Google Home Hub review: Google’s small smart display is the one to buy
Quick verdict: The Google Home Hub offers a convenient visual and voice-driven way to interact with Google's services as well as enjoy YouTube content.
- Unobtrusive design
- Surprisingly good speakers
- Works seamlessly with YouTube
- Easy operation of smart home appliances
- Small display
- No camera means no video calling
- Can't cast video to its display
Google introduced its concept for smart displays back at Google I/O in May, with companies such as LG, JBL and Lenovo offering up their take on a combined display/smart speaker device.
It's not quite a must-have proposition – you could arguably cover much of what it does with a cheap Android phone and a Bluetooth speaker – but as a complete unit to either set up a smart home or add visual value to an existing Google Assistant-using household, it's a joy to use.
- Smaller than you'd think
- Screen has good visibility
- Choice of colours
- Wide sound output
- Great microphone pickup
- Works well for background music streaming
- Small screen doesn't lend itself to lengthy YouTube binges
- Nicely built
- Intelligent use of video
Should you buy it?
Where the Amazon Echo Show 2nd Gen impressed me with its hardware, the Google Home Hub feels like more of a complete package, even without video calling. It responds more intelligently than Alexa to queries in the main, fits unobtrusively into most home environments and offers either a nice finishing point to an existing smart home speaker set-up or a great starting point for those wary of the complexity of voice-only smart speakers.
Smart displays are still in their infancy in Australia, with the majority of smart displays shown off at I/O still to emerge. If you're a Google Assistant-based smart home, the Google Home Hub is pretty much your only bet at the time of writing.
You could achieve much of what the Google Home Hub does with a Google Assistant-based smartphone and simple Bluetooth speakers, although you wouldn't get quite as elegant an overall package if you did.
What the other reviewers say
|SMH||"...it could be the perfect fit for baby boomers who don't already own smart speakers, aren't too hung up on sound quality and like the idea of a digital photo frame."||N/A|
|PC Mag||"The small, affordable Google Assistant-powered Home Hub smart display is functional and convenient, but won't impress anyone with its sound quality."||3.5/5|
|Digital Trends||"Google's Home Hub is a great way to keep tabs on your smart home."||3.5/5|
|TechRadar||"Cheaper than an Echo Show and, arguably, even better"||4/5|
Pricing and availability
Google Play Music