Lenovo Smart Clock 2 review: your smart bedside companion
Lenovo Smart Clock 2 review: your smart bedside companion
MSRP $ 70.00
“The Lenovo Smart Clock 2 is a great evolution of the Smart Clock product line that adds a lot of functionality and value. ”
Color LCD display
Baseplate with USB-A and Qi charging
No video streaming
Limited configuration via app
Lenovo produced the first Google Assistant smart display in 2018 and has been in this category ever since. While Google has traditionally focused on the kitchen for its smart displays, Lenovo has turned to the bedroom, first with the Smart Clock, then the Smart Clock Essential, and now the.
While it’s true that Google’s latest (2nd gen) Nest Hub made sleep tracking improvements to its arsenal, we think Lenovo has a compelling counter-argument in the Smart Clock 2. The second-gen clock. brings a fully functional clock powered by the Google Assistant. at your bedside table, without the scary “watching you sleep” stuff. So who is the king of the chamber?
Simple and smart design
Lenovo hasn’t changed its design much through the various iterations of its smart clocks. It still uses the same woven fabric cover on the outside, with an LCD screen on the front. This is a 4 inch LCD screen which is a bit small, but for a clock face it is more than enough. You can choose from a variety of clock faces, including your Google photos if you want. The touchscreen is a bit finicky, sometimes failing to register keystrokes or complete swipes that the operating system is so dependent on.
You could buy an alarm clock, a Nest Mini 2, and a Qi charging plate for the same amount, and you still wouldn’t match all of the features that the Smart Clock 2 device brings to your nightstand.
The latest addition to this generation of smart clock is at the bottom. In addition to the smart clock, you get a base plate that has a USB-A port to charge another device and a MagSafe-compatible Qi charging plate to charge your smartphone wirelessly. The charging plate charges at 5 watts, 7.5 W or 10 W and includes a circle of magnets to grip your MagSafe compatible phones. MagSafe is a nice addition because it reduces the risk of accidentally dropping your phone from the charger while you sleep.
Speaking of dropping things off the plate, the clock is cleverly designed so that the power cable plugs into the clock itself and the copper contacts on the bottom plug in and provide power to the plate. This way the clock works without the base, depending on the space available on your bedside table. And speaking of magnets, the clock also attaches to the base with magnets, which makes it pretty secure.
Beyond that, there are volume buttons above the clock, and in between is a touch-sensitive area that you can use to stop or snooze your alarms, depending on how you set it up. . Of course, you can also ask Google to snooze or just stop your alarm. A mute switch on the back disables the microphone for Google Assistant.
As for the sound quality, it is quite good. A pair of 3W speakers power the alarm clock and the music you play in it. There is very little bass in the bass, but the rest of the sonic range is well represented. It’s roughly comparable to what you’ll get from a Nest Mini 2.
Swipes and gestures
While you use the Google Home app to configure Wi-Fi, its location in your home, and various services to use for video and audio, most of the device setup is done on the device. Android Things powers the clock, and it’s packed with gestures and taps to set up whatever you need. Most commands can be performed using “Hey Google” commands, such as setting alarms, adjusting volume and turning on the nightlight.
Other options come from the bottom of the interface, while others come from the top. The frustrating part about this is that these gestures aren’t particularly intuitive, and most people don’t use Android Things enough to make these gestures second nature.
While I never advocate a separate app just for a clock, I would like to see more features built into the Google Home app.
Your clock face also has some sort of ticker that you can flip through to listen to music, see your reminders and calendar entries, set an alarm, and more. Once you get used to it, it works pretty well, but most of my interactions with the clock were from Google Assistant, which is both good and bad. On the one hand, it’s good to lay down in bed and tell Google to set an alarm. On the other hand, it can get frustrating when you ask for an alarm at 7:15 am and he says, “7:50 am, you get it! “
It’s nothing new to Google Assistant, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. Most of the time, it works without a hitch, but when there is, it’s maddening. I would also like to see more clock control available through an app. While touching is a great way to manipulate settings, reaching and touching the clock isn’t a great experience. While I never advocate a separate app just for a clock, I would like to see more features built into the Google Home app. It would be nice to be able to set alarms there or adjust the clock face, for example.
No Netflix allowed
Finally, I have to admit, I’m torn by this detail as to whether it’s positive or negative, but this clock has a color display that can’t play video. What’s up with this? You can play sound on the clock, which is good, but since there is a color LCD screen, why can’t I cast a movie to fall asleep? Perhaps this is too limited a potential use of the clock, but it seems like an oversight.
Then again, maybe I shouldn’t want Lenovo to allow me to watch a movie on a 4 inch screen. I understand that, and maybe the lack of compatibility is Lenovo saving me from myself. I cannot dispute this point. But I think overall I prefer to have a choice.
This is a nice update to the Lenovo Smart Clock line of devices. The load plate accessory in particular is one of our favorites. Google Assistant is a great way to wake up and start routines. I’d love to see a bigger screen, video capability, and a more intuitive interface, but these omissions don’t detract much from the overall experience.
You get a lot of utilities and features for $ 70. It is not only a good product, but good value for money.
Is there a better alternative?
There isn’t a lot of competition out there yet, but the closest competitor actively vying for a place on your nightstand is the Nest Hub (2nd gen). This device costs a bit more, but adds cell-free sleep tracking to the package, which is certainly convincing. It also has video streaming capabilities and a larger screen. If you want these additions, you’re probably better off with the Nest Hub (2nd gen). However, if you don’t mind not being able to play videos, or if you want a smaller screen or a Qi charging pad, this is a great pickup.
If you’re not in Google’s ecosystem at all, or if you’re more connected to Amazon’s, then the Echo Show 8 or the Echo Show 10 are both good choices. It all depends on your preference.
How long will it last?
The Lenovo Smart Clock 2 is well built and strong with a fabric cover. I do not foresee any problems with this device in the long term. It is backed by a one-year limited warranty available on the Lenovo support website.
Should I buy it?
Yes, it’s a good pickup for the price. In fact, between the Nest Hub (2nd gen) and this one, there is no clear winner. If you want a little more, you pay a little more. You could buy an alarm clock, a Nest Mini 2, and a Qi charging plate for the same amount, and you still wouldn’t match all of the features this device brings to your nightstand.