Google's assimilation with Nest continues apace, headlined by an all-new smart display, the Google Nest Hub Max.
At Google I/O earlier this year, the company announced it was rebranding the Google Home Hub to the Google Nest Hub. However, it also revealed a new, larger version of the Google Smart Display, the Max, and we now know when we'll be able to get one: 9 September.
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Read on to find out everything you'll need to know about the Nest Hub Max, from features to privacy settings.
Google Nest Hub Max: Design
The Hub Max has a 10-inch display, giving you significantly more screen estate than the Google Home Hub. That makes it one of the largest smart displays available today (the Lenovo Smart Display also comes in a 10-inch variant).
Aside from that change in size, though, the design is very similar to that of the original Home Hub â it retains that hub's clean look and cloth mounting. The speaker comes with stereo speakers and a single 3-inch woofer to the rear, which should see it give decent sound performance.
The Hub Max also boasts a built-in Nest camera that acts as a security cam, like the Nest Cam IQ Indoor, as well as letting you make video calls through Google Duo. The camera will pan and zoom as you move around the room, too, with its wide-angle 127-degree lens.
Google Nest Hub Max: Features
Much like the Nest Hub, the Hub Max revolves around Google Assistant, with the voice assistant on hand to complete tasks for you and control your smart home's lighting, heating or whatever options you choose.
As for those security features, you'll be able to remotely view video from the camera on your smartphone (you'll see a green light appear on the Hub when someone is viewing). You'll need a Nest subscription if you want to make use of other features like motion detection, however.
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Nest's isn't the first smart display to include a camera by any means, but Google decided against putting one in its own Home Hub, which will remain camera-less under its new Nest name.
One of our favourite aspects of the standard Nest Hub is how it doubles as a digital photo frame, and the Hub Max does the same â just on a bigger screen. You can also watch videos from YouTube, YouTube TV, HBO Now and more.
Google Nest Hub Max: Privacy
While Google is promoting privacy as core to the Max, you can opt to make use of the new Face Match feature, which will recognise different household members and display information that's specifically relevant to them. It'll support up to six people. And talking of privacy, there's a switch on the back of the Max that will turn off both the camera and the microphone.
That said, Google's own product description confirms that someone with a similar face to your own, or indeed a picture of your face, might be able to gain access to the Nest Hub Max that way, which is a perturbing admission at this stage.
Google's wording around the data this scan might generate, meanwhile, reads as follows: "Once enabled, these on-device camera sensing features donât send video or images from your Nest Hub Max to Google."
The key words here are "once enabled". Google says that when users set up Face Match, they'll use their phone to take a photo of their face, creating a model that's sent to Google. You can review and delete these by going to your Google Activity page, which should mean they're deleted from Google's servers.
Google Nest Hub Max: Price
The official Google store now lists the Hub Max as shipping 9 September in the US, UK and Australia, at which time you'll be able to pick it up for $229. That is quite a lot more than the Nest Hub, which is currently available from Google for $99, but packs fewer features and no camera at all.