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Google Home Hub vs. Lenovo Smart Display: Which should you buy?

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

Google Home Hub

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With its super simple and compact design, Google made it clear this is the smart display you get when space is an issue. You can put this anywhere and get the best of Google Assistant right where you are.

Google Home Hub

Bedside Companion

Compact design
Crisp display
Rear-firing speakers limit where you can place this hub

Lenovo Smart Display

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Lenovo made a simple display that sounds great and does everything while looking great, but it's not a design that works in every room of the house. In the kitchen, however, it's fantastic.

Lenovo Smart Display

Kitchen Powerhouse

Huge, beautiful display
Front-firing speaker puts you in the music
Security slider for camera
Design makes it very wide
A little pricey

Google makes the software powering both of these experiences, but the way the hardware is designed and the price tag means these displays are for very different kinds of users.

The smartest display

You can put a Lenovo Smart Display in the kitchen and get a great experience with heaps of features, but Google's Home Hub was clearly designed to live in more places. It's compact enough to be a bedside clock of sorts, or to tuck away on a shelf in the laundry room. These design decisions aren't huge when it comes to the overall experience, unless the amount of space you have really matters.

Lenovo Smart DisplayGoogle Home Hub
Display8-inch/10-inch7-inch
Speakers10w + 2 passive tweeters"Multi-room" audio
Microphone2x2 Dual mic array2 mic array
Wireless2x2 802.11ac MIMO802.11ac
BluetoothBluetooth 4.2Bluetooth 5
Camera720p
Google Cast
Google Duo
Price$199/$249$149

Google's Home Hub comes in at $100 less than the 10-inch Lenovo Smart Display, but it's clear you lose a lot more than three inches of display with that price drop. Instead of using a privacy shutter on the camera like Lenovo did, Google chose to release a smart display capable of receiving video chats as a core feature with no camera to send back video. Google's microphone array and WiFi array in the Home Hub also appear to be less capable than Lenovo's offering, and while the speakers are certainly comparable the design of the Home Hub places the audio away from you by design. This doesn't work well in every room, especially places like the kitchen where the audio is competing with everything else making noise.

Still, that price tag is difficult to argue with. At $149 you get an extremely capable visual companion to Google Assistant, including the ability to stream video not only from YouTube but also dozens of other video streaming apps through Google Cast. That makes it possible to basically have a TV in places you wouldn't ordinarily put one, and the compact design makes it very easy to put in places you simply can't fit a Lenovo Smart Display.

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter