Hands-On With Google Home Hub: Google’s First Smart Display

Keep in mind though, that both of those devices have larger screens than the 7-inch display on the Google Home Hub.

Despite having an excellent display, solid speaker and a huge base of Android phones to make video calls with, Google opted for security and privacy over more features this time.

Other smart displays will get these features with a software update. Google's is a bit smaller though, with a seven-inch display where Lenovo's comes in eight and 10 inches.

The Pixel 3 launcher has some changes compared to the older version (see image at the top of this article with the new Pixel 3 launcher on the right). You can go through the ingredients and recipe steps, one by one, and Google Home Hub will save your place if you want to stop and multitask while doing food prep. And if you have a phone that is running Android 9 Pie, you can have that look on your handset too.

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The Pixel 3 and its big brother also have a dedicated security chip - the Titan M, which keeps the OS and your passwords secure. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL obviously both ship with the latest and greatest version of Android, which is Android 9.0 Pie.

Whenever you say "Hey Google, good morning" to Google Home Hub, it will immediately serve up a personalised, visual overview of your family's activities from Google Calendar, your commute from Google Maps, your latest reminders, the weather forecast, etc, according to Google. If the feature doesn't work for you, then Google may be rolling it out in phases, and the support for increase/ decrease playback speed should arrive for all users soon. You can use Play Music though.

At the MadeByGoogle event in NYC on Tuesday, I spent some time with the new hub. You can use it in the kitchen, living room, bedroom, or anywhere else. At launch, Google partnered with Lenovo and JBL to bring the Smart Display to market, opting not to build one of their own. Rather than using one of the hardware platforms that Google certifies for other manufacturers, the Home Hub uses a processor from Amlogic. You can get it in Chalk, Charcoal, Aqua, or Sand colours. It only costs $149, which is about what you'd expect. Plus, you can just say to Home Hub, "Hey Google, show my pictures from LA", and voila! It can pull up photos and features your best shots with a new feature called Live albums.

Considering the $150 increase given the Pixel 3 over the Pixel 2, it raises the question of whether Google is again facing supply and logistics issues getting their latest devices out on time or if that many people just made a decision to bite the bullet and pay up.

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