Lenovo Smart Clock 2 Review: Is There Even A Point In Getting A Physical Alarm Clock Nowadays?
If you clicked into this article, you're probably interested in the answer. Well, yes, there is a point, at least for the Lenovo Smart Clock 2.
It's the company's successor to the original Smart Clock, which was an interesting concept, but lacked features that would really push people to adopt it. Well, the Smart Clock 2 has some new hardware that makes it pretty much an all-rounded object that you'll definitely be happy to have on your bedside table.
First off, you'll notice a big new addition: the dock. Lenovo has decided to offer a dock in the box that offers not only wireless charging, but also an LED strip where the clock module meets the base that functions as a nightlight and an indicator when something is placed on the wireless charging coil.
The dock is made with a speckled plastic that seems quite sturdy, and the connection between the dock and clock module is done through pogo pins. On the back of the dock, you get a USB-A port that allows you to plug in other chargers like for a smartwatch, or even just if you want to charge your device wired.
As for the clock module itself, it comes in three colours: Abyss Blue, Heather Grey and Shadow Black. Unfortunately, it seems like we'll only be getting Heather Grey here in Singapore, but truth be told, I think it looks super nice, so I'm not too bummed out here.
There's a 4-inch screen on the front, although I do have to say that the bezels are really thick. It would have been nice if Lenovo could have given us a bigger screen and reduced the bezels. Anyway, there's touchscreen capability here, and it's relatively responsive. The screen is big enough to display the time clearly, even when I was sitting around 3m away from the clock.
There's, of course, an alarm feature on the device, and Lenovo brings back the hard tap feature where you can slap your hand on the top of the clock to either snooze or turn off the alarm. It's a nice nostalgic feature that's pretty reminiscent of old alarm clocks with the big snooze button on top.
Swipe right on the screen and you get to the weather feature, which is actually also present as a small icon on the top right of the main screen. It's pretty intuitive and easily legible at a glance, as seen from the photo above where it was 27 degrees Celcius out on a rainy day.
On the last screen, you get YouTube Music. This works best if you have a subscription of course, but I found being able to say "Hey Google, play some K-Pop" or whatever incredibly convenient whenever I didn't want to pull out my phone. The front-firing 3W speakers are relatively powerful for the size of the clock, and music can get pretty loud, which is nice.
There's also the option to ask the speaker to turn on "relaxing sounds" which would end up with tracks that have white noise, ocean waves or the likes.
As for the nightlight feature, well, I absolutely love it. The intensity is customisable, so you can turn it way up or dim it so that it's not glaring in a dark room. What's really nice though, is that I can say "Hey Google, turn on the nightlight", and it turns on. One downside is that Google Assistant is surprisingly laggy. I can give a command and it takes anywhere from five seconds to 15 seconds to respond and complete the command.
Here's a tip though, if your commands to turn the nightlight on or off are being constantly misinterpreted by Google, just say "Hey Google, turn on nightlight". I found that saying "the nightlight" ended up with Google Assistant thinking I was talking about night mode most of the time, which got frustrating pretty quickly.
When I'm done with it, I can say "Hey Google, turn off nightlight" and it turns off too, so I don't even need to reach over to turn it off manually. It's great, and it's certainly something that I've used a few times in the middle of the night to make sure I don't knock over my glass of water when trying to take something from the bedside table.
And honestly, that's about it for the review. It's short, because how much more can I talk about an alarm clock? It works well and it certainly does a decent enough job at everything. The addition of wireless charging is definitely great, and I love the nightlight feature.
The only thing I want Lenovo to improve for a future iteration would be to make the Google Assistant faster. While I can live with the slight delay, it would be an even better experience with Google Assistant responding faster.
More information about the Lenovo Smart Clock 2 (S$129) can be found on Lenovo's website.
Written by Cheryl Tan