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Lenovo Smart Display (8 ″ and 10 ″) review: Google Assistant with display - is that possible?

Picture: TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2019 TechnikNews)

The Lenovo Smart Display is the first smart speaker with Google Assistant and a display. I was curious what's behind it and was able to look at the 8-inch and 10-inch versions in detail for a few daysprobeer I was able to have this experience.

Disclaimer: Lenovo provided me with the Lenovo Smart Display 10 ″ for testing. I bought the eight-inch model for personal use.

Unboxing and initial setup

The shell of the Lenovo Smart Display's packaging looks pretty simple. A picture of the device, some labels, a few logos and lots of white areas. A more typical look. If you pull the box with the contents out of the outer shell and fold it open, the smart display wrapped in a film is immediately visible. Lenovo also includes a charger with its own plug and operating instructions.

This can be found in the packaging of the Lenovo Smart Display. (Image: TechnikNews)

The first setup takes place in the Google Home app, which is available for download in the App Store and Play Store. during this Prozesses, the devices connect to the home WLAN, your own Google account, the multimedia services you have subscribed to and the Google Photos library if you want to see your recordings on the start screen - more on that later. Before it can finally start, the device pulls a few updates from the Internet. After about 15 minutes it is Procedar finished.

Google Home
Price: Free of charge
Google Home
Price: Free of charge

Design and workmanship

Let's start with the front of the Lenovo Smart Display. To the left of the display, which is eight or ten inches in size depending on the variant, there is the only loudspeaker that the device has. He was always able to convince me very well. Whether loud or quiet music or podcasts, everything always sounds very good. In the end, however, the sound quality does not match that of the Libratone ZIPP 2 or Sonos One on it - there is still a clearly audible distance.

Picture: TechnikNews

To the right of the display is the five-megapixel camera for video calls in 720p with Google Duo, more details on this later. I found it good that this brightens the picture in poor lighting conditions so that one might think it was still broad daylight. I have also seen the white balance change when the video is overexposed. Probably the coolest thing is that there is a physical shutter for the lens to cover it. We already know something like that from Lenovo Yoga C930.

The webcam can be covered with a shutter. (Image: TechnikNews)

The back of the Smart Display is slightly curved and gray on the eight-inch model, while the ten-inch model has a wooden look, which looks incredibly good. The shape of the back allows it to be set up in portrait mode, which somehow only works with Google Duo, as the rest of the software is not designed for this. So the whole thing is then in my eyes functionless, because I personally could not bring myself to set up the assistant with display only to make calls.

Picture: TechnikNews

What remains is the mute switch for the microphones and the individual microphones themselves. These are responsible for recording voice commands, which even works when loud music is playing.

Display

As some have already noticed, Lenovo offers the Smart Display in two sizes. One with an eight-inch touch display and one with a ten-inch display. The 8 series has an HD resolution, while the 10 series comes with Full HD.

Picture: TechnikNews

I was asked by some whether the image quality of the two touchscreens was very different. And the answer here is clearly no. Purely in terms of sharpness, the eight-inch model doesn't have to hide from its big brother at all. Only the colors of the smaller model seemed a bit more desaturated to me. I found it good that the display darkens significantly and only shows the current time when the ambient light sensor detects that the sun is going down or it is getting dark. In other words: I was able to fall asleep undisturbed even when the smart displays were in the same room.

Operating system

The Lenovo Smart Display comes with the Google Assistant, Google's own voice assistant. You can confront him with all conceivable questions in everyday life, and you always get the right answer acoustically and visually. "How's the weather?", "What's on TV tonight?" and "What's on my calendar today?" we already know. Thanks to the touchscreen, things like "Show my photos!" or "Play a YouTube video!" now also work. proflawless.

The Google Assistant runs on the smart display. (Image: TechnikNews)

The Google Assistant can also be used to control smart home devices. From “Switch on the light!” To “Show the picture of the camera in the entrance area!”, Everything works perfectly and without hesitation.

Android Things

The assistant is not only there for control and navigation. Thanks to the display and the Android Things operating system, it is also possible to click through with your finger. I particularly liked that the entire system is very easy to use and that you can find your way around very quickly. I also liked that I could set an album from my collection in Google Photos as a slide show for the home screen. So I set myself up with pictures of my girlfriend, which often gave me a boost in motivation, especially when working.

The operating system on the smart display is called Android Things. (Image: TechnikNews)

I don't understand at all that there are no repetitions for alarms. If you define an alarm clock once, it will only ring once. If you forget to set the repetition manually, you are out of luck. To be fair, however, one has to say that this is not Lenovo's fault, but Google's fault. But that's not a thing that can't be changed with an update.

Playback of media

I myself mainly used the two smart displays for media playback. Either you call up content with the help of the Google Assistant or you put it on the gadget with Google Cast, which we already know from the Chromecast. Do you want to enjoy the content on a larger display? A voice command is enough and they are played on a television with a Chromecast.

The smart displays can be combined to form a group. (Screenshot: TechnikNews)

It's a shame that Netflix is ​​not supported. There is an official statement from Google here, in which it is explained that Netflix wants to test this relatively new platform for the time being. Appropriate support will almost certainly come soon. My displeasure about this quickly evaporated when I noticed that both smart displays could be combined into groups via the Google Home app.

That is the statement regarding the lack of support for Netflix. (Screenshot: TechnikNews, Via: 9to5Google)

Video calls with Google Duo

Earlier I leaked that the Lenovo Smart Display supports video calls with Google Duo thanks to the 720p camera.

A simple "Hey Google, call Anna!" Was enough for me review that my girlfriend smiled at me a few seconds later. According to her, she could always understand and recognize me clearly and distinctly. Of course, you can also take calls. Video or audio messages cannot be sent via the smart display. But that didn't bother me very much.

Prices and availability

The Lenovo Smart Display has been on sale in Germany, Austria and Switzerland since April 15. It's best to buy it at Lenovo directly or at Notebook cheaper. The RRPs here are 179 euros and 239 euros.

Lenovo Smart Display: Conclusion

After just a few days, I was completely oblivious to the Lenovo Smart Display even being in my presence. This is because everything in 99,9 Procent of the cases works, as advertised by Lenovo and Google. I was particularly impressed by the design with the wooden back, the ability to use the smart display as a digital photo frame and the video calling with Duo from Google. I was also impressed by the playback of podcasts, music and YouTube videos. Google Assistant also acted as it should at all times.

For the future, I would like Netflix to come onto the device and that you can define repetitions for alarms. In conclusion, Lenovo's smart display is definitely something to keep on your radar when thinking about buying one Proproduct thinks.

Thank you for providing the Lenovo Smart Display 10 ″.

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David Haydl

David lives in Graz and has been there for around half a decade TechnikNews, also editor-in-chief for some time. He regularly provides the site with news, test reports and the like TechnikNews Weekly, which was his idea to launch. He likes to spend his free time outdoors, listening to a lot of music (and clearly too loud) and some podcasts on all kinds of topics, and also likes to go running. He enjoys the time that remains with his charming girlfriend or in front of the TV.

David has already written 1156 articles and left 111 comments.

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Ben

Great test report. Can you also use it to control your Philips Hue lamps? Or what do you see on the display? Or would Alexa / Google Home also suffice?