Google Nest Hub Max review – smart speaker with a bigger screen and better sound


The Google Nest Hub Max is a nice update to the original Google Home Hub with a larger screen, better sound and a better experience.

Smart speakers are more popular than ever but smart speakers with screens like the Google Nest Hub Max are also surging thanks to the added capabilities of having a display.

It is a bigger and better version of the Google Home Hub with a 10-inch high-definition display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and the onboard Google Assistant that can help you get things done, find things out, provide entertainment and organise your day.

The Google Nest Hub Max also has stereo speakers on board and a built-in camera that can be used for video calls and facial recognition.

Design-wise, the Google Nest Hub Max has a fairly small footprint and can easily reside on a desk, side-table or kitchen counter.

And even though it has a touchscreen for you to navigate through the features, the product is designed as something you look at and talk to rather than touch.

The larger 10-inch screen makes it makes a lot easier to watch and enjoy content than on last year’s original 7-inch model.

The screen quality is impressive although not as good as the premium tablet or laptop screen.

There is a built-in ambient light sensor which does a great job in tuning the screen brightness to the room and optimising the display so your content looks the best it can be.

It’s also smart enough to dramatically reduce the brightness in a dark room so it’s no brighter than a digital clock if you happened to situate it by your bedside.

It’s possible to set your preference for the screensaver with either your own Google Photos playing like a slideshow so you can relive memories or simply choose from the other excellent galleries.

The other option is simply displaying the time so you can see it at a glance.

Users can take advantage of that screen and simply ask to view YouTube and Google Play video content.

YouTube is also a great source of audio content as well which can be played through the device’s stereo speakers.

The sound quality from the Google Nest Hub Max stereo speakers was surprisingly good through the 18mm tweeters and 75mm bass driver.

This product isn’t going to make dedicated speakers obsolete but it does a good job in small to medium size rooms and is much better than the previous model.

Despite this being a Google product, the Nest Hub Max does not run Android so you can forget about installing apps and using this like an attached tablet.

You can swipe from the top or the bottom to see the shortcuts and settings but there’s not really that much you can do through touch.

This is a product designed to be controlled with your voice like the other speakers in the range that can do lots of things and even control your other smart products.

Having the display added some other abilities like being able to view your security cameras, watch YouTube and see the weather forecast for the week.

But don’t think you can kick back and watch Netflix on it or other streaming services.

You are able to connect your Netflix account and use your voice to start watching your content on nominated televisions.

Now you may be wondering why the Nest name is in the title.

Google now owns the Nest brand and has added a camera on the device that can be used just like a security camera.

But you do need a Google Nest Aware subscription, which can cost up to $30 a month, to take advantage of this feature.

Without a subscription any camera clips disappear after 24 hours.

The camera can still be used for video calling through the Google Duo service.

But you can’t make other more common types of  video calls through Messenger or Skype – these are competitors to Google’s own services.

The other use for the camera is face recognition so the camera can actually identify individual users when they see them and switch to your individual profiles.

It can then show your own calendars and preferences and personalise the whole experience to that user.

The Google Nest Hub Max is available now and is priced at $349.


The Google Nest Hub Max is a nice update to the original Google Home Hub with a larger screen, better sound and a better experience.