Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) side

Google’s next Nest Hub could feature a detachable tablet that could be removed from the speaker dock for portable use, according to a new report.

9to5Google sources say the next-generation Nest Hub 2022 will look more like a traditional smart display when the tablet is docked, but would be more versatile for use around the home. The report is very light on detail, but sources said the device is likely to arrive in 2022.

The site pointed out Google has been adding tablet-like elements to the operating system deployed on the current Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max models. There’s a better web browser with access to a version of the Gboard keyboard, for example.

Web browsing in particular isn’t really something you’d associate with a smart display, so this could be Google prepping for the next-generation, which will double up as a tablet as well as a static screen that lives in the bedroom or kitchen.

It’s not clear what operating system the new device could run, but it’s plausible that Google could fit the display with a version of Android that also includes access to the Play Store.

Google’s smart displays could do with a revamp. The second generation Nest Hub was released last year and marketed more as an affordable bedside device. It added the Google Soli motion-sending radar, which assisted with media control and sleep sensing.

It still earned a 4.5/5 star review from Trusted Reviews in 2021, largely down to the excellent functionality and affordable price tag. There wasn’t really a compelling reason to upgrade though, which is why we might be in line for a more significant revamp in 2022.

Our reviewer David Ludlow wrote: “The Nest Hub (2nd gen) is a product that’s hard to rate, as there’s a lot the same from the previous generation. In fact, if you have the original Nest Hub, then I don’t see any particular reason to upgrade to this model, as the new features aren’t that great: Sleep Sensing is clever, but restrictive positioning and the fact that it will be a subscription feature in the future don’t make it a must-have.”

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