Google Nest Hub Max vs new Nest Hub: Differences explained

(Pocket-lint) - Google offers the Nest Hub Max and second generation Nest Hub[1], as the two devices within its smart display portfolio. The second generation Nest Hub succeeds the older Nest Hub, formerly known as Google Home Hub. Both these devices have been discounted for Black Friday[2], with the best prices listed below, or you can see all the deals on Google devices right here[3].

With a very similar design apart from physical size, how do Google's two Nest Hub's compare? Here are the similarities and differences.

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What's the same?

  • Design
  • Interface
  • Main features

The Google Nest Hub Max[4] and the original and second generation Google Nest Hubs all feature the same design with a screen with white bezels that offers the appearance of floating on the speaker base. The second generation Nest Hub has an edgeless screen however, while the Nest Hub Max and Next Hub both have a lip at the edge of their displays.

A microphone on/off button is positioned at the top on the rear of the three devices - this button also turns the camera off on the Nest Hub Max - while volume controls are on the left on the rear. The three devices feature the same interface and they offer many of the same features including smart home control, built-in Chromecast support, Google Assistant[5] and its range of offerings, the ability to use them as a digital photo frame, as well as the ability to watch YouTube, Netflix[6] and Disney+.

What's different between the Nest Hub Max and the Nest Hub?

Despite offering a very similar design, interface and features, there are a few differences between the Google Nest Hub Max, the second generation Google Nest Hub.

Display

  • Nest Hub Max: 10-inch, 16:10, HD, touchscreen
  • Nest Hub (2nd gen): 7-inch, LCD, touchscreen

The Google Nest Hub Max has a 10-inch touchscreen display. The Google Nest Hub meanwhile has a smaller 7-inch touchscreen LCD display, falling into a similar category as the Echo Show 8[7]

Size

  • Nest Hub Max: 250.1 x 182.55 x 101.23mm
  • Nest Hub (2nd gen): 178.5 x 118 x 67.3mm

As the Google Nest Hub Max has a larger display, it is unsurprisingly a larger device overall too.

The increase in size makes the Hub Max the better device for viewing content from across the room, while the second generation Nest Hub is better suited for a bedside table, for example.

Sound

  • Nest Hub Max: 2.1 speaker arrangement
  • New Nest Hub (2nd gen): Full-range speaker

The larger footprint of the Google Nest Hub Max allows for a 2.1 speaker arrangement compared to the second-gen Nest Hub's single full-range speaker. It means you get bigger sound from the Nest Hub Max and while the sound of the Nest Hub Max doesn't match that of speakers like the Sonos One[8], it is a big improvement on the Nest Hub. The second generation Nest Hub offers 50 per cent more bass than the original Nest Hub, so its sound should be closer to the Hub Max.

Camera

  • Nest Hub Max: Built-in 6.5MP Nest camera
  • New Nest Hub (2nd gen): No camera

The Google Nest Hub Max has a camera at the top of the display, which the second-gen Nest Hub does not.

In place of a camera, the second generation Nest Hub have an ambient sensor to adjust the display brightness according to its surroundings.  The camera on the Nest Hub Max is a Nest camera[9], which means it offers most of the same features as the Nest Cam IQ[10], including intruder alerts if you have a Nest Aware account[11]. There are no familiar face alerts however, and no night vision, but the camera within the Nest Hub Max is still an excellent addition for those who want the advantage of a security camera too.

Without a Nest Aware account, you can still see what's happening in the room you place the Nest Hub Max into, as well as use it for Google Duo video calls[12] and Face Match for up to six people. It also allows for gestures like holding your hand up to pause or play audio, which is great in use.

Features

  • Nest Hub Max: Google Assistant, YouTube/Netflix/Disney+, Chromecast, smart home control, digital photo frame, music, Duo audio and video calls, gestures, Face Match, security camera
  • New Nest Hub: Google Assistant, YouTube/Netflix/Disney+, Chromecast, smart home control, digital photo frame, music, Duo audio calls, gestures, sleep tracking

The Google Nest Hub Max, and second generation Nest Hub offer many of the same features, including control of any compatible smart home devices[13], access to YouTube, Netflix and Disney+, displaying Google Photos[14], playing music, and the plethora of features offered by Google Assistant. The Nest Hub Max has a couple of extra features thanks to that built-in Nest camera.

You'll not only be able to take part in Duo video calls but the Nest Hub Max doubles up as a security camera too, whilst also offering Face Match and gesture control, as we mentioned above. The second generation Nest Hub also offers some additional features over the Nest Hub Max however. It doesn't have a camera, but it features Google's Soli chip[15] inside, which not only allows for Quick Gestures like the Nest Hub Max, but it also offers sleep tracking[16] when placed on a bedside table.

You can read more about the sleep tracking in our separate feature[17]

Price

  • Nest Hub Max: GBP219
  • New Nest Hub: GBP89.99

The Google Nest Hub Max usually costs GBP219 in the UK, but you get quite a lot for the extra GBP130 over the cost of the second generation Nest Hub. The original Nest Hub was priced at GBP139 when it first launched, but its price then dropped to GBP79.99 in the UK. It's now discontinued, but still available from some retailers.

The second generation Nest Hub is available for GBP89.99 in the UK.

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Colours

  • Nest Hub Max: Chalk and Charcoal
  • Old Nest Hub: Chalk, Charcoal, Aqua and Sand
  • New Nest Hub: Chalk, Charcoal, Mist and Sand

The Google Nest Hub Max is available in Chalk and Charcoal colours. The original Google Nest Hub is available in four colours, including Chalk and Charcoal, as well as Aqua and Sand. The second generation Nest Hub is available in four colours, including Chalk, Charcoal and Sand like the original, as well as Mist.

Conclusion

The Google Nest Hub Max is pretty much a larger, more expensive version of the 7-inch Nest Hub, but it adds a few extra, useful features for the increase in price.

The second generation Nest Hub has some extra, but different features compared to the Nest Hub Max however. The Nest Hub Max's built-in camera not only offers video calling through Google Duo, but it doubles up as a great security camera, whilst also offering gesture control and Face Match for up to six people, both of which are excellent features. The second generation Nest Hub meanwhile, has the Soli radar chip on board to also offer gesture controls like the Nest Hub Max, as well as sleep tracking when on a bedside table. 

The decision between these devices will therefore likely come down to where you want to put your Google-made smart display, as well as what you want to use it for. For the bedroom, the smaller Nest Hub is perfect for a bedside table with sleep tracking an added bonus, whereas the Nest Hub Max is an excellent addition to a kitchen or living room. Writing by Britta O'Boyle.

Editing by Chris Hall.

Originally published on 7 May 2019.

References

  1. ^ second generation Nest Hub (www.pocket-lint.com)
  2. ^ Black Friday (www.pocket-lint.com)
  3. ^ Google devices right here (www.pocket-lint.com)
  4. ^ Google Nest Hub Max (www.pocket-lint.com)
  5. ^ Google Assistant (www.pocket-lint.com)
  6. ^ Netflix (www.pocket-lint.com)
  7. ^ Echo Show 8 (www.pocket-lint.com)
  8. ^ the Sonos One (www.pocket-lint.com)
  9. ^ a Nest camera (www.pocket-lint.com)
  10. ^ the Nest Cam IQ (www.pocket-lint.com)
  11. ^ Nest Aware account (www.pocket-lint.com)
  12. ^ Google Duo video calls (www.pocket-lint.com)
  13. ^ compatible smart home devices (www.pocket-lint.com)
  14. ^ Google Photos (www.pocket-lint.com)
  15. ^ Google's Soli chip (www.pocket-lint.com)
  16. ^ sleep tracking (www.pocket-lint.com)
  17. ^ separate feature (www.pocket-lint.com)