Google has confirmed Home Hub, a new member of the Google Home family with a built-in screen. And here's why you need one.
Google Home Hub joins the Google Home, Mini and Max models in the company's line of smart speakers with Google Assistant built-in. It follows the Echo Show with an integrated display, and is poised to become the ultimate device for connecting all your smart home tech and online services when it goes on sale later this month.
Also announced at the 'Made by Google' event: Pixel 3 & 3 XL, Pixel Slate and Chromecast 3. Read our initial Pixel 3 review and Pixel 3 XL review.
Google Home Hub Pricing & Availability
During its 9 October 2018 'Made by Google' hardware launch event, Google confirmed that the Home Hub would be available to pre-order direct from the company's website today.
The Home Hub will go on sale on 22 October in the UK, US and Australia, at which point you'll also be able to buy it through Currys, Argos, John Lewis, Tesco and Carphone Warehouse.
The Home Hub costs $149 in the US, and £139 in the UK.
It also comes with a free six-month subscription to YouTube Music Premium (otherwise £11.99/month) when bought before 31 December 2018.
Read our Google Home Hub review.
What is Google Home Hub?
The Home Hub is Google Home as you know it, but so much better. In common with all Google Home devices it is a smart speaker encased in soft fabric with rounded corners, and available in four colours: Sand, Aqua, Chalk and Charcoal. It can be hooked up to the other speakers in the range with support for multi-room audio.
But Home Hub stands apart from its siblings with its 7in floating display – large enough to view from across the room, but small enough to sit unobtrusively in any corner of your home.
Not content with simply telling you about your day ahead Home Hub can show you. It can play your favourite tunes – then show you the dance moves. For any query you have it can find a tutorial video, and it can connect with your smart home tech to do cool things like control heating and lighting in separate rooms and even show you who is at the door.
Indeed, Google Home Hub is the best device on which to manage all your various smart home tech through a single interface, and it supports more than 2 million devices from over 1,000 brands. A swipe down from the top of the screen brings up a Home View control centre for all your connected devices. This more intuitive approach also filters through to the new Google Home app.
Google says Google Assistant requests have shot up by 400 percent in the past year, and with Home Hub we reckon that number will rocket. Using Voice Match it recognises the different voices of each member of the family, offering each a personalised experience. Filters can be set up to ensure only family-friendly content is viewed by younger members of the household.
The new smart speaker is designed to fit seamlessly in every room of the house. In the bedroom there's Ambient EQ to match the lighting – and no cameras to encroach on your privacy. In the kitchen the ability to control it via voice or with a tap means no sticky fingers on the screen as you follow your favourite recipes, set timers and convert measurements.
At night Google Home Hub will automatically turn off the screen, and there's a downtime mode for when you want some peace and quiet.
At other times when not in use it will scroll through your memories, with deep integration with Google Photos allowing it to display any albums you've uploaded or that has been shared with you, and it uses machine learning to filter out the duds and duplicates. New Live Albums let you select only photos of certain people to display.
Google Home Hub Specifications
- 7in touchscreen display
- Full-range speaker (80dB SPL @ 1KHz
- Google Assistant built-in
- 2x far-field mics
- Ambient EQ Light Sensor
- Multi-room audio
- Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 5.0
- 15W power adaptor
- 1.5m power cable
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