Google Home Hub

Tech Advisor - - Contents -

Price: £1399 from fave.co/2OM­drWL

Google Home Hub com­bines a Google Home dig­i­tal as­sis­tant with a 7in screen, al­low­ing a graphic dis­play of your sched­ule, weather, and com­mute traf­fic all at the command of your voice.

There’s more in there too: it has a good speaker for play­ing mu­sic, will act as a dig­i­tal photo frame when not oth­er­wise in use, and you can use it to watch your favourite shows if you have a com­pat­i­ble pay TV ser­vice, or mon­i­tor the feed from your home se­cu­rity cam­eras.

In many ways it mir­rors what a mod­ern An­droid phone can al­ready do, but with a bet­ter speaker and a

big­ger, al­ways-on screen. There’s a lot to like about this im­pres­sive lit­tle gad­get, and its thought­fully de­signed soft­ware is a big im­prove­ment on a smart­phone.

De­sign

The Home Hub will al­most cer­tainly sur­prise you with its small size. When you look at photos of the de­vice, you ex­pect some­thing big­ger. I think that’s be­cause the wide white bezel makes it look like the 9.7in iPad The Google Home Hub’s 7in dis­play is closer to an over­sized iPhone XS (6.5in screen) or Pixel 3 XL (6.3in dis­play).

Don’t get the wrong idea, though. For what it does, the Home Hub’s screen is just the right size, al­though I do wish that white bezel was a bit thin­ner and I’m cu­ri­ous how it would look in a dif­fer­ent colour. Google said the screen is meant to ap­pear to float and I sup­pose it does, but to me it re­ally looks like a tablet PC at­tached to a fab­ric-cov­ered base, and it’s avail­able in four soft colours: Chalk, Char­coal, Aqua, and Sand. It mea­sures 178.5x118x67.3mm and weighs 480g. At first glance it looks like it might have a cam­era, but that spot in the cen­tre above the screen is the light sen­sor that au­to­mat­i­cally ad­justs the screen bright­ness. Google said it made a con­scious de­ci­sion to not add a cam­era to the de­vice, so peo­ple would feel more com­fort­able hav­ing it around the house.

I be­lieve it’s a sound choice. Peo­ple al­ready fear smart speak­ers are lis­ten­ing to them un­awares. The last thing Google needs is any­one wor­ry­ing about be­ing spied on. It could eas­ily be seen as a short­com­ing, on the other hand, if you like to make video calls, per­haps

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