Tech know: smart alarm clocks

The choice primarily comes down to whether your smart home is on Team Google or Team Amazon. If you’re yet to swear your allegiance, Amazon’s Echo Show 5 comes out ahead on screen size and sound quality, along with photo frame features, but the Lenovo might win you over if you’re looking for something really small and unobtrusive.

Lenovo Smart Clock $129
The Lenovo’s more compact size makes it easier to tuck away in a small space. Both smart clocks automatically dim when the lights go out but the Lenovo’s screen gets dimmer so it’s less likely to bother light sleepers. The Lenovo lacks a built-in camera for video chat, which might suit some people, but the Amazon’s camera does have a sliding lens cover to help protect your privacy.

Amazon's Echo Show 5, smart alarm clock.

Amazon’s Echo Show 5, smart alarm clock.

Amazon Echo Show 5 $129
The Show 5’s larger screen makes it easier to read from across the room, while its speaker does a better job of filling the room with music. The screen can also double as a digital photo frame. Both smart clocks can show you the live view from compatible security cameras, but only the Amazon can play streaming video – although you miss out on Netflix and YouTube in favour of Amazon Prime Video.

If you want a larger smart screen for the living area then check Amazon’s Echo Show and Google’s Next Hub Max, which have an iPad-esque 10-inch screen. They each have a built-in camera for making video calls to family and friends plus, when it’s time to rock, they pump out enough sound to fill a mid-sized room.

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