TechnologyBattle of the smart displays: Google Nest Hub Max vs. Amazon Echo Show 2
Google's next Nest Mini speaker could be wall-mountable
Google's Home Mini may receive a sizeable upgrade when its Nest-branded sequel arrives. Sources for 9to5Google claim an upcoming Nest Mini will represent a "substantial" improvement. For one, it wouldn't be confined to desks and tables -- it would reportedly included a built-in wall mount. You could place it on a wall in the middle of the hallway if that's the most convenient place. It would also have upgraded sound, including better bass and a louder maximum volume. And yes, there would be a headphone jack to plug in external speakers.
The last five years saw a veritable explosion of smart speakers, with all sorts of Amazon Echoes and Google Homes flying off of store shelves and into people's homes. like the and are seeking a similar boom by upping the ante and slapping a touchscreen on the things.
That gives voice helpers like Alexa and the Google Assistant a visual interface with which to show you things -- video clips, weather forecasts, song lyrics, business listings, you name it. Throw in a camera into the mix and you can add video calls to that list.
Lenovo’s Smart Clock can now showcase your Google Photos collection
A feature that should’ve been there at launch
Small-size smart displays like , the and the might be a better fit at your bedside (and can help you choose between them). If you're a power user with plans to really put that touchscreen to use, then you'll likely want something bigger. The larger version of the is your biggest option with 15.6 inches of screen size, but it costs $350, and comes ( ).
You'll get more bang for your buck with a 10-inch smart display, and your top two options at that size are the Nest Hub Max and the full-size Echo Show, which each retail for about $230. Here's what you need to know before you pick one:
Lenovo’s Smart Clock becomes a more capable home hub
The Lenovo Smart Clock already won Best of CES 2019 and earned our approval, but it's not done adding features. Today, Google announced a few welcomed updates that bring the device more in line with the Google Home Hub. Thanks to an automatic software update rolling out this week, the Lenovo Smart Clock will allow natural conversations with Google Assistant. If you opt into this setting, you'll be able to have continued conversations without having to say "Hey Google" before every question. Lenovo previously worked with Nest cameras, but now it works with most other Assistant-compatible cameras as well. And the dual-purpose screen will display your Google Photos.
CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, CNET may get a commission.
Google Nest Hub Max
The best combination of hardware and softwareDerek Poore/CNET
Let's start with your newest option, the Google Nest Hub Max. At $230, it costs $100 more than, and it offers the same, voice-activated Google Assistant smarts plus a bigger screen, better sound quality and the addition of a camera.
It's not just any camera, either; it's an intelligent, face-tracking camera with a 127-degree wide-angle lens. Teach it what you look like, and the display will show you personalized bits of data like reminders, messages and calendar entries whenever it recognizes you. Making a Google Duo video call? The camera will automatically pan and tilt to follow you as you move about the frame. It can even recognize gestures -- just raise your hand to pause or resume playback.
Lenovo’s Smart Clock can now showcase your Google Photos collection
A feature that should’ve been there at launch.
The camera can double as a Nest Cam, too. Enable the feature, and you'll be able to view its feed via the Google Home app or the Nest app, the latter of which also lets you set motion activation zones and save recordings to the cloud via Nest Aware.
All of that makes for a more sophisticated camera experience than we've seen with other smart displays, none of which can recognize faces or gestures.. You can flip a switch to disable the camera digitally, but you can't cover it up. That's too much of a trust ask for my bedroom, thank you very much.
Beyond the camera, Google's smart display features the same visual operating system as the smaller-size Nest Hub -- a good thing, because. Information is organized and presented well, it frames your photos neatly without too much clutter on the screen, and it'll actually show you what the Google Assistant is hearing as you speak, something you still won't get from the Echo Show.
You also get the same ambient light sensor as the original. It can automatically adjust the brightness and contrast of the screen to keep your photos looking their best when it's cycling through them in ambient mode, and to keep the thing from blinding you when the room is dim. That's one of our favorite features among any of the smart displays we've ever tested.
Buy a Ring Video Doorbell or Nest Hello, and get a free smart display at Best Buy
Pairing a smart display with a smart doorbell is a good idea. And getting a smart display for free when you buy a smart doorbell is even better. © Provided by Cable News Network, Inc.Best Buy is offering just that, in three variations. When you buy a Nest Hello doorbell ($229.99; bestbuy.com) you'll get a free Google Nest Hub. Purchasing the Ring Video Doorbell 2 ($199.99; bestbuy.com) gets you an Echo Show 5. Or you can get a free Echo Show 5 when you purchase the $249.99 Ring Video Doorbell Pro. While you won't save on the doorbells themselves, you get a smart display for free.
Amazon Echo Show
The best smart home ecosystemTyler Lizenby/CNET
Amazon's second-gen Echo Show is about a year old at this point, but it's still a competitive choice among smart displays with 10-inch screens. The main reason: Alexa's ecosystem of third-party partners and services, which is more open and expansive than what you get with Google.
In fact, Google, which many gadget makers and services providers relied upon to keep their offerings compatible with Google smart homes. Now, as the search giant asks users to migrate their Nest accounts over to a single, unified Google account, those connections are breaking in ways that have left many upset.
For instance, you used to be able to open the Nest app on an Apple TV and stream the feed from your Nest Cams straight to your television. Once you migrate accounts, that app won't work at all. Same goes for partner products like the Haiku smart ceiling fan and the Abode smart security system -- both were Works with Nest partners, but each is now in limbo.
There's no such drama with Alexa (at least not yet). In fact, Amazon has managed to find ways of playing nice with key competitors like, and yep, . All of that makes it the better option for anyone planning on building a smart home setup with a voice-activated smart display at the center. You'll have more device options as you expand that setup than you will with Google, especially if you're a fan of connected cameras.
Home Depot sale on Ring Doorbells and Nest Secure
Today only, Home Depot has great sales on Ring Doorbells with Spotlight Cams, full security camera setups and a Nest Secure starter pack with two cameras. We're seeing substantial savings on several bundles with free delivery, but the sale ends ends tonight. © Provided by Cable News Network, Inc.The Ring bundles integrate best with Amazon's Alexa, and if you have an Echo Show, you can see who's at your door from the smart display. The Nest Secure Alarm and Cams integrate with the Google Assistant and Nest Hub smart displays, so there's something here for both smart ecosystems.
On top of that, the second-gen Echo Show features its own, built-in Zigbee hub, which the Nest Hub Max lacks. That lets it connect directly with Zigbee smart home gadgets like smart bulbs, smart locks and motion sensors with no need for additional hub hardware.
Beyond the smart home strengths, the Echo Show does a decent job with routine smart display functions. It's good for streaming music, with support for services like Tidal and Apple Music that don't work with Google, and, to my ear at least, slightly fuller sound than the Nest Hub Max. It's great for keeping up with the latest headlines or checking a quick sports score or weather forecast.
As for video, the Echo Show uses Skype for video calls and supports streaming from Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. Meanwhile, Google places calls via Google Duo and supports playback from YouTube, HBO Now and CBS All Access (CBS is CNET's parent company, by the way). Each device also works with a number of other video service providers, including names like Dish, so check to see if the stuff you like to watch is watchable on your smart display of choice before you make a purchase.
And no, the Echo Show doesn't include a shutter for the camera, either -- just a digital kill switch. I've included two alternatives with camera-covering shutters that are each worth considering below.
Lenovo Smart Display 10
A worthy alternative with a privacy shutterChris Monroe/CNET
Google wasn't the first to release a Google Assistant smart display -- that would actually be Lenovo, which launched two of them in 2018.
The Longest Running Horror Movie Franchises of All Time
Oh, the horror and the sequels!
The bigger of the two, the Lenovo Smart Display 10, is the one that tempts me the most. The front-facing speaker offers strong sound quality and I give it points for design, too, especially the futuristic-looking curvature on the back that's available in an attractive bamboo print. Plus, since it's been on the shelf for a while and has some new competition this year, you might have an easier time finding it at a discount. In fact, it's currently listed on sale forthrough Sept. 14.
Lenovo's smart display uses the same operating system as Google's own smart displays, so the user experience is basically identical. You won't get the Nest Hub Max's new camera features like facial recognition, autotracking and gesture controls -- but you do get a physical shutter that can cover the camera when you aren't using it.
JBL Link View
Worth it for the sound qualityTyler Lizenby/CNET
Want the smart display with the best sound quality for the money? We say that's the JBL Link View, another third-party Google Assistant display. Like Lenovo, it uses the same operating system as Google's own Nest Hub, and it's the best-sounding of any of them, thanks to the dual, front-facing speakers.
And yep, it comes with a privacy shutter for the camera, too.
The rub is that the Link View has a slightly smaller screen than the others -- 8 inches as opposed to 10. At $250, it also retails for more than either the Echo Show or the Nest Hub Max, though at the time this is being written I'm seeing it on sale for closer to $200. At that price (and with that sound), it's definitely worth considering.
Fashion hits and misses for October 2019 .
We're rounding up the best and worst dressed stars of the month!
Google Home Hub Vs Amazon Echo Show Vs Lenovo Smart Display
Google Home Hub Vs Amazon Echo Show Vs Lenovo Smart Display Let's pit the biggest Smart Displays against each other in a full technical battle. The Google ...
Google Nest Hub Unboxing: Gefahr für den Amazon Echo Show ?
Amazon Echo Shows habt ihr hier ja schon gesehen, jetzt hat Google endlich seinen Google Nest Hub in Deutschland eingeführt. Es ist das kleine ...
Friday, 18 october 2019
Such outsize returns are hard to come by, but they've nonetheless caught the attention of young Chinese investors.The SoleFly x Air Jordan 1 in black patent leather rocketed in value by 6,600% to a high of 75,999 yuan ($10,740) on the online marketplace Nice after its release in […]
Thursday, 10 october 2019
As teased last month, Oppo's latest flagship phone, the Reno Ace, is unveiled today. We already knew about the device's 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 feature which charges its 4,000mAh battery in just 30 minutes, thus setting an impressive record in the industry. What's surprising is […]
Thursday, 10 october 2019
3D printing lets MIT engineers put the Renaissance man's plans to the test.Recent graduate student Karly Bast shows off the scale model of a bridge designed by Leonardo da Vinci that she and her co-workers used to prove the design's […]
Monday, 30 september 2019
Negative interest rates have quite literally broken one of the pillars of modern finance. © Jonathan Ernst/ReutersHow to handle the downside of higher rates.As economists and central bankers weigh the pros and cons of sub-zero rates and their impact on the world, traders have been […]
Wednesday, 25 september 2019
UK company Reaction Engines is developing its Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE), which could fly in space at Mach 25 and cut UK-Australia flight times to 'as little as four hours'The UK Space Agency announced Tuesday at the UK Space Conference 2019 that it would be […]
Friday, 27 september 2019
How to save your sanity with one click with Chrome's new Pause/Play feature.The button is convenient for those who typically have multiple tabs open, your computer volume up and need to quickly shut the music off. The new feature is still in its experimental phase, so it may function […]
Saturday, 05 october 2019
Don't eat Tide Pods. Do eat Glenlivet whisky capsules, if you're into that sort of thing.Glenlivet, known for its Speyside Scotch offerings, unveiled a set of cocktails this week that're served inside see-through seaweed-extract casings. You pop one in your mouth, bite down and […]
Tuesday, 24 september 2019
Oh, and it has a 108-megapixel camera.Yep, you read that […]