Nest to the MAX

Nest Hub Max

Biggest of Show

Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen)

The Nest Hub Max offers a nice, large touchscreen interface to the Google world. View timers, check your calendar, or watch recipes unfold on its fantastic display. The new Face Match feature is great because it will recognize you and show you your relevant content, and the Nest integration also serves as a gateway to your smart home security.

$230 at Best Buy

Pros

  • Face Match feature is cool
  • Physical mic and camera cover switch
  • Google Photos integration for a smart frame

Cons

  • Nest Cam features not fully baked
  • Rear-firing speakers could be better placed

The Echo Show (2nd Gen) marked a major design shift from the previous generation with its rounded corners and soft fabric finish. Where the Nest Hub started small and scaled up, the Echo Show spawned two smaller versions to round out the family of products. It is a great smart home device, particularly when paired with Amazon's array of Ring or Blink security products.

$230 at Amazon

Pros

  • Zigbee smart hub built-in
  • Dobly processing built-in
  • Available with a free smart bulb

Cons

  • No physical camera cover
  • Hasn't been updated in over a year

If you're in the market for a smart screen and you have the counter space for one of these behemoths, you'll want to think about which ecosystem your existing devices are compatible with, which smart assistant you prefer, and what your aesthetic is. We'll consider how these devices are similar and where they differ to help make your decision a bit easier.

Buy one Galaxy S10 or Note 10 and get one free at Verizon

What the specs say

The Nest Hub Max is nearly a year newer than the Echo Show (2nd Gen), but in most areas that doesn't matter too much. Let's dive into the specs a bit before we weight the pros and cons of Nest versus Echo.

Nest Hub Max Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen)
Price $230 $230
Smart Assistant Google Assistant Alexa
Screen 10" touchscreen 10.1" touchscreen
Speakers 2 x .7" 10W tweeters, 1 x 2.95" 30W woofer 2 x 2.2" at 10W per channel
Size 9.85" x 7.19" x 3.99" 9.7" x 6.9" x 4.2"
Weight 2.91 lbs 3.89 lbs
Smart Home Integration Works with Google Assistant program Zigbee hub and Amazon Certified for Humans program
Camera 6.5MP 5MP
Camera Controls Physical mic and camera cover switch Electronic mic and camera button
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0 A2DP support

Nest Hub Max: The good and bad

Google saw how much its users loved the Nest Hub and the success of Amazon's Echo Show line, and decided the natural evolution of the Nest Hub product was to kick it up a notch. As Russell Holly said in his review of the Nest Hub Max, it took everything good about the smaller version and just made it bigger.

In addition to a bigger screen and better speakers, Google added some nifty software enhancements and integrations. The Face Match feature allows the device to recognize individual users and display notifications and updates that are relevant to them. This feature has to be enabled but is great for multi-user households. The Nest Hub was already a great Google Photos live picture frame, and the bigger screen only enhances that use case.

The Nest Hub Max functions as a great smart home controller, but it can also function as a Nest Cam. If you have a Nest Aware subscription you can enable continuous video recording, familiar face alerts, and other nifty Nest features. Our Modern Dad Phil Nickinson commented in his review that this may not be the killer feature Google makes it out to be, but if you're already a Nest Aware subscriber or are heavily invested in that security ecosystem, it could be a useful addition.

Many already prefer the Google Assistant over Amazons Alexa because they find more utility from the service. With the ability to plug into all of the great Google apps and services, those people are going to be much happier with the Nest Hub Max than with a competing smart screen device.

Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen): The good and bad

Amazon Echo Show 2nd GenSource: Android Central

As with the original Echo smart speaker, the original Echo Show essentially pioneered a new smart device form factor. Last updated in the fall of 2018, the Echo Show (2nd Gen) continued iterating on this successful model, eventually paving the way to an entire class of screened Echo devices like the Show 5 and Show 8 (and don't forget about the Echo Spot!).

This iteration is a year old now, but it still has a lot going for it. The design still looks modern and fresh and is in keeping with the rest of Amazon's product line, and its speakers and screen are on par with other devices in its class. It has a built-in Zigbee smart home hub, which when paired with Amazon's new Certified for Humans program means that almost any smart device that you can imagine can easily be paired with the Echo Show (2nd Gen). And the giant 10.1-inch touchscreen makes a great portal for viewing Blink smart camera or Ring doorbell video feeds, or adjusting your Privacy Hub settings.

Where the Echo Show (2nd Gen) starts to fall in this comparison is in the differences a year of spec updates can make. Unlike the Nest Hub Max or the smaller Echo Show devices, this product does not have physical controls to cover/disable the microphone or camera on the device. While its speakers sound pretty good, it doesn't have the deeper base sound that the Nest Hub Max has, thanks to its woofer. The camera is not quite as good as Google's, and the device also weighs almost a full pound more.

So what's the better bigger screen?

Pictured: Nest Hub Max.

We love what Amazon is doing with its Echo Show line and particularly the Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 devices. However, we think that in this head-to-head showdown the Nest Hub Max is the clear winner. It has a year-long lead in terms of hardware upgrades, and Google has baked in some pretty nifty new software features to make this worthy of your consideration. The Face Match feature is particularly useful for a multi-user household, and allowing the device to serve not only as a portal to view and control your smart home devices but also to serve as a smart camera itself is cool.

If you are happily ensconced in the Amazon ecosystem, the Echo Show (2nd Gen) is still a great choice. There are so many devices and services that integrate seamlessly with Alexa that controlling your smart home is a breeze. You can also pair multiple Echo devices and smart speakers together for an in-house intercom system or multi-room speaker setup, which is pretty handy!

Bigger is better

Nest Hub Max

More Max to love

Improved speakers and a larger screen combine seamlessly with really interesting software enhancements to make a solid upgrade from the original Nest Hub.

More to show off

Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen)

All eyes on me

This is the biggest and baddest of the Echo Show product line, and worth a look if you are all in on Alexa.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.