This gadget that every smart home should have is just $80 right now

Google Nest Hub
Google Nest Hub (Image credit: Android Central)

Over the years, I've added quite a few smart home products to my apartment. I've got smart bulbs in just about every light, a smart switch is controlling my Christmas tree lights this year, and there's a smart speaker/display is nearly every room.

I think smart home tech is some of the coolest out there, and out of every gadget and gizmo I've tested, the Google Nest Hub is the one I keep coming back to time and time again.

The Nest Hub doesn't have the very best sound or features compared to some of the competition, but at just $80 during the Black Friday weekend, it's the smart home hub I can't recommend enough.

I've got the Nest Hub in my office right below my computer display, meaning that whatever's on it is within my line of sight. This means I can quickly glance down and check the time and weather at any point throughout the day, and see an ongoing slideshow of all my pictures stored in Google Photos.

As minor as it may sound, that may be one of my favorite features about the Nest Hub. If you're like most people and already have all your memories backed up to Google Photos, getting them on the Nest Hub requires just a couple of taps. You can have it play through photos in a specific library, or random selections of your most recent snapshots. You get a similar feature on the competing Amazon Echo Show, but it requires uploading your pictures to Amazon Photos (something you likely haven't already done) and tends to be a lot more cumbersome in my experience.

Something else I love about the Nest Hub is the user interface on the display — specifically the hub for controlling smart home devices. With a swipe down from the top of the screen, you can easily control smart lights, thermostats, security cameras, and more. For someone like me with a heap of smart devices scattered throughout my apartment, it's the perfect way to check and see which lights are on and what the thermostat is currently set at.

I also love using the Nest Hub as a way to play YouTube videos for background noise while I work, listen to podcasts, make phone calls, you name it. With a quick "Hey Google" command to get the Google Assistant's attention, you can ask virtually anything that comes to mind.

As for the hardware of the Nest Hub, it's excellent. The fabric back gives it a nice homey appearance, with the display appearing to float in the air the way it rests on the base. The 7-inch screen also looks fantastic, with it automatically adjusting the color temperature based on the surrounding light. You do miss out on a camera for video calls and audio quality is just OK, but for the way I use the Nest Hub, neither of those things really bother me.

Sure, you could argue that the Nest Hub Max is the better purchase as it's also on sale and offers a few notable upgrades, but for how cheap the regular Nest Hub is being sold for right now, I think it makes more sense for most people.

I've had the Nest Hub as a prominent addition to my smart home for well over a year at this point, and at just $80 for the Black Friday weekend, I may have to pick up another one. It's that good.

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.