I’ve reviewed a few smart displays in the last year. A smart display consists of three basic things; a display, smart assistant, and a speaker. I checked out the Lenovo Smart Display last year. Earlier this year at CES, we saw what looked like a small smart display, but it wasn’t a small smart display. It was the Lenovo Smart Clock. It’s meant to be an advanced smart clock, not a smart display.
Design and Build
The Lenovo Smart Clock is small. Meant to stay on your nightstand, the Smart Clock has a 4-inch IPS touchscreen display. It doesn’t have a camera, making it a safe smart device for the bedroom. On the fabric top, you have the volume up and down buttons. On the back of the clock, you have a USB port to charge devices, the mic on/off button, and the AC adaptor port. The bottom of the has two rubber grips to help keep the clock in place. That’s it. There are no color options.
Lenovo Smart Clock Features
Like with most Google Home products, you set the Lenovo Smart Clock up with the Google Home app. Setup is quick and painless, especially if you have other devices set up. You can change the clock face, which is nice. There are ten different faces to choose from. It’s a variety of different fonts, and then a couple with the weather forecast. You can set an alarm by voice or touch. For the most part, you get most of the features you get with other smart displays, except you can’t play videos and video chat. You can make regular phone calls though.
If you have Nest cameras as part of your smart home setup, you can watch the feed on the Smart Clock. You don’t have the option for Google “cards” or pictures from Google Photos. The Smart Clock doesn’t even show the words you say to it as other Smart Displays do. You will see four bars in Google colors.
The display on the Smart Clock is great. As blind as I am, I can see the time across the room which is nice. It’s also great with lighting. It adjusts to the lighting it’s in. It’s can get very dim, which is helpful to sensitive eyes like mine.
The speaker is small and sounds fine for its size. It gets loud enough. I wouldn’t use it for more than a track or two. When using it for phone calls, it sounds clear and not muffled at all.
When setting alarms, you have your usual options; when to repeat, which tone, and for what. I did not see an option of setting the alarm to a music service or playlist. I’m fine with regular alarm chimes, but I’m sure many would want to wake up to the song of their choice. When the alarm rings, you’ll see the option to stop, and snooze right under the clock. You can tap one of those, or you can tap the smart clock itself. Bringing back the old-school tap-to-turn off technique, the Smart Clock will snooze or stop if you firmly tap the top part (the fabric part with the volume buttons). You would have to switch it in settings for which option you want the tap to work. You can also go the other route and turn off the alarm with your voice. I’m not the loudest person, so yelling is not an option for me. I found tapping the clock to be more useful than expected.
The Lenovo Smart Clock can be found at all major retailers like Best Buy, Newegg, and B&H Photo. The price has gone down to as low as $60 and as high at $80. Yes, it is more expensive than “dumb” alarm clocks, and you can use your phone to set alarms, but I still think the Smart Clock is worth the purchase. Random things can happen with your phone where your alarm “won’t go off”. The Smart Clock will look great on any nightstand and it has enough smart features to make it worthwhile while staying simple enough to keep night and morning routines smooth. While the small number of features a limiting factor in other rooms of the house, I find it’s definitely the simplicity you want for your bedroom.