The cat got out of the bag a little early this morning when B&H Photo accidentally published a listing for Google’s new smart display. It came as no surprise because now, the Nest Hub 2nd generation is officially official. At first glance, you may be thinking that this new smart display looks just like the original Nest Hub and you would be correct. Aesthetically speaking, Google changed very little on the exterior apart from a new variety of colors that included Charcoal, Mist, Sand, and Chalk. Apart from that, the Nest Hub Gen 2 features that same 7″ display and forgoes a camera for the sake of privacy. In a virtual press event, Google reiterated the logic behind this decision. The original Nest Hub was designed to be used in more intimate areas of the home like your nightstand.
Google stated that data showed a good portion of users has their Nest Hub in the bedroom. That, combined with a suite of new features, solidified the decision to keep the camera off of this model. Those features? Google has unearthed its Soli radar technology to outfit the new Nest Hub with Sleep Sensing. This new tech has been rumored for some time and honestly, it all sounded a bit gimmicky. However, the ins and outs of how Google is using Soli to track your nighttime slumber actually left me excited to give it a try.
The Nest team focused on gathering the most amount of sleep data from users without the need for wearing a smartwatch or fitness tracker while you sleep. This struck a chord with me. I love my TicWatch and it has great sleep tracking software but I hate wearing a watch to bed. Google says that, without a camera, the new Nest Hub can track extensive data to include light and temperature changes in the room, snoring, and even how many times you cough in your sleep. (Apparently, the majority of people cough at least once a night while sleeping.) This data is then aggregated over time to give you insights into your personal sleep patterns and give you recommendations on how to improve your rest time. This data can be synced with the Google Fit app and the Nest team is working to integrate these features into the recently acquired Fitbit platform.
The original Nest Hub is no audio slouch. For a smart display that you probably use in your bedroom, it offers better-than-average audio quality but Google has taken steps to make it better. The 2nd Gen Nest Hub is touting a 50% increase in bass response over the original model which should give users a richer, more well-rounded audio experience. You get the same content experience as the original with the ability to stream all of your favorite services and cast audio and video from other devices. This experience is thanks to Google’s Soli radar. The new Nest Hub features Quick Gestures that let you play and pause content with just a tap or your hand in the air near the display.
As I mentioned, the new Nest Hub features some new colors that fill in line with the Nest family of devices. Users can pick from Chalk, Charcoal, Mist, or Sand and have a device that fits the surrounding decor. The 2nd Gen Nest Hub display features an “edgeless” panel that’s easy to clean and creates an immersive video experience for your content and when using as a digital photo frame. Google is doing its part to help the environment with the new Nest Hub. Inside and out, the smart display is being manufactured with 54% post-consumer plastics.
The Nest Hub 2nd Gen goes on sale today and starts shipping on March 30th at which time it will also be available on the shelves of select retailers. Google made a smart play on price. The new smart display, with all its enhancements, will cost $99.99 and you can find it at the Google Store, BH Photo other authorized Google retailers. We have a unit on the way and we’re excited to put it through the paces and maybe even get a better night’s sleep.