The Lenovo Smart Clock looks like someone blasted a shrink ray at the firm’s larger Smart Display
Lenovo Smart Clock review – £79.99 (as tested)
Lenovo is renowned for its PC offerings, but it’s far from a one-trick pony. The Chinese tech giant is investing heavily in augmented reality, virtual reality and of course, smart devices.
Last year the vendor impressed us with the Lenovo Smart Display we thought outperformed the Google Home Hub (now called the Google Nest Hub) in every way and stood shoulder to shoulder with the Amazon Echo Show.
Most recently, the firm released the Lenovo Smart Clock – a minuscule smart display designed to sit on your bedside table and keep a watchful eye over your alarms while still providing expected connected home functionality by leveraging the Google Assistant.
But does this device deliver the same great functionality, design and overall performance that left us so enamoured with the Smart Display? Here is Express.co.uk’s full review.
Lenovo Smart Clock review – Design
The Lenovo Smart Clock looks like someone blasted a shrink ray at the firm’s larger Smart Display. The device retains an incredibly familiar aesthetic to its larger brother, meaning your smart home setup will look more uniform if you have both.
We really have to emphasise just how tiny the Smart Clock is. It’s about as thick as it is wide and can easily sit in the palm of your hand.
Like many products from Lenovo, the Smart Clock boasts a subtle but premium design that means you’ll spend more time appreciating its smart home functionality than any flashing LEDs or a garish finish.
The Smart Clock comes 4-inch touch screen on its front and its body is made of fabric similar to that found on some Google Home devices. Of course, the display isn’t packed with pixels, but it doesn’t need to be to look vibrant when it’s so small.
Unfortunately, the bedside table companion boasts thick bezels around its screen. While this isn’t particularly noticeable when the device is showing the time in ambient mode, they’re certainly an eyesore when the entire panel is lit up.
Lenovo has nailed the performance of the Smart Clock because it knows exactly what it wants the devi
Lenovo Smart Clock review – Performance
Lenovo has nailed the performance of the Smart Clock because it knows exactly what it wants the device to be – this isn’t an all-encompassing connected home solution.
So what’s the purpose of the hardware? Well, it’s been specifically engineered to leap to life the moment you bark out a command or question when you’re in the bedroom. That means it can tell you the weather, control smart home equipment and of course, set alarms.
The Smart Clock was built from the ground-up to sit in your bedroom. And that’s ingenious. It means when we’re picking out our attire for the working day we can handily ask the Google Assistant what the weather is going to be like, if we have any events in our calendar and more.
It might seem trivial, but using the Smart Clock for setting our alarm is our favourite feature. The device completely rids of the need to painfully stare at your bright phone screen in a pitch black room before bed (assuming you don’t have “okay Google” functionality enabled on your handset).
Better still, the device has a couple of impressive features that can be activated in its alarm settings. The first adjusts the alarm sound to start softly and get louder with each successive ring until it reaches a normal volume, meaning you’ll never find yourself frantically jumping out of bed to switch an alarm off.
The Lenovo Smart Clock boasts an adorable design
Additionally, there’s also a setting that allows the Smart Clock’s display to get progressively brighter as the sun rises, giving you an idea of the time without having to focus in on its display for those times you wake up during the night.
Because the Smart Clock leverages the Google Assistant, it can link up with any Google Home speakers you have laying around. In our case, that allowed us to seamlessly transition from our living room to the bedroom with the same audio playing in each.
Lenovo’s Smart Clock isn’t going to be powering any house parties on Friday and Saturday nights, but it does get surprisingly loud for its size. Much to our amazement, there’s no noticeable distortion when you do crank the volume up, either.
There’s not a single feature offered by the Smart Clock that makes it a must-buy, but every tiny piece of functionality merges together to make it an extremely compelling package.
Although the Lenovo Smart Clock is best controlled with your voice, you do have the option of using your fingers to glide through its interface… to a small extent anyway. The device’s operating system isn’t Android Things that you’ll find on the larger Smart Display, so you won’t find a menu full of apps to take advantage of. While that means you’ll have to use your voice for most tasks, you can view your alarms, adjust the device’s brightness and more with a touch.
Lenovo decided not to include a front-facing camera on the Smart Clock – that’ll either be disappointing or music to your ears. While that, unfortunately, means you can’t make late night video calls to your friends or family, it does mean those that are privacy conscious are much more likely to welcome it into their home with open arms.
Lenovo is selling the Smart Clock for £79.99
Lenovo Smart Clock review – Price
Lenovo is selling the Smart Clock for £79.99, that’s £40 cheaper than its arch-rival, the Amazon Echo Spot.
If you’re interested in connected home devices and are looking to finally take the plunge, the Lenovo Smart Clock is very easy for us to recommend.
But is it better than the Echo Spot? That all depends on two things – whether you’re already invested in Amazon with other Echo speakers, or if you really want a device with a front-facing camera for video calls.
Lenovo has served up another connected home gem with the Smart Clock. The device has truly won us over with its excellent array of features, good sound quality and adorable design.
If you’re already committed to the Google Assistant, or if you’re platform agnostic, the Lenovo Smart Clock is a no brainer.