Google just held it’s annual hardware event in New York where it launched the 3rd-gen Pixel smartphones, a first Chrome OS tablet – Pixel Slate – and a smart home hub with a screen, called the Google Home Hub. While the Pixel 3 smartphone and the Pixel Slate have their own market, the Home Hub looks to compete straight-away with the Amazon Echo Show, a second-generation model of which is available for pre-order now.

 

Google Home Hub

The Home Hub features a 7-inch LCD touchscreen display with a “full-range” speaker underneath. The speaker base has a fabric covering and rounded corners. There are two microphones as well. It has a dimension of 178.5 x 118 x 67.3 mm and weighs 480g. The Google Home Hub, however, lacks a camera.

As for features, it comes with a ‘voice match’ technology which recognizes the voice of the commander and tailors the responses accordingly. It can also automatically display ‘the best’ images from your Google Photos account as the screensaver. Added features include auto switch-off at night time and a ‘Downtime Mode’ to prevent it from distracting users at the wrong time. Google has also revamped services like Search, Maps, Calendar, and Photos for Home Hub, to add both voice controls and glanceable information. The Home Hub also supports Bluetooth (v 5.0) connectivity.

 

 

With Home View, you get a one-stop dashboard for controlling and managing your smart home. You can control your smart locks, cameras, lights, thermostats etc. right from the Home Hub screen.

The Home Hub also comes integrated with a YouTube app optimized for the display. So it can easily chime in with step-by-step meal recipes or other how-to videos along with songs and playlists. Google Home Hub buyers will even get 6 months YouTube Premium for free. You can also use the Hub to stream music from Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and more.

 

Price and availability

Google has priced the Home Hub at $149. It is already up for pre-orders and will be available October 22 onward in the US, UK, and Australia, followed by a global release. As for the color options, you get to choose from green (Aqua), pink (Sand), dark grey (Charcoal), and white (Chalk). The Hub display can also adjust to the ambient light in the room.

 

Despite the Google Home Hub lacking a camera, we believe it’ll be a worthy competitor to the Amazon Echo Show. So stay tuned as we compare the two and find out which one’s better for your smart home.