Nearly a year and a half ago, I reviewed Lenovo's Smart Clock, which was basically a four-inch smart display with Google Assistant and costs $79. But now, Lenovo is here with the Smart Clock Essential, lowering the barrier of entry to just $49.
To be clear, the feature set of the Smart Clock Essential is a subset of what's offered from the Smart Clock, because this isn't a smart display at all. There are no fun clock faces to choose from, and there are no fancy animations when you ask what the weather is. You can't even use it as a digital picture frame.
Instead, this is a smart speaker that's built into a regular old LED clock. That clock tells you the time and the temperature outside, and that's it. It's definitely a scaled down device. It does have the Google Assistant, and that's the whole value proposition. It's a clock with a Google Assistant smart speaker built into it for $49.
Personally, I like these two-in-one types of devices. I'm not big on virtual assistants, so I wouldn't want a standalone Google Assistant device taking up space. I'd rather have something useful, like a clock, that has Assistant built into it. Check out my impressions below: