Modern technology gives us many things.

Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) review – all the smarts and it can monitor your sleep too

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  • VERDICT

The Google Nest Hub is an excellent first smart display for customers who have never invested in a smart product and a handy addition for customers who already have a Google speaker. Its versatility will certainly impress first time users especially with the accurate Sleep Sensing technology.

The new Google Nest Hub second generation is a lot more than a smart display – it’s also a sleep tracker that provides an accurate snapshot of your nightly slumber.

The device has a 7-inch display with a resolution of 1024 x 600 and is 17.5cm wide and 12cm tall so its small enough to fit anywhere – including your bedside table.

It has a simple minimal design so it can fit in any space in your home.

And it also has a built-sensor so it can assess the room’s brightness and adjust to suit.

Google has also taken an environmentally friendly approach with the Nest Hub which is made from 54 per cent recycled plastic.

The Nest Hub is an all-rounder and it can be used to find information, control your smart products and even access streaming content through services including Netflix, YouTube, Spotify and much more.

What’s also handy about the device is the new Quick Gestures feature which means you can control your content playback by moving your hand in front of the device.

And the Google Nest Hub doesn’t pick up those movements through a camera because there isn’t one.

It uses Motion Sense to detect and interpret your hand movements to control the playback and features.

One example when this feature would come in handy is if you’re in the kitchen following a recipe on YouTube and you’ve got messy hands – you can play and pause the video or audio without touching the Nest Hub.

The other really obvious and popular use of the Nest Hub is to control other smart devices in your home like smart lights and switches.

You can see at a glance the connected devices available to you on the Nest Hub’s screen and control everything from the touch display or with your voice.

Users can also see the live feeds from the security cameras and doorbells through the Google Nest Hub as well.

Naturally it’s easy to find information and set timers and alarms. We used our Nest Hub to access radio stations instead using a digital radio.

All we had to say was “Hey Google, play 2GB” and a few seconds later we were listening to 2GB. If there’s a radio station you like listening to – you can just ask for it.

It’s the same deal if you want to hear music through YouTube or your Spotify account – just ask for the song or the artists and you’re hearing the music.

One big improvement with the second generation Google Nest Hub is the audio quality.

This speaker delivers 50 per cent more bass than the last model so you can easily hear the improvement and it’s even possible to group other Nest speakers in your home and control them together or separately.

This isn’t going to match the audio quality of other purely audio Bluetooth non-smart speakers but it can hold its own.

But it’s the Sleep Sensor side of the device that we focussed on for this review.

The device doesn’t have a camera – people will appreciate that considering many customers will be using this in their bedroom.

The Nest Hub gathers all of its data about your sleep through the onboard sensor which can detect sound and movement.

The other bonus is you don’t even have to wear any type of sensor or watch to bed for the Nest Hub to track your sleep.

It just needs to be positioned on your bedside table at about the height as your mattress for it to work.

For our review, the Nest Hub was slightly lower than the mattress and it still provided remarkably accurate data.

And when you wake up you can ask to see your sleep report to find out how long you slept, the quality of your sleep, if it heard coughing or snoring and how long it took you to fall asleep.

You can see not only your stats for the previous night but also for the entire week.

We were told we got less than six hours sleep but it was restful so we had deep rejuvenating  sleep.

One thing we noted was it did assume I was coughing during the night – that happened to be my wife but it did assign that sound to me.

The same thing could be said for the snoring it detected – but I’ll leave that debate alone for the sake of my marriage!

But it doesn’t stop at just delivering your sleep stats.

The next thing Nest Hub offers are way to improve your sleep like going to bed earlier and getting in the sleep zone like dimming the lights and playing soothing music.

None of your sleep data ever leaves the device so your privacy is protected.

The other cool feature is the sunrise alarm which can slowly brighten the screen like a sunrise to wake you up rather than using an audio alarm.

The Google Nest Hub is available now and is priced $149.

VERDICT

The Google Nest Hub is an excellent first smart display for customers who have never invested in a smart product and a handy addition for customers who already have a Google speaker. Its versatility will certainly impress first time users especially with the accurate Sleep Sensing technology.