Amazon Echo challenged as Lenovo announces a budget smart speaker rival

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  • January 10, 2019
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The Amazon Echo Spot is the firm’s smart speaker that has a build similar to a traditional alarm clock but modernises it with a 2.5-inch screen and Alexa assistant functionality.

The Echo Spot also comes with a front-facing camera that allows the device to perform video calls.

Although the Spot does not have the best audio fidelity when compared to other Echo products, it is still able to stream music for owners.

The most appealing feature about the device is by far its Alexa integration.

Amazon’s virtual helper is able to perform tasks and answer questions for users.

We were fans of the Echo Spot at Express.co.uk, awarding the hardware four out of five stars in our review.

Technology Editor David Snelling said: “There’s no question that the Echo Spot is a great little device.

“It’s the best looking Echo to date and brings enough added features to make it stand out from the ever-growing range of Alexa-enabled devices.

“Sadly, the fact that your bedroom is the most likely place you’ll put the Spot is one of its biggest problems.

“With its in-built connected camera you’ll have to decide if you feel comfortable with the Spot sitting in one of the most private rooms in your home.”

However, the Echo Spot now has a new rival from Lenovo following the firm’s announcement of its new Smart Clock at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.

The Smart Clock is a miniature smart speaker that has been positioned as the perfect addition to any bedside table.

Lenovo’s product offers a 4-inch touchscreen and is made of a fabric material.

The software running on the device is based on Android Things but has been modified, according to 9to5Google that recently went hands-on with it.

Moreover, the Google Assistant is built-in to the hardware, meaning users can summon the helper instantly with voice commands.

Unlike Lenovo’s larger Smart Display that can output user photos when it is not being used, when the Smart Clock is left idle it displays the time.

Although you cannot watch video or be given food recipes on the device, Google and Lenovo told 9to5Google the device has “feature parity” with other Assistant speakers.

The Lenovo Smart Clock is priced at $79.99 (£62.66) and is set to release in Spring.

Lenovo has confirmed to Express.co.uk the Smart Clock is set for a UK release but was unable to provide an exact price or date at this time.

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