Lenovo makes things better with the revamped Smart Clock 2, a Google Assistant-enabled alarm clock with a new design, a vibrant touchscreen, improved sound, and, if you’re willing to pay for it, an optional wireless charging dock. which doubles as a night light.
The Smart Clock 2 makes for an engaging bedside companion, capable of playing calming tunes (or not), setting alarms and timers, displaying family photos, and controlling smart devices with voice commands from the Google Assistant. But at $ 70, the Smart Clock 2 is pricey, especially when you consider that the more capable, sleep-tracking Google Nest Hub costs just $ 30 more.
You can also buy the included watch with a Qi- and Apple MagSafe compatible wireless charging dock that features a built-in night light, but together, the combined devices take up considerably more space and the package costs $ 90.
Measuring 3.67 x 4.47 x 2.81 inches (HxWxD), the Lenovo Smart Clock 2 is slightly taller than its predecessor, but also shallower, with a base that conceals a pair of trigger controllers. 1.5 inch front. Weighing in at 0.66 pounds, the Smart Clock 2 feels solid and sturdy, but not overly heavy, and there’s little chance you’ll accidentally tip it over.
Available in Abyss Blue, Shadow Black and Heather Gray flavors, the Lenovo Smart Clock 2 arrives with a comfortable fabric cover, with volume up / down buttons on the top.
At the rear is a barrel-shaped power port for the roughly five-foot power cord, terminating in a thick-walled wart. Also on the rear is a switch that mutes the microphone.
Optional charging base
The optional charging dock, meanwhile, is nearly twice as wide as the watch itself, measuring 8.65 x 3.26 x 0.96 inches (WxDxH). A pair of rubber feet on the bottom help prevent the base from slipping, while a base on the top connects to the base of the watch via a series of pogo pins. On its own, the Smart Clock 2 is a compact device, but sitting on its charging dock, it has roughly the same footprint as the Google Nest Hub.
To the right of the base of the watch is the Qi-compatible charging surface, which supports Apple’s MagSafe charging standard. Testing it with my iPhone 12 Pro, the phone clicked into place and the screen showed the MagSafe charging symbol, as expected. I was also able to remove my iPhone from the MagSafe charger without lifting the base. If you want to charge a second device at the same time, you can do so using the rear USB-A charging port.
In addition to the Qi charging surface, the base also comes with a night light that is built into the base of the watch, surrounding the watch when docked.
The 11 lumen light comes on briefly when you dock the watch or place a phone on the charger, and you can also activate the light by swiping down on the watch screen and tapping the Night Light button. When you turn on the light manually, it turns off automatically after one to five minutes, and you can set the night light timer from the settings menu.
Now the beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and if you think the Lenovo Smart Clock 2 base looks good, more power to you. Personally, I thought the plastic composite surface of the base, which is dotted with little flecks of color, looked a bit ugly, particularly without a phone on the charger. In addition to looks, the charging base takes up a considerable amount of space, which could be a challenge on a crowded nightstand. In any case, it’s just me, and if the charging dock works for you (and functionally speaking, it works well), then don’t let it get in your way.
The 4-inch 480 x 800 pixel IPS display on the Lenovo Smart Clock 2 looked surprisingly sharp and vibrant to my eyes. By using the clock as a photo frame, my family photos looked pleasantly detailed and there was no sign of a screen door effect.
Unsurprisingly, the Smart Clock 2 lacks the Ambient IQ feature on Google’s pricier Nest displays, which does an excellent job of adjusting the display’s color according to the ambient light in the room. Still, the Smart Clock 2’s more typical ambient light sensor did a good job of dimming the screen when the lights went out, and when the room went completely dark, the screen switched to a night mode with a dim clock face. .
Functions and functionalities
While it comes with the full Google Assistant, the Lenovo Smart Clock 2’s viewing experience is a scaled-down version of what you’ll find on Google Nest smart displays. On the main screen, you can choose from 11 configurable clock faces, or you can use the clock as a photo frame using snapshots from Google Photos. Rather than trying to match portrait-oriented photos or just blur the sides of portrait images to fill the screen, the Smart Clock 2 wisely sticks to landscape-oriented photos only.
If you swipe the screen from right to left, it will jump to a screen that allows you to control whatever media is streaming to the watch (Chromecast audio is supported, but not video), while the screens below show active alarms, the weather and other relevant activities such as recent Spotify playlists and upcoming calendar events. Not bad, but the interface of the Google Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max is much more elaborate.
Swiping down the screen displays one-touch buttons for alarms, a nap timer, music (tapping the button will resume where you left off in your default music service on Google Home), and night light ( which, as I detailed above), will stay on for up to five minutes. There is also an on / off switch for all connected smart lights in the room. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen allows you to adjust the screen brightness, adjust the volume, enable a “do not disturb” and visit the settings screen.
Smart home control
Thanks to the built-in Google Assistant, Lenovo Smart Clock 2 lets you control your smart home devices that support voice commands, just as you would a Google Nest Audio or Nest Mini.
Google’s Home platform lags behind Alexa when it comes to smart device support, but it’s catching up fast, and most of the key players in the smart home arena (such as Philips Hue, TP-Link / Kasa Home, LG, Samsung, August, Arlo, and Wyze all play well with the Google Assistant, not to mention Nest thermostats.
Still, it’s worth noting (again) that the Lenovo Smart Clock 2 lacks the elaborate smart control screens on Google Nest Hub devices, and if you own any smart security cameras, you won’t be able to stream your video feeds live to the watch. monitor.
Lenovo boasts that the Smart Clock 2’s audio has improved now that its 1.5-inch drivers are in the front rather than the rear. I couldn’t compare the Smart Clock 2’s audio performance to its predecessor, but playing tunes on the new clock sounded pretty decent given how small it is, with Billie Eilish’s “oxytocin” sounding relatively crisp with a tiny tiny bass. while Little River Band’s “Reminiscing” sounded a bit warmer than I would have imagined. Still, we’re talking about audio quality clock radios here, so keep your expectations in check.
When it comes to music services, you can stream songs from any streaming service available on the Google Home app, including Apple Music, Deezer, iHeartRadio, Pandora, Spotify, and YouTube Music, as well as any music app that supports Chromecast.
While I’m a fan of its compact, cloth-covered design, bright display, and smart functionality, the $ 70 Lenovo Smart Clock 2 would be more attractive if it was priced a bit lower.
As I mentioned earlier, the Google Nest Hub Sleep Tracker is only $ 100, and it features the full Nest Hub experience as well as video streaming, and it’s not much bigger than the Smart Clock 2. And if you want the bulky (and if you ask me, something unsightly) wireless charging dock with night light, you’re looking for $ 90 for the package.
Still, the Lenovo Smart Clock 2 is good at what it does, and if you’re patient, you can probably get one at a discount. Just a few days before this review was published, Lenovo was offering the Smart Clock 2 (not the clock and charger bundle) for just $ 50, or almost as much as a Google Nest Mini without a display. At that price, the Smart Clock 2 starts to look much more attractive.