Lenovo Smart Display review: Is it time to say goodbye to your Amazon Echo?

Lenovo Smart Display review: Is it time to say goodbye to your Amazon Echo?

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The Lenovo Smart Display houses a 0.75-inch 10W full range speaker (Image: Lenovo)

LENOVO SMART DISPLAY REVIEW • £229.99 (as tested)

  • FOR – Vibrant 10.1-inch screen • Excellent microphone array for voice detection • Unique recipe feature • Minimalist but premium design • Myriad smart features thanks to the Google Assistant
  • AGAINST – Bezels around the screen could be smaller • You need to be invested in smart home devices to get the most out of it • The display is not OLED

The Lenovo Smart Display launched under the radar after being overshadowed somewhat by the recent announcement and debut of the Google Home Hub.

Both devices are essentially a Google Home with a screen that runs a brand-new operating system that allows for a host of new smart home functionality.

And while the Google Home Hub has witnessed more time in the spotlight thanks to the huge marketing push it has received from the American tech giant, Express.co.uk is here to tell you the Lenovo Smart Display firmly steals the crown for the best home appliance available running the Google Assistant.

The device is not only incredibly smart and capable, but it’s also one we haven’t been able to stop using since we got our hands on it.

With that said, here is Express.co.uk’s full review of the Lenovo Smart Display.

Design and display

The Lenovo Smart Display comes in two models; one has an eight-inch screen while the other, that we tested for this review, touts a 10.1-inch panel with a resolution of (1920×1200).

Bezels surround the screen and while they are serviceable, we would have loved if Lenovo had really attempted to push the boundaries of the product by drastically reducing them.

The panel used is vibrant, offers excellent viewing angles and gets incredibly bright.

Although we would have preferred to have seen OLED technology used on the Smart Display, the LCD screen is more than functional and viewing content on it is a delight.

The larger version of the Smart Display has a unique but premium-feeling bamboo finish on the back that is immediately distinguishable.

Moreover, the back of the device comes with a large wedge on one side that doubles as a stand and the housing of the speaker system.

Lenovo Smart Display review

A five-megapixel front-facing camera is present on the Lenovo Smart Display (Image: Lenovo)

A single grill is present on one side of the Lenovo Smart Display, meaning the product itself looks asymmetrical.

The appliance houses a 0.75-inch 10W full range speaker that is accompanied by two passive tweeters.

A five-megapixel front-facing camera is present on the right-hand side of the display and is used for video calling.

Most notably, the Lenovo Smart Display comes with a toggle on the side that can hide the camera entirely, meaning anyone with privacy concerns can leave it hidden until they want to take advantage of it.

Volume buttons are also present on the top of the hardware in addition to a mute switch.

Microphones are present on the top and side of the Smart Display for voice recognition, too.

Overall the design of the product is subtle but premium and can easily slot into a living room or kitchen without sticking out like a saw thumb.

Lenovo Smart Display review

Microphones are present on the top and side of the Smart Display for voice recognition (Image: Lenovo)

Performance

The Lenovo Smart Display brings all the Google Assistant functionality present on Google Home devices, but radically advances it thanks to the superb 10.1-inch panel present.

Just like the Google Home Hub, the device runs a brand-new operating system from the American tech giant that is simple and intuitive to use.

When the hardware is on standby mode it acts as a digital photo frame; a plethora of stock images from Google can be displayed, but linking your Google Photos account utilises the device to its maximum potential.

Being able to walk into your living room, kitchen or bedroom and be reminded of a previous holiday, hilarious day out or just another family member is a simple but effective use of the vibrant screen.

In addition to displaying photos, the Smart Display also automatically notes the current temperature and time when not being used.

A swipe up on the panel summons the new user-interface created by Google for smart appliances.

Lenovo Smart Display review

Lenovo Smart Display has the Google Assistant built-in (Image: Lenovo)


The Lenovo Smart Display launches a huge challenge to the Amazon Echo Show

Users are immediately greeted with the current weather in addition to a “coming up” section that displays events in Google Calendar.

A swipe to the right brings up recommendations based on your previous activity, meaning if you regularly take advantage of the Smart Display for Spotify, it will show playlists it thinks you might want to listen to.

Additionally, another section is displayed but changes depending on context.

Before we went to bed we were greeted with a “for the night” menu that suggested we set an alarm for the next morning and even offered to play ocean sounds to put us in a calm mood.

Navigating the user-interface is incredibly easy; a swipe from the left acts as a back button to the majority of functions that sit in a single scrollable line.

Uttering the words “okay Google” summons the Google Assistant that is capable of answering a litany of questions and can perform a variety of different actions.