Google is returning to the connected screens market with a new version of its Nest Hub. No design change but new features, including sleep tracking using a radar chip, and a significantly lower price. The Nest Hub does more for less, and that’s the good news.
Two years after the first Nest Hub, Google is launching a new version of its connected screen. The main innovation highlighted: sleep monitoring, thanks to Soli radar technology which manages to detect body movements without using a camera. The aim is to provide a detailed account of our nights and assess their impact on our well-being. A service that will become chargeable from next year but which can be completely deactivated. In other words, an optional option that will initially appeal to e-health enthusiasts who do not want to wear a watch or a connected bracelet at night. Suddenly, it is in the other services offered by the Nest Hub that you have to find the reasons to choose it. And they are not lacking. Moreover, the novelty that ultimately seems the most important to us is the price reduction: 99.99 euros against 129 euros for the first Nest Hub. It is these 30 euros difference that makes this 2021 vintage one of the most recommendable connected screens.
We take the same one and we start over
The first thing to note about the new Nest Hub is that it’s perfectly similar to its predecessor, with one tiny detail: the 7-inch touchscreen no longer has that plastic edge of the first model. It. An evolution all in all rather anecdotal and which brings nothing to use. We are still on a finish combining plastic and fabric, but Google specifies that the Nest Hub 2 is made of 54% recycled plastic. The speaker integrated into the base of the screen is supposed to deliver 50% more bass compared to the previous model which did not shine with its audio quality. The new Nest Hub is indeed a little more enjoyable for listening to music or watching a video, but it still doesn’t match the performance of classic connected speakers like Nest Audio or Amazon Echo. We find the discreet style and the small footprint that we appreciated on the first Nest Hub, which makes it an easy device to integrate into an interior and to move from one room to another.
A versatile connected screen
As for the design, Google has retained all the features that made the success of the first Nest Hub: the more complete Google Assistant thanks to visual support, a multimedia hub for listening to music or watching streaming videos, an excellent framework digital photo connected to the Google Photos service, a control center for connected household equipment (lighting, thermostat, surveillance camera, etc.). Google has added the ability to stream Netflix on the Nest Hub without passing the Cast function integrated into the app and to other streaming platforms including YouTube , MyCanal, Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube Music.
Whether it’s following a cooking recipe on YouTube, listening to the radio , listening to music, checking the weather forecast , your calendar at a glance or watching a streaming series, the Nest Hub proves to be a practical and versatile companion. To date, it offers the best integration between the Google Assistantand a screen. And on this new model, we can add the gesture to the word by using the motion detection of the Soli radar chip to control the play / pause of multimedia content, the repetition of an alarm or a timer. with a wave of his hand in front of the screen. In use, the system works quite well, although there are rare circumstances where it may be really needed (dirty or wet hands, for example).
This is the big news: the Nest Hub sits at your bedside and watches you sleep. Well, not quite since there is no camera. This is already reassuring a little more when placing the connected screen not far from his bed. The system called Motion Sense uses the Soli radar chip to detect the electromagnetic field near the screen. This is why the Nest Hub should be installed about two feet from the bed and at the sleeper’s height, pointing towards their chest. Three microphones and another sensor complete the device. When you slip under the sheets, the screen activates sleep monitoring (a small iconappears in the upper right corner of the screen) and detects when you fall asleep. From there, he will follow our journey in the arms of Morpheus by monitoring the phases of effective sleep , restless periods, snoring , coughing, breathing rate as well as variations in brightness and temperature.
When you wake up, you can consult a report on the duration and quality of your night, all accompanied by comments and suggestions. Statistics enthusiasts will be able to go even further in detail by associating the screen with the Google Fit application, which delivers an in-depth and disaggregated overview over the week or month. As we indicated in the preamble, the sleep tracking function will become payable from next year, but Google has not given more information on this subject. Another important note is that cough and snoring data is processed locally by the Nest Hub and is not transmitted. It is even possible to turn off this function. And Google assures us that “ your sleep data is not used for ad personalization purposes, and you can view and delete it whenever you want ”.
After a good fortnight of using sleep tracking , our overall impression is quite positive. The system is easy to configure, is perfectly reliable, precise and discreet. And we must admit that he was able to make us aware of certain habits that could affect the quality of our sleep. Not being inclined to wear a watch or a smart bracelet to sleep, this function suits us better. But from there to paying to benefit from it, that’s another story …
For us, the real novelty of the Nest Hub is that it does more for less. It retains the strengths that have made the success of the first version as a screen connected versatile with Google Assistant, adding some welcome improvements such as the dissemination of Netflix and gesture control. The sleep tracking feature is undoubtedly well thought out and useful. Google has taken care to avoid any anxiety-provoking aspect by dispensing with a camera and making this service optional and deactivatable. It’s worth a try, if only out of curiosity. However, for us, it is not in the bedroom that the Nest Hub can provide the most service on a daily basis. It will be much more useful in a living room such as a living room, an office or a kitchen. If you’re an Android user and you’re tempted by a connected screen, the Nest Hub 2021 is the best option right now.
- The falling price
- Ease of use
- Well thought-out sleep monitoring which remains optional
- Enriched functionalities
We don’t like
- Sleep tracking will pay off
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