Google Assistant’s smart display initiative has so far seen two pieces of hardware with the Lenovo Smart Display and JBL Link View. However, those products aren’t perfect, and they lack some of the finesse we’ve seen from Google’s own Assistant hardware. Now we’ve got our first look at the Google Home Hub, and there are a few places it has a chance to improve on the competition in some big ways.
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First of all, what do we know about the Google Home Hub? We know that Google’s first smart display is set to include a 7-inch LCD touchscreen and a unique new design which puts that display up on a pedestal. We can also see some of the software which, at a glance, appears to have been tweaked a bit from what we’ve seen previously. One source also claims a price tag of just $150, undercutting Lenovo and JBL considerably.
Besides that, though, we don’t know too much else, and that leaves us some room for a wishlist. Here’s where I think Google can improve on the competition with its own smart display.
Where can the Google Home Hub be better?
The first place Google can improve on the competition is in the quality of its display. On the Lenovo Smart Display and the JBL Link View we’re dealing with 8-inch or 10-inch displays. Both are decent offerings with good viewing angles and average brightness, but they don’t exactly impress.
While this product will have a smaller 7-inch LCD panel, Google could be using a higher resolution, or even just a higher quality panel. I wouldn’t be shocked if this doesn’t come to fruition, but it’s one area Google would be well off in improving. Of course, with a $149 price tag in tow, the company would be totally forgiven for sticking with the status quo here.
Another area the Google Home Hub can improve on the competition is the physical footprint the product takes up. One of my complaints with the Lenovo Smart Display was its overall size since I don’t have much counter space to spare. The 8-inch Lenovo option and the JBL Link View both offer more compact sizes, but they’re still much bigger than a smart speaker would be.
We already know exactly how much space the Google Home Hub will take up. The device is a little over 7-inches wide, 4.65-inches tall, and 2.65-inches deep. By comparison, the 8-inch Lenovo Smart Display (which is the smallest smart display currently) is 10.4-inches wide, 5.6-inches tall, and 5.36-inches deep.
Clearly, Google’s option is much smaller, and that size means it’s going to fit in more places in your home. Sure, you’re losing some real estate for video content, but I have a feeling that’s not Google’s primary play with this device in particular.
The Power Cable
This is a minor note, but one I think matters a lot for the kitchen setting. One of my biggest gripes with the Lenovo Smart Display was the huge outlet adapter it used. It covered up the second outlet and was just overly huge and bulky. Luckily, the JBL Link View fixes that (noted by our own Damien Wilde), but it’s somewhere I think Google can pull ahead as well.
The Google Home Max already uses a power adapter that ditches the bulky brick. Even though the standard Google Home and Home Mini don’t follow suit, I hope the Google Home Hub takes the example of the Max. In the kitchen, there’s no room for bulky power cords.
New Software Features
The software on a Google Assistant smart display is pretty simple, and it works well. However, the Google Home Hub is a perfect play to introduce some improvements. The early leaks of this product show off software that does look a bit different, implying that some changes might be incoming.
A few things I’d like to see improved include media playback, with more options than just YouTube to play without using a phone and Chromecast. Another handy option might be proper apps for things such as finding new recipes. The possibilities are endless here.
Make It a Lineup
This is a crazy out-of-left-field theory, but I have a feeling Google might go all in with this product and deliver a full lineup. This first option, the Google Home Hub, would serve well to bring it to customers everywhere, and then like Google Home, a more expensive model could arrive. That option could bring a bigger display, better speakers, or perhaps a different design.
That’s just wild speculation, but it’s something I would love to see and it would really set Google’s option apart from the competition too.
What do you want to see from the Google Home Hub?
We already know a fair bit about the Google Home Hub, but there’s still a lot left to the imagination. What do you want to see on Google’s first smart display? Drop a comment below and let’s chat about what Google might have in store…
More on Google Home Hub:
- ‘Google Home Hub’ is Google’s first-party Smart Display, leaks in new renders
- Google Home Hub may be priced aggressively at $149, a reported retail listing says