In conjunction with Google's decision to rebrand its display-enabled Google Home Hub devices under the 'Nest Hub' branding, the company has now officially launched a revamped variant called Nest Hub Max. As its name implies, the new IoT gadget is larger than its 7-inch counterpart, featuring a 10-inch HD touchscreen alongside a few other key improvements.
Announced via Google I/O 2019, the new Nest Hub Max bears a lot of similarity to its smaller counterpart. Its primary purpose is as a means to access Google Assistant and control other IoT products, serving as a Google Photos-connected digital photo frame when inactive. Google says the 10-inch panel means the new hub can serve as both an AI-powered IoT gadget and as a television for small spaces such as a kitchen.
That means users get the Voice Matching functionality found in Google Home and Nest Hub via assistant but in a format that's larger and easier to see at a distance with more space for gesture controls
What's in a name?
The hardware here is also very different well beyond the 10-inch display. Nest Hub Max features full stereo audio and a rear-firing woofer more akin to the components found in the similarly-named Google Home Max smart speaker.
As could be presumed from the new branding, the inclusion of a camera lets Nest Hub Max serve multiple purposes. The most obvious of those may be the inclusion of an AI-enabled wide-lens smart camera, enabling tons of features from the well-established Nest branding. In effect, that allows Nest Hub Max to act as a smart home security camera and IoT hub all-in-one.
In short, not only can the new device help with recipes, serve up media or check security feeds, the camera works just like a Nest Cam. The wide-angle lens and AI combine to take matters further, automatically adjusting to keep users and others recognized by the machine learning algorithms in focus.
Other Nest features like motion detection, comprehensive face recognition, event history storage and recall, and settings based on whether the user is at home or not.
Video calls or messages via Google Duo will be possible through the camera-enabled device too and the wide-angle lens comes into play there as well but an even bigger new feature is the addition of touchless gesture controls. Google provides at least one example that should prove exceptionally useful with consideration for the upgraded speakers. Instead of having to shout over the noise or run to the device and make futile swipes at the screen, users can simply raise their hand to pause a video or media.
Available this summer at a premium
Pricing for the Nest Hub Max will start at $229 in the US, £219 in the UK, and $349 in Australia. Buyers will be able to pick one up this summer from the official Google Store or from retailers such as Best Buy and Home Depot.
The launch coincides with at least one price drop and the aforementioned rebranding too, with the Nest Hub holding its cost of $129 while the Google Home smart speaker will be priced at $99 as of the announcement. At the same time, the search giant revealed it launching Nest Hub in Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, and Sweden.