At 100% volume, I had to shout to get Google to take notice, but it was remarkably good at recognising my voice at sound levels up to 70dB.

Google Nest Hub Max is more about what it can do

Google really feels this is the embodiment of a real assistant. It wants to voice and face match you (up to six faces/voices), so it can use the camera to recognise you and present things like your calendar, commute times, personalised lists, reminders and more. Hey, it even greets you when it sees you.

It wants to encourage you to use the Nest camera and be part of the Google Nest security system.

And it wants to help control your smart home devices.

In short, unless you go down the Google Home Rabbit hole you really are getting about 50% of what it can do.

GadgetGuy’s take – Google Nest Hub Max is more than fit for purpose

It is well made, has a nice innocuous design, 1280 x 800p video, 720p camera and does all it promises. That camera is the secret sauce that enables gestures and Nest security monitoring (if you have a subscription).

While I prefer the Lenovo 10-inch smart display for superior sound and screen resolution, there is a certain appeal in a combo Nest Cam device (Lenovo can link to Nest Cams and other smart devices). It’s a hard call.

Google, however, don’t care (well, I am sure it does) as it produces reference design devices to spur its partner ecosystem along. Google Nest Hub Max will see a string of imitators, and it is happy with that.

One thing for sure – the Google Home ecosystem is sprinting forward and at last count Voicebit.ai (Q4, 2018) stated Google has 68% of the Australian 5.7 million home speaker market and Amazon Alexa has dropped to 14% (most driven by wanting to get some value from their Amazon Prime membership). Researcher Telsyte says that Google grew to 72% in Q1, 2019.

There is so much choice with more coming that the Google Nest Hub Max is a compelling way to get into this burgeoning ecosystem.

Google Assistant market share

Google Nest Hub Max – adding vision to voice commands
Nest Cam for added surveillance (with shutter)Good low light camera capabilityStereo sound pairing possible
Nest Account costs extra for video security camera use
Value for money
Ease of Use
4.5Overall Score
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