[Update 2: Available Now] Google Nest Home Hub Max officially announced with 10-inch display and camera
Google’s digital assistant range is now extremely competitive. The enormous lead that Amazon once had over its competitors has long since slipped, and now it’s dubious if you could even call it a lead. Google is looking to further erode this lead with its latest smart home announcement, the Nest Hub Max. At Google I/O today, Google announced what is essentially a step up from the Google Home Hub. We’ve had information about this device since Google accidentally leaked it on their connected home page back in March.
Sporting a 10.1-inch LCD screen, the Nest Hub Max is a smart display running Google’s familiar smart display UI. But what’s undoubtedly the standout feature for this device is the built-in camera. The Sony IMX277 sensor is the same one found in the GoPro Hero 7 Black, shooting in 12MP. Google is well-known for its fantastic cameras in its Pixel smartphone series, so it’s hard to imagine that the picture quality from the Nest Hub Max will be anything other than brilliant. The camera will be used for many functionalities with the Nest Hub Max, most notably its ability to make video calls via Google Duo. An interesting feature here is that the wide-angle lens will use software to follow the user as they move around the frame, ensuring the focus is always on them.
The camera also features face recognition technology. What this means is that the Nest Hub Max will recognize people and show information relevant to them. For example, it might display what events a person has on that day, their route to work, etc. This is especially useful for homes where multiple people use the device. Google also intends the device to be used as a TV in the kitchen. It can display videos from YouTube, helping people with cookery, catching up on their TV shows, and much more.
Google is also clearly concerned about user concerns over privacy. The device features a dedicated switch on the back to turn off cameras and microphones. It does this by cutting off the actual electrical supply, so there are no workarounds. Google also says that any face recognition data is kept entirely on-device, meaning user privacy is well-protected
Internally, the Nest Hub Max has an Amlogic T931 SoC and 2GB of RAM. This is a small improvement over the standard Home Hub which had an AMLogic S905D2. The 10.1-inch display is running at a resolution of 1280×800, which equates to 150ppi. Stereo speakers should give the device a decent audio range, improving the experience of the aforementioned video calls.
The Google Nest Hub Max will release sometime this summer in the US (you can join the waitlist now). Priced at $229, it’s certainly more expensive than the Home Hub – which had its price dropped to $129 – but given the improvements that the Nest Hub Max brings, the price hike is somewhat justified.
Update: Launches September 9
Announced back in May, the Google Nest Hub Max finally has a launch date. Google has confirmed that the device will be hitting store shelves on September 9th. The Hub Max is the bigger smart display with a 10-inch screen and it costs $229. You can join the Google Store waitlist to be updated when it goes live.
Update 2: Available Now
As previously announced, the Google Nest Hub Max is now available for purchase in the US, UK, and Australia. It comes in two colors (chalk and charcoal) for $229 from the Google Store, Best Buy, Home Depot, Target, and more. To show what the Nest Hub Max can do, Google has shared a list of 101 tasks it can perform.