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(Pocket-lint) - Google has launched a second generation Nest Hub, which succeeds the three-year old Nest Hub and sits alongside the Nest Hub Max. The name stays the same - Nest Hub - though you'll find it called new Nest Hub, Nest Hub second generation and Nest Hub 2 in this feature to help differentiate it from the older model.

We've put the specifications of the new Nest Hub against the old Nest Hub to see what has changed and what are the differences are.

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Design and display

  • Old Nest Hub: 7-inch floating display, fabric-covered base, three colours
  • New Nest Hub: 7-inch floating display, fabric-covered base, four colours

The Google Nest Hub features a 7-inch floating display that sits on a fabric-covered speaker base. It measures 178.5 x 118 x 67.3mm and it weighs 480g. 

At the top of the LCD touchscreen display is an Ambient EQ Light Sensor and far field microphones, while the back of the display features volume controls and a toggle to turn the microphone on or off. There's also a power port.

The new Google Nest Hub has a very similar design to the Nest Hub, though it makes some refinements. There's a floating display with a fabric-covered base, an Ambient EQ Light Sensor and far field microphones, but there isn't a lip around the display on the new Hub, making for a more seamless finish.

You'll find the volume controls and switch to turn off the microphone on the back though so as with the Nest Mini and Google Mini, it's mainly internals that have changed from the original Hub, aside from some small changes.

The Nest Hub comes in Chalk and Charcoal colour options in the UK, as well as a Sand option in the US. The second generation Nest Hub is available in four options, comprising Chalk, Charcoal, Sand and Mist.

Hardware and specs

  • Nest Hub: Full-range speaker, two-mic array, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Nest Hub 2: Audio improvements, three-mic array, Soli, Thread, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

The Google Nest Hub comes with a full-range speaker, along with a two microphone array. It offers both Wi-Fi support and Bluetooth 5.0 and it has Chromecast built-in and support for multi-room audio.

The second generation Google Nest Hub offers an improvement in audio quality, with Google claiming it delivers 50 per cent more bass than the original Nest Hub. It's also thought to have moved to a three-microphone array, which should make for a better experience when using Google Assistant and puts it in line with the Nest Mini and Nest Audio.

The new Nest Hub also features Google's Soli chip, which will be used for sleep tracking and gesture controls, and it also has Thread on board - like the Nest Hub Max - which should make controlling some smart home devices easier.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are on board again for the Nest Hub 2, as well as Chromecast support and multi-room audio.

Features

  • Old Nest Hub: Google Assistant, Translator mode, smart home control, music, YouTube, Netflix
  • New Nest Hub: Additional sleep tracking, gesture controls

The Google Nest Hub offers a number of features, including things like translator mode, the ability to watch Netlflix, control smart home devices, listen to music, watch YouTube, read news, and everything that comes with Google Assistant of course. It can also be used as a digital photo frame.

The Nest Hub 2 offers everything the current Nest Hub does but with a couple of additional features. The Nest Hub second generation is able to track your sleep thanks to the Soli chip when on a bedside table, which will then link to Google Fit. The feature is called Sleep Sensing and it uses Motion Sense enabled by Soli to detect movement and analyse movement and breathing. 

Sleep Sensing can also help you detect sleep disturbances like coughing and snoring, as well as light and temperature
changes in the room to better understand what could be impacting the way you sleep. 

Additionally, the Nest Hub 2 has Quick Gestures, or gesture controls like the Nest Hub Max, allowing you to raise your hand to pause a track for example. Thread is also on board, meaning the Nest Hub 2 should make controlling compatible smart home devices easier.

Price and conclusion

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The Google Nest Hub 2 offers an identical design to its predecessor, but makes improvements on the hardware and feature side of things.

The audio quality is said to have improved and features like gesture controls and sleep tracking should make an already great device, even more useful. 

In terms of price, the Nest Hub 2 costs £89.99 in the UK, which is less than what the original Nest Hub launched at. It means it continues to be a cheaper option to the Nest Hub Max and an option without a camera.

It's worth noting that if you're not interested in the extra features or improvements to audio that the Next Hub 2 offers, you might find the original Nest Hub at a great price now. 

You can read all the details surrounding the Nest Hub 2 in our separate feature.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 11 March 2021.