Review: Google’s Nest Hub Max Is Strong Competitor of Amazon’s Echo Show

Published on November 25, 2019
amazon echo show vs google nest hub max

Frustrated by the fact that that this was done only by JBL, Lenovo and LG, the7-inch Nest Hub was released by Google last year. The bigger Nest Hub Max ($229) is now being followed by Google this year.

The Nest Hub Max has a great camera as well as a bigger 10-inch display. The camera can be used for dual purposes. First, as a security camera and second, for video calls. It does not only use several of Google Assistant’s best features, but also some new tricks. This includes the ability to recognize and track you while you move around the room.


The Nest Hub Max looks like a tablet on an oval fabric stand. It is a scaled-out Nest Hub version with a smaller7-inch screen at 9.9 x 7.2 x 4 inches.

The understated yet sleek Max form is much better matched by the décor of your home. This is definitely a better design than the Amazon Echo Show.

At the top of the bezel is the Max camera, a switch that turns the microphone and the camera off. Click it, and the camera will turn amber with a small light to the right. It provides you with a visual indicator that nobody can see or hear.

In either a gray crayon or a charcoal gray finish, you can buy Nest Hub Max. You probably won’t notice the color unless you see its rear. From the front you can see only a small piece of the fabric base.


The 10-inch Nest Hub Max has a 1280×800 resolution, which looked great, just like the Amazon Echo show. It dimmed and lit up the screen automatically while viewing YouTube videos. Even the colors were adjusted to the room’s colors. The brightness of the screen can also be adjusted manually.

Gesture and audio control features

Featuring one 75 mm tweets 35W and two 18 mm 10W, the Max provides plenty of sound for its volume. Even in half volume my kitchen was packed with quality audio. There was a lot of bass, but vocals were clear and sharp in high and medium size.

Management is a limited but practical feature. You can raise your hand to pause playback if you are playing music or any other content on the Max. And you can resume another hand-raise. This is actually the only gesture that Max will understand and will only be able to work if the lens is not blocked. But it’s good to begin with, and it truly reacts.

Personalization and Facial Recognition

People use Google to store photos, create invitations to calendar and seek direction for many more things. And linking your Google account with the Nest Hub Max will make everything at your fingertips.

All this comes with Nest Hub Max’s Face Match technology without you having to do anything. Setting up Face Match was as easy a few seconds in the Google Home app as turning my head to side. Then I was identified by the Nest Hub Max camera, which greeted me with a “Hello” or “Good Morning” cherry.  The background pictures are the one thing that doesn’t change. The person who set up the device is fixed on the account.

Face Match is an opt-in service which can accommodate up to six people. So you don’t have to set it up if you do not like the idea of the electronics that you know who you are. Google also stated that only the device is used for all face recognition.

Google Duo Video Calls

When you wish to make video calls with the Nest Hub Max, you stuck with Google Duo.

Calling Google Duo on the Max with your own phone is somewhat difficult, if you have set it up on your own account. Google needs to open your phone with the Google Assistant app and say “video calling” or type in it. Google is adding a call home device to your Google Home app and the contact list for the Google Duo app to make things better.

The coolest part of the camera of the Nest Hub Max is that it can lock the camera to a subject. You can then digitally swap and zoom around a room to follow them.  The field of view is 127 degrees.

This feature is great since I could move from the fridge to the stove and follow my camera. It’s a bit slow, so it takes a second or two to catch up if you sprint through the room. I wish also that he zoomed on my face a little more, but I’ll give him some leeway for a new technology.

Video & Music

You can stream audio from those sources to Max if you have connected your Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify or Pandora to Google Home.

The Nest Hub Max can stream YouTube from the box and All Access, CBS, HBO Now, and Starz when it comes to video.

However, most services have a workaround. The nest hub is built into Chromecast, and the content can be streamed to Nest Hub Max from those services. Sadly, Netflix isn’t one of them.

Integration of Nest

You can also use the Max ‘ 6.5-MP camera as a Nest cam, although not as fully equipped as a safety camera on Google. For example, there is no vision of the night.

As part of the configuration process, you will need to press the Nest Protection button in a screen on the Google Home app. Then the app should include a “Next” icon that allows you to proceed to the next step. The icon does not appear because of a coding error and you cannot go any further.

Home Control Smart Features

Swipe down the Nest Hub Max display and a range of icons will welcome you, allowing you to control all of these devices.  A range of icons depends on how many thermostats you have connected to Google Home, smart light and other clever home gadgets.

Thread, an IoT communications protocol for smart home low power devices, is supported by Nest Hub Max. In addition, Apple, LG, Lutron, and many more form the Thread Group. There are not many Thread products. However, the Nest X Yale intelligent lock is one of the only devices to use it for now.

Final Verdict

The Nest Hub Max is approximately $100 higher than the Nest Hub at $229. But this gives you a stronger speaker, a bigger display and a great camera. The movement-tracking and face recognition features of the Nest Hub Max distinguish it from other intelligent displays.

It took Google longer than Amazon for a 10″ smart display to come out. But now the Echo Show with the launch of the Nest Hub Max has a more than worthy competitor.

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