Google has officially announced its first smart display, which will compete with the likes of the Amazon Echo Show, and it’s called the Google Home Hub.

The Google Home Hub isn’t the Google Assistant’s first outing on a smart display. That honour goes to the Lenovo Smart Display and JBL Link View, but this is the first offering made by Google. Unfortunately, first-party products are not always the best, and that’s evident when comparing the Google Home Hub to those currently available.

Unlike the Lenovo Smart Display and JBL Link View, the Google Home Hub has not been designed for video calling. It’s not overly surprising that Google would omit a front-facing camera from its own device, after all the firm isn’t exactly the most trusted when it comes to privacy – but that didn’t seem to stop Facebook with its smart display.

The software on the Google Home Hub is pretty much identical to what is offered on third-party devices, but Google is adding a few special features to entice consumers. That includes the ability to filter content not deemed family friendly and a ‘downtime’ mode that will mute all notifications other than those deemed important – such as alarms. Google is also bringing a ‘Home View’ feature that will make the Google Home Hub the centre of a smart home – with the ability to have an overview of every smart device installed directly on the screen.

There’s no word on whether these features will eventually filter out to third-party devices, but they will be available on the Google Home Hub from day one. Google also claims that the Home Hub is the ‘best photo frame’, with the display itself auto-adjusting to the ambient lighting, while photos from Google Photos will automatically show up on the device. The company’s AI tech will ensure that blurry photos don’t show up however.

The Google Home Hub will be available in the UK, US and Australia from October 22 for $149. Those that purchase the device before the new year will also receive six months of free music streaming, which includes YouTube Music.

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