Lenovo Smart Clock 2 review: A cute alarm clock with serious smarts

There are many candy alarm clocks accessible so as to add a little bit of aptitude to your nightstand, however what about including some smarts too? That’s the place Lenovo’s Smart Clock 2 is available in. This lovable but useful clock doubles as a sensible show that’s powered by Google Assistant.

Which means you possibly can ask for climate updates or view Nest safety digital camera feeds with the correct voice command. And with a agency but mild faucet on the highest of the show, you possibly can silence your morning wake-up alarm earlier than beginning your day.

Right here’s what we take into consideration the tiny good show after utilizing the $69 Lenovo Sensible Clock 2 and the optionally available charging station for the final couple of weeks.

A tiny alarm clock with critical smarts

The who, what and the way

Who that is for: The Lenovo Smart Clock 2 is for somebody who prefers Google Assistant over Amazon’s Alexa platform and is searching for a brand new alarm clock that does greater than sound an alarm at a set time.

What you want to know: The Lenovo Sensible Clock 2 is a full-fledged good show that makes use of Google Assistant for visitors stories, climate forecasts or streaming your Nest digital camera feed to your nightstand. The whole setup is small — with solely a 4-inch show — so don’t anticipate to have the ability to learn it clearly from throughout the room. If you wish to add some utility to the Lenovo Sensible Clock 2, you possibly can pay a little bit further for a charging station that provides a wi-fi charging pad to maintain your telephone or earbuds charged whilst you sleep.

The way it compares: The $69 Sensible Clock 2 has a extra streamlined design in comparison with the unique Smart Clock, which you’ll be able to at the moment discover closely discounted. As a result of good shows have historically been designed for customers to observe digital camera feeds, stream movies or play video games, you’ll be hard-pressed to seek out one other machine with a 4-inch show. The Google Nest Hub (which retails for $99 however is at the moment half off) has louder audio system and an even bigger display screen, whereas Lenovo’s normal $69 Smart Display 7 stands out with its nice display screen and design.

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Once we first opened the field that the Sensible Clock 2 arrived in, we instantly discovered the show and marveled at simply how small it’s. No. Actually. The best smart displays appear to solely be getting larger and smarter, with gadgets just like the $250 Echo Show 10 and its 10-inch show that actually follows you across the room, or the 10-inch $229 Nest Hub Max with its massive design.

The Sensible Clock 2 measures 4.46 by 2.80 by 3.67 inches with a 4-inch touch-capable show and is available in three completely different colour choices: Heather Grey, Abyss Blue and Shadow Black. The show is lots vibrant, however that’s not what issues most as an alarm clock. As an alternative, it’s how dim can the display screen get whereas nonetheless being readable, however not one thing that retains you up all evening as a result of it’s lighting up your room. We’re glad to report that we didn’t should fiddle with its brightness settings throughout our testing — it robotically lowered its brightness as evening approached however was nonetheless clearly readable from just a few ft away. It’s not the best-looking show in terms of saturation and vivid colours, however it doesn’t should be.

On the again of the Sensible Clock 2 is the facility port and a mute change that turns off the always-listening microphone. On the underside of the clock is a set of pogo pins which might be used to attach the show and supply energy to the optionally available charging station.

The general design modifications from the unique Sensible Clock aren’t drastic. Lenovo added extra colour choices and the choice for the cost station however saved the material cowl on the housing. It appears to be like like a smaller model of the Nest Hub and Lenovo’s Sensible Show, and that’s a superb factor. If we might change something concerning the design of the Sensible Clock 2 it could be to shrink down the massive black bezels that encompass the display screen, letting the show move into the housing.

Jason Cipriani/CNN

The station itself is rectangular, with a spot to put the Sensible Clock 2 — full with the connecting pogo pins and an LED mild ring that goes across the backside of the show — together with a wi-fi charging pad to the correct of the display screen. On the again of the station is a full-size USB port that you need to use to attach a charger on your smartwatch.

The station provides $20 to the value of the setup, bringing the whole to $89 for the Smart Clock 2 and the charging station.

Outdoors of selecting the colour of the material that covers the show’s housing, the one different main buying choice associated to the Sensible Clock 2 is whether or not or not you need the charging station.

There are some magnets contained in the charging station that assist maintain your smartphone in place when it’s wirelessly charging. We solely know this as a result of the magnets even trick our MagSafe-equipped iPhone 13 Pro into considering it’s on a MagSafe charging pad, enjoying the animation after we place our iPhone on the pad.

We have been in a position to efficiently cost a number of completely different fashions of telephones on the wi-fi charging pad. The Pixel 5, a Samsung Galaxy S21 and iPhone 13 Professional all charged with none challenge. Nevertheless, we by no means did get Google’s new Pixel 6 Pro to begin charging on the pad. Regardless of how we positioned the telephone, the wi-fi charging coils have been by no means acknowledged.

We’re a giant fan of the Sensible Clock 2 with out the charging station just because we admire the minimal method of the clock by itself. That mentioned, the charging station doesn’t take up that a lot house and is an reasonably priced method of including wi-fi charging to your nightstand.

Jason Cipriani/CNN

The Sensible Clock 2 is a brilliant show that makes use of Google Assistant to reply widespread questions,  management your good residence and the like. Lenovo, nonetheless, has added just a few options to the Sensible Clock 2 that emphasize its main job of waking you up within the morning.

For starters, at any time when the alarm goes off, you possibly can faucet on the highest of the show to both shut it off or snooze it. You’re in a position to management which of these two choices are used within the settings.

There’s additionally a Dawn Alarm characteristic that may slowly flip up the brightness of the show, regularly lighting up your room earlier than the alarm sounds.

Moreover, there are a number of clock designs you possibly can choose from. Choices embody conventional alarm clock designs or extra interactive clocks that help you use an image of your personal, taken out of your Google Pictures account.

Navigating the Sensible Clock 2’s interface feels rather a lot like getting round a smartwatch. You’ll be able to long-press on the clock to select a unique clock design or customise the one you at the moment have set. As an example, you possibly can add or take away the climate or change the colour of the clock.

Swiping from any fringe of the show will set off a unique motion. Swiping down from the highest will reveal settings shortcuts. Swiping up from the underside offers you one other set of machine settings, whereas swiping towards the center of the display screen from the correct edge scrolls by way of a built-in nap alarm that’s already set for 20 minutes (how cool is that?!) in addition to your each day alarms and the present climate.

If you happen to’re throughout the room, you possibly can all the time use your voice to manage the Sensible Clock 2. It responds to “Hey Google” adopted by your question or command. The Clock 2 woke to instructions and responded simply as seamlessly as the usual Nest Hub. Now that we give it some thought, the Clock 2 did a greater job of hunting down any phrases that would sound like a false wake phrase, which is one thing that’s widespread throughout almost all good audio system or shows.

For instance, you possibly can ask for the present climate or a preview of what’s in your Google Calendar’s agenda for the day. You can too use it to manage any of your good residence gadgets, like your porch mild, Nest thermostat or entrance door lock. Granted, you’ll must have all of these gadgets linked to your Google account through the Google Dwelling app in your telephone.

Talking of the Dwelling app, you need to use an alarm to set off a Routine you’ve created within the Dwelling app. So, let’s say you’ve a Google Dwelling Routine that activates your lights and provides you a visitors replace and the time of your first appointment. You’ll be able to have your alarm set off your Good Morning routine after you shut it off, serving to you get your day began.

We appreciated the bonus data inside just a few seconds of waking up, however it’s not one thing we would depart on exterior of testing, solely as a result of we don’t need to get up our accomplice. Making a Routine just like the one we simply talked about is simple. In truth, Google has one which’s very near that as the primary template for a morning routine. You’ll be able to add or take away gadgets utilizing the Dwelling app in your telephone, tailoring the Routine to suit your wants.

Jason Cipriani/CNN

The Lenovo Smart Clock 2 is an lovable alarm clock that simply so occurs to have the facility of Google Assistant constructed into it. You should use it to take heed to podcasts whilst you go to sleep or begin enjoying your favourite tunes once you rise up within the morning — one thing that normal alarm clocks can do however with out the type that the Sensible Clock 2 affords.

For $70, it’s not an affordable alarm clock — however it isn’t simply an alarm clock. You’re in a position to take action way more, and in case you go for the charging stand, these capabilities are expanded much more. Certain, you may get a Nest Hub for near the identical worth, however it lacks the identical alarm clock-specific options and takes up much more house in your nightstand.

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