Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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Lenovo Smart Clock Essential review: Basic doesn’t mean bad

Smart : doesn’t

One of our gadgets from 2019 was the Google-powered Lenovo Smart Clock. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a typical Google smart display, but its alarm clock features, affordable price point and small form factor more than make up for it. Recently, however, the company debuted an even simpler version of the device, appropriately called the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential

Gallery: Lenovo Smart Clock Essential review | 17 Photos

the Essential, the pretense of a smart display is gone altogether; the LCD screen has been replaced with a basic LED display. It’s really more of a Google-powered speaker with a clock. As a result, I don’t quite like it as much as the original Lenovo Smart Clock, but it’s also $30 cheaper (the Essential retails for $50 while the original Smart Clock is $80) and if all you really want is an alarm clock with some Google Assistant smarts, then the Essential certainly fits the bill. 

Engadget Score

Poor

Uninspiring

Good

Excellent

Key

Pros
  • Simple clean design
  • Decent smart home control
  • Built-in nightlight
  • Can tap to snooze
  • Affordable
Cons
  • No ambient light sensor
  • Have to adjust brightness with voice
  • Not much cheaper than the more feature-rich Smart Clock

Summary

At its core, the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is simply a Google-powered smart speaker with a built-in alarm clock. It’s easy enough to operate and there’s even a nightlight on the back. You can adjust its various settings using your voice. It does lack a lot of the features of the original, but if all you want is an ordinary-looking alarm clock with some basic smarts for not a lot of money, then the Smart Clock Essential is not a bad option.


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