Google Nest Hub Now Available in Canada and It Immediately Gets New Competition from Echo Show 5
The Google Nest Hub launched in Canada earlier this week and is available in four colors for $169 CAD through the Google Store and 15 other retailers. It has a 7-inch touchscreen display and is powered by Google Assistant. The Google Home Hub was introduced in the U.S. last year and was recently rebranded at this year’s Google I/O as Nest Hub. In addition to a new name, the device is now $20 cheaper in price and has expanded into 12 more markets globally supporting nine languages.
As Google explains, “Hub helps with the little moments so you can enjoy the big moments.” The Hub as the same capabilities as other Google Assistant powered smart speakers in addition to other multi-modal features. It has digital frame feature for photo viewing that connects to Google Photos and the ability to play videos from YouTube.
However, this move comes in the same week that Amazon introduced its own new smart display in Canada. Amazon has sold the Echo Show 2nd generation with a 10-inch screen and the Amazon Echo Spot with a 2.5-inch screen, both smart displays, in Canada since 2018. Yesterday, the company announced it will begin shipping the Echo Show 5, a 5.5-inch smart display that includes the Alexa voice assistant. Amazon.ca is selling Echo Show 5 along bundled with an Echo Dot 3rd Generation for $134.98 CAD and has a planned ship date of June 26th. Along with the new Lenovo Smart Clock, the Echo Show 5 and Google Nest Hub seem to be fighting for the same home location, the bedroom nightstand while larger 10-inch screen devices will compete for the kitchen and living room.
Google Aims to Hold Smart Speaker Market Lead in Canada
Google Home first debuted in Canada in summer 2017 beating Amazon Echo to the market by nearly six months, a first for the Google device. According to a Media Technology Monitor and CBC/Radio Canada survey, Google Home is by far the most popular smart speaker in Canada. eMarketer reported in January that 5.8 million people in Canada use smart speakers or 15.7% of the population. Voicebot research indicated that smart speaker ownership in the U.S. grew 40% in 2018 counting 26.5% of adults as users.
Google plans to release Hub Max at the end of the summer to 12 countries outside the U.S., including Canada. The new smart display is 3” larger than the Nest Hub, has a camera and uses personalized gesture recognition. The option to “Face Match” means the Hub Max will automatically recognize the user, allowing preferences and settings to be specific to each person in a household. The Nest Hub Max will retail for $299.