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Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) Review (July 2024)

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The Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is the latest iteration of Google’s popular smart display, offering a sleek design and a host of smart features. This updated model boasts a larger 7-inch touchscreen, improved sound quality, and enhanced functionality thanks to the power of Google Assistant. In this review, we’ll delve deep into the Nest Hub’s performance, exploring its strengths and weaknesses to determine if it’s the right smart home hub for you.

From its minimalist design and vibrant display to its intuitive user interface and comprehensive smart home integration, the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) aims to make your life easier and more enjoyable. But does it deliver on its promises? We’ll put this smart display to the test, examining its capabilities in areas like music playback, video calling, home automation control, and more.

One of the most significant updates in the 2nd Gen model is the integration of Soli radar technology, which enables hands-free gesture controls. This feature allows you to interact with the Nest Hub without touching the screen, making it even more convenient for tasks like snoozing alarms or controlling music playback. We’ll explore the effectiveness of this new technology and its impact on the overall user experience.

Whether you’re a tech enthusiast seeking a comprehensive smart home solution or simply looking for a convenient way to manage your daily tasks, the Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) offers a compelling combination of features and functionality. Join us as we unravel the intricacies of this smart display and discover its true potential.

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Name: Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen)
Image: Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen)
Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars

Design and Display

The Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) boasts a sleek and modern design that seamlessly blends into any home décor. Its 7-inch touchscreen display is housed in a compact, circular base with a fabric-covered back, giving it a soft and inviting aesthetic. The screen itself is vibrant and responsive, offering crisp and clear visuals for browsing photos, watching videos, and controlling your smart home.

The display’s resolution is 1024 x 600 pixels, which is more than sufficient for its size. The colors are rich and accurate, and the viewing angles are wide, allowing for comfortable viewing from different positions in the room. The Nest Hub’s screen also automatically adjusts its brightness based on ambient light conditions, ensuring optimal visibility throughout the day and night. This feature is particularly helpful in dimly lit rooms, where you might not want the screen to be too bright and distracting.

One of the standout design features of the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is its built-in ambient light sensor. This sensor allows the device to blend into its surroundings, changing its screen color to match the tones of the room. This adds a touch of sophistication to the device and makes it feel more integrated into your home environment. Overall, the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is a visually appealing and functional smart display that’s sure to enhance your home tech setup.

Performance and Features

The Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is powered by a powerful processor that ensures smooth and responsive performance. It handles multitasking, streaming, and web browsing seamlessly, making it a joy to use. You can quickly switch between apps, browse the web, and control smart home devices without encountering any lag or stuttering. The device also features a dedicated “Fast Pair” button for effortless pairing with Bluetooth headphones or speakers.

One of the standout features of the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is its sleep tracking capabilities. It uses motion sensors to monitor your sleep patterns without needing to wear any additional devices. You get detailed insights into your sleep duration, quality, and even the number of times you wake up throughout the night. This data can be incredibly helpful for those looking to improve their sleep habits.

The Nest Hub also excels in its ability to personalize your experience. It learns your preferences and routines, offering tailored recommendations for music, news, and entertainment. For example, if you regularly listen to podcasts in the morning, it might suggest similar content. It also adapts to your daily schedule, reminding you of upcoming events and appointments.

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Another key feature is the integration with Google Photos. You can easily display your favorite photos on the Nest Hub’s screen, creating a personalized slideshow that acts as a digital photo frame. The Nest Hub (2nd Gen) also supports hands-free calling, making it a convenient option for communication. You can make voice calls to friends and family or use it to video chat with those who have Google Duo.

The Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is packed with features that enhance the user experience and make it a versatile device for your home. From its powerful performance to its sleep tracking and personalized recommendations, it’s clear that Google has designed this smart display to be both functional and user-friendly.

Sound Quality

The Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) boasts decent sound quality for its size, offering a clear and balanced audio experience. While it’s not a dedicated speaker, it’s more than capable of filling a small to medium-sized room with sound. Vocals are crisp and well-defined, and the bass response is surprisingly good for a device this compact. You can expect to enjoy listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks without feeling like you’re missing out on any detail.

However, it’s worth noting that the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) lacks the punch and power of dedicated smart speakers like the Sonos One or the Amazon Echo Studio. At higher volumes, the sound can become a little distorted, especially when playing bass-heavy tracks. If you’re an audiophile or looking for a device to really rock out to, you might want to consider a dedicated speaker system.

But for everyday use, the Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) delivers a pleasant listening experience. It’s perfect for listening to music while you cook, catching up on podcasts during your morning routine, or enjoying audiobooks before bed. The built-in Chromecast support allows for seamless streaming from your favorite music services, including Spotify, YouTube Music, and Pandora.

Smart Home Integration

Smart Home Integration

The Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is a powerhouse for smart home control. It seamlessly integrates with a wide array of devices, making it a central hub for managing your connected home.

The device’s compatibility with Google Home and Google Assistant ensures a smooth experience with most major smart home brands. You can control everything from lights and thermostats to security cameras and even appliances like ovens and coffee makers directly through the Nest Hub.

One of the standout features is the ability to create routines. These allow you to automate multiple tasks with a single voice command. For example, you can say “Good morning,” and the Nest Hub will turn on the lights, play your favorite music, and provide you with the day’s weather forecast.

The Nest Hub also excels in its visual presentation of smart home data. You can view live feeds from compatible security cameras, monitor the temperature of your thermostat, and even see the progress of your smart oven. This visual feedback adds a layer of convenience and control.

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Beyond the basic functions of turning lights on and off, you can delve deeper into customization. For instance, you can set schedules for smart lights, adjust the temperature of your thermostat based on your location, and even control smart plugs to turn devices on and off remotely.

The Nest Hub’s integration with other Google services, such as Google Calendar and YouTube Music, makes it a versatile device. It can display your schedule, play music, and even act as a digital photo frame.

While the Nest Hub’s smart home capabilities are impressive, it’s important to note that some devices might require additional setup or specific compatibility with Google Assistant. However, the vast majority of popular smart home brands are readily supported, making the Nest Hub a valuable addition to any connected home.

Google Assistant Experience

The Google Assistant experience on the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is, as you might expect, top-notch. It’s the heart of the device, and it’s what makes it so useful. The Assistant is incredibly responsive, understanding your requests quickly and accurately. You can use your voice to control your smart home devices, play music, set alarms and timers, get weather updates, and much more.

One of the best things about the Google Assistant on the Nest Hub is its ability to learn your habits and preferences. The more you use it, the better it gets at anticipating your needs and providing you with relevant information. For example, if you often listen to podcasts in the morning, the Assistant might suggest some new ones based on your listening history.

The Nest Hub also features a variety of visual features that enhance the Google Assistant experience. For example, when you ask for weather updates, you’ll see a beautiful visual representation of the current conditions and forecast. When you’re playing music, you’ll see the album art and song information. These visual aids make using the Assistant more engaging and informative.

Google Assistant on the Nest Hub also seamlessly integrates with other Google services, such as Google Calendar, Google Photos, and Google Maps. For example, you can use the Assistant to view your upcoming appointments, display photos from your Google Photos library, and get directions to your next destination.

Overall, the Google Assistant experience on the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is a major highlight of the device. It’s incredibly responsive, intuitive, and packed with features that make it a valuable addition to any smart home. If you’re looking for a smart display with a great Google Assistant experience, the Nest Hub is definitely worth considering.

Privacy and Security

Google takes privacy seriously, and the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) reflects that commitment. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Data Collection: Like all smart devices, the Nest Hub collects data about your usage, including voice commands, web searches, and app usage. This information is used to improve Google services and personalize your experience.
  • Voice Recordings: Your voice commands are sent to Google’s servers for processing. You can choose to delete your voice recordings at any time through your Google Account settings.
  • Camera: The Nest Hub doesn’t have a camera, which is a significant privacy plus compared to devices like the Facebook Portal or Amazon Echo Show. This means there’s no concern about being constantly monitored.
  • Microphone Mute: A physical mute switch on the back of the device allows you to disable the microphone completely, ensuring your privacy even when the device is powered on.
  • Facial Recognition: The Nest Hub (2nd Gen) doesn’t offer facial recognition features. This means it won’t store or analyze images of your face, further enhancing your privacy.
  • Google Account Security: The Nest Hub’s security relies on the security of your Google Account. Make sure to use a strong password and enable two-factor authentication for enhanced protection.
  • Transparency: Google provides a detailed privacy policy and clear information about how your data is used. You can also find instructions on how to manage your data and privacy settings within your Google Account.

Overall, the Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is a privacy-conscious device. The lack of a camera, the physical microphone mute switch, and the focus on user control over data collection make it a solid choice for privacy-minded consumers.

Setup and Use

Setting up the Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is a breeze. You simply plug it in, download the Google Home app on your smartphone, and follow the on-screen instructions. The app will guide you through connecting the device to your Wi-Fi network, linking it to your Google account, and personalizing your settings. It takes just a few minutes to get everything up and running.

Once set up, using the Nest Hub is incredibly intuitive. You can control it with your voice, using simple commands like “Hey Google, play music” or “Hey Google, show me the weather.” The touchscreen interface is responsive and easy to navigate, letting you scroll through different menus, apps, and widgets with a swipe of your finger.

The Nest Hub integrates seamlessly with other Google services like YouTube, Spotify, and Google Calendar. You can watch videos, listen to music, and view your schedule directly on the device. You can also use it as a digital photo frame, showcasing your favorite images from Google Photos.

For those who prefer a more hands-on approach, you can also use the Google Home app to manage the Nest Hub’s settings, control its functionality, and configure various aspects of its operation. This app provides a centralized hub for managing all your smart home devices, making it an essential companion to the Nest Hub.

Overall, the setup and use of the Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is a highly positive experience. It’s user-friendly, intuitive, and seamlessly integrated with other Google services. Whether you’re a tech novice or a seasoned smart home enthusiast, you’ll find it easy to navigate and use this smart display.

Pros and Cons

The Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is a great smart display for most people, offering a compelling blend of features and affordability. Here’s a breakdown of its strengths and weaknesses:


  • Excellent value for money: At its price point, the Nest Hub offers a robust set of features and capabilities, making it a great value proposition.
  • Crisp and vibrant display: The 7-inch touchscreen is bright, colorful, and responsive, making it ideal for viewing photos, videos, and recipes.
  • Solid sound quality: The speaker delivers surprisingly good audio quality for its size, with clear vocals and decent bass. It’s more than capable of filling a small room with sound.
  • Seamless Google Assistant integration: The Google Assistant works flawlessly, providing quick and accurate responses to your queries, controlling smart home devices, and even setting reminders.
  • Sleek and stylish design: The Nest Hub’s minimalist design blends seamlessly into any home decor. Its compact size makes it perfect for placement on nightstands, kitchen counters, or desks.
  • Sleep tracking capabilities: The Nest Hub can monitor your sleep patterns and provide insights into your sleep quality, helping you improve your rest.
  • Solid privacy features: Google offers various privacy controls and settings to manage data collection and usage.


  • Limited camera functionality: Unlike some competitors, the Nest Hub doesn’t include a built-in camera, which restricts its video calling capabilities.
  • No external storage: The Nest Hub doesn’t offer external storage options, limiting your ability to store and access large amounts of content.
  • Limited smart home control: While the Nest Hub can control a wide range of smart home devices, its compatibility might not extend to all brands and models.
  • No dedicated home button: The lack of a dedicated home button necessitates relying on voice commands or swiping gestures to navigate the interface.
  • Occasional responsiveness issues: While generally responsive, the Nest Hub may sometimes experience slight lag or delays when processing commands or navigating menus.

Comparison with Other Smart Displays

The Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) sits comfortably in the mid-range of smart displays. It faces stiff competition from the likes of the Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) and the Facebook Portal Go. Here’s a breakdown of how it stacks up:

Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen): This is the Nest Hub’s primary competitor. It offers a larger display (8 inches vs. 7 inches) and a slightly better camera for video calls. The Echo Show 8 also boasts better sound quality, thanks to its larger speaker. However, the Nest Hub excels in its Google Assistant integration, which is smoother and more intuitive than Alexa. Additionally, the Nest Hub’s sleep tracking feature is a unique advantage that the Echo Show 8 lacks.

Facebook Portal Go: The Portal Go is designed primarily for video calling and features a unique “smart camera” that follows you around the room. While it offers excellent video calling capabilities, it falls short in other areas, lacking the comprehensive smart home integration and the vast library of apps available on the Nest Hub and Echo Show 8.

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Ultimately, the best choice for you depends on your priorities. If you value excellent video calling and a larger display, the Echo Show 8 might be the better option. However, if you prioritize Google Assistant integration, a wider app selection, and sleep tracking, the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) comes out on top.


The Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is a solid choice for anyone looking for a smart display with a great screen, excellent sound quality, and seamless integration with Google’s ecosystem. Its intuitive interface, helpful features like sleep tracking, and smooth integration with other smart home devices make it a valuable addition to any home. While the lack of a camera might be a dealbreaker for some, the Nest Hub excels in its core functions, offering a user-friendly experience with a strong emphasis on privacy. It’s a smart display that’s both aesthetically pleasing and functional, proving to be a worthy upgrade from its predecessor.

In conclusion, the Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is a fantastic smart display for those looking to enhance their home with smart technology. Its vibrant screen, intuitive interface, and powerful Google Assistant make it a perfect companion for everyday tasks. The improved audio quality elevates the user experience, allowing for immersive entertainment and clear communication. While the lack of a camera might be a drawback for some, its focus on privacy and its impressive range of features make it a compelling choice for many.

The Nest Hub shines in its versatility, seamlessly integrating with other smart home devices and offering a plethora of applications. From managing your daily schedule to controlling your home’s lighting and temperature, the Nest Hub empowers you to live smarter. Its affordability further adds to its appeal, making it a great value proposition for anyone seeking to dip their toes into the world of smart home technology.

Overall, the Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is a highly recommended smart display that delivers a delightful user experience. Its combination of functionality, ease of use, and affordability makes it a standout choice for individuals and families alike. Whether you’re looking to enhance your daily routine, streamline your smart home, or simply enjoy entertainment, the Nest Hub is a valuable addition to any modern household.

In a competitive market dominated by smart home devices, the Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) stands out as a well-rounded and user-friendly option. Its strengths in user experience, functionality, and price point make it a compelling choice for anyone seeking to embrace the convenience and connectivity of smart home technology.


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