Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) Review – 6 Months Later

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The Nest Hub 2nd Generation is the newest
version of the Nest Hub Google released that updates the original with better sound, new
hands-free gestures, and the main new feature of this device, sleep tracking. I've had my second gen Nest Hub for over six
months now. So, I'm gonna walk you through everything
new with this device, the core features, any downsides and then ultimately, who I recommend
this device for. Now, by far, the largest addition to the second
gen Nest Hub soli radar chip that has been embedded into the top of the device where
you see that little grey circle. The soli radar chip on the Nest Hub has a
few purposes. It's used for sleep tracking, quick gestures,
and proximity detection. Sleep tracking works by using the radar inside
the Nest Hub to detect movement and breathing while you’re asleep. The Nest Hub will also use it’s mics to
detect sounds like snoring and coughing and the display can even use it’s ambient light
eq sensor to measure the amount of light in your room and it’s temperature sensor to
see how warm or cool it is while you’re asleep.

Based on all of this data, Google will give
a sleep summary you can see when you wake up. It’ll show you how long you were asleep
for, if you got to bed on time or late, the points where you woke up during the night,
how much you snored and coughed. The sleep summary UI shows 3 circles, with
each one representing a different metric: the quality of your sleep, duration, and how
well you adhered to your sleep schedule. The goal is to try to get these three circles
to overlap as much as possible, when you do, they'll turn purple. And that means that you slept well.

When they don't overlap as much, they'll turn
into an orangish color, and you don't want that. That means you did not sleep very well, and
this can happen for several reasons. For example, if you go to bed late and you
sleep in late, you will be dinged for both of those scenarios by Google even if you got
the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. Now if you want to see more data from the
Nest Hub’s sleep tracking, like seeing how you slept over multiple days, this data can
be accessed from the Google Fit app, available for Android and iOS. So far, my impressions of sleep tracking have
been pretty favorable. I like that. You don't have to wear anything on your wrist,
they're no cameras involved. So, no cameras are pointing at you asleep
from your nightstand, which I find kind of creepy. And the data that I get from the Nest Hub
for sleep tracking is comparable to the sleep tracking data I get from my Apple Watch. Now, there are two potential downsides with
sleep tracking on the Nest Hub that might impact you.

One is it cannot track two people sleeping
simultaneously. So for example, if you and your partner both
want to track your sleep with a Nest Hub, you'll need to buy two devices. The second potential downside is that Google
is planning to charge for the sleep tracking insights starting in early 2022. If you're like me and you already use a fitness
tracker, it's going to be a hard sell to pay Google for something down the road that your
sleep tracker today can already do and do for free, but who knows, we’ll see what
the company comes out with in 2022. So that’s sleep tracking, next let's talk
about another sleep-related feature and this is one I use a lot on my Nest Hub and that
is the alarm settings. which you get to by swiping up from the bottom
of the display and selecting the alarm clock icon. The alarm clock functionality of the Nest
Hub is quite good in my experience, you can easily create multiple alarms and see them
all in one display on the touch screen.

To change settings for your alarms you can
click the gear icon on the alarms page and set the alarm volume, whether or not you want
to enable a sunrise alarm, which will gradually brighten the Nest Hub’s display with warm
colors like a sunrise and gradually increase the alarm volume as well, also there are quite
a few different alarms to choose from, which I appreciate. You can also sync your smart lights to your
sunrise alarm if you want, so the lights will gradually dim along with the Nest Hub’s
display and even start Google Assistant routines.

I started off having my smart lights connected
to the Sunrise alarm, but quickly found out that you can't actually change the color temperature
or if you have a specific scene like in Philips Hue, you cannot set that scene with the sunrise
alarm feature on a Nest Hub. So if you're like me and you like your lights
dimming up with a sunrise color in the morning, you just, you simply can't do that with these
sunrise alarm features, they'll default to a warm white color. Lastly in settings, you can enable or disable
motion sense for snoozing your alarm by waving your hand in front of the display. Now, one concern you may have about using
a Nest Hub as an alarm clock is what happens when the Wi-Fi goes out. When I have tested this, as long as you've
already set the alarm before the Wi-Fi goes out, the alarm will actually still ring so
long as the power doesn't also go out.

The Nest Hub can also help you go to sleep
as well by displaying a new evening part of the UI that’ll show you shortcuts to things
like sleep sounds, which help you drift off to sleep to certain ambient sounds like sounds
of the ocean or a rainforest. You can also set the display to turn all the
way off when it detects darkness if you’re like me and if you wake up in the middle of
the night, you don’t want to see what time it is. There are actually a lot of settings for the
Nest Hub that you can set and forget from the Google Home app like limiting the speaker’s
volume during the night with night mode, or adjusting the trigger word’s sensitivity
when you want to use the Google Assistant. Let's go back to that solely radar chip for
a second. This technology on the Nest Hub is also used
for proximity detection, which will make certain parts of the Ui larger like a timer when it
senses you’ve walked away from the display so it’s easier to see across the room.

Also you can play or pause music using motion
sense by just waving your hand forward towards the display. So those are some of the new sleep tracking
and motion sense features of this device. Now, let's talk about a few other new things
with these second generation Nest Hub. While the design has remained largely the
same as the original, Google did remove the frame border for the 2nd gen Nest Hub and
the bottom of the chalk version of the device is no longer orange but white, which I much
prefer the aesthetics of. They also updated the enclosure so its now
made from 54% of recycled materials Google also improved the speaker giving it
a 1.7 inch or 43.5 mm driver, and it does sound improved. However, keep in mind that Nest Minis, and
Nest Hubs are the worst sounding speakers in Google's lineup.

That's not to say they sound terrible or anything. They sound adequate for what they are given
the space constraints Google is working with with these speakers but you're not buying
them primarily for their audio quality. That's what a device like the Nest Audio is
for. But with the Nest Hub, you're really primarily
buying it for that display, not necessarily the speaker in the back Now Google also kept the great screen they
had on the original Nest Hub with both an ambient EQ and light color temperature sensor
so the display looks good no matter your lighting conditions and they added an extra microphone
to the device as which helps better pick up my voice. The setup experience with the new Nest Hub
has also been improved as well with a new QR code during setup to connect the device
to the Google Home app and with added steps explaining the new sleep and motion sense
features.

So that's everything brand new to the second
gen Nest Hub. Now it does retain some of the core features
from the previous generation of device and the top one that comes to mind is photo frame. The 2nd generation Nest Hub can integrate
with Google Photos, one of the best online photo storage services available for both
Android and iOS and allows you to easily update and manage the photos displayed on the frame.

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It's one of my favorite features of the Nest
Hub. Especially that memory's feature where the
photo display will show me old photos taken one, two, even 10 years back. It's a feature that makes me happy, sometimes
sad when seeing a loved one or pet that's recently passed away, but it's a feature that
always gets some sort of emotion out of me, mostly a positive emotion, which is rare to
find in a tech product. And it's weird that it's a positive emotion,
It's basically like the opposite of social media. You can also use the Nest Hub as a dynamic
weather clock, which I absolutely love, it’s a feature that originally debuted on the Lenovo
Smart Clock but it’s just so much better on the larger Nest Hub display. Another thing I use, my Nest Hub for a lot
is controlling my smart home.

You can swipe down from the top of the screen
to enter the home control settings for your Google Home and I love the card system UI
Google has put here which makes it easy to see everything going on in my smart home and
the room my Nest Hub is in which is in my bedroom. I can see what level my bedroom lights are
set to, my blind tilt settings, the status of my Roomba running and then I can also see
the status of other devices around my home like my door lock status and a shortcut to
see the feed from my Nest Doorbell which we’ll be reviewing on the channel, so make sure
to subscribe to see more Google product reviews.

Another major use for the Nest Hub is music
playback and controls. You can stream music from your favorite streaming
service like Spotify, Apple Music, at least here in the US, Deezer, Pandora, and of course,
YouTube Music. The Nest Hub display makes it easy to play
and pause music and skip to the next track. You can also cast media from your devices
to your Nest Hub as well as long as your device or app supports casting like YouTube or YouTube
Music. And yes, you can play content from video streaming
services as well on this Display like Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, HBO+, Paramount+ and more! And you can also play games on the display
as well and can browse through the different games available by tapping the screen to bring
up the card menu and going to the entertainment tab. Back to music for a second, you can also group
your Nest Hub with other Google speakers through the Google Home app to create speaker groups
or say if you have a speaker right next to your Nest Hub that’s better quality like
my Google Home Max, in the settings for the Nest Hub you can set the display to default
to playing music on my Google Home Max speaker or another speaker group instead which is
a feature I love.

Now, another way to control your music and
your smart home and do a bunch of other things on the Nest Hub is using the Google Assistant. The Google Assistant is the native assistant
on the Nest Hub and it uses the Nest Hub's three far-field microphones to answer your
requests. The Google Assistant on the Nest Hub also
features voice match, where the Google Assistant will learn your particular voice so it knows
who's talking to it and the Google Assistant on this device is also great with music controls.

You can ask it to play a specific song, artist,
or album from your linked music streaming service. Josh: “Hey Google, play the album equals
by Ed Sheeran.” Google Assistant: “OK, Ed Sheeran from Apple
Music, playing on Josh’s Bedroom Speakers.” You can also ask it to do things like control
an individual smart home device like running my Roomba or a group of smart home devices,
like controlling all of the lights in my bedroom. If you decide to put one in your kitchen,
you can ask it for recipes and have recipes there on the screen to cook along with and
save your favorite recipes to your cookbook. The one downside with this feature is not
all recipes from all sites are going to work with it and there's currently no way for you
to upload your own recipes to the service.

Now, another kitchen-related feature with
the Nest Hub is lists. You can tell the Google Assistant to create
a list or use the default shopping list when you tell it to add something to your shopping
list. I use this feature a lot, like when I open
my fridge and realize I’m running out of milk I can just say “Hey Google, add lactose
free milk to my shopping list.” The Nest Hub gives you the added benefit of
being able to see the list and what you might have already added to it. And you can also sync your Google Assistant
lists with services like AnyList, Any.do Bring Shopping lists and Google Keep.

If you decide not to sync your list with these
services, you can access your shopping lists at shoppinglist.google.com, making it easy
to check things off your list as you’re out and about. And you can also share any list you create
with the Google Assistant with others in your household. Another thing you can do with the Google Assistant
on the Nest Hub is reminders. And I found this feature very useful. You can create reminders that’ll appear
as virtual sticky notes on the Nest Hub’s display and best of all, you can assign them
to certain people in your household.

So let's say your partner volunteered, to
take out the trash, but they forgot to. You can tell the Google Assistant on the Nest
Hub to remind them to take out the trash. So that's everything new with the second gen
Nest Hub and the core features that I've really found to be useful over six months. Now, here's who I think this device is for. I think the 2nd Gen Nest Hub is a perfect
device for people who want a digital photo frame that connects with one of the best online
photo services available and makes it easy to keep your photos up-to-date. It also acts as a major alarm clock upgrade,
with its sleep tracking and extensive alarm features like the sunrise alarm it acts as
a great smart home control display and display interface for controlling music for one or
multiple speakers. And finally, if you want a kitchen display
that can bring up recipes and makes it easy to start and pause music and media without
having to touch the display, I think the Nest Hub would be a great choice there as well.

The 2nd Gen Google Nest Hub retails for $99
US dollars and comes in several different colors. I've left links on the side of this video
if you want to purchase this device or learn more about it and if you want to learn more
about building or expanding your smart home, how to better use the Google Assistant, or
see more reviews on Google and Nest devices. I've left links in the description below to
videos we've done that cover all of those topics. So make sure to check those out. If you have any questions about the Google
Nest Hub or want to share your experience with this device, leave a comment below, hit
that thumbs up button if you found this video helpful, and subscribe to the channel to see
more six months later reviews like this one on Google and other tech products.

For 6 Months Later, I'm Josh Teder, thanks
for watching..

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