Reviewing the Google Home Hub
Move over Alexa, we've upgraded to Google Home!
Sure, Amazon's Alexa was innovative, intuitive and exciting however, it was also incredibly annoying as Alexa couldn't differentiate my accent from my husband's accent. Simple commands such as 'Alexa, play rain sounds' or 'what's the weather in Cork?' resulted in the usual response, 'I'm sorry, I don't understand'. In addition, Alexa was unable to understand directives in various languages and as someone married to a native French speaker, this was a ticking time-bomb!
It made sense for us to upgrade to the Google Home Hub as soon as it landed on the market. We've created a smart environment which includes our phones, TV, lighting and all features on the PC. For us, the choice was easy so off we went.... shopping online and purchased the hub for £90 pounds. And we haven't looked back.
We've kept the Google Home Hub in our bedroom as the features are well suited for this room.
My favourite command, 'Hey Google, bed time' results in the bedroom fan turning on, bedroom lamp becoming activated and Spotify plays my rain sounds playlist at my preferred volume. That's it folks, I'm ready to get some shut eye without lifting a finger. Technology is glorious.
A simple command of 'Hey, Google I'm up', translates to shut off the fan, the rain sounds and switch over to the local news.
As Google users, we are able to synchronise everything through our phones. This includes our Google Home Hub, Philips Hue lighting, smart plug for the bedroom fan and our shield device to activate our Samsung TV. So, if you're ever wanting to play pranks on your loved ones when you're out of the home and they're indoors.... you have everything at your fingertips! Mwuahhhhhh...
Our recent purchase of the Philips Hue lighting included LED strips and LED bulbs. Again, we can sync this to Google Home Hub so they are on timer or activate manually. We no longer turn on our expensive lighting as the intensity from the LED Philips Hue strips and bulbs have kept our costs down.
There are various scenes to choose from as Philips Hue offer a range of colours. I particularly like the Arctic Aurora scene which features blue tones for a relaxing and tranquil atmosphere.
The LED Philips Hue strips retail for approx £63 pounds and can be stuck onto any surface. They need to be plugged in so keep that in mind as a socket will have to be in proximity. We placed two (2) strips behind the upper counters to create a highlighted effect. The LED Philips Hue bulbs retail for £24.99 pounds and we placed these into 4 existing lamps in the living room, bedroom and corridor. Of course all are synced in so you can activate from the HUE app on your phone or directly though Google Home with voice control. You're also able to set the lights depending on sunrise/sunset which is very handy for those winter nights and arriving home to an empty, dark residence.
The Google Home Hub and Philips Hue lighting has changed our living space for the better. We're excited to see what's next which will likely include lighting for Christmas and additional smart plugs to sync up sound bars... who knows, the possibilities are endless but all in all, Google Home Hub was the best purchase to date!
PS. You don't have to be a geeky, tech enthusiast to operate any of the above. If you can navigate a smart phone, apps and a regular tablet then you'll have no problem. So don't be intimidated and start reducing your carbon footprint in your home.