IF you’re thinking of a smart speaker to replace a radio or something to connect up other ‘smart’ gadgets you have in the house, a smart screen makes a lot of sense. The visual aide makes controlling things like lights or calendars a lot easier.

But in terms of other things you might expect them to do, they’re a mixed bag for functionality. Google’s new Nest Hub is handy as a fancy bedside alarm clock or a kitchen counter-top radio that plays YouTube videos and reminds you of lists you’ve made, but it misses out on some things that could make it a compelling home gadget.

Its audio quality is relatively basic and, because it doesn’t have a camera, you can’t use it for things we really need to stay in touch right now, like video calls.