At first glance, the Google Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max look similar in design. The latter’s only difference appears to be its size. But as part of Google’s growing Nest smart display portfolio, the Nest Hub Max comes at a premium price point. In fact, it’s almost three times more expensive than the original Nest Hub 2nd generation. Are the extra dollars worth it for a smart display? Our Nest Hub review below will help you find out.
Google Nest Hub vs Nest Hub Max Comparison Chart
The Google Nest Hub Max is a larger version of the Nest Hub but with the addition of a camera and fewer sensors.
Next to the Nest Hub, the Nest Hub Max lives up to its billing. The Max smart display is about three inches taller and wider than its sibling. The device also weighs twice as much as the Nest Hub. But design-wise, there are few changes that distinguish the Max.
Both units feature a large screen surrounded by white bezels. They’re also mounted to a sleek fabric-covered foot that houses the speakers. You get similar but fewer base color options (Chalk and Charcoal) on the Nest Hub Max. The Nest Hub 2nd has two more — Sand and Mist — for those who want a pop of color.
One of the improvements of the Next Hub Max over the Nest Hub is a larger display. With more screen estate, you also get HD resolution, 1280 x 800p compared to the Nest Hub’s 1024 x 600p.
Above the display, you’ll find the units’ sensors. On the Nest Hub, these include Google’s Soli sensor that uses radar to detect motion and microphones that emit ultrasonic pulses to detect user proximity. Both components enable advanced functions without creating privacy concerns.
Google’s Nest Hub Max takes a different approach. On the Max, gone is the Soli sensor. Instead, the display comes with a 6.5MP camera in a bid to keep up with the likes of the Echo Show. Its microphones are still utilized for ultrasound technology. And like the Nest Hub, it also features an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust display brightness.
But with the addition of a camera, the Max has a more multimedia device feel. Plus, there’s an on/off button at the back to turn off both the microphone and camera.
Camera and Sound
Google’s Nest Hub Max comes with a camera — something missing on the Nest Hub — and markedly better speakers.
As mentioned in the design section, the Nest Hub Max features a 6.5MP camera. Google shares it has similar features to the Nest Cam. So while it’s perfect for video calls, it also doubles as a home surveillance system. Unlike Google’s dedicated security cameras, however, the one on the Nest Hub Max lacks some features like Night Vision. Nonetheless, it’s nice to have an indoor device that can monitor your property.
In terms of audio performance, the Nest Hub Max is also an upgrade from the Nest Hub 2nd Gen. With its larger footprint, the Max can house a full-range stereo speaker system. It comes with two 18mm tweeters and a 75mm woofer. While it’s nowhere near a soundbar, the sound performance you get from the Max is an improvement over the single driver on the Nest Hub.
The Nest Hub Max’s biggest draw is support for video calls and home monitoring. Meanwhile, the Nest Hub 2nd Gen boasts a sleep tracking feature.
Given its hardware, the Nest Hub Max offers features missing from the Nest Hub. First up is video call. With the Max, you get support for Google Duo and Zoom calls. If you use Duo, you get auto-framing, so you’re never out of sight during a conversation.
The Max’s camera also enables a feature called Face Match. Here, the display recognizes who’s looking and shows information curated for the user. As a security camera, the Max allows users to monitor a room using the Nest app. It also provides event history and motion alerts.
In terms of staying connected, the most the Nest Hub can offer is audio calls. You can still use Google Duo, but it’s not as interactive. Perhaps the Nest Hub’s standout feature is sleep tracking. Placed on a bedside table, the device uses its sensors to sense your sleep behavior. You won’t get detailed metrics like a wearable, but the insights are more accessible.
Both the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max also serve as the ‘hub’ of your smart home. Through these displays, you can connect with other smart devices, like a Google Nest doorbell, for instance. In this scenario, the Nest Hubs will show you who’s at your doorstep.
The units also work as a digital photo frame and small TV, streaming content from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and more. Plus, homeowners can use gestures to carry out certain functions — from setting the alarm to pausing or skipping a song in your playlist.
Price and Packages
Google’s Nest Hub is considerably more affordable than the Nest Hub Max. Nonetheless, you can save more money if you get these units bundled with other Nest devices.
If you’re on a budget, the Google Nest Hub should fit the bill. The 2nd Gen currently retails for $54.99, nearly half the price of its original $99.99 tag. Of course, you are cutting corners here. The lack of a camera means it doesn’t have video call and security features. But for the first foray into smart displays, the Nest Hub is a compelling entry-level model.
In contrast, the Google Nest Hub Max falls under the premium price tag. Originally priced at $299, you can get the display for just $169. Renewed options are also available and will cost you less.
For those looking at building a smart home system, Google offers bundles to get you into the Nest ecosystem. The Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max are available in packages that include a Nest Cam, Nest Doorbell, or both. These bundles cost less than purchasing the devices separately.
The Google Nest Hub Max is a better but larger smart display. If you prefer a smaller unit at the cost of a camera, the Google Nest Hub 2nd Gen is still a compelling purchase.
Google’s Nest ecosystem offers a range of devices for a smarter home. Among them are the Nest Hub displays. The original Google Nest Hub, now on its 2nd iteration, is a solid device that comes in a small package. It offers unique features for its class, including sleep tracking. However, compared to compact smart displays like Amazon’s Echo Show devices, the Nest Hub lacks a camera. This limits its functions and gives the Google Nest Hub Max its advantage.
A direct rival to the
The Google Nest Hub Max is a larger smart display than the Nest Hub. Moreover, the Nest Hub Max comes with a 6.5MP camera and an upgraded stereo speaker system.
The Google Nest Hub Max works with both Android and iOS.
Yes, the Google Nest Hub 2nd Gen has voice matching features.
Google’s Nest Hub comes with a limited one-year warranty.