After months of wait, Google finally brings the second-generation Nest Hub to Singapore

PHOTO: Google

Two years after the launch of the previous Nest Hub in Singapore, Google is once again bringing its smart display/smart home controller here, with the arrival of the Nest Hub (second-generation).

The Singapore release of the second Gen Nest Hub comes eight months after its original unveiling in March earlier this year.

The smart display still has the main features of its predecessor, including the seven-inch touchscreen front-and-centre, as well as the full-range speaker, far-field microphones and Google Assistant activation via voice control.

The ability to stream from popular services like Netflix, Disney+ and Spotify is still here, as is compatibility with Google apps like Google Maps and Google Photos (including its digital picture frame function).

Most importantly, it can still link up various smart home appliances that you have around the house.

Though the two generations of Nest Hub are more similar than different, Google has given the second Gen Nest Hub a few new features to make it a good purchase for someone who doesn't already have one, including an enhanced speaker with 50 per cent more bass than the previous generation, an updated design with an edgeless glass display, and a built-in thread radio, for simpler control over other smart home appliances.

In a bit of a twist, Motion Sense and Soli radar sensors, originally debuting on the Pixel 4, find their way onto the new Nest Hub, as a way to enable Quick Gestures and Sleep Sensing, the latter of which helps track sleep details.

They go from basic ones like the times at which you've gone to bed and woken up, to more complex details like breathing and sleep disturbances.

After waking up, you can track the quality of your sleep through a timeline view. All this through microphones, ambient light sensors and a new temperature sensor, without a single camera used.

You can track details like snoring, coughing, and the times you've entered different stages of sleep.
PHOTO: Google

It's important to note, however, that Sleep Sensing will stop being free by the end of next year. Data tracked by Sleep Sensing will still be available on the Google Fit app, but Google has not given the price of a potential Sleep Sensing subscription yet.

It's also important to note that Sleep Sensing is currently opt-in, so if the idea of a device tracking you this deeply while you're asleep is uncomfortable, you can always opt-out.

There's also the addition of another far-field microphone, putting the total to three, as well as the addition of an on-board ML chip for faster Google Assistant activation.

And finally, as an added bonus, the new Nest Hub is built with more sustainable materials, with 54 per cent of it coming from recycled plastic.

The new second-generation Nest Hub is available on Google's website now for $139, which is cheaper than the initial $189 launch price of the first Nest Hub.

Given that they're also physically similar, you should take note of which version it is you're actually buying, lest you get the first generation by mistake.

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This article was first published in Hardware Zone.