Google Home Hub combines a Google Home digital assistant with a 7-inch screen, allowing a graphic display of your schedule, weather, and commute traffic all at the command of your voice.

There’s more in there too: It has a good speaker for playing music, will act as a digital photo frame when not otherwise in use, and you can use it to watch your favorite shows if you have a compatible pay TV service, or monitor the feed from your home security cameras.

In many ways it mirrors what a modern Android phone can already do, but with a better speaker and a bigger, always-on screen. There’s a lot to like about this impressive little gadget, and its thoughtfully designed software is a big improvement on a smartphone.

The design

The Home Hub will almost certainly surprise you with its small size. When you look at photos of the device, you expect something bigger. I think that’s because the wide white  bezel makes it look like the 9.7-inch iPad The Google Home Hub’s 7-inch display is closer to an oversized iPhone XS (6.5-inch screen) or Pixel 3 XL (6.3-inch display).

Don’t get the wrong idea though. For what it does, the Home Hub’s screen is just the right size, although I do wish that white bezel was a bit thinner and I’m curious how it would look in a different color.

Google said the screen is meant to appear to float and I suppose it does, but to me it really looks like a tablet PC attached to a fabric-covered base, and it’s available in four soft colors: chalk, charcoal, aqua, and sand.

It measures 7 by 4.65 by 2.65 inches (18 by 12 by 7 centimeters) and weighs 16.9 ounces (480 grams).

dsc01912 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The Google Home Hub is much smaller than it appears in photos.

At first glance it looks like it might have a camera, but that spot in the center above the screen is the light sensor that automatically adjusts the screen brightness. Google said it made a conscious decision to not add a camera to the device, so people would feel more comfortable having it around the house.



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