Maybe more interesting is what’s inside the thing. There are 13 different antennas, including three pairs of 2.4Ghz frequency bands and three pairs of 5Ghz frequency bands. Each set of antennae is paired orthogonally, and are positioned 120 degrees apart, to get a solid signal even if your router isn’t optimally oriented, Google says. And, that metallic-looking thing you see in the router shell below is a custom reflector for the front-facing 2.4Ghz router, meant to boost the usable range in that direction.
The Verge did a bit of a teardown on the OnHub router, and the internals are pretty nice. The idea that it’s designed to be a centerpiece, rather than something hidden, is very helpful – that tangle of cords behind the TV, where our last router was, didn’t do anything good to the network speed.
One thing they didn’t get into, though, is how much it’s clearly meant to be the center of Google’s smart home aspirations. Note the URL at which it’s being sold: on.google.com/hub
That doesn’t say “OnHub” to me, that says “OnHub, part of the On product line.” It’s a foothold for Google, something that the Apple TV has continued to fail to be for Apple.
As a side note, there were two reasons I didn’t buy one, since we’re still in the ‘putting the house together’ phase of moving in. Reason one: they were sold out. Reason two: we’re an Apple family, sporting two MacBooks and three iPhones between the three of us. For any home automation that happens, HomeKit is the way to go.