Hands on with Google's Home Hub: The smart speaker for everything

New Google Home App

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

We've covered Smart Displays before and the entire concept dates all the way back to CES 2018 back in January. I was told that at this time, the focus is simply YouTube Premium. In some ways, I still do.

However, while Lenovo and JBL's gadgets run something called Android Things (an Internet of Things platform built by Google itself), the Home Hub is powered by something completely different.

The new parts on offer here are all software based, though. It carries on the Google Home aesthetic and doesn't take up much room at all, but pumps out a very impressive amount of volume from its diminutive size. But the Google Home Hub isn't the hub I wanted. So far, Google has confirmed that EE, Vodafone, O2, Three, Carphone Warehouse, Sky Mobile, John Lewis, and Mobile Phones Direct will all stock the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Although it's unclear why exactly this was done, one possibility is that it was a cost-cutting move to help get the Home Hub at its $150 price tag.

Until we really have a review unit, I can't really comment on the necessity of a camera or how good those light sensors are, but we'll cover that stuff in the review. So here are some of the things that are still coming in next weeks and months that aim to make your devices smarter so that you can be too. Starting with the Google Home Hub, you will be able to add users to your household and let everyone have access to all of your smart home controls. I love this integration because today I have to tap my phone or ask Google to show my front door in order to see who's ringing my doorbell.

Instead of hiding the controls deep in the Google Home app, a simple swipe down from the top of the screen brings up a dashboard with all your smart devices in a quick-access fashion, allowing you to control your connected stuff easily.

Other new camera tricks include a flicker sensor to prevent flickers effects under certain indoor lightning and a new Visual Core chip; Google's proprietary AI photo processor it introduced a year ago. So we will see. The 12.2-megapixel rear camera has a newer generation sensor, but it does have a lot of the same features as the previous generation, according to Google product manager Isaac Reynolds.

If you have a screen lock on your phone (and you should) the Assistant is rendered practically useless when your phone is locked.

At a device launch event, the device in question is supposed to be the highlight of the evening. But Google probably had a single-cam experience in mind for the Pixel 3 years ago, when it started designing the Pixel 3 camera.

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