Google Nest Hub 2 release date, rumours, features, specs


(Pocket-lint) – Google revealed the original Nest Hub – formerly Home Hub – smart display back in 2018. The 7-inch Google Assistant-enabled device was then followed up by the larger Nest Hub Max in 2019, offering a bigger screen and the addition of a Nest Cam.

With three years having passed though, it isn’t surprising to see rumours surrounding a successor to the Nest Hub. Surely, an update is due, even if the current Nest Hub is still a great device?

Here’s everything we have heard so far about what we will call the Nest Hub 2.

Release date and price

  • First half 2021
  • Similar price to Nest Hub

As mentioned, the original Google Nest Hub launched in October 2018 so while smart displays aren’t ever likely to be updated as regularly as a phone, an update is probably still due.

It’s been claimed by 9to5 Google the Nest Hub 2 is coming “sooner rather than later” but no event date or specific date has been leaked as yet. We’d expect it in the first half of this year though, given it seemingly passed through FCC at the beginning of January. 

The site also said the pricing would be similar to the current model, though a different report suggested the new model could sit between the current Nest Hub and the Nest Hub Max. For reference, the Nest Hub costs £79.99 in the UK – though is currently on offer for £49 – and $89.99 in the US. The Nest Hub Max costs £219 in the UK and $229 in the US. 

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Design

  • Same as predecessor
  • Floating display
  • Fabric-covered speaker base
  • Four colours

The Nest Hub has a 7-inch floating display that sits on an oblong, fabric-covered speaker base, and the Nest Hub Max shares this design but on a larger scale.

It’s been claimed the Nest Hub 2 will stick with the same design language as its predecessor, which should therefore mean a fabric-covered speaker base again, floating 7-inch display with no camera, and volume controls on the rear of the display. Google only made slight changes to the Google Mini’s design when it replaced it with the Nest Mini so it’s not too surprising to hear a similar design is expected for the nest Nest Hub too.

Colour options are said to change slightly from the options offered on the Nest Hub though. Apparently Black, Grey and Sand/Pink will remain, but the Aqua option will be replaced by a light blue that is similar to the Nest Audio’s Sky.

Hardware and specs

  • Audio quality upgrade
  • Three far field microphones
  • Soli chip
  • Zigbee

Despite the design seemingly not changing much for the third Nest Hub device, the hardware is due to see an upgrade, as you would expect. According to rumours, audio quality will be improved, which isn’t surprising given Google made some good audio quality updates to the Nest Mini too.

There are also said to be three far field microphones on board instead of the two currently offered in the original Hub. This would put it on par with the Nest Mini and Nest Audio, both of which offer three far field microphones.

Google’s Soli radar chip is also claimed to be on board the Nest Hub 2. This is perhaps the biggest hardware upgrade as it will apparently be used for sleep tracking and gesture controls.

There has also been talk of Zigbee on board. Zigbee is a communication protocol used for smarthome devices that can be found in some Amazon’s Echo devices, negating the need for a separate bridge connecting compatible devices to your router.

Features

  • Sleep tracking using Soli
  • Connects with Google Fit
  • Gesture controls
  • Google Assistant

As mentioned, it’s claimed the Nest Hub 2 will come with Google’s Soli radar chip on board – which was found in the Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL and can also be found in the Nest Learning Thermostat

According to reports, the Soli chip will be used primarily for sleep tracking, which will apparently link up with Google Fit. The Google Nest Hub is probably best suited for a bedside table due to its smaller size, while the Nest Hub Max is great for a kitchen for example. If the Nest Hub 2 was on a bedside table, sleep tracking as a feature makes sense.

It’s said Google is working on showing “Proactive health and fitness results” on Smart Displays so it might be this feature launches on like the Nest Hub 2, but comes to the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max too.

In terms of gesture controls, the Nest Hub Max has gesture controls thanks to its built-in Nest Cam, allowing you to do things like hold your hand up to pause music, but the Soli chip would allow similar in the Nest Hub 2 without having to add a camera.

Additionally, we’d naturally expect all the same features as the current Nest Hub on its successor, including things like translator mode, the ability to watch Netflix, weather and news, the ability to control smart home devices and Google Assistant of course.

Google Nest Hub 2 rumours: What’s happened so far?

Here is everything we have heard so far about the Google Nest Hub 2.

26 February 2021: New Nest Hub coming soon, looks like original

9to5 Google reported that the design of the next Nest Hub will similar to the current model, but with a new colour offering. Audio quality will apparently be improved and there will be three far field microphones over two.

There will also be the addition of the Soli radar according to the report, allowing for sleep tracking – that will connect to Google Fit – and gesture control, it is claimed. 

7 January 2021: Nest Hub coming in 2021 that uses Soli for sleep tracking

9to5 Google reported that sources familiar with the matter have said the next-generation Nest Hub will use the Soli radar chip for sleep tracking.

5 January 2021: Is Google working on a Nest Hub 2 with Soli and Zigbee?

A device with codename A4R-GUIK2, classified as “Interactive Device” passed through FCC. It is thought it code be a Nest Hub 2, with Soli and Zigbee support.

Writing by Britta O’Boyle.





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