Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Lenovo ditches Google Assistant and adopts Alexa for its Smart Clock Essential this CES 2022

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The revised Smart Clock Essential, unlike previous models, comes with Alexa instead of Google Assistant, effectively turning it into an Echo Dot turned smart clock. The majority of the big changes to the clock care due to Lenovo handing over the baton to Alexa, but there are a few minor tweaks worth mentioning as well.

You can still use the Smart Clock Essential to set an alarm, timer, and reminders, as well as control your smart home; any product that works with Alexa will also operate with the Smart Clock Essential. You can also stream audio from Amazon Music and other streaming services, which the smart clock plays through its 3W speaker, which is the same as the previous model.

The cloth shell that wraps around the LED clock face is more apparent than before, extending beneath the face and visible when looking at the clock straight on. It also has a slanted design, similar to the way the cases of the Echo Show and Meta Portal are angled.

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Aside from that, the weather and time are still displayed on the segmented LCD clock face. When you ask Alexa for something, the display, according to Lenovo’s demo video, will also show simple animations – a capability that the older Google Assistant model didn’t have. You can tap the device to silence an alarm (which didn’t work well in the previous model, as we highlighted in our review), and it also has a USB connector for charging your phone or other devices. The new Smart Clock, like the older one, lacks a camera and also includes a microphone mute switch, according to Lenovo.

In addition to the new Smart Clock Essential, Lenovo is updating its Smart Frame, which will be available in the first quarter of 2022, according to Lenovo. When the update is released, you won’t need a Google Images account to display your photos in the frame; instead, you may use your phone to upload photos to the device’s built-in memory. You may also arrange and time virtual “sticky notes” that show on your screen and contain a personalized message for your family members. Lenovo first revealed the Smart Frame at CES in 2020, and it was initially available for half price on the crowdsourcing platform Indiegogo.

The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential costs $59.99. It’s expected to be released this month and will be available in grey or red. The Smart Frame, which costs $399.99, is already available for purchase.

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