The Lenovo Smart Clock wants a "Spot" on your night table too. - Gadget Victims

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The Lenovo Smart Clock wants a "Spot" on your night table too.

Lenovo Smart Clock (CD24501F) is not a smaller version of Lenovo Smart Displays.

It's a smart bedside clock, nothing more, and that's why it's just perfect for the job!




I mostly adopted the Google Assistant ecosystem, but always found the offer in Alexa speakers far more appealing.

Until recently, only the small Echo Spot, would have made a decent, but pricy, bedside alarm clock.

It's not that there's been no atttempts to fill the gap on the Google side:
Solis So2000, Sony LF-S50G, iHome IGV1 and Insignia NS-CSPGASP, all unconvincing products using the magic words "Work with Google Assistant" as a justtification for their inflated price!

With the arrival of the Lenovo Smart Clock, it seem that Google has finally a smart device deserving a place on the night table.




Specification:
Model : Lenovo CD-24501F
CPU: Mediatek MT8167S
Display: 3.97@ 480*800 WVGA IPS
Memory: DDR3 1GB+8GB
Radios: WiFi 802.11 a/b/c/n/ac+ and BT5.0
OS: Android Things w/Google Assistant
Weight: 689 gr

Box content: 
The clock,
a 20V/1.5A charger,
a quick start guide


First look

With is gray mesh, the design of the CD-24501F is not without ressemblance with the Google Mini.
The front side is occupied by the screen, the top has a + and - volume buttons (I like the Lenovo name tag), and a power jack, a microphone mute switch, and a USB charging port are located at the back.


Setting up

Adding the Lenovo clock is straightforward and like any Google device, it is detected instantly.


For a mysterious reason, the first attempt to connect ot my 2.4Ghz access point failed stubornly, and connected straight away after a power cycle.

I guess it could have reset the Lenovo clock by pressing both + and - buttons together for a few seconds, like the Lenovo Smart displays, but didn't need to go that far.

I'd say it took 10 minutes to have it ready, mostly because an initial updates had to be installed.




What it is (and what it's not)

It has a screen! Why can't I stream pictures and videos to it?

It should have been easy enough for the Mediatek MT8167S inside the CD-24501F to stream videos on that ridiculous 4" screen, but 
Lenovo obviously wanted to fill a gap rather than competing with their own Smart Display or the Google Home Hub.

Those who want to watch videos or photos on that tiny screen will be disapointed: it's simply not supported. Your bedroom clock might be still detected as a Chrome Cast device by Youtube, Netflix and Synology DS video, but the video stream will not go through. Personally I see very little interest in this. Also, of course, there's no integrated camera.

I had it on my desk for the time of the test but it would be of limited interest there. That's in the bedroom that it really shines!

Lenovo Smart Clock is a Google Mini with a screen.

So it will do all the things you'd do with a Google Mini speaker, with some visual addition for your agenda items, the weather, the control of other smart devices or routines.

The alarm clock functions consist in snooze, nap timer, a "Sunrise" alarm progressively increasing the brightness of the screen, a nice selection of wake up tunes and clock faces
.
The video below will give you a better example. 


A light sensor adjusts the brightness so it wont disturb your sleep at night.
A classic alarm clock would have a backup battery, this one has none. I don't mind too much: teir purpose is only to keep the internal clock up to date until the power if back. Here the Lenovo just always gets the right time from the network.

The sound quality is another point of comparison with the Google Mini: it's okay for the purpose of waking you up or listen to the radio in your bedroom, but it's clearly not a Sonos.
I like the fact that the volume has enough amplitude, so the lower level is really soft and can wake up only my side of the bed.



Conclusion

The Lenovo Smart Speaker is very much a Google Mini with a screen to show the time (and the weather, and the coming agenda items,...).

I really like it a lot as a bedside alarm clock and it's perfect if you want just that, with a bit of "smart" touch, without paying a premium.



At time of writing, the Lenovo Smart Clock can be found around 65€ / 60£ / 73$. (I got mine from BT shop in UK but they increased the price recently...)
That's a fair price for what's basically an improved Google Mini, and you should not pay more.

The problem is that currently, many places, including the official Lenovo Shop sell it for 80£ (on the UK shop, or 80$ on the US page! They really need to figure out the currency rates).

For that price, the Lenovo Smart Clock is no match for the more capable Echo Show 5 (well... maybe) if you don't mind using Alexa or mixing it with other Google devices (there's nothing wrong with that).







Good
- Ideal size for a bedside clock
- Sunrise mode for waking up
- MIC ON/OFF switch
- No camera

Less Good:
- average speaker quality 




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