Lenovo is best known for its laptops and smartphones, but it also manufactures various other products, including tablets and wearables. The company's newest product brings Lenovo to a whole new segment – smart home devices. The Lenovo Smart Clock costs Rs. 5,999, and as the name suggests, it is a digital clock that doubles as an intelligent speaker and display. The intelligent functions are thanks to the access to Google Assistant.
Although there are many smart speakers on the market, a smart watch is a somewhat new concept. This device competes with the recently launched Amazon Echo Show 5 and offers the same functionality as a voice assistant with the advantages of a small screen. We spent some time with the Lenovo Smart Clock.
Lenovo Smart Clock design and specifications
While we expected more design from an "intelligent" device, the Lenovo Smart Clock is quite functional in appearance and is similar to the classic flip clock models that we have seen in films and TV shows. Since this is a device you are interacting with, the front of the Lenovo Smart Clock is a screen that is slightly tilted up for better visibility.
The top, bottom and sides are wrapped in fabric, with only two physical buttons – in the form of plus and minus symbols – for the volume above. The underside has rubber handles to securely attach the device to a table top. Overall, we like the understated and clear appearance of the device, with the fabric exterior adding a little sophistication to a product that does its job discreetly.
The back of the Lenovo Smart Clock has a socket for the included power adapter, a slide switch to turn off the microphones and a USB Type-A port that can be used to charge devices such as smartphones and wireless headphones. The official website says the sales package includes the power adapter to connect to a wall outlet and a USB cable, but only the former was in the box of our review sample.
The Lenovo Smart Clock has a 4-inch IPS touchscreen with 800 x 480 pixels, which serves as the core of the "clock" experience. The device is powered by a MediaTek 8167S processor with a single 3W speaker and two passive sound emitters. For connectivity, the Lenovo Smart Clock supports Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac and Bluetooth 5.
Lenovo Smart Clock features and performance
While we've mostly only seen Google Assistant on Google smart speakers, like Google Home and Google Nest Hub, there are a handful of other manufacturers that make similar products. Lenovo also has Rs. 14,999 smart displays are available in India in addition to the Smart Clock, but both work differently.
The smaller and cheaper Lenovo Smart Clock has a screen, but it doesn't have the same visual impact as the Lenovo Smart Display or Google Nest Hub. The small screen mainly serves as a dial. However, it also shows the weather and allows you to track information and control media playback. You can also view navigation instructions and images from your Google Photos library. You can swipe the screen to switch between the watch face, alarm controls, and music (when something is playing), thereby adjusting the brightness and other settings.
All of these screen use cases worked as expected, and the Lenovo Smart Clock was able to clearly hear and execute voice commands while we were close to the device. Of course, you can also control other devices associated with your Google Assistant, and we were able to turn on our OnePlus TV and Mi air purifier.
The device is unable to hear and understand voice commands from a distance from Google Home. However, it is intended as a table or bedside clock that you normally use in close proximity. As a clock, the device clearly shows the time and you can choose between a handful of interesting and well-designed dials.
In terms of functionality, the Lenovo Smart Clock is like any other Google Assistant smart speaker and can answer all kinds of questions and follow-up actions. Think of this as a Google Home Mini, but with a small display that offers only a few functions more than a normal smart speaker. As such, we were satisfied with his ability to work as a smart speaker and basic smart display.
We had linked the device to a personal Google account and were able to stream music with YouTube Music and Spotify. The Lenovo Smart Clock doesn't have a very large speaker, but we were impressed with how loud it was. at the highest volume, it was loud enough to be heard clearly in a small room. As such, it is suitable for a bedroom, kitchen or dining room.
The sound quality was not impressive, and we found that the mids were a bit too clear and sharp. Of course, this is so that the voice response from Google Assistant can be heard clearly, but it affects the device's ability to act as a music player. When listening to Childish Gambino's Feels Like Summer, the bass was a bit boring, while the top mids and highs were a bit too loud, causing audible sibilance.
Since there is only one speaker, there is of course no stereo sound. Although the Lenovo Smart Clock is suitable for occasional music tracks, it is best not considered if you want to actively use the device for music.
The Lenovo Smart Clock is best used exactly as the name suggests, i.e. as a clock with some intelligent functions. The implementation of Google Assistant is complete and the display can be used for a limited number of functions that go beyond the time display. Although it acts as a speaker for streaming media and Bluetooth devices, the sound quality is not very good. It's also a bit expensive for what we think it offers.
If you're in the market for a new bed alarm clock, it may be worth investing in the Lenovo Smart Clock as it offers additional smart features and capabilities that go beyond the clock. It's a great way to get into the smart device market, and even if you don't use that smart functionality often, it's still a functional and good looking digital watch.