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

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

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

This looks very similar to the redesigned Google Assistant cards/control announced last week for smart home devices.

Other smart displays will get these features with a software update. And one that comes with serious limitations compared to the competition.

It's definitely unusual to see Google develop an entire ecosystem for third-party Assistant smart displays, and then use something else for its own device.

All previous "smart displays" with Google Assistant are almost identical under the hood. In fact, if you have the most recent version of the Google Home mobile app, you can see this for yourself because the interface is cohesive between phones, tablets, and the Google Home Hub. In other words, you can now control different types of devices from different hardware makers in a central location, much as you might from a "real" hardware hub such as Wink Hub or the Amazon Echo Plus, which provides a built-in Zigbee hub. I was told that at this time, the focus is simply YouTube Premium.

As for the Google Home Hub itself, I don't see what all the fuss is. It's not the first of its kind, as Lenovo already has the Smart Display, which has an identical feature set. This will make it less desirable in the kitchen, especially.

Google is also touting "Ambient EQ" for its own Home Hub: The light sensor is tuned to adjust the display brightness better than on the Lenovo and JBL products.

The internal hardware is also different than other smart displays. (The Lenovo Smart Display has a physical shutter on its camera, and an off switch for its microphone, for privacy purposes.) That is nonsensical.

Separately, the Google Home support page has been updated to support playback speed controls for news and podcasts.

If you get the update let us know what you think. It's not a differentiator. You'll also find easier access to the Google Assistant button, as it has been snuck onto the Google widget. Nothing more, nothing less.

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