Lenovo Smart Display

8.4/10 AVG.
RATING

  • Lenovo Smart Display
  • Lenovo Smart Display

Specs / Features


Specification

Wireless
Wireless Inputs Bluetooth
Brand Lenovo
Warranty 12 months

The "1-Minute" Review

What's good

  • Bright, well-balanced display
  • Android Things support
  • Attractive, functional design
  • Chromecast integration
  • Camera privacy shutter and hardware mic mute buttons

What's bad

  • No continued conversations support
  • Not Netflix compatible (yet)
  • Shallow audio
  • No portrait support outside Duo

As one of the more recent smart device trends, smart speakers can be found from a range of manufacturers and in a variety of sizes. The Lenovo Smart Display looks to take this trend and present it in a whole new way -- namely with the addition of a large touchscreen. But is it something that adds value to the device or a mere gimmick to entice buyers?

Reviewers loved the display’s design. Its asymmetric, triangular corner doubles as an integrated stand in both portrait and landscape modes while the speaker pumps out plenty of volume -- though some found it a bit shallow in terms of base and overall depth.

There are two variants available. One includes an 8-inch, 1280-by-800 pixel touchscreen display, a 1.75-inch, 10-watt woofer, and a grey rubberized rear coating. The other is a 10-inch, 1920-by-1200 touchscreen display, a 2-inch 10-watt woofer, and a smooth bamboo rear panel.

Reviewers loved the look of the larger model but found the smaller acceptable as well if space or budget concerns apply.

Powering the display, you’ll find a Snapdragon 624-based Home Hub platform with 2GB of RAM. While it responded fast enough to common commands, many reviews noted sluggishness when loading in-depth information -- such as playlists from Spotify or step-by-step recipe instructions from Google. Still, it wasn’t enough to be frustrating to most, simply enough to notice.

Microphones sit on the top edge of the display. Unlike many smart speakers, reviewers found the dual microphone array on the display highly directional. Issue commands from behind or beside the unit received mixed responses. However, speaking directly at it worked great.

This is important because while there is a touchscreen for added controls and interactivity, you still must use voice commands to start most commands or activities. Many reviewers hoped that Google or Lenovo would add a more touch-centric control to the display.

Most commands are started using “Hey Google.” With support for multiple voices and profiles, you can assign the whole family to a single speaker and get responses customized to their contacts, photos, and general preferences. But, there’s G Suite account support or Continued Conversations support. So don’t expect to look up work calendar entries or perform complex commands just yet.

There’s full integration with Android Things supported devices -- such as Nest thermostats, Nest outdoor cameras, Philips Hue lightbulbs, and full Chromecast support. There’s currently an issue with Netflix. However, most other apps stream to the display with no issues.

The display includes 4GB of storage. But, given it requires power to function, isn’t exactly portable, and connects to Google’s Drive cloud storage, that should be plenty to keep things moving along.

The display includes a 5MP front-facing camera with privacy shutter for detecting movement and placing Google Duo calls. While the video quality is decent, it will not work for recording vlogs or other high-quality video needs.

Overall, reviewers felt the display is an excellent example of what smart displays might bring to an already-crowded smart “things” market. Slash Gear says, “If you’re a Google Home user I’d say the Lenovo Smart Display is definitely worth considering for the extra functionality it adds, though the price delta between it and a Google Home Mini still makes voice-only the best starting point for most.” Android Police backs this up, saying, “With very few reservations, I can easily recommend Lenovo's Smart Display to anyone that can afford it.”

Critic Reviews


Daily Express

A gorgeous screen, powerful speakers and incredibly handy Google Assistant functionality

from Daily Express

The Smart Display is the first foray into an entirely new operating system from Google that attempts to bring its lauded Assistant into a more presentable and accessible format. But Lenovo's product does not just excel for being an introductory venture, instead it masterfully delivers an array of...More

The Smart Display is the first foray into an entirely new operating system from Google that attempts to bring its lauded Assistant into a more presentable and accessible format. But Lenovo's product does not just excel for being an introductory venture, instead it masterfully delivers an array of useful functions that quickly become hard to live without.

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Stuff

A really great device at a really great price

from Stuff

On the one hand, it’s a great product at a great price (the 8in version at £159, anyway), and another example of how Google Assistant-powered visual smart assistants are much easier to recommend than Amazon’s Echo Show right now. On the other hand, its strange styling serves an extremely lim...More

On the one hand, it’s a great product at a great price (the 8in version at £159, anyway), and another example of how Google Assistant-powered visual smart assistants are much easier to recommend than Amazon’s Echo Show right now. On the other hand, its strange styling serves an extremely limited purpose, one that probably won’t be used by that many people. There are still plenty of reasons to buy this over the Google Home Hub, though. The bigger screen, improved sound and ability to video call do warrant the extra £20, and it’s still a lot cheaper than the new Amazon Echo Show.

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Tech Advisor

A strong start for Google’s smart display ecosystem

from Tech Advisor

Probably a better option than the Google Home Hub for most users - if only for the integration of a camera for video calling. Ultimately, the irritations here are mostly on Google’s side, and mostly software - so we hope they might improve over time anyway.

Read full review

Probably a better option than the Google Home Hub for most users - if only for the integration of a camera for video calling. Ultimately, the irritations here are mostly on Google’s side, and mostly software - so we hope they might improve over time anyway.

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TrustedReviews

Bigger and better

from TrustedReviews

With its portrait mode, more impressive audio and larger screen, the Lenovo Smart Display 10" offers something different to the Google Home Hub, but the design could be a little nicer.

Read full review

With its portrait mode, more impressive audio and larger screen, the Lenovo Smart Display 10" offers something different to the Google Home Hub, but the design could be a little nicer.

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Android Guys

It’s hard to imagine a future without something like this in every room

The Smart Display might be manufactured by Lenovo but it is Google through and through — and that’s awesome. We use its services for search, Chrome, Gmail, calendar appointments, YouTube, and much, much more. This is a piece of hardware that ties many of those things together, and it does it in a uniform and interesting experience....

More

The Smart Display might be manufactured by Lenovo but it is Google through and through — and that’s awesome. We use its services for search, Chrome, Gmail, calendar appointments, YouTube, and much, much more. This is a piece of hardware that ties many of those things together, and it does it in a uniform and interesting experience.


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Gear Diary

Takes Google Assistant to the next level

from Gear Diary

Google Home is cool, Google Assistant is handy; having a 10″ screen on an attractively designed Google Home speaker takes it to the next level. The Lenovo Smart Display is the perfect device for anyone who is invested in the Google ecosystem; whether it’s on your desk or in the kitchen, the L...More

Google Home is cool, Google Assistant is handy; having a 10″ screen on an attractively designed Google Home speaker takes it to the next level. The Lenovo Smart Display is the perfect device for anyone who is invested in the Google ecosystem; whether it’s on your desk or in the kitchen, the Lenovo Smart Display is a handy and intuitive digital assistant — that can show you things.

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G Style Magazine

A nice looking product without all the unnecessary hook up

from G Style Magazine

Using a Smart Display powered by Google has opened my eyes to all the things I was missing on a visual smart home device. Lenovo has created a nice looking product that resembles a tablet without all the unnecessary hook up and propping. If you find yourself in the kitchen a great deal or need a...More

Using a Smart Display powered by Google has opened my eyes to all the things I was missing on a visual smart home device. Lenovo has created a nice looking product that resembles a tablet without all the unnecessary hook up and propping. If you find yourself in the kitchen a great deal or need a visual alarm clock in the bedroom or desk side it’s a great device to replace your add on to your smart home ecosystem.

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Android Authority

Much more than a Google Home

from Android Authority

Despite this, the Smart Display itself was everything I wanted it to be and more. While it’s not a Google Home, it did 90 percent of the tasks I expected it to and provides rich visual information on top of the queries and commands that I give it. I find this incredibly valuable, and a valid re...More

Despite this, the Smart Display itself was everything I wanted it to be and more. While it’s not a Google Home, it did 90 percent of the tasks I expected it to and provides rich visual information on top of the queries and commands that I give it. I find this incredibly valuable, and a valid reason to consider replacing my collection of Google Homes and Assistant speakers — or at least some of them.

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Android Police

The best new kitchen appliance since the dishwasher

from Android Police

The convenience of voice-controlled step-by-step recipes with accompanying text obviates the use of a tablet, phone, or Chromebook while cooking. Paired with cast support, it's the ideal cord-cutting kitchen screen, period.

Read full review

The convenience of voice-controlled step-by-step recipes with accompanying text obviates the use of a tablet, phone, or Chromebook while cooking. Paired with cast support, it's the ideal cord-cutting kitchen screen, period.

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Wired

An ideal kitchen companion

from Wired

It's a killer product for those who prefer to live the Google life, and it'll only get better as the voice assistant improves. Its reasonable price, attractive design, and promise of future software improvements all mean this is a device you won't be ashamed to have standing by, ready for the nex...More

It's a killer product for those who prefer to live the Google life, and it'll only get better as the voice assistant improves. Its reasonable price, attractive design, and promise of future software improvements all mean this is a device you won't be ashamed to have standing by, ready for the next time you feel like mixing it up with your avocado toast.

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