Video: the brilliant, second-gen Google Nest Hub

by James Wilkinson

Google introduced the second-generation Nest Hub in March and since then it has proven to be incredibly popular thanks to its amazing value (AU$149) for what’s on offer.

Based on Google’s first smart display that debuted two years ago – that has brought help to thousands of homes around the world – the second-generation Nest Hub offers some fantastic enhancements like better sound and all-new sleep features.

The new Nest Hub’s speaker is based on the same audio technology as Nest Audio and has 50 percent more bass than the original Hub for a bigger, richer sound to fill any room with music, podcasts or audiobooks from services like YouTube Music and Spotify — or enjoy your favourite TV shows and movies with a subscription from providers like Netflix, Disney+ and Stan.

With ‘Quick Gestures’, you can pause or play content at any time by tapping the air in front of your display.

The new Nest Hub shows all your compatible connected devices in one place so you can control them with one tap. And with a built-in Thread radio, Nest Hub will work with the new connectivity standard being created by the ‘Project Connected Home over IP’ working group, making it even simpler to control your connected home.

Nest Hub is also full of help for your busy family. See your calendar, set timers, and create reminders with Family Notes, digital sticky notes to share chores and to-dos so everyone stays on track.

Many of us don’t get enough sleep, which is becoming the number one concern for adults when it comes to health and wellness.

With that in mind, Google launched ‘Sleep Sensing’, an opt-in feature to help you understand and improve your sleep — and is available as a free preview until next year.

According to Google, Sleep Sensing is completely optional with privacy safeguards in place so you’re in control: you choose if you want to enable it and there’s a visual indicator on the display to let you know when it’s on.

Motion Sense only detects motion, not specific bodies or faces, and your coughing and snoring audio data is only processed on the device – it isn’t sent to Google servers, according to the company. You have multiple controls to disable Sleep Sensing features, including a hardware switch that physically disables the microphone.

You can review or delete your sleep data at any time, and consistent with the company’s privacy commitments, it isn’t used for personalised ads, according to Google.

Even if you choose not to enable Sleep Sensing, you can still fall asleep and wake up easier with Nest Hub. The display dims to make your bedroom more sleep-friendly, and the ‘Your evening’ page helps you wind down at night with relaxing sounds.

When it’s time to wake up, Nest Hub’s Sunrise Alarm gradually brightens the display and increases the alarm volume. If you need a few more ZZZs, use Motion Sense to wave your hand and snooze the alarm.

The new Nest Hub is available to Australians in two colours, to complement most rooms in the house: Chalk and Charcoal.

It features an edgeless glass display that’s easy to clean and makes your Nest Hub an even more beautiful digital photo frame.

Continuing Google’s commitment to sustainability, Nest Hub is designed with recycled materials with its plastic mechanical parts containing 54 percent recycled post-consumer plastic.