It’s little surprise that the humble alarm clock is currently undergoing something of a renaissance as we enter the age of the connected home.
With smart displays, and voice controlled smart assistants becoming more sophisticated by the day, it was only going to be a matter of time until the tech transitioned to our bedside tables.
While smartphones hooked up to a wider smart home system (think wireless speakers and smart lighting) have allowed a degree of smart alarm functionality up to now, they were ultimately always a stand-in for the real thing or a dedicated display based device that could be glanced at groggily at 5:30.
If you want to leave the phone where it really belongs when you turn in for the night – i.e, not next to the bed – then making the move to a dedicated smart alarm clock is one of the best investments you can make to wake up more refreshed after a better night’s sleep.
The Best Smart Alarm Clock Options
When it comes to smart alarm clocks, there’s no such thing as a device that only acts as an alarm clock.
In fact it’s precisely due to the multi-functional nature of smart alarm clocks that they’re actually considered smart, allowing them to connect to and communicate with other devices in your smart home ecosystem and generally carry out all of those tasks that make them so darn useful.
The Lenovo Smart Clock is probably the quintessential bedside smart alarm clock solution and utilizes Google’s smart assistant as the brains behind the screen for answering all of your hands-free voice commands.
One of the notable things about Lenovo’s Smart Clock is that it doesn’t include a camera and depending where you stand on such things, this may be a good thing when it comes to a bedside smart alarm clock.
A 4 inch display is the basis for the visual representation of the clock but unlike some of the other options out there (like the Echo Show 5), this is where the display features end.
Voice control is handled by the Android Things platform that other third-party speakers use and as there’s no master dashboard or home control screen, voice is the main method of interaction here.
In terms of audio quality, the 1.5 inch speaker on the Lenovo means that it’s not going to be winning any awards as a dedicated, stand alone speaker solution for your household music needs – you’ll almost certainly want a higher output audio device for that – but for morning wake-up calls or late night listening, this is a solid choice.Learn More About the Lenovo Smart Clock Here
The latest member of Amazon’s smart speaker range is actually surprisingly small yet manages to cram a ton of tech into its compact form factor.
Perfectly suited for even the smallest bedside table or surface, the Echo Show 5 includes a 4W speaker, an in-built camera, a 3.5mm jack, and of course, a display for showing everything from the time to video calls.
As with the other members of the Echo family, the Show 5 is first and foremost a voice controlled smart speaker and uses Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant to listen for (and act upon) your commands or questions. This is a useful feature in any smart alarm clock whether you’re checking you turned all of the lights off downstairs, grabbing the news headlines as you rush to get ready for work, or simply want to listen to music or an audiobook before settling down for the night.
All in all, the Echo Show 5 is undeniably a natural choice for a smart alarm clock solution and the wealth of features combined with its frankly tiny footprint, make it a solid candidate as one of the best smart alarm clock systems for the money.Learn More About the Echo Show 5 Here
Amazon’s Echo Spot is one of the earlier display-based devices in the company’s Alexa family and as such, it’s equipped with the usual bells and whistles of the range with the addition of a display and camera.
Of course it’s this last feature – the camera – which represents the original USP of the Spot, allowing for you to make device-device video calls (and the quality of these is actually pretty good) and this may or may not be something worth thinking about when choosing your
The bulk of the Echo Spot’s face is taken up by the body of the unit with just a 2.5 inch display area for providing any pertinent visual information like the time, images, news headlines etc, but if screen size is a secondary consideration for you, then this probably won’t be too much of a deal breaker.
There are a few marks against the Spot when it comes to pressing it into service as a smart alarm clockLearn More About the Echo Spot Here