Google’s new Nest Hub smart display has improved from its predecessor, the 1st Gen Nest Hub. Google improved the 2nd Gen Nest Hub with 50% more bass. But the main feature that Google is touting is the Sleep Sensing features. Google installed their Soli-radar sensor, along with a number of temperature and light sensors, along with 3 far-field microphones to monitor your sleep habits. I think this is the beginning of a new wellness device category for Google. However, having the Nest Hub on the bedside table has brought well-needed awareness to something important to all of us – Rest. I’m excited to test all these features out in the Nest Hub 2nd Gen review by Google.
Nest Hub 2nd Gen Features
Google’s new Sleep Sense uses Ultrasound, temperature and light sensors, Soli, and three microphones to measure how much sleep you’re getting each night.
To set up the Sleep Sensing, you’ll have to agree on the privacy settings. Your Sleep Data is recorded on the Nest Hub 2nd Gen; however, the reports and information is sent to Google and returned as a Sleep Summary. The Nest Hub will ask you when you’re regular sleep and awake times are and then begin monitoring your sleep. However, with the Sleep Sense running in the background, it will track naps too.
You can ask Google, “Hey Google, how well did I sleep last night?” You will get a display with Your Sleep schedule, sleep duration, and sleep quality. Once you tap on ‘Your Sleep,’ you’ll find your sleep ‘clock’ or chart telling you how long your rest was. It will also tell you how long it took for you to fall asleep.
If you scroll over to the next screen, you’ll see the Sleep Schedule over the last 2 nights. Sleep Sensing will report on the time you went to bed and what time you woke up. Yes, if you slept-in, the report will tell you that too.
Sleep Quality is the following report. Sleep Quality reports on the length of your sleep, if you had any interruptions, like changes in lighting, snoring, and coughing. It also takes the average temperature.
If that wasn’t enough, you could ask Google a few specific questions about your sleep, like “Hey Google…”
- How did I sleep last night?
- When should I go to bed?
- How was my breathing last night?
- Set a bedtime routine. You can manage your lighting, play specific music or read a bedtime story.
- Play relaxing sounds: You’ll get sounds like ‘The cozy sounds of a fireplace.’ I thought White Noise would help, but the fireplace sounds helped me relax. The sounds continued for an hour then stopped. The Nest hub also provides tranquil rainfall, the sound of crickets, and white noise.
After 14 days of sleep monitoring, you’ll get personalized recommendations on when you should go to sleep and when you should wake-up.
Just tap your and quickly in fron of the Nest Hub 2nd Gen to pause.
Soli helps you use Quick Gestures to begin and pause your media, like your Netflix movies, YouTube videos, or YouTube music. Once you tap your hand in the air in front of the Nest Hub 2nd gen, the media will stop. My kids had fun pausing and unpausing the media while writing this review. About 100 times. They had fun, although it took me 100 attempts to finish this paragraph.
Don’t press snooze. Just wave.
Quick gestures also allow you to sleep through using only your hand. No need to touch the Nest Hub 2nd Gen. swipe your hand in front of the Nest Hub 2nd Gen, and you’ve silenced your alarm.
Second Generation Nest Hub Privacy
Having a smart device in your bedroom or private places to monitor your sleep could be daunting to some people. Google has put a few privacy controls in place in the Nest Hub 2nd gen.
- My Activity: At any time, you can ask Google: “Hey Google, delete everything I said last week. You can also turn on Guest Mode to ensure that your Google Assistant activity is not tracked for that period. You can also go to myactivity.google.com and login to delete your Google Assistant activity.
- Sleep Sensing Data: Whenever Sleep sensing is active, you’ll see a Sleep Sensing icon on the Second Generation Nest Hub. Google says that your sleep data is not used for ads, and you can keep the sleep tracking on and disregard coughing and snoring detection.
Nest Hub 2nd Gen Sound
Google made some acoustic improvements to the second-gen Nest Hub. The acoustics is designed to be more like the new Nest Audio, a center-piece, all-in-one audio source. Google says they improved the bass on the new Nest Hub by 50%, compared to the first Nest Hub. I can notice the difference in the room. The sound fills the kitchen or bedroom. I think this might have to do with the design of the 2nd Gen Nest Hub as well. The new Nest Hub display is raised about an inch from the base. I think this allows for more sound to escape the Nest Hub onto the surface of the table or counter.
I have enjoyed watching my favorite Netflix movies on the second-generation Nest Hub. The sound is immersive for a 7-inch smart-display.
My kids have enjoyed listening to their favorite YouTube music and watching their favorite YouTube creators (GoNoodle) dance and sing. They continue to tap their hand in front of the Nest Hub to see the music or video stop.
You can read more about the comparison between the 1st Gen Nest Hub and 2nd Gen Nest Hub here:
Nest 2nd Gen made for years to come: Thread Border Hub
We should recognize that the 2nd Gen Nest Hub is getting ready for the future in-home connectivity for a minute. Google installed a Thread Border Hub. The Thread communication protocol will be prepared to integrate with other devices with the CHIP (Connected Home over IP) communication protocol. Welcome to the world of devices working interchangeably and building a mesh network that will heal itself.
What I liked about the second-gen Nest Hub:
Price: Smart displays similar to Google’s new Nest Hub at $99 do not come with features like Sleep Sensing or improved sound that immerses your media experience. Add a new communication technology of Thread, and you have a bunch of value that should last a long time.
Quick Gestures: Waving your hand to sleep through anything is sooo satisfying. Using your hand to tap the air in front of the 2nd-gen Nest Hub to pause and play media is just intuitive and so easy to use.
Sound: I compared the sound to my Nest Mini. I think the audio is much better for the pricing. It sounds better than the Echo Show.
Sleep Sensing: The Nest Hub 2nd Gen sets itself apart from the competition here. You can’t find a Hub or Smart Display device that can sense when you sleep, analyze it, and give you recommendations. That’s hard to beat right now. Sleep is so important. It’s great that you can get a device that helps you improve your sleep patterns. And the tracking is an accurate and spot-on recording of your breathing, the time you fell asleep, and how long you slept. Hard to beat the Nest Hub here. Which other table-top smart device does this right now?
Onboard Machine Learning: Google has installed a new onboard Machine Learning chip. The Nest Hub second generation will begin learning my routines and begin to respond faster to those commands. I’m excited that there will be a continual improvement in the speed at which my smart home operates.
Nest Hub 2nd Generation: A new standard in Smart Displays
The Smart Display just got better with the Nest Hub second-generation. No more is a smart display, just a display where you ask your voice assistant what the weather is or where you watch your favorite photos or videos. The new Nest Hub is now the next standard in Smart Display. The Nest Hub tracks and helps you with your sleep routine and personalizes the recommendations to you. No other display does that. There are temperature and light sensors, Soli radar, and 3 microphones built-in to ensure the sleep measurements are spot-on. No other smart display has that. The Nest Hub second generation uses intuitive Quick Gestures to pause and play your media – just tap the air in front of the smart-display. You can also dismiss your alarm by swiping your hand in front of the Nest Hub 2nd generation. If that was not enough, Google improved the new Nest Hub’s audio performance to compare to the audio quality of the Nest Audio and the next generation of smart speakers on the market. Google upped their game here. For $99, you can get your smart Nest Hub display ready for the future of home connectivity, entertainment, and personal wellness. A new standard in Smart Display has arrived in the new Nest Hub.
Credit: Google, Netflix, Warner Bros., YouTube, DJ Raphi