January 3, 2022
4 x 3 x 3 in
This review has taken a very long time to write. The reason was that there was a setting on the Lenovo Smart Alarm Clock that I didn’t think existed, and that was an issue with the volume of the alarm clock in the morning.
So, I turned it off and left it for a very long time and I’ve now recently returned to it, and found the setting that I need. The issue that was happening was that I was getting a morning alarm, setting the volume on the clock to low, but when the alarm went off in the morning, it was incredibly loud.
And obviously, my spouse and I agreed that it was best that we deactivate the alarm clock. And eventually, the whole unit, as we had another Google Mini available to us in the master suite. Having returned to it now I can give it a good and lengthy review.
Lenovo Smart Clock
It does what you need it to do and nothing more, which is good.
An affordable and stylish smart clock with Google Assistant that you can put in your nightstand and not be kept up at night. You can choose from wide range of clock faces, play music, set alarms and all the other things a smart speaker can do. If you want ‘smart’ and don’t want to be kept up with bright lights at night, the Lenovo Smart Clock is a simple, effective choice.
- Processor: Amlogic A113X (1.50GHz )
- Operating System: Linux
- Memory: 512 MB
- Storage: 512 MB Flash
- Display: 4″ LED
- WLAN: 802.11AC (1 x 1) & Bluetooth® 5.0
- Speaker: 1 x 1.5″ 3W Speaker (Peak Power of 3W)
What’s in the Box?
Stuff I like
- Simple and uncomplicated smart clock
- Includes Google Assistant
- You can play music
- Auto-dim light function
Stuff I like less
- No super dark mode, but it’s very dark
- Hard to find controls for setting the alarm volume
I did eventually find out that the alarm clock has its own separate volume control which you can change in the settings of which I should probably provide a how-to separately to this so that everybody else can learn from my mistakes.
The Lenovo alarm clock overall is a great little unit, it’s a good size on the sideboard, and the speaker is sufficient for a bedroom. It has a USB plug-in on the back. So, if you wanted to power another device off the back of it from your sideboard, you could do so, and it just requires a single power socket to run.
The cool thing about the Lenovo Smart Clock is that while it’s smart, it doesn’t really do much for you. This simplicity brings beauty to the device as it uncomplicates an area of your life, a space in your house that should be simple and calming.
The Lenovo Smart Clock, in my opinion, is really just good for three things.
First, to tell the time. Second, to set alarms. Third, to set the weather. Oh yes, and fourth to play music. Of course, with Google built-in, you can ask it to do all sorts of other things, such as control your smart home, and there are some smart home controls built into the device such as bedroom lights that you can control from the unit.
But as I usually use verbal commands, e.g. turn off the bedroom lights. This is not something that I need to use. I can ask Google to play my morning news, and wake me up to a certain type of music which is quite nice, but on the whole, I keep it quite simple.
When I was shopping for a smart alarm clock, it was really important to me that the alarm clock could dim to a dimness at night that would allow me to sleep without too much light.
I already have a lot of lights in the bedroom that have the potential to keep me up at night, one being my phone charger, another being a Bose Bluetooth speaker. And with these kinds of units, I tend to put a small black patch of gaff tape over the LEDs on them so that they don’t light up the room at night.
The Lenovo has no such bright, glaring lights on it, and the auto-dim function of the screen is really excellent. The auto-dim function will become brighter and darker depending on the ambient light in the room. If you open the curtains in the morning, the alarm clock will immediately become quite bright so that you can see it from the other side.
And in the dead of night and the darkness, it can go very, very dim. And they have since done a software update that allows you to go to an almost negligible dimness that does not radiate light into the room and is quite gentle.
It’s not to say there isn’t still a soft glow from the clock at night, but it is sufficiently low that I don’t find it bothers me or wakes me up. And because it doesn’t go brighter and dimmer in the middle of the night and is consistently dim, this is great.
Listening to music on the device is fine. The speaker is more than sufficient to play some ambient music in the bedroom, and if you want to listen to white noise or similar, then it’s certainly perfect for that.
If you wanna have a dance party in the bedroom, then this is probably not the unit for you. And you might be better finding a different unit, like a Sonos.
The alarm function is pretty straightforward. I only use obviously the verbal commands, but the Lenovo Smart Clock does have a touchscreen, which allows you to play with some settings and also turn off, on, and off alarms manually if you desire.
There are a few buttons on the top, mostly really just to control the ups and downs of things, volume up and down, etc. And these, you may find yourself using the plus and minus buttons from time to time, but again, on the whole, as a voice smart speaker, it’s usually easier just to tell it what to do.
Aesthetically, the unit is quite nice. It’s a simple form factor, the kind of wedge shape that reminds me a little bit of the ’80s alarm clocks that used to get that were, of course, analog, but it is quite a small form factor If your side table is quite small also.
Getting the weather is very easy, and when you do ask for the weather, it also pops up on the display the next three days’ forecast for you to see if you want. The built-in microphone array is incredibly good at picking up voices from across the room.
In fact, I would say the Lenovo Smart Clock is better at picking up my voice than the Google Mini that I have had sitting next to it in testing. I think the bottom line is if you’re looking for a smart clock that doesn’t complicate your life, something that keeps things simple and does what you need it to do with a screen that won’t keep you up at night, then the Lenovo Smart Clock is really quite super.
I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a digital clock in the bedroom. And if you have a smart home or smart home device, it is even more convenient to have this available to you when you’re going to bed and if you turn off the lights in the house, or you want to check on a lock, or similar.
If there were improvements that I was going to suggest for the clock, and these are definitely very small in relation to the overall benefits of the unit is that I would have an even darker mode where brightness was almost as low as 1% or 2% on the unit.
As I say, the current brightness doesn’t keep me up, but I’m always happy to have it slightly darker. The controls for setting the alarm volume could be more easily accessible for sure, but once you find where it is, at least that’s done.
Another cool thing is that you can randomly set your wake-up alarm to be a classical/piano piece of music chosen uniquely each day by Google to be different. I tried it, but I guess piano music just isn’t my thing.
Any questions you have at all please file them away in the comments below and I look forward to hearing anything that you would like to ask, if you too are struggling to keep that volume down, then let me know and I’ll give you those instructions.
The price is affordable, so I’ll link to that in this post as well just so you can check it out and see if this is going to be a match for your home.
Endless hours of experimentation, professional work, and personal investment in Home Theatre, Hi-Fi, Smart Home Automation and Headphones have come to this.
Former owner of Headphones Canada, a high-end headphone specialty retailer.
This post was last updated on 2022-11-27 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.