At the ongoing Google I/O developer conference, the search engine giant unveiled its latest smartphones, the mid-range Pixel 3a and 3a XL. Additionally, the company unveiled the Google Nest Hub Max and announced new markets for the Nest Hub, which is essentially a rebranded Google Home Hub. The Nest Hub marks a shift for Google to naming everything comprising their smart home hardware under the Nest umbrella, which is a similar strategy that many companies undertake in order to streamline their product lines. However, Google will only bring the Nest Hub to India, and not the Nest Hub Max.
The Nest Hub has a smaller, 7-inch portrait style screen similar to the Google Home Hub, placed in a body that is much sleeker than Amazon’s Home-rivalling Echo Show. It also misses out on the Google Nest camera, which has now been integrated with the Nest Hub Max. The Nest Hub will offer a better way to operate all Google services with Google Assistant.
The Google Nest Hub Max, meanwhile, offers superior features such as stereo speakers, as well as a 10-inch display with a camera. The camera also has a default tracking feature that locally tracks individuals around in front, which the India-bound Nest Hub sorely misses. Interestingly, it also recognises gestures in front, for features such as turning the music down automatically if you receive a phone call in between. The Nest Hub and Hub Max are designed to create a smart home hardware ecosystem that would rival Amazon’s growing Echo ecosystem of devices, although Amazon would still reserve the advantage of bringing their entire smart hardware ecosystem to India, while Google appears to be holding back, at least for now.
The Google Home speaker, meanwhile, would remain on sale in India, in parallel to the Google Nest Hub. In contrast, the Nest Hub incorporates the features of a smart home controller, which many may find useful in terms of owning a smart speaker with a display, that can also act as a central controller for a future smart home ecosystem that Google hopes it would be a part of.
The Google Nest Hub will launch in India, with launch dates not disclosed yet. The pricing for the Nest Hub begins at $129 (~Rs 9,000), but it remains to be seen how Google prices the product in India. This may also see a change of pricing for the Google Home speaker in India in the coming weeks.