Google has officially unveiled the previously leaked Nest Hub Max, a 10-inch smart display that’s essentially the Google Home Max, Nest Camera, and the Google Home Hub combined into a singular device.
Unveiled at the company’s I/O developer conference today, the Hub Max is a 10-inch display that looks like a stretched-out Home Hub. But there are a few other differences besides the size that make it more useful than the smaller version.
The Nest Hub Max has the same basic interface as its smaller stablemate. The home page is a rotating carousel of photos, and you can swipe sideways to see upcoming alarms, appointments and alerts. You can also cast videos to the Hub Max.
The 10-inch 720p screen feels like the right size for a kitchen. It should be great for recipes or half-watching Game of Thrones while you’re doing some meal prep for the week. Like the Home Hub, it also has sensors that detect the surrounding light and color levels to adapt the screen’s brightness and warmth appropriately.
The camera also fuels some other personalization features. Mainly, Google says you can opt into “Face Match.” Essentially, you can set up a profile within the Google Assistant app that involves comforting phrases like “creating a face model.” Google says facial data is encrypted and stored on the device. Once that’s done, the display will only show information relevant to the person it detects in front of it. Sure, we’ll see how that works out over time.
Other video-specific features include hand-gestures. Because Google’s added another stereo to the Hub Max, you can supposedly just raise a hand to pause your media so you don’t have to shout.
The Google Nest Hub Max will be available in the summer for $229, and it offers a surprisingly meaty set of new features for the price. Unfortunately, it’ll only come in charcoal and chalk when it goes on sale, meaning the Home Hub’s gorgeous mint and “sand” (pink) colors aren’t options here. While there are definitely some kinks that Google still needs to iron out before the launch, the device already looks promising. I’m looking forward to spending more time with it to see how it holds up in the real world.