Google Home Hub vs. Amazon Echo Show: Smart Display Showdown

Donna Miller
October 12, 2018

If you watched the livestream you'll already know all the price and availability details for the USA, but what about those of us in the United Kingdom? The search giant unveiled the third-generation Pixel phones at an event in NY on October 9, 2018, alongside a few other exciting new products that join the growing Made by Google family.

With the increasing number of smart displays and smart speakers in homes, parents are getting anxious about the nearly unrestricted access their younger children might have to features and information that may not be ready for yet.

In March I said I wanted Google to make a smart home hub.

At the MadeByGoogle event in NYC on Tuesday, I spent some time with the new hub. There will be a range of retail partners stocking the Chalk (grey) and Charcoal (black) coloured options including JB HiFi, Harvey Norman, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, The Good Guys, David Jones and Big W; or you can purchase an Aqua (blue) or Sand (pink) coloured model in addition to the Chalk and Charcoal model from the Australian Google Store.

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There's also no camera on the Google Home Hub, unlike the other smart displays. This will be a much easier solution to sharing control of our smart home devices. Network carriers will also be offering both phones on contract deals, although it's unlikely we'll see any special offers on either phone until the initial sales flurry dies down. When configured, the Hub knows which room you're in and provides information on temperature and lighting as well. You can use Play Music though.

Those same retailers will also be stocking Google's official range of Pixel 3 Cases and the customizable My Cases from November 1, starting from 35 pounds and 40 pounds respectively. If someone walks up and rings your Nest doorbell, for example, the live video will automatically appear on the Google Home Hub.

Other smart displays will get these features with a software update. 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. It hasn't officially been announced yet, but it seems that Google has just outed their own product.

Aside from slight software or feature differences between the Google Hub and now available smart displays, the real star is the single, cohesive interface Google is bringing to the smart home here. The official Google Store now shows a lead time of 3-4 weeks, but fingers crossed those orders will arrive on the November 1 release date. Sure. But those desires are more for the early smart home adopters and they are still a niche audience. And that's exactly what the Google Home Hub is all about.

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