Google officially unveils its first ’˜smart' display

The ‘leaks' ahead of its Google's Pixel 3 event were true… Google’s take on the ‘smart display’ (ahem, Echo Show) – the Google Home Hub – is here, and it’s cheaper than its counterparts.

Google’s first smart speaker with visuals, the Home Hub smart display, is as expected – an Assistant-equipped device that can also be controlled via a 7-in touchscreen. Created to handle weather and recipe requests (& more) and pull up photo/video content, the Google Home Hub notably has no camera – something the company say came about due to privacy concerns among consumers.

So no video support, but Google hopes this will make consumers feel more comfortable about having the product in and around different parts of their home. The Home Hub does, however, incorporate a temperature-reacting display thanks a brightness sensor that can respond to light colour.

With connected display offerings from Lenovo, LG, and Samsung/JBL already announced (and running off the same Google platform – i.e. Android Things on Qualcomm's SD624 Home Hub), the company decided that its own offering would be a little different. Instead, Google opted for an Amlogic chip so it essential runs like a Chromecast system, rather than a basic Android system.

A Home View dashboard allows users to see all connected devices and control lighting, temperature and whatever systems may be in the home. The Home Hub can in addition work with Google Home speakers, allowing them to be added to a speaker group for multi-room audio.

The smart display has been aggressively priced to compete with both Lenovo’s Google Assistant-powered device (launched this summer) and the Amazon Show, at $149 (£139). It will be launched in the US, UK and Australia to start with, shipping from 22 October onwards.