Back at Google’s hardware event for 2018, the company not only showed off the Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL, but they also unveiled the Google Home Hub, which is their first Smart Display.
Smart Displays have the same functionality as a smart speaker like an Amazon Echo or Google Home, but they have a display to show you relevant information. The Google Home Hub is essentially their answer to the Amazon Echo Show.
Even though the Google Home Hub isn’t officially available in Canada, you can still use it without any issues.
When you first plug in your Google Home Hub, it will take you through the usual process of connecting it to your Wi-Fi network and linking it to your Google account.
To set up the Home Hub, all you need is the Google Home app on your Android or iOS device. At the top, you should see an option to add a new device to your home.
After you’ve completed the setup process, you’ll be able to start using your Home Hub. One thing to note is that when you are connecting your Home Hub to your Wi-Fi network, you may see a message appear saying that the Home Hub won’t work because it was made to be used in the U.S. Feel free to ignore that message since it won’t prevent you from using the device.
The Google Home has a 7-inch touch display with an ambient EQ sensor which can detect the amount of light in the room. The right side of the device is where you’ll find the volume buttons and the mic mute switch is located at the top of the device.
The Google Home Hub can show you things like the weather forecast and how long your commute is, and you can also use it to watch YouTube videos, control your smart home devices, and make video calls with Google Duo.
Since the Google Home Hub doesn’t have a camera, the recipient of your Duo call won’t see you, and will just see your profile picture and will receive audio from your end. You’ll still be able to see their video, though, even if they can’t see yours.
Video & Audio
Just like the Echo Show, you can watch videos on the Home Hub. You can either ask Google for a specific YouTube video or you can cast content from your phone from a number of apps. Oddly, you can’t cast Netflix content to the Home Hub, but you can cast content from other apps such as Plex, Pocket Casts, and Spotify.
The sound quality on the Google Home Hub is pretty good but not the best. The Home Hub sometimes does have trouble hearing you when you say, “Hey Google” or when music is playing from the device at mid- to high-volume.
Hey Google, what can you do?
Like other Google Home devices, the Home Hub has the Google Assistant built-in. When you ask Google a question, it will show you something visually on the screen in addition to telling you the answer.
A little information card will be displayed on your Home Hub, whether it’s for a cooking recipe, the weather forecast, or traffic information.
The Home Hub is also compatible with a number of smart home platforms and products such as TP-Link, SmartThings, Belkin WeMo, Honeywell, LIFX bulbs, and Insignia devices.
Buying the Google Home Hub
If you’re in the U.S., you can purchase the Home Hub from the Google Store, Best Buy, and other retailers.
If you’re in Canada, your only option, for now, is to buy the Home Hub from Wantboard. It costs $257.99 CAD and comes in multiple colours: Chalk, Aqua, Charcoal, and Sand.
The Home Hub is great for those who want a more visual experience from their Google Home. It also makes a great first smart speaker for those who don’t already have one.
Canadian Compatibility: The Home Hub works in flawlessly in Canada with no issues.
Where to Buy