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Should you buy the Lenovo Smart Clock or Lenovo Smart Clock Essential

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That something extra

Lenovo Smart Clock



Nailing the basics

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential



When pitting the Lenovo Smart Clock vs. Lenovo Smart Clock Essential we have to look at them as more than just as a clock. For most people, one of the most necessary items in the bedroom is an alarm clock. Whether that is your phone or a traditional bedside clock to help you get up and going in the morning, something to initiate that routine is a must-have. Lenovo has two options paired with Google Assistant to help take up that spot on your nightstand. However, the Smart Clock and next month's Smart Clock Essential approach that task the same yet differently at the same time.

Lenovo Smart Clock vs. Lenovo Smart Clock Essential: Looking for points of separation in small spaces

These two diminutive smart clocks share many the same features, but the differences are apparent when looking at them head-on.

Lenovo Smart Clock Lenovo Smart Clock Essential
Dimensions (H x W x D) 3.14" x 4.48" x 3.12 2.52" x 4.76" x 3.27"
Weight 328g 328g
Speaker 1.5" 3W speaker 1.5" 3W speaker
Memory 1GB RAM, 8GB 4GB RAM, 4GB
Processor Mediatek 8167S 1.5ghz Amlogic A113X
Display 4" IPS, 480×800, touch compatible 4" LED
Connectivity 2.4G/5G Dual Band, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4G/5G dual band, Bluetooth 5.0
Color Soft Touch Grey Soft Touch Grey
Smart Assistant Google Assistant Google Asssistant

Each of these options are very similar in size and has the same speaker for music or Google Assistant responses. Though both can let you see what time is at a glance, that essential feature is handled very differently between these two smart clocks.

Lenovo Smart Clock vs. Lenovo Smart Clock Essential: How do the differences stack up?

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential Lifestyle

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential LifestyleSource: Lenovo

In most situations, a Google Assistant powered speaker with a display is too large for a bedside table. With options ranging from 7 inches, like the Lenovo Smart Display 7 up to the 10-inch behemoth in Google's Nest Hub Max, you're talking a lot of real estate to be taken up by your alarm clock — not to mention more money too.

Of course, you don't only have to put these clocks on your nightstand, but with displays of only 4 inches, seeing them at a distance could become a strain for some. With the Smart Clock, you get a full color 480×800 display that can be used much like other smart displays you may be used to. It has a variety of built-in clock faces, can show pictures by connecting it to your Google Photos account, or even video streams from connected cameras.

Lenovo Smart Clock

Lenovo Smart ClockSource: Chris Wedel/Android Central

Like other smart displays, the Smart Clock is a touchscreen. This lets you swipe through information like weather, your daily schedule, reminders, and more. You can also pull down from the top, like the notification shade on your phone, to access alarm settings and lighting controls for smart lights in the same room as the Smart Clock. There is also an ambient light sensor to dim the display in low light so not to disturb you while sleeping.

This little display is also quite beneficial when asking your Google Assistant questions or giving commands. While both the Smart Clock and Smart Clock Essential can respond to your voice, the former's display can show additional information that expands on the audible response.

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential Lifestyle

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential LifestyleSource: Lenovo

All of this isn't to say that the Smart Clock Essential display is terrible. There's something to be said for simplistic, and for some, it's a preferred style. You still get info aside from just the time on the LED display, such as the current temperature, weather icon, day, microphone status, and alarm status. However, there are no color changes, no photos, no visual Google Assistant feedback aside from the four blinking dots telling you that the Google Assistant is thinking.

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The Smart Clock Essential does have a nifty feature that the Smart Clock doesn't — a built-in nightlight. The LED ring that encircles the clock's back is a dim, but bright enough for its function. Its brightness can help you navigate a dark room, but not so much that it'll keep you awake at night.

Lenovo Smart Clock vs. Lenovo Smart Clock Essential: Which should you buy?

Lenovo Smart Clock

Lenovo Smart ClockSource: Chris Wedel/Android Central

These two clocks share a similar form factor, a lovely gray fabric covering the body of the clocks, and microphone mute switch. They both also have a USB-A port on the back to plug in your phone's charging cable, but the part you most interact with — the screen — is very different. The small yet functional display offered on the Smart Clock gives you all that the Smart Clock Essential does, but with the option for more. You can see the responses from your Google Assistant, the ability to swipe to see more from your local weather, and the nice functionality of a connected digital photo frame.

Sure the Smart Clock Essential can take voice commands and play music just as the Smart Clock can, but if you are going to have a smart speaker with a display on it, a more capable display is worth it.

Display it all



Lenovo Smart Clock

Small form, big info

The small 4-inch display is just the right size for a bedside table and actionable information on its touchscreen. When asking Google Assistant for your daily schedule, weather, or connected cameras, it is all there to see. Of course, there's also playing music, alarms, and telling the time.

Keep it simple



Lenovo Smart Clock Essential

See what's key

With its 4-inch LED display, you get basic info like the time, weather, temperature, and alarm status. While the display is limited, you still get the full Google Assistant with a capable speaker for your smart home needs.

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