The world of smart speakers is mutating. The conquest of our living rooms has just begun, and they are already getting fully into the bedroom. This is the case of the Lenovo Smart Clock that I have been testing for a whole week. An alarm clock from the future. A smart speaker with Google Assistant that also includes a 4-inch full color screen to show the time and some other features.
The idea is to meet our needs like any smart speaker, but add some functions of an alarm clock with a screen. And it is that its mission is that we wake up serene, energetic and with all the information of the day that awaits us ahead at hand. All this without forgetting to control the rest of the appliances in the house. Here I tell you how it has been to wake up every day next to this Lenovo Smart Clock. By the way, a device that costs 90 euros.
|screen||4 inches IPS at 400 x 840 pixels|
|Measurements||79.8mm x 113.88mm (Height x Width)|
|Finish||Soft gray fabric|
|Processor||1.5GHz Mediatek 8167S|
|Sound||1.5 ″ 3 W loudspeaker (6 W maximum power) and 2 passive radiators|
|Battery||No (requires continuous cable connection)|
|Memory||RAM: 1 GB|
ROM: 8GB eMMC
|Connections||IEEE 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac dual band 2.4 / 5 GHz|
|Buttons and physical connections||Microphone lock button|
USB port with electricity pass-through
Volume up and down buttons (top)
|Featured Features||Smart alarm clock, adjustable brightness display, Google Assistant routines, adjustable volume|
|Release date||Now available|
The best possible design for an alarm clock
One of the first things that caught my attention right out of the box was its appearance. His design. And even more, its touch. It is, for me, the most stylish alarm clock that has ever stepped on my nightstand. Its truncated trapezoid shape is eye-catching and useful, with the base of this shape for the screen and the truncated peak with the connections. But it is the fabric covering that has won me over .
It is a very smart measure. The texture of this wide-knit fabric already feels good, but its gray color makes the device match any bedroom style and material. It doesn't matter if you plant it on a white lacquered table as is my case or that you place it on a surface with exposed wood. Or glass, or metal. Its neutral colors and curved shapes make it attractive and marry anywhere . And yes, you can customize the clock face that is displayed on the screen, so customization and decoration are not going to be a problem.
It is really compact. Its measurements of 113.88 mm (L) 79.2 mm (W) 75.0 mm and 328 grams of weight mean that it takes up little space, so it does not require a large table or surface. Of course, you will have to place it near a socket. Like any smart speaker, it requires continuous current to function. But don't be afraid to lose the plug to charge your mobile. It was my first concern when placing this Lenovo Smart Clock in my bedroom, especially since there is no other outlet available in my bedroom. Luckily, or a practical thought from Lenovo engineers, this alarm clock has a USB port on its rear . So, although it is not a fast charging connection, you have the option to charge your mobile overnight. It has certainly saved the situation for me.
Do you need another smart speaker at home?
It was one of my first doubts when I knew that I was going to test this Lenovo device for a week. I already have a Google Home Mini in the living room. Could you live with stereo responses? Well the answer is yes. And, in fact, there are no stereo responses, nor do they step on each other even though the bedroom is next to the living room, as has happened to me. Its integration at home is complete and intelligent, and if you talk to this Lenovo Smart Clock from the bedroom, it will answer you, and when I have done it with the Google Home Mini in the living room, the one in this space has answered. Even when the voice command “OK, Google” is the same for both or even if the practical possibilities are practically the same for both.
So, with this scheme, I've gotten used to asking the speaker in the living room to play music when I'm there relaxed. But if I go through the room to get dressed to go out and ask the Lenovo Smart Clock what the temperature is, this is the one that answers me and not the device in the living room. In the same way that, when I ask it to activate the alarm for 8 in the morning when I am going to bed, it is the Smart Clock that ends up waking me up with its sound, while the Google Home Mini in my living room does not flinch.
It is clear to me, then, that smart speakers (at least Lenovo's and Google's own) can coexist in peace and harmony without any problem . Same actions but each one in its own space. Something that, of course, must be configured correctly in the Google Home application, creating the atmosphere of the living room and the bedroom with two devices, at least in my case.
But does this alarm clock add enough features to make you want to bring it home? The answer to this question is more complex. Of course, it has its own characteristics to show off as a smart alarm clock (I'll tell you about it in the next point), and it allows coexistence with another smart speaker. Now, if waking up quietly, being able to use a smart speaker as a digital photo frame or having music and an assistant in each room are an advantage for you, then there you have the answer.
Smart alarm clock or smart speaker?
The answer to this question is undoubtedly the first option. Lenovo has created a smart alarm clock with the same abilities as a smart speaker. But do not look in this Smart Clock for a piece to complete your sound equipment. Do not forget its dimensions, finish and pretensions. What's interesting here is your intelligence, not your ability to play music.
Even so, I have to say that the 6 watt power it includes thanks to the 1.6-inch speaker and its two passive radiators is more than enough to fill my bedroom and even the living room. Its sound power is quite surprising for its small size. It doesn't distort any sound and sounds pretty good considering all this.
An alarm clock that wakes you up with care
The folks at Lenovo say that this device is made for the rest, and the truth is that it has a few features that you would want for your analog alarm clock. Especially if you are a person concerned about rest and who does not want frights first thing in the morning.
One of these characteristics has to do directly with the Lenovo Smart Clock having an integrated brightness sensor. A feature that, like mobile phones, allows you to regulate the amount of brightness on the panel . And it does it automatically by default. That is, if there is little light or you are in the dark in the room, the brightness is reduced to a minimum to avoid staying awake, but being able to display the information on the screen. However, if there is a lot of light, the screen even changes its dark background to a light one so that you can see the time perfectly, and the brightness reaches level 10 so that no reflection from the screen or excessive brightness prevents you from seeing what it shows. But this is not only interesting when you sleep, for example.
The Lenovo Smart Clock asks you, every time you set a new alarm, if you want a progressive awakening. This is a "smart" or kinder way to wake up in the morning. 30 minutes before the set alarm sounds, the screen brightness will progressively increaseto try to get you out of your deep sleep in subtle ways. A kind of preparation for waking up that will prevent you from getting scared, from feeling fatigued from the first hour and, ultimately, from getting up more energetic and in a better mood. I have tried it and I have to say that the alarm clock scare is less, but I guess this characteristic is too relative to the quality and depth of sleep of each person. Maybe with a one month trial I could really check if the quality of my awakening is better. As far as I have tested, I can only confirm that the system works as it says.
Another interesting feature designed for sleep or a slightly more relaxed awakening is one of the alarm clock off modes. And you can, if your sleepy brain allows it, say "OK Google, silence" to turn it off by voice. Or tap on the off button on the touch screen. But if the legañas do not allow you to carry out this option and you are still asleep, you can slap it on the top of the device . This gesture will make you, more or less delicately, press any of the physical keys on the top to control the volume of the Lenovo Smart Clock and that you can delay the inevitable 5 minutes. This is not done by any other smart speaker.
Besides there are other resources that I have used more in these days of testing. This is the case of the Google Assistant routines. It has integrated perfectly with the one I already had for "good morning", offering me weather information, a review of my Google calendar for the day and the news of the day. All this just by saying "OK Google, good morning." But he's also invited me to create a "good night" routine with white noise playback and dimming my smart lights . An ideal scene to read for a while before going to sleep. Yes, my Google Home Mini could also do it, but it is not the same to have the speaker next to the bed to softly reproduce the breaking of the waves of the sea ...
In addition to all this, the interface helps everything to focus on what it would be like to update the classic radio alarm clock to an intelligent device of the 21st century. You just have to make gesturesup, down, or sideways with your finger across the screen to jump between menus and options. Do not disturb control and other connection options at the top. Down the settings and brightness control. On the sides the rest mode and the alarm menu. It only changes the way you choose the design of the clock, which is done with a long press on the screen. The variety is quite wide, with more or less modern digital and analog options. But what I liked the most is the option to link my Google Photos account to choose several albums and thus display background photos. Without preventing seeing the time and weather information always visible.
Everything good about the Google Assistant in an alarm clock
For those of us who have a smart speaker, this Lenovo Smart Clock may not be a great find. After all, it is a very similar device with a touch screen and a few extra functions. However, it is still a neuralgic tool for home automation . And is that integrating the Google Assistant means having compatibility with the rest of the smart or connected devices that are around the house. Things you can control with voice commands even from bed.
For example, if we have a smart plug to which we have connected the coffee maker, we can integrate making coffee with the good morning routine. Or ask this Lenovo Smart Clock to activate said plug to get everything going. And the same with connected compatible appliances such as the television, the washing machine, the air conditioning, smart blinds, the air conditioning ... All this controlled with simple voice commands preceded by "OK Google".
Conclusions after a week of use
I was skeptical at first when it came to putting another smart speaker in my house. For what? I thought. Does it make sense to focus on sleep and rest? And add a screen? After a week of use my doubts are dispelled. If you already have everything connected at home, this Lenovo Smart Clock also adds new functionalities to your bedroom , with the intention of improving your rest as much as possible. Or at least to bring the Google Assistant to your bed.
The design is another point that has conquered me. It is very well thought out so that it stands out as a decorative element and also does not end up stealing the plug of your table for your mobile, since it includes the USB port to connect the cable.
So only its price of 90 euros is the barrier that can be put between you and your smart alarm clock. A well-justified cost if what you are looking for is a connected and intelligent device that is also elegant.