Lenovo Smart Clock review: A small smart display that doesn’t display much

Valentina Palladino


Google, Amazon, Facebook, and so on wish to encourage you that you require a clever display screen. However as we have actually checked out in previous evaluations, many clever screens are high-end variations of their screen-less equivalents. Whatever that you can do with an Amazon Echo or a Google House can be made with a similar clever display screen, however the latter can reveal you visual info and (sometimes) videos. If you do not care much for visual info in such a gadget, why spring for a clever display screen? These gadgets are difficult offers, especially due to the fact that many cost $150 or more.

That’s not the case with Lenovo’s brand-new Smart Clock It’s the very first Google-Assistant response to Amazon’s Echo Area, working as a small clever screen that reveals the time by default and can be utilized to set alarms and do whatever a routine Google House gadget does. It might be a perfect gadget for somebody who desires a virtual assistant in the house and might utilize some visual info in their everyday regimen. However most significantly, it’s fantastic for those who do not wish to invest a lot– Lenovo’s Smart Clock costs $79, which is a lot more economical than the $129 Echo Area.

However a couple of huge distinctions differentiate Lenovo’s Smart Clock from Amazon’s Echo Area, and they will be make-or-break for some users. We utilized both gadgets for about a week all at once to see if a small clever display screen is the method to go and how the 2 compare to each other.


Lenovo dropped the wood accentuates it utilized in its full-sized Smart Show and went with a soft-touch material in the Smart Clock. It’s easy to understand in a gadget that will likely reside on a bed room nightstand, and it wound up being a charming addition to mine. It uses up about as much area as my low-cost alarm clock does, and I might quickly check out the time on its 4-inch 480 x800 touchscreen.

The ingrained ambient light sensing unit immediately changes the screen’s brightness so you will not be blinded by an extreme square of light in the middle of the night. There are 10 clock deals with to pick from, too, so you have some control over the digital looks of your alarm clock. You can even make it possible for “dark mode” to offer many clock deals with a grayscale impact.

Specifications compared: Lenovo Smart Clock vs the competitors
Gadget Lenovo Smart Clock Amazon Echo Area Amazon Echo Program 5
Cost $79 $129 $89
Processor MediaTek 8167 S ARM Cortex-A53 MediaTek MT 8163
Show 4-inch 480 x800 IPS touchscreen 2.5-inch 480 x480 touchscreen 5.5-inch 960 x480 touchscreen
Video Camera None 1 x Front-facing 1 x Front-facing
Speakers 1 x 1.5-inch 3W speaker, 2x passive radiators 1 x 1.4-inch speaker 1 x 4W speaker
Buttons/ports 1 x mic mute, 1 x volume up/down, 1 x USB 2.0 port 1 x mic/camera disable, 1 x volume up/down, 3.5 mm audio output 1 x mic disable, 1 x video camera shutter, 1 x volume up/down, 3.5 mm audio output
Connection 80211 air conditioning WLAN, Bluetooth 80211 a/b/g/ n (2.4 and 5 GHz) Dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 80211 a/b/g/ n/ac (2.4 and 5 GHz) Dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Measurements 4.483 x 3.14 x 3.11 inches 4.1 x 3.8 x 3.6 inches 5.8 x 3.4 x 2.9 inches
Weigh 72 pounds 92 pounds 91 pounds

Aside from the display screen, the Smart Clock has 2 leading buttons for changing volume, a power port, a microphone disable switch, and a USB 2.0 port on its body. The latter makes charging smart devices and devices simple due to the fact that you can plug charging cable televisions into it rather of an A/C outlet or a USB port in a less hassle-free location beside your bed.

Mic-kill switches have actually ended up being commonplace on gadgets like these due to the fact that users progressively appreciate their personal privacy in the wake of AI gadgets ending up being common. The Smart Clock does not have an electronic camera at all, unlike the Echo Area, so there’s no requirement for an electronic camera shutter or eliminate switch.

That might be the greatest selling point of the Smart Clock. The choice to leave the video camera out of the initial Google House Center (now called Nest Center) was complicated due to the fact that Lenovo’s Smart Show consisted of one for Duo video chatting. Nevertheless, a gadget as little as the Smart Clock will not be the very best video talking tool, so an electronic camera’s effectiveness is very little.

Video calling with the Echo Area will likely be available in convenient more if you have the gadget on your workplace desk. That method, it serves as a hands-free video camera with which you can respond to video calls utilizing your voice. Putting video calls with the Area isn’t any various than doing so with the Echo Program, either– simply ask the gadget to call a particular contact and, if the contact has an Echo Program or Area or can be reached by means of the Alexa app on their smart device, your video feed will begin by default. Stating “Alexa, turn video off” will disable your video camera and make the call voice-only.

You can likewise utilize Alexa’s Drop-In function to “call” other Echo gadgets in your house– and if among those gadgets occurs to be an Echo Program, you can video chat with your household in the living-room simply by utilizing the Echo Area in your bed room. Like the Smart Clock, the Echo Area consists of a mic and camera-kill button that sits in between the volume up and down buttons.

While an electronic camera is a hassle-free function to have on the Echo Area, it makes more sense to consist of on bigger clever screens like the Echo Program or the Nest Center. If you’re resigning yourself to video talking on a little screen, you may too simply utilize your smart device– and with Alexa’s mobile app, you can video chat with or Drop-In on any contacts similar to you can on any standalone Echo gadget.

Google Assistant vs. Alexa: Tiny screen edition

While hardware distinctions are necessary, the fantastic divide in between the Lenovo Smart Clock and the Echo Area originates from their virtual assistants– Google Assistant and Alexa, respectively. We have actually dived deep into both platforms in previous evaluations, so we’re not going to rework whatever here. Nevertheless, we paid specific attention to the functions that a person would anticipate a clever clock to stand out at, particularly waking you up, revealing and informing individual info, and linking to clever house systems.

Alarms and regimens

Regardless of their geometric distinctions, the Smart Clock and the Echo Area do comparable things with their screens, with informing time being the focus for both. On the Smart Clock, swiping up from the bottom exposes quick-setting icons for altering brightness, volume, and other elements of the on-screen UI like the clock face. Swiping below the bottom exposes a lot more fast settings consisting of icons to modify your alarms, set a nap timer, play music, and control clever lights (if you have actually any matched through the Google House app).

When an alarm is active on the Smart Clock, a small icon appears at the top-right corner of the clock face. When that alarm’s time techniques, a bigger oval appears below the existing time that states just how much longer up until the alarm goes off. This is especially helpful in the early mornings when you look at your alarm clock questioning the number of more minutes of valuable sleep you have prior to you require to get up. You can rapidly disable the alarm by tapping on that oval, so if you resemble me and often get up 5 minutes prior to your alarm goes off, you can spare your partner the impolite awakening.