Google Nest Hub Gen2: Knows when you’re asleep (safety/speaker fix)

Google Nest Hub Gen2 is a classic smart speaker from Google with a 7″ touchscreen display and a Soli radar smart motion/sleep sensor that can track sleep habits.

The addition of a screen makes the Google Nest Hub Gen2 more useful as a smart speaker, as it can offer voice responses and excerpts from images and text. It is also a good Netflix and YouTube player.

I want to address the somewhat controversial sleep tracking before I get into the review. First, you don’t have to use it, and second, it will become a paid service in 2023 if you do. So for now, all you need to know is that Sleep Sensing tracks your sleep and gives you personalized insights and advice for more restful sleep. It makes it easy to understand what might be affecting your sleep. It can detect your breathing rate and sleep disorders like coughing, snoring, and bathroom visits. Since it only works for the person closest to the speaker, you would need one on each side of the bed for double occupancy.

Australian Review: Google Nest Hub Gen2

TO website here
Price $149 RRP but on Google for $99 until 12/9/2022
Warranty One year
Country of manufacture Thailand
Company Google is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related products and services, including online advertising, a search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. It is considered one of the Big Five US tech companies with Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft.
Other CyberShack Google Nest news and reviews

We used Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations), and Exceeded (exceeds expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. Occasionally we give a Pass (capable) rating that is not as good as it should be and a ‘+’ Pass rating to show that it is good but falls short of Exceed.

You can click on most images to enlarge them.

First Impression: Very Google and Nice White Front and Chalk or Charcoal Back: Approved+

It is first and foremost a smart mono speaker with a screen. But the screen adds so much more. Ask it the weather, and it will tell you the highs and lows, as well as show you the full weather for the day. Since it is a general question, it will answer and show the reference site and more information. Or ask him for a recipe, and chances are he’ll show a video on how to make it too.

But it is also smarter. It has a temperature sensor (for room temperature) and an Ambient display that adjusts to light levels in the room. Plus, it pairs with any Google Home device and can be used for video security camera footage, to control smart lights/devices, and more—Google Smart.

Setup – Easy via Google Home – Swipe

Plug it in, wait a few minutes, and open Google Home. It should find the speaker (if not, move it closer to the router during setup). Connect to Wi-Fi, give it a name, and place it in a room, such as a bedroom. That’s it.

Privacy: pass if you don’t let me know you

To be fair, you have to trust someone, and Google Android is on over 80% of the world’s smartphones. Its revenue model is to provide you with targeted advertisements and it will never sell individually identifiable personal data. It’s much less intrusive/persuasive than Alexa, with an Amazon sales approach.

You have two options when setting it up. You can customize it based on your voice (and others in the home) or just use guest mode.

If you customize it, it opens your Gmail, Calendar, Contacts and more, so it can be your assistant. It will tell you how your day is and remember your playlists and preferences. I’m not sure Australia is ready for that yet.

Guest mode simply answers all questions. In either case, you need at least one Google account to set it up, and all conversations are saved to that account. You can then select the period before deletion.

And if you’re paranoid, there’s a button to turn off all three far-field mics (good for about 5 meters).

Sound – pretty good – Approved

It has a 43.5mm (1.7″) mono driver with a frequency response of 40Hz to 20kHz. It can get loud at over 80dB, but the sound suffers from harshness at that level.

It has some mid bass, good high bass, and is relatively flat at about 5 kHz (for clear vocals). You wouldn’t call it hi-fi, but it’s perfect for quiet music to go to sleep and not bad for listening to Netflix or YouTube. You can also ask it to add more bass, etc.

Transmit – listen, listen – Pass

You can broadcast a message to one or more Google speakers. Very useful as an intercom in the home.

Duo – video calls – Subscription

You can use it for Google Duo calls to or from any Android smartphone. The only drawback is that it doesn’t have a camera, so you can’t make a video call. Google thought most would be used in the bedroom, leaving the camera out. Call charges do not apply. Excellent.

Alarms, reminders and more: Swipe

You can use it to set multiple alarms. These are only on the device, not in the cloud. If you have a blackout, you won’t get the alarm, so always back up with your smartphone.

Motion Detection Means Hand Gestures – Swipe

Quick Gestures uses Motion Sense to detect when your hand moves, without a camera. Play or pause a song or video, snooze an alarm, and stop a timer.

Photo Frame – Pass

You can select your photos uploaded to Google Photos for a screensaver or slideshow. These are sharp and vibrant.

Size: Reasonably small for bedside use: Pass+

177.4 (width) x 120.4 (height) 69.5mm footprint x 558g. It comes with a 15W Google plug charger. It connects to Wi-Fi 5 2.4 or 5GHz. Voice is fine on 2.4Ghz, but video is better on 5GHz.

CyberShack review: Google Nest Hub Gen2 is the smart speaker of choice

I like this audio and video device; my only problem is that it doesn’t have a camera, so I need to use the Google Nest Hub Max ($349) for video calls.

But other smart video speakers, notably the Lenovo Smart Displays 7, 8 and 10, have cameras and full Google smart speaker capability (they may be running low).

He is excellent at what he does and earns an unqualified purchase recommendation.

Google Nest Hub Gen2 Audio Video Display

$149 RRP but on Google for $99 until 12/9/2022

Google Nest Hub Gen 2


  • Easy to set up and use
  • Clear audio and sharp video display – much better than a Google Nest Mini
  • Slide show or time display
  • The sound is fit for purpose.
  • Sync with Spotify, Netflix, YouTube and more


  • No camera (can be a blessing)
  • You don’t have to wear the sleep monitor (a good thing)

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