Lenovo added to its smart clock lineup last year with the $50 Essential, a parred-down but still quite smart riff on the original. While Black Friday sales knocked 50 percent off the Smart Clock Essential a few months ago, Lowe’s now has it for only $20, which is a new all-time low. This sale ends at the end of today, though, so you’ll have to decide quickly if you want to take the plunge.
The Smart Clock Essential has a similar design to the original Smart Clock, but Lenovo stripped the Essential’s screen capabilities down to the bare minimum. Instead of a full-color display, the Essential’s 4-inch LED screen only shows the time in bold digits, along with the date and current temperature in your area. It’ll also show a small clock icon if you’ve set an alarm.
The compact device holds a 1.5-inch, three-watt speaker that’s surprisingly capable at pumping out tunes — Engadget’s Nicole Lee said it’s on-par with the quality of the original Smart Clock. The device has a few physical controls as well, including an alarm setup button, volume controls and a mic-mute button for when you want extra privacy. There’s also a USB-A port on the back of the clock, allowing you to more easily charge your smartphone or another device overnight.
The smart features come from the built-in Google Assistant that lets you do a bunch of things with voice commands. If you’re used to asking the Assistant to play music, set timers, turn on or off smart lights and the like, you’ll be able to do all of that and more with the Smart Clock Essential. You can also ask it to adjust the clock’s brightness (it has no ambient light sensor to do so automatically) or turn on the built-in nightlight. While you won’t get the extra visual information that the original Smart Clock brings with its display, you’re still getting a solid smart clock with the most crucial features of the Google Assistant.
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