Google Nest Hub Max – adding vision to voice commands
4.5Overall Score

Google has an admission to make – voice assistance is not always enough. Google Nest Home Max joins the Google-branded smart speakers – Mini, Home, Max, Nest Hub and now Nest Hub Max.

I have been using Google Assistant, ever since, well it came out. Voice is good, but voice and vision are perfect especially when I don’t want to get my phone out to see more! The Google Nest Hub Max incorporates the best of both worlds.

What’s this ‘Nest’ bit? Well, Alphabet, Google’s parent company also own Nest famous for smart home products like the Nest Protector Smoke Alarm that scored 4.9/5 and its three varieties of Nest Cam with 4.2/5. Google Nest Hub Max is a cross between the Nest Cam and a larger version of the now called Nest Hub. Google Nest is its new smart home brand.

To be clear – it’s a 10-inch maxie version of the Hub with a Nest cam. It is called Google Nest Hub Max – simple. The website is here.

Cost is $349 with free delivery from Google and from major retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Good Guys, Office Works and Harvey Norman.

Google kindly gave us a Google Nest Hub Max, and we have had some time to put it through its paces. Over the next few weeks we will update this review as we use it more. What we won’t do it go through everything Google Assistant can do – it is all here.

Spoiler Alert – vision and voice do work best.

Google Nest Hub Max

Let’s get a handful of the specs out of the way.

Screen 10-inch, 1280 x 800 – WXGA, (like 720p HD TV),16:10 ratio, 149ppi, touch, IPS.
Auto-brightness to 225 nits; contrast 1000:1; 67% sRGB, Delta E 7.0 (<4 is good); Response Time 50ms G-T-G; Pulse Width Modulation – No;
Ambient light for auto screen adjustment
Camera 6.5MP, 720p, 127° FOV for Nest Cam, quick gestures and Face Match ID (6 people) with privacy circuit and green/red LED indicator
Mic 2 x far-field
Speakers 2 x 18mm x Tweeters (10W) and 1 x 75mm woofer (30W)
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 5 AC, dual-band, Chromecast, BT 5.0
Power 24V/1.25 (30W) pin plug adapter 1.5m cable (no battery)
Processor Unknown ARM, RAM and Storage.
GPU has just enough power to render [email protected] video
Temperature – maximum after 30 minutes YouTube: 30°
Size etc 250.1 x 182.55 x 101.23 x 1.365kg in Chalk and Charcoal
Google Cast OS

Looks

It follows Google’s conservative design cred – soft fabric plinth, clean lines and natural chalk and charcoal finishes.

Design-wise it is a 10-inch tablet floating on a barely visible pedestal base housing the two front-firing speakers and the rear-firing woofer.

Google Nest Hub Max screen

Google says the Nest Hub Max is best suited for the kitchen. No, it is not waterproof, but the screen can, however, and the fabric plinth gently washed.

Google Nest Hub Max kitchen

For our tests, we placed it in a 5x5m large bedroom and a larger open space kitchen/lounge/dining area.

Sound

It is a 2.1 (Left/right/woofer) system. It can also be paired for stereo and in a multi-room setup. You need to remember that its tweeters are 18mm and the woofer is 75mm. To put that in perspective, a reasonable set of headphones have 40mm drivers!

Google Nest Hub Max tweeter
Speakers are covered

It pumps out 80dB with reasonably low levels of distortion although it is much more pleasant at 60-70dB.

Google Nest Hub Max woofer
Woofer is covered

The Google Home App has an Equaliser (EQ) that can adjust bass or treble +/- 6dB. On the flat (off) setting, Bass starts late at 90Hz, and frequency response is relatively flat to about 2kHz where it gradually decreases and falls off the cliff after about 16kHz. The EQ does not do a lot to bass but can increase treble levels slightly.