There used to be a time in the ’90s when people of our generation used to wake up by the ring of an alarm clock. This has since been replaced slowly over the years by smartphones and now smart clocks.
Smart Clocks are the new breed of bedside clocks that are more than just a boring clocks. They show you time, weather and in some cases play your favourite song. One such product that landed on our desk is the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential.
The Smart Clock Essential is Lenovo’s take on the whole smart clock scene and is powered by the might of Google. We have been using the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential for a little over a week and in this review, we will try to answer most of your questions about this product.
- Lenovo Smart Clock Essential
- micro-USB Cable
- Charging brick
- User Manual
- Other Documentation
Since the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is a product that is based on Google’s smart home kit, it shares a design language shared by Google. The Smart Clock Essential look exactly like its bigger sibling, the Lenovo Smart Clock.
We get a triangular-shaped product with soft-touch fabric covering the body. The Smart Clock Essential is being offered in the market in just one shade which is Chalk Gray. On the front, we get a large LED display that is primarily used to show off the time and weather and the Google Assistant invoke animation.
Going through a full inspection, we get to see four buttons on the top that are used to control the volume, invoke the Assistant and a dedicated key for alarms. On the back, we find the power port, along with a mic on/off switch and a full-sized USB port. Since the watch is placed on the bedside table there is a ring light attached to the back of the clock.
Overall, the Smart Clock Essential has a modern look and feel, is built quite well and feels sturdy enough. The muted grey shade should work well with most Décor.
Setup & Connectivity
Setting up the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is easy, just download the Google Home app from the App Store or Play Store and start with the setup. Choose the option to add a new device, power on the Smart Clock and select the model in the app.
From there on the process is very streamlined and the complete setup should be complete in under 5 mins. Following the complete setup, you can add services like Spotify and YouTube Music from the Home app. Since there is a small speaker on the clock, you can essentially listen to your favourite songs and podcasts on this little product.
In terms of connectivity, the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential works on both Bluetooth and WiFi. Since this is a product meant to be placed on your bedside and takes up the wall outlet. The brand has placed a USB port on the back side of the clock to which you can hook up your phone to top up the battery. Apart from this, we get full access to Google Assistant and the tasks it can carry out.
Alarm & Sound Quality
Let’s get down to the basic functionality, it’s a smart clock and how does it work? Setting up the alarms using the controls can be tedious. This is where the Google Assistant comes in handy, just say ‘Hey Google’ followed by the time you want the alarm to ring and you’re good to go. The 4-inch LED display upfront would show you the alarm set time along with the current time and weather.
Since this is just a plain matrix display, you cannot display images and videos on here, like we can do on the outgoing Smart Clock model. Other than displaying weather info and time, there isn’t much that can be of use here. Though if you are invested in the complete Google Smart Home setup, you could control all your smart devices with the help of Google Assistant on the Clock.
Coming to the sound quality, there is a rather small speaker inside the Clock. While there isn’t a set figure on the size of the driver unit, we reckon it is under 5W. The sound output of the speaker is quite high but the overall quality isn’t that great. Putting it against a Google Home Mini shows how mediocre the speaker unit here is.
Verdict- Should you buy it?
The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential can be a nifty addition to your bedside table. It does the basics right, has a large display, a nightlight on the back and the added advantage of Google Assistant. Though the speaker output is good, the sound quality is average at best in our opinion.
Since Google Home Mini’s don’t have a clock, the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential could be a replacement for it if you don’t want to invest in the new Amazon Echo smart speaker. That being said, we feel like the asking price of INR 4,499 is a bit high considering the features you get. Our opinion would be to get the outgoing Lenovo Smart Clock that has a full color display and brings a whole lot of features to the table for the same price.