjoyed without any ads breaking in and requiring a screen press (or shout) to be dismissed. And that's exactly what the Google Home Hub is all about. While this makes it easy for new users to jump right in, existing owners of Google Home and/or C by GE bulbs will be able to sync the two together, also starting on October 22.

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