Finally, after almost three years, Google has released a new Nest Hub smart display. Is it worth the wait, or is the new one dud?
Okay, the answers are a bit more granular and complicated, so I designed Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) vs Nest Hub to help you make the right purchase decision.
Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) vs Nest Hub Design – Actually, there is nothing to tell between the two.
If you place the new Nest Hub next to the old one, you will be pushed hard to tell the difference between the two. The new model is available in an additional color and is of two different sizes (177 x 120 x 70 mm for the new, 179 x 118 x 67 mm for the old). However, the original design remains the same, with a 7-inch display floating on the material base.
The new model has a rimless screen, which makes it easier to clean and makes it look more streamlined to the touch. With the older model, there was a small bezel around the outside, which could collect dirt.
With the new model, Google has shifted to using 50% recycled plastic (which are very old water bottles in case of your interest), but it doesn’t make a difference in the look and feel.
The control layout is also the same on both models. At the rear, you get a switch to turn off the microphone, and there are physical volume controls. Neither model has a webcam built in it, either. In short, if you are shopping at Looks, either model will actually do.
Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) vs Nest Hub Features – Some extras with the new model
Both models use Google Assistant, so the features are very similar. In fact, you can read my Google Assistant guide to learn more about the available options. In short, you can ask general questions, find out what is going on in your calendar, get directions and see what the weather is like.
The new Nest Hub (second gen) has a Google Soli low-power radar built-in. It can detect motion without the need for a camera. One of the main uses for this is motion gestures, which you activate by hitting your hand on the screen. It can smell the alarm and play the media. It works amazingly well and can be a lot easier than using your voice.
Nest Hub (another gene) also uses this motion sensor to detect how well you slept, as well as its microphone to detect snoring and coughing. Sleep sensing is a free feature for now, but will be a payment option for next year. To get it to work, you’ll need to keep the Nest Hub at head height (it’s not good if your bedside table is too high or too low), and you’ll have to put the display far enough away to make it work. In many cases, it is not worth the hassle to set.
When it works, sleep sensing shows you on-screen how you slept and also sends data to Google Fit. The information is moderately interesting, but it does not give you much in terms of improving your sleep.
The second Zen product has a thread radio built in, which is disabled for now. When enabled, it will control hub-thread-compatible smart home devices through this low-power protocol. Today, Thread has some products, but if the standard is discontinued, the new Nest Hub may prove to be very useful.
Google Nest Hub (second gen) vs Nest Hub sound quality – a small step for the new hub
Google says Nest Hub (the second gen) has 50% more bass than the original product.
This is certainly true, but the major advantage is that the audio is more balanced on the new smart display. While the old model was a bit indirect, the new hub has cleaner, clearer audio. In fact, it is enough to listen to the occasional bit of music, and is great for voice radio and audio answers. However, the audio quality is still not the best and the mid-range is compressed and slightly messed up. While the new speaker is better, then, a dedicated smart speaker for music is a better option.
Google Nest Hub (second gen) vs Nest Hub video quality – same experience
Nest Hub (second gen) and native support Netflix, both YouTube and Disney + video services. You can cast devices directly from your phone, and catch your favorite TV shows and movies. Both displays have a 7-inch display with a resolution of 1024 x 600, which is not so high.
However, given the size of the screen and the specific viewing distance, both hubs look sharp whether you are watching a video or additional information with a voice reply on a request. The screen size is believed to mean that if you want to watch a lot of videos, you’re better off with a larger display like Google Home Max.
Side-by-side, both devices have very similar image quality: they have bright and vibrant screens that can be seen easily even in bright light.
Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) vs Nest Hub – Which should you buy?
Nesli Hub (second gen) is not very new to the Soli motion sensor bar. This sensor is smart for quick gestures to play / pause video, but sleep sensing technology is not particularly useful. Good audio is good to hear, but not as much difference as you might think; Certainly, to listen to a lot of music, I need a proper music speaker.
As a result, if you have the original Nest Hub, there is not much to upgrade here. However, if you don’t have a smart display and want to be Google Assistant-powered, or you want to add a second display to your home, the new model is still a good choice and an excellent value.