Review of the Google Nest Hub Max: Trying to be everything and partly succeeding {Video}

One of the greatest smart displays currently available is Google’s Nest Hub, which has recently been offered at record-low rates. However, this makes it challenging to market a model that costs far more. By fusing three distinct products into one, Google is attempting to accomplish that with the Nest Hub Max, and for the most part, it succeeds.

THE BEST SMART DISPLAY, HANDS DOWN In today’s market, Google’s attempts to create a digital assistant are, in my opinion, unparalleled. While some competitors had an advantage, the Google Assistant keeps surprising users as it develops and adds new features.

The Google Nest Hub Max represents the sum of all that Google has discovered about Assistant to this point. That means you can use the Hey Google command to manage your smart home devices, view video on your TV or the Max itself using services like YouTube, Google Play Movies, and more, and play music using a variety of services like Spotify and YouTube Music. The Assistant can also play podcasts, create reminders, check traffic information, pull up recipes in the kitchen, and so much more. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

The Nest Hub Max is distinguished by what Google does with its camera in addition to its greater physical size. For Duo calling and messaging, there is a wide-angle lens. These calls are of high quality, and Google skillfully employs the wide-angle to keep the video’s focus on its subject. Although I don’t use the Max for many video chats, this feature is pretty useful. Framing can be slightly delayed, which occasionally results in awkward transitions, but it functions as promised.

Face Match is the camera’s actual killer app, though. The Nest Hub Max turns Google Assistant into a really proactive assistant by using facial recognition. The camera is used to detect you, your spouse, or anyone else who lives in a household and uses that context to change what the display shows, as I stated in my first impressions of the Nest Hub Max. Cards for YouTube, your commute, music, and other services are all part of that personalisation.

nest hub max face match

Face Match recognizes your face instantly and modifies the experience.

The camera recognizes you as you pass by or glance over to see reminders or information from your email, such as shipment notifications, making the experience even more proactive. The proactive messages and information from Google have truly elevated the experience and elevated the product for the entire time I’ve used the Nest Hub Max.

The camera also makes it possible to play and pause content with a gesture. A YouTube video will pause by simply being raised. In my tests, this worked quite well and only occasionally misidentified the gesture just once.

Regarding privacy, There is a physical switch on the back of the product that disables the microphone and camera, much like on the rest of Google’s smart speakers and displays. Although the physical switch is wonderful, it simply electronically disconnects the camera and microphone. If Google had used a physical cover over the camera like Lenovo does, that would have been excellent. Through the software options, there is also the choice to only detach the camera.

To address privacy issues, there is both a physical switch and a software toggle.

COMPLETING THE GAP IN THE LINEUP OF GOOGLES SPEAKERS The Nest Hub Max is not only a smart display, but also a Google Assistant smart speaker. Although its name could lead you to believe it will be of a similar caliber to the Google Home Max, this is regrettably not the case.

The Nest Hub Max is fantastic, but it doesn’t quite measure up to the Google Home Max. It does not have the Home Max’s adaptable Smart Sound technology, strong bass, or room-filling sound.

Although good, the sound quality is not as good as the Home Max.

If the speakers on the Nest Hub Max were positioned differently, things would likely be better. The Max currently has a woofer oriented towards the back and two speakers at the bottom facing forward. The sound quality is a little muted if there is nothing behind the speaker, but it works fine when it is leaning up against the wall in your kitchen. This speaker is practically pleading for the Home Max’s Smart Sound technology.

The Nest Hub Max nevertheless fills a void in the portfolio of Google’s numerous speakers. It is just above the Home/Home Mini and the truly terrible Nest Hub speakers, but it is much above the Home Max. It is reasonably priced and falls just in the middle. I’m much more likely to suggest a $229 Nest Hub Max than a $299 Home Max, which is merely a speaker.

The Nest Hub Max sits in the middle of Google’s series of speakers.

NOTHING IS NEAR A REAL NEST CAM Finally, we reach the one feature that the Nest Hub Max falls short on. A Nest Cam is included with the Nest Hub Max. The purpose of this feature is to essentially give a security camera concealed inside a smart display. Although it functions technically, it is a bad effort.

The Hub Max’s integrated Nest Cam has three main problems. The first issue is really more of a criticism of how Nest manages its cameras in the first place than a real issue. You must pay for Nest Aware on a monthly basis in order to obtain Familiar Faces, video history, or really any other necessary security camera features. However, the product comes with a 30-day trial.

You can find out when a Nest Hub Max camera is being viewed.

The Nest Hub Max’s camera angle is where the real issues with deploying it as a security system begin. Even though it’s on a counter-height table, the wide-angle lens does a good job of capturing an entire room, but it does so at an angle that misses the bottom of that area. Due to the tilt, the security is compromised, and it is difficult to keep an eye on your dogs because you can’t see the ground. A criminal might theoretically enter your home via crawling Michael Scott-style across the floor to avoid being captured on camera, demonstrating the severity of the problem.

Another way for the thief to avoid being captured on video is to break in at night. The Nest Hub Max cannot see in the dark like even cheap $25 security cameras have because it lacks an IR illumination. Since I can’t see at night, I sincerely believe that Google shouldn’t promote this feature in any way.

It’s difficult to see pets or trespassers from this high vantage point.

It’s also vital to keep in mind that the built-in Nest Cam doesn’t function exactly like a regular Nest Cam right away. You must first enable streaming in the Google Home app on your phone. You can only monitor the camera in real time using that app; it does not record or alert you. You must additionally connect it to the Nest app in order to get those functions. However, you must have moved your Nest account to a Google account for this to operate.

LAST THOUGHTS The company’s selection of Assistant speakers and smart screens are actually excellent goods, even as Google frequently discontinues services and struggles to create a successful smartphone. The Nest Hub falls under the category of impulsive purchases, especially when reduced. With a $229 price tag, the Nest Hub Max is a more expensive option. Does it merit that? Sincerity dictates that it is, at least for some individuals.

Almost no other product can currently match the compelling appeal of the Nest Hub Max’s Face Match feature. If all you need is a good speaker, though, consider the Google Home Max or even just a budget-friendly Home Mini. The Nest Hub Max is a good choice if all you want is a good smart display. However, I cannot suggest the Nest Hub Max enough for those looking for a larger smart display with greater sound and, most importantly, proactive intelligence. It is available from the Google Store and Bandamp;H Photo .

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