The best Google Assistant smart displays in 2022
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The best Google Assistant smart displays in 2022
Google Assistant is widely considered one of the best virtual assistants out there. While Alexa may be better at smart home functionality, thanks to its many integrations, we found in our guide to the best smart speakers that Google Assistant is generally a more socially adept virtual assistant. Subsequently, finding a smart display compatible with Google Assistant should be easy, right?
Actually, there are only a select few smart displays that are compatible with the popular virtual assistant and updated enough to warrant your attention. We'll cover your best options when it comes to smart displays that work with Google Assistant, and the choice should be clear depending on what you're looking for.
Launched in mid-2021, the second iteration of the Google Nest Hub is still very much in the discussion for the best smart display for Google Assistant. It's well-positioned to be the central hub for your Google Assistant-powered smart home with a good enough audio quality to get you by. The speaker is mounted on the back, though, so if you've got it in the middle of your room, you might miss out on some balance. The display is big and clear enough for virtually any user, and the motion sense functionality makes sure you get to look at it when you need to.
It doesn't provide much information when not in use, but it still makes for a great digital picture frame. One of the best features of the Google Nest Hub is the sleep sensing feature. This feature will remain free on the device until 2023, when it will become part of the FitBit premium package. The device impressively sleep tracks as effectively as any wearable, which is saying something for a smart display.
Take note if you have a large pet, though, as the device does have trouble differentiating between large dogs and people sleeping. While sleep sense will eventually cost extra, you'll still get a full year of it for free, and at the $99 price, the Nest Hub remains a great option for your smart display needs.
- Display: 7-inch LCD, 1024x600
- Colors: Chalk, Charcoal, Mist, Sand
- List price: $99
- Dimensions: 4.7 x 7 x 2.9 inches
- Weight: 19.7 oz
- Impressive sleep tracking feature
- Comprehensive motion sense functionality
- Reasonably priced
- Sleep tracking ruined by pets in bed
- Rear-facing speaker makes for unbalanced sound
- Substantial bezels
If we're talking about what you get without considering the price, the Google Nest Hub Max is the best option easily. The sound quality is much better than the original Google Nest Hub. Additionally, the bright display is very clear. It supports Ambient EQ for an even better visual experience, and the face matching makes the personalization features that much easier to access for your day. You'll also get some handy gesture features that react to simple hand motions for actions like playing and pausing music. You may be familiar if you had the Pixel 4, but using it on a smart display feels infinitely more practical than using it on a smartphone. However, when we say premium pick, we mean premium. At $229, the Google Nest Hub Max is more than double the price of the Nest Hub. Is it worth that massive price increase? You'd have to judge that, but it seems like a lot for sound quality that still isn't perfect due to the back-mounted speakers and limited customization options while not in use. The only comparable device at that price range is the Amazon Echo Show 10 at $250, which offers better audio quality, but you have to use Alexa.
- Display: 10" LCD 1280 x 800
- Colors: Chalk, Charcoal
- List price: $229
- Dimensions: 4 x 9.8 x 7.2 inches
- Much better audio than Nest Hub
- Excellent face match technology
- Bright display that supports Ambient EQ.
- Not ideal for security or surveillance
- Limited display customization while not in use
- Quite expensive
This isn't your typical smart display, as it wouldn't fit in a kitchen or living room as much as the Nest Hub series. However, the Lenovo Smart Clock 2 does a great job of bringing the smart display energy to the bedroom in a way that isn't too intrusive. The device is much smaller than the other options on this list, making it easy to fit on your nightstand without leaving room for your bedside necessities. The Lenovo Smart Clock 2 is also equipped with a night light feature, so you won't have to battle the brightness to fall asleep.
It understandably doesn't have the full functionality of a smart display like the Nest Hub Max. Still, it is compatible with Google Assistant, so your room lighting controls, alarms, music, photos, weather, and routines will all remain intact. The biggest perk for the Lenovo Smart Clock 2 is the $20 wireless charging dock. It provides 10W Magsafe Qi wireless charging exactly where you want it: right next to your bed.
This dock brings some significant improvements to the convenience of the Lenovo Smart Clock 2, with the wireless charging being flexible and reliable enough for a drop-and-forget charging experience. The dock, unfortunately, is not flexible enough to be moved to the other side of the smart display, so hopefully, your nightstand or dresser isn't too cluttered to accommodate the device on either side.
- Display: 4-inch LCD 800x480
- Colors: Blue, Grey
- List price: $89
- Dimensions: 4.2 x 8.6 inches
- Weight: 1.1 lbs
- Small enough for a nightstand
- Great wireless charging base for only $20 more
- Simple night light feature for easy sleeping
- Small display with low resolution
- Charging base can only be on one side
- No 5GHz Wi-Fi support
The best Google Assistant smart displays
With so few and varied options for Google Assistant-enabled smart displays, your choice should be pretty clear depending on what you want. If you're looking for a smart display for your kitchen or living room and don't have unlimited funds, the Google Nest Hub is your go-to option. It offers all the Google Assistant functionality you'd want out of a central hub smart display, including a big display, good enough audio quality, and motion sense functionality to give you the whole experience.
The Lenovo Smart Clock, on the other hand, is geared toward bedroom usage. It functions mainly as an alarm clock with a bit of flare. Despite not being made by Google, it is compatible with Google Assistant, although it has a few rudimentary restrictions when it comes to advanced features like streaming. Still, the low price and the wireless charging dock (which only costs $20 extra) make this an ideal pick for someone looking to expand their smart home ecosystem.
If you're a bit less restricted by budget, the Google Nest Hub Max is an easy recommendation. Improved audio quality, gesture and face-matching technology, and a better display make the difference between the two Google-branded options on this list. However, that price tag will definitely hurt your wallet, so if you're worried about price, there are two other great options on this list that will be much better for your budget.
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Conor Cawley (20 Articles Published)
Conor Cawley is the Senior Writer for Tech.co and an avid defender of all things Android. His expertise in tech has been on display in Forbes and he has participated in events with SXSW, Tech in Motion, and General Assembly. He's also a stand-up comedian in Chicago who can't pronounce the word "colloquially." Twitter: @ConorCawley
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