With the smart speaker market becoming saturated, things are
still wide open with smart displays.

We’ll be taking a look today at Google Home Hub vs Echo Show

Before we go any further, though, we need to clear up the
naming conventions…

When Nest folded back into Google, the company streamlined all smart home devices rebranded as Google Nest.

The 7-inch display once called Google Home Hub is now Google Nest Hub. This smaller unit is in direct competition with Echo Show 5 and its 5 ½-inch display.

Google Nest Hub
ramps things up to a 10-inch screen to go mano à mano with Echo Show.

So, for a fair comparison, we’ll split what follows into a
look at:

  • Google Nest Hub vs Echo Show 5
  • Google Nest Hub Max vs Echo Show

Best Small Smart Displays: Google Nest Hub vs Echo Show 5

Since both Amazon and Google offer up more substantial smart
displays, these portable units are both ideal if you’re looking for a bedside

For many consumers, the choice between these smart displays
hinges entirely on the integrated voice assistant.

We’ll explore how these measure up across the board right

Design and Display

While both Nest Hub and Echo Show 5 are compact, Google’s
smart display is slightly bulkier.

Google Nest Hub has a 7-inch touchscreen while Echo Show measures up at 5 ½ inches. The definition is sharper on Google Nest Hub at 1024 x 600 compared to Echo Show’s 960 x 480.

Size comes into play in two ways…

Think about how often you’ll be using the device to stream
video. If you’ll be hitting YouTube or Netflix regularly, Google Nest Hub is
your best bet.

Perhaps you’d like an alarm clock and bedside virtual
butler. If so, the slightly more compact Echo Show 5 makes the neatest fit.

While Echo Show is only available in black or white, you’ll
get a choice of 4 colors from Google.

We feel the overall aesthetic is slightly sleeker on Google
Nest Hub but this is pretty subjective. Both look lean enough to blend in
rather than dominate.

So far and so good for each of these smart displays. How about
the sound, though?


Smart speaker and smart displays, with the exception of Google Home Max and Apple HomePod, have always been notoriously weak on the audio front.

The thing is, this is not particularly surprising. Most
people – and, if you’re reading this, you’re likely among them – do not buy
these devices as a primary listening device. Hands-free home automation
harnessing those powerful voice assistants is the primary use case.

Both of these smart displays could best be described as average in terms of the soundscape.

Where Echo Show 5 scores is by bundling a 3.5mm audio
output. This allows you to uprate audio fidelity by hooking up an external

With those basics in place, how about more general features?


Echo Show 5 comes with a camera onboard, so you’ll be able to make and receive video calls. Although many people might consider that a serious flaw with Google Nest Hub, for others it means an increase in privacy with no always-on recording device.

Privacy really is uppermost with Google in the wake of
widespread data security breaches over recent years. Google devices will only
record when you’re talking to them or when you specifically ask them to record.

Echo Show 5 has a built-in camera cover and you can physically disable the microphone. This is a definite step up from the second-generation Echo Show.

Echo Show 5 allows you to watch the feed from a broad range of security cameras while Google Nest Hub only works with Nest cameras. This type of closed ecosystem might be off-putting unless you’re already invested in Nest gear.

Do you plan to use your smart display as a digital art
frame? If so, Google Nest Hub allows you to hook up to Google Photos while Echo
Show 5 is much more limited in this capacity.

Not only does Echo Show 5 occupy less space on your bedroom dresser, but the sunrise alarm is also a remarkably energizing way to ease power into your day. The light on its screen gradually brightens as you approach the time of your alarm. This leads to a more gentle start to your morning.

How about those all-important digital butlers, then?

Digital Assistants

The choice between Alexa and Google Assistant comes down
largely to personal preference.

In terms of workday basics and help organizing your day, these digital assistants are roughly comparable.

Search is more robust from Google Assistant which is hardly
surprising. Ask yourself, though, how often you’ll making involved queries.

Alexa’s skills give her an edge over Assistant. Again, think
about whether you’ll actually use many of these.

Streaming Services

If you spend a lot of time on YouTube, Google Nest Hub is
the obvious choice. You’ll get a seamless experience compared to the much
clunkier navigation delivered on Echo Show 5. The ability to search for videos
with voice commands puts Nest Hub ahead.

Echo Show 5’s strength is based on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Daily Motion.

As with most aspects of your buying decision, what you
choose here depends pretty much entirely on personal taste.

What about using your AI-powered pal for smart control,

Smart Home Interoperability

There’s no contest in terms of the number of compatible
devices. While this number is always shifting, Alexa plays nicely with more
tech than Google Assistant.

The touchscreen controls on Echo Show 5 give you a more
limited experience in terms of automation than the more robust Google Nest Hub.

Think closely here about what smart home devices you already
have in place and what tech you’re thinking of installing in the future. This
should inform your decision in terms of which makes the most powerful ally in
your connected home.

We’re not here to deliver an outright verdict today. As
we’ve mentioned repeatedly, in most areas the choice between Google Nest Hub
and Show 5 is personal. This is something we continually draw your attention
here at Smarthome. The only thing that counts when you’re building a connected
home is finding the best solution for you. Keep things personal every step of
the way!

We’ll round out today with a look at Google Nest Hub Max vs Echo Show (Second-Generation).

Best Full-Sized Smart Displays: Google Nest Hub Max vs Echo Show

If you’re looking for a smart display with a larger screen –
invaluable if you stream a lot of video – you’ve got a straight-up choice
between Google Nest Hub Max and the classic Echo Show. Google Nest Hub Max is a
reasonably recent addition while Echo Show is retooled and now into its second

How do the pair of displays shape up, then?

Design and Display

Echo Show packs a 10.1-inch screen and Hub Max a 10-incher.

Resolution is 1280 x 800 on both devices so there’s really
little to choose between them here.

With Echo Show, the speaker base is tapered behind with a
material cover. You’ll find a power port in the center at the back, and volume
and microphone buttons up at the top. The camera is integrated front and
center. The display is black with a black bezel. This makes Echo Show look
beefier than Google Nest Hub Max.

Google Nest Hub Max has white bezels and the same material-covered
speaker base. Microphone and physical volume buttons sit behind. There’s a
power port at the back in the middle of the base. The ambient sensor is located
here, too. This is a lovely touch and automatically adjusts and optimizes
brightness levels.

There really is precious little to choose between these
devices in terms of pure looks and display.


Google Nest Hub Max’s 2.1 speaker serves up more power than
the smaller Google Nest Hub. Sound is still underwhelming, though.

Echo Show boasts a pair of 2-inch drivers and a passive bass radiator. This offers a serviceable sound but it’s nothing approaching the audio quality of something like the Sonos One.

If you want multi-room sound, you can link the Echo Show to other Echo speakers. You can hook up Google Nest Hub Max to Chromecast-supported speakers to achieve the same effect.

As we always point out, smart speakers and smart displays
are not intended to perform as primary listening devices so take this into

How do they stack up in terms of general functionality,


Hub Max comes with a Nest camera baked in. This works much
like Nest Cam IQ serving up person detection and intruder alerts. You will need
a paid subscription to Nest Aware for this, though.

Chromecast support is a nice touch on Hub Max.

One of Echo Show’s primary selling points is the integrated
Zigbee home hub. This allows you to take hands-free control of other compatible
devices without needing a third-party gateway.

The camera built into Echo Show is not as strong as the one
onboard Hub Max. You’ll be able to make and receive video calls on both devices
but it’s a reasonable hassle.

By hooking up Hub Max to the app, you’ll enjoy a live feed on your smartphone of the room your smart display sits in. With the Nest Aware subscription, you’ll get 30 days of video footage stored.

With Echo Show, you’ll be able to drop into a device but it
needs to be switched on so you don’t have quite the same security.

What about the entertainment side of things?

Streaming Services

Echo Show gives you a choice of 6 main music streaming

  • Amazon Music
  • iHeartRadio
  • Pandora              
  • Spotify
  • TuneIn
  • Vevo

Amazon Music alone comes with tens of millions of tracks
free for Prime members. You can also avail yourself of Amazon Music Unlimited.

Google Nest Hub Max wins out here, though. This is down to
the support of YouTube Music. What more can you ask for?

The choice of video streaming services is strong on both
devices but marginally better on Hub Max.

And then there’s smart home control…

Smart Home Interoperability

Do you have lots of Nest products already installed before
the rebranding to Google Nest?

Or perhaps you’ve invested heavily into creating that fabled
Ring of Security around your smart home courtesy of Amazon-owned Ring.

This is the key difference between these 2 devices in terms
of smart home control so think about the ecosystem you have in place.

Final Word

Well, with that quartet of smart displays compared for you,
you should have a clear idea of which would make the best fit.

Bookmark our blog as your go-to resource for home automation. From product reviews and smart home news to advice for beginners and how-to guides, we’ve got you covered here at Smarthome.

We have a very busy holiday season lined up and we’ve got a great deal of fresh content coming up for you as always. See you soon!

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