Since the first Nest Hub debuted back in 2018, there haven't been many changes to the Google smart display. Even though Google gave us a new version last year, the changes were primarily internal. So, unless you really know what you're looking for, if you put the two smart displays side by side — it's nearly impossible to tell the difference between them. With that said, here are three things we'd like to see in a Nest Hub 3.
Nest Hub 3: Time to expand
As one of the best smart displays out there, the second generation Nest Hub has a lot to offer, and there really isn't much that needs improving. However, its stale appearance could use a refresh. One of the reasons this is such a great smart display is its small footprint. The narrow fabric-wrapped base that houses the speaker provides good sound while not taking up too much of the tabletop. But it's time for some expansion.
Not in the footprint, though. Something that instantly stands out when looking at the front of the Nest Hub is the massive white bezel. A Nest Hub 3 could gain a larger screen without sacrificing more of our counter space by reducing the space surrounding the display. Currently, the Nest Hub sports a 7-inch screen — even picking up an inch would be nice. The Amazon Echo Show 8 offers an 8-inch display and is a big reason it's considered one of the best Alexa speakers.
While we're working on the display, let's give users a choice in bezel colors. Offering an alternative for users to pick the front bezel color would allow the Nest Hub to better blend into the person's home decor preferences. Perhaps to save on manufacturing SKUs, Google could go with a single color and then offer covers in different colors, similar to what they did for the base of the original Google Home.
Nest Hub 3: Be flexible
The next wish list item is a relatively small one but could make a big difference in usability — an adjustable display. One of the features I really enjoyed in my time reviewing the Meta Portal+ was the ability to tilt the display to improve the view.
Currently, the angle of the screen on the Nest Hub is not much off 90°. While that is great when viewing from a distance over five feet away, it isn't the best when standing closer, particularly when you get close enough to touch the display. This is where a tilting display would be very helpful in improving visibility on the screen and making for better ease of use when using the touchscreen functionality.
Nest Hub 3: Get better at sharing
Aside from the visual feedback a smart display offers, one of our favorite parts of using a Nest Hub is that it's a Chromecast target. This means that if you are watching a YouTube video on your phone, you can cast it to the Nest Hub to continue watching it. Of course, it doesn't only work with YouTube. Any service that supports Chromecast can work with the Nest Hub. But, viewing something that isn't able to be Cast can't be sent to the smart display.
For example, say you were to find a recipe or instructions for a project on Pinterest using your Android smartphone and want to use the larger Nest Hub display to view it. As of right now, you can't share what you've found on the smart display. A Nest Hub 3 should pick up support for Nearby Share as a way to send non-Chromecast content to the smart speaker.
Because the Nest Hub has a touchscreen, once the content is on the screen, you could simply scroll around it as you would on your phone. Part of this equation, though, would be the need for a browser, whether that is a full browser like the Amazon Echo Show 10 has or just the framework of Chrome, to allow for scrolling through shared content.
Not a lot of changes are necessary
The Nest Hub is a fantastic Google Assistant speaker. While it doesn't offer the most impressive audio chops, it does sound pretty good. So picking up something like the Nest Audio is a way to handle those times when you need more oomph from your speaker. But even though the hardware on the first-generation Nest Hub is getting up there in age, Google has continued to make improvements through software updates.
The Nest Hub 2nd Gen brought improved sound, processing speed, and sleep tracking, but those were hardware changes. The upcoming Google Fit and Fitbit integration is a feature that Google is able to add via software updates. So, hopefully, something like improved sharing can come to existing Nest Hubs. But changes to the physical display will need hardware — and we'd love to see that happen with a Nest Hub 3.
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