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If you’ve wanted to add to your Google Assistant home setup without spending too much money, Best Buy has a new way that you could do that. The retailer has the original Nest Hub smart display for $40, or $50 off its normal price. This gadget came out in 2018 and has since been replaced by the sleep-tracking, second-generation Nest Hub — but if you’re willing to skip a few new features, you can get a largely similar device for one of the best prices we’ve seen.
We gave the original Nest Hub, formerly known as the Google Home Hub, a score of 87 when it first came out for its lovely 7-inch display, charming minimalist design and extra privacy thanks to a lack of a camera. It makes a good smart alarm clock, even if it is slightly larger than something like the Echo Show 5, but it also won’t look out of place on your kitchen countertop. It can even act as a digital photo frame if you use Google’s Live Albums feature. Plus, you can control smart home devices from its touchscreen, and it’ll show feeds from Nest security cameras so you can check in on any area of your home more easily.
So what will you miss out on if you opt for the previous-generation device instead of the new, $100 Nest Hub? It comes down to three main things: the Soli motion sensor, improved audio and a speedier Google Assistant. The Soli sensor enables gesture controls as well as sleep tracking, so you could position the new Nest Hub on your nightstand and it will track things like time asleep, sleep quality and snoring. We weren’t super impressed by the device’s nighttime tracking abilities, but we expect improvements to be made in future software updates.
As for sound and the Assistant, the new Nest Hub has the same audio system as the Nest Audio speaker, so it’s a big improvement over the original. Plus, the onboard machine-learning chip allows the Assistant to respond more quickly to queries and commands. Overall, the latest Nest Hub is an improvement on the original, but the first-generation device remains a solid option if you’re on a strict budget or if you feel you can safely skip the latest upgrades.
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