The Google Home Hub is one of the niftiest little gadgets set to hit the market, but a criticism of the Google branded Smart Display is that without a camera it’s a little lacking next to its cousins from Lenovo and JBL. But even without a camera, it can still be used for voice calls.

In a briefing with Google Australia yesterday it was confirmed that the Home Hub does indeed support their Duo calling app. You obviously can’t transmit video without a camera in the Home Hub, but you can however still see video from users making a video call.

There wasn’t a demonstration of the function, however it should be accessed by using Google Assistant to initiate a call.

At this stage, Google hasn’t spoken about using other apps for voice calling, or video calling on their Smart Displays. Duo has proven itself to be quite the capable application when making either video or voice calls on less than ideal connections, an important concern for users in emerging markets. Here in Australia we’ve been using Duo since launch and found it to be very good.

The Google Home Hub is launching in Australia on October 23 for $219. There will be a range of retail partners stocking the Chalk (grey) and Charcoal (black) coloured options including JB HiFi, Harvey Norman, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, The Good Guys, David Jones and Big W; or you can purchase an Aqua (blue) or Sand (pink) coloured model in addition to the Chalk and Charcoal model from the Australian Google Store.

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So if a camera isn’t required to make a Duo call on the Google Home Hub, then why can we still not make a Duo call through a Google Home speaker? Google’s inconsistency never ceases to amaze.


I agree, they are basically the same assistant so I should be able to make a call using my google home, it still doesn’t do half of what the US and UK users can do. It’s always behind on getting features and updates. Not the global device I assumed it would be.

Jamie S

I really like the idea of the Google Home Hub but I just wanted it to be like those video call displays in all the futuristic movies from the 80s and 90s. I think I’m gonna skip this one and wait for gen 2. Btw I’ve already set my Nexus 7 tablet up using the new Google Home app layout to control my smart home devices.