Both variants of the Smart Display include a 10-watt speaker with two passive tweeters. So you now have a one-stop destination to manage your compatible home devices. While this is certainly true, some items are hidden that many regular users want to see. It's the perfect desk-side comapnion to those who live in Google's world, as some simple voice commands allow you to unlock a ton of information or get your smart devices to perform many different actions. Once it reboots, the app will say that setup as completed. Sign into Google Chrome if necessary.
The Google Home Hub may be small in size, but it's surprisingly useful in a lot of ways, from organizing your to walking you through a complex recipe, to finding you a place to eat if your cooking efforts fall short. The next step is setting your location and giving Google permission to access it. If you have a Nest camera or any compatible camera connected to the device, you can view footage from it on the Google Home Hub. You may have seen a gadget like these smart displays before, since unveiled a similar concept in the. One source received info directly from a Google employee. With Google showing off a set of four additional smart display devices, a large segment of the tech industry is now betting that a lot of us want a touchscreen stationed at our kitchen counters and shared with the whole family to run our connected and check calendars, directions and local restaurants. Thankfully, Lenovo was wise and included a switch that not only turns off the camera but also moves a physical cover over the lens.
In an effort to catch up, Google already introduced the Google Home to compete with the speaker, and followed up with the smaller , which is similar to the. On a side table to his right was the , more or less a Google Assistant-powered smart speaker with a built-in touchscreen. Your Google Home is designed to create a remote control-free television viewing experience. Under the Weather section, you'll see the option to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius, and under that, an option to add Weather to your home screen. If you want to do anything else with the Home Hub, you'll need to use its touchscreen or give it a voice command. It also fared well over background noise while I stood in the same room. Choose Add to Home Screen and you'll get a shortcut on your Home screen that will open up to Google every time.
Search for a recipe by voice, or find one in your phone and send it to your display. Currently, the only time the screen can reorient itself is during Google Duo video calls more on that below. The tutorial consists of nothing more than giving you a few voice commands you can use and shows you how to use them. The search giant could at least include a camera app to let people snap selfies or shoot short video clips, or even just allow companies like Microsoft to add Skype integration. With this recipe, just tell your Google Home to find your phone and then it will place a phone call.
Keep in mind that anyone within speaking range can access this info. Check the weather, and you'll see illustrations of the forecast for the week. Software and performance The Lenovo Smart Display runs on a new operating system Google calls , which is like a pared-back Internet of Things version of Android proper. In time, Google will roll out new features and bring more functionality to the platform — the device should only get better over time. Sometimes I could tell the Smart Display heard what I said, but it took a good five to 10 seconds to respond. Be sure to check out the other that are available, and watch for more to come from Home.
By contrast, the and the Echo Show feature louder sound and a richer musical experience. Only the Google window will show up, while the menu, address bar and navigation bar will disappear. Speaking of that, primarily drives everything on the Lenovo Smart Display. It even heard me from an adjacent room as long as I had the door open. When placed next to the Echo Show and the another smart speaker with a screen powered by Google Assistant , the difference in size is like comparing a tablet to a smartphone.
The rear of the 10-inch variant we reviewed is made out of bamboo and the 8-inch unit sports a grey soft-touch material. No really, it's not a tablet Google worked to ensure that consumers wouldn't view smart displays as simply a tablet on a stand, and hopefully instead as an entirely new product category. The Home Hub is no different — plug it in, open the Google Home app, and follow simple instructions on both screens to get started. Design The is probably one of the most modern-looking pieces of smart tech you can buy right now. In a way, its simple approach is a refreshing take on the smart display — but it also feels watered down. You can also answer the video doorbell on the Home Hub, complete with two-way communication.
My setup process was a little wonky, requiring a restart of the Chromecast to get everything talking to one another. How else to get to the 4. After that, you may get a message saying that your Google Home is still updating, so sit tight for a few moments and wait for it to finish. This will give you a widget with today's date and any upcoming events in your Google Calendar, plus the weather just to the right. View full gallery The four color options for the Google Home Hub. The Bottom Line The cameraless, petite Google Home Hub will blend into any room in your home. The developers of pride themselves on having a sleek interface, mostly free of clutter.
Audio quality Throughout the Lenovo Smart Display review period, I used it for a variety of audio including music, movies, YouTube videos, Duo calls, , news, and voice searches. The new smart displays are important for Google's business, too. Google Home promises to one-up the Amazon Echo through its tight integration with Google services. There's a pretty long list of what you're able to do with Google Home. You can't watch on the Hub yet, but as with any of Google's smart speakers, you can issue a voice command to the Hub to start streaming Netflix on any of your with a streamer or Chromecast built-in. You can also set any of those services as your default, so Google Assistant will search there first when you ask it to play a song.
After tapping on the device to exit the screensaver, the gadget will present you with the weather, any upcoming calendar appointments or reminders, suggestions from services like , and much more. The newly-found data supports an earlier report by that suggested Google is working on a smart-home device with a screen. You can use the Google Cast function to stream Play Music, Spotify, or other Cast-enabled apps right to your Home device. Is there a better alternative? Here's a list of the most powerful and useful commands that probably ought to be a part of your daily usage. If nothing else, Google Home makes for an decent speaker.