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Everything we know about the next Google Nest Hub

If there’s one thing anyone can guess about Google, it’s that new devices will come out on a routine basis — which is why the rumors of a new Google Nest Hub did not come as much of a surprise to anyone. However, aside from the rumors themselves, information is a bit scarce.

We do know a few things, or at least we can make solidly educated guesses based on what information is available. When it comes to smart displays, we’ve seen the evolution of the category as they’ve continued to show purpose in the home. In fact, they hold their own ground over smart speakers. Since the original Google Nest Hub’s release in 2018, the tech giant went on to release its larger-sized sibling — the Google Nest Hub Max. This is everything we know so far about the next Google Nest Hub.

Design

Though the actual design and shape of the Hub may vary from what is currently on the market, chances are it will remain largely the same, with the screen dominating the majority of the space. According to 9to5Google, sources say the next model will keep the same design: An angled screen attached to a base that serves as the speaker.

The reason is that Google just rolled out more clock faces, including the option for full-screen clocks. This type of display already appears on the Lenovo Smart Clock, but has been optimized for displays with screens larger than seven inches.

This hints at the potential size of the new display screen, as well as what features might be available with it.

The original Google Nest Hub has a 7-inch display, so although the new design might look the same, there is a good chance it might be larger in size, potentially to compete with the larger screen of the Amazon Echo Show 8.

New features

The new Google Nest Hub wouldn’t be much of a new entry to the lineup if it lacked new features, would it? One of the potential new features is a rumored new color — a light blue to match the color offered by the recent Nest Audio speaker.

A bigger change is the inclusion of three far-field microphones instead of the two the devices previously held. These microphones ensure that your commands are heard by the Hub. More microphones means better clarity and understanding when you issue commands.

John Velasco / Digital Trends

Another rumored change is improved audio quality. The current Google Nest Hub has sufficient audio quality for music, but it isn’t something that audiophiles would line up to hear. The new iteration might be able to change that and introduce audio quality at least on par with that of the Nest Audio speaker.

The last unanswered question is whether or not this next Google Nest Hub will feature a camera, much like what was introduced by the Google Nest Hub Max. This is important to note is because the current Nest Hub lacks a camera, so video calls are a one-sided affair. We imagine that Google will bring this feature, given the usefulness of the camera when it comes to communication — as well as being an unintended deterrent as a security camera much like the various Nest Cams around.

Health and wellness integration

However, the true standout feature is the introduction of Soli radar. Soli is a type of miniature radar that is able to understand human motions even on a minute scale, such as the tap of a finger. Soli first appeared on the Google Pixel 4, allowing users to control the device through gestures.

Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL Hands on
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The inclusion of Soli with the Google Nest Hub could mean that gesture controls are coming, but the one feature everyone agrees on is sleep tracking. Google has already begun to introduce health and fitness tracking with Google Assistant through Google Fit, and the introduction of Soli radar with the Hub could mean automatic sleep tracking for users at night.

Many people already keep their Hubs in the bedroom, so sleep tracking seems like an obvious addition — especially when you consider the increased focus on health over the past year.

Price and availability

Google has given no official announcement regarding price or availability; in fact, almost everything we know is the result of inside sources and leaks. With that in mind, the rumors suggest the device will arrive “sooner rather than later” with a price similar to the current model.

The Google Nest Hub is priced at $90 at the present moment, with the Nest Hub Max fetching a much higher price at $230. It’s a safe assumption that the previous model will decrease in price to make room for the newer model, which will likely fall somewhere around the $150 range.

The recent Nest Audio smart speaker was a welcome addition to the Nest lineup, improving audio quality with an interesting and unique design that lets it blend in relatively well into almost any space. However, it is beyond time for a new iteration to the Nest Hub display lineup.

The date for the next Google event has not been announced. Google I/O would be the most likely time for an announcement, but no word has been given on whether the event will be held this year. The 2020 event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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