When Google launched its Smart Displays platform, we were all waiting for the company to introduce its own smart display. After all, the company has been directly competing with Amazon’s Echo line of smart devices with its Home-branded speakers, except the Echo Show. All of that changes today with the introduction of the Home Hub.
Google’s Home Hub is a 7-inch smart display powered by its Assistant. The device comes in two colours: Mint, Sand (pink), white and charcoal, both of which include a speaker on the back. Although the Home Hub isn’t technically meant to be used as a speaker like the regular Google Home, the speaker on the device should still be decent for things like watching videos on YouTube, and video calls.
Here’s the thing: Google, oddly enough, isn’t including a camera on this thing. The company knows people are actually concerned about their privacy nowadays, and so the Home Hub doesn’t include a camera at all. So you won’t be able to make video calls on this thing, unlike other devices like Amazon’s Echo Show or Facebook’s Portal. It’s an interesting move from the company, considering that other Smart Displays from its partners include a camera for video calls. Still, it could be a solid selling point for many users.
The device includes a feature called Ambient EQ which enables the device to adjust the display colors depending on the surrounding natural light. It will automatically turn off the screen at night, too. The device also includes a feature called Home View which will give you quick access to all your smart home gadgets, so you can quickly control all your smart home devices instantly. The company is bringing a similar experience to your phone with the redesigned Google Home app.
Google says the Home Hub comes with deep Google Photos integration to turn your Home Hub into the best digital frame. It uses machine learning to automatically create albums with pictures of people you actually want to see, and it automatically doesn’t show blurry or low-quality pictures which is pretty neat.
Google’s Home Hub will be available for $149. The device comes with 6 months of free YouTube Premium, which includes YouTube Music, and that’s a very good deal. Pre-orders start today, available in stores October 22.