Google's multi-talented smart display packs a lot of tricks into a tiny gadget.
The Google Home Hub responds to your voice commands like a smart speaker and uses its touchscreen to show extra info if you ask about the weather, search for a place to eat and more. The tiny $150 smart display actually has quite a few features thanks to the versatile Google Assistant. Click through to see what they are.
For the most part, you'll control the Google Home Hub with a voice command or with the touchscreen, but it does have a couple of physical controls. This toggle on the back of the device mutes the microphone.
You'll also find a toggle to control the volume on the back of the device.
The main page shows local weather and a snapshot of your schedule. You can add something to your calendar, set a reminder, add groceries to your shopping list and more with a voice command.
Ask about the weather and you'll see a detailed breakdown of your upcoming forecast.
Find something you want to make, and the Home Hub will walk you through each of the steps. You can multitask while you cook and watch videos, play music, add something to your shopping list and set timers. When you're ready, just say "resume cooking" and it'll go back to where you left off in the recipe.
If your cooking experiment doesn't work out, you can also ask the Home Hub to find you a nearby place to eat. You can scroll through your options and tap one to see more details. The Hub will even show you directions and send those directions to your phone.
You can watch YouTube videos on the Home Hub and live TV with YouTube TV.
You can also play music on the Home Hub from a variety of music streaming services including Google Play Music, Spotify and Pandora. You can also cast music or videos to other devices connected to a Chromecast streamer with a voice command and group the Hub with other connected speakers for synced playback of your favorite song throughout your house.
Swipe down on the touchscreen for a smart home control panel. You'll see shortcut buttons for common tasks based on your synced smart devices. You'll also see the status of your home and can quickly control the lights in your current room with a tap.
Tap "View Rooms" on the control panel to see all of your connected devices grouped by room.
Tap an individual device for precise controls that allow you to fine-tune your settings.
If you have a Nest Hello smart doorbell, the Hub will announce when someone's at the door. You can also see the live feed from your door cam at any time with a voice command.
The Home Hub doesn't have a camera. Instead, the dot above the touchscreen is a light sensor. The Hub automatically adapts both the brightness and the warmth of the image on the screen to match the room. The Hub can scroll through your personal photos in ambient mode, and even keep an album of your family and friends updated as you take more pictures with the new Live Albums feature.
Once the album is updated, the new pictures will show up on your Home Hub in ambient mode, and the pictures look great thanks to that sensor.