At long last, Google has a new smart display that will compete with the Amazon Echo Show. Announced at Google I/O 2019, the Nest Hub Max will have a 10-inch touchscreen, a wide-angle camera and Google Assistant built in. Here's a look at the Nest Hub Max, which will be available in September for $229.
Update (7/24): The Nest Hub Max will go on sale on Sept. 9.
What is the Nest Hub Max?
The Nest Hub Max is a Google Assistant-powered 10-inch touchscreen display with stereo speakers and a Nest cam built in for making Duo calls. That's larger and more functional than the current Nest Home Hub (formerly known as the Google Home Hub), which has a 7-inch display, but lacks a camera and only has a single speaker.
The name — Nest Hub Max — shows that the company is combining its family of Nest cams with the Google Home Max smart speaker, and adding a display and a smart home hub to the mix.
What does the Nest Hub Max look like?
The Nest Hub Max will looks similar to the Nest Home Hub, which has an angled display supported by a fabric-covered base that houses the speakers. On the back of the display is a small switch that physically deactivates the device's camera. It's something that's on the Facebook Portal, and something that should be on all smart displays.
What can the Nest Hub Max do?
Because it has a camera, the Nest Hub Max can be used to make video calls. The 6.5MP camera has a 127-degree field of view, so it should be able to capture most of a room. However, a feature called Auto Framing will cause the camera to digitally zoom in on and track individual subjects as they move around, similar to what Facebook's Portal can do.
The Nest Hub Max's camera can also be used for facial recognition; once you train the Nest Hub Max to recognize your face, the device can automatically switch to your profile when you walk into the room, and load up your personal preferences, such as commuting details, weather, reminders, and personalized music recommendations. It can store up to six profiles.
In addition, the camera can recognize gestures. At Google I/O, the company showed that you can raise your hand, and the Hub Max will pause music or whatever you're listening or watching. You can then perform the same gesture to resume play.
Last, the Hub Max can also connect to Thread-supported devices such as door locks and motion sensors, so it can act as a smart home hub.
How much does the Nest Hub Max cost?
The Nest Hub Max will cost $229. That's the same price as the Amazon Echo Show (which is currently on sale for $179) and the Facebook Portal; currently, only JBL and Lenovo make Google Assistant smart displays with cameras, so it makes sense for Google to come out with its own product. However, these devices appear to be tougher sells; the Facebook Portal, for instance, has seen its price cut in half since its release in January.
When will the Nest Hub Max go on sale?
The Nest Hub Max will go on sale on September 9. The release date was briefly listed in the Google Store online, but was later confirmed by a company representative, according to CNET.
Check out all the news Google announced at its developer conference on our Google I/O 2019 hub page.