Review: Lenovo Smart Display

Stephen Watson
July 24, 2019

Lenovo Smart Display 8inch – £179 or the 10-inch version £229

Smart Speakers and Smart Displays have become the norm in most of our homes with the likes of the Google Home Hub or JBL Link View that are great smart displays and now is the turn of Lenovo Smart Display.

On first impressions, the Lenovo Smart Display is basically just a bigger home hub and even runs via google assistant. Cost-wise Lenovo costs £179 compared to the JBL Link View @ £239 and the Google Home Hub @ £119. So let’s see how this compares. 

The Lenovo Smart Display comes in both 8 & 10-inch screen that has a high-resolution display at 142.21mm x 263.21 mm for the 8 inch and 1920 x1200- 10inch. It also has a front-facing camera that allows you to use Google Duo and have a two-way conversation something not possible on a google home hub. You can also turn the display 90 degrees to make the person who called in portrait mode if you wish.

The back of the device is a curved design and with grey plastic for the 8inch and bamboo for the 10inch which is sophisticated in design. On the front, as mentioned the screen is the star of the show at 1920 x 1200 which really takes using it to display pictures to another level. You also get the auto-brightness setting but this is something you get with the JBL but still a great feature if you are going to use this in your bedroom but personally, I think the kitchen is the best place for this smart display to be used. 

Camera-wise you are given a 5-megapixel front-facing camera that is also wide-angle which is a benefit for those who like to video call family or friends. What is a benefit of using this device if you were to put it in your bedroom is you can shield the lens when it’s not in use which is a nice security feature?

Setting up the Lenovo smart display is basically the same as if you were to set up the JBL or Google Home Hub. Power the device and make sure you download the Google Home App and just follow the instructions you can be set up in a matter of minutes it’s very simple to do even my father who not skilled when it comes to the technology used it fine.  The interface once set up shows basic information sure as to weather, up and coming events and some top news stories. If you swipe down from the top of the screen you get into the control station of the device where you can link up with the likes of Nest, Hive and that is where you can control your lights in the house (only with smart light bulbs) and also security cameras. You can also set the brightness of the display and even manually change the volume.

The performance of this device is also like the home hub in terms of verbal commands are needed to make this do anything such as asking for a recipe or to watch a youtube video for example. You can also ask it to set up countdown timers and set reminders.  What I personally like that the Lenovo does just as good as the Home Hub and the JBL models is it uses google photos when not in use as this shows me snaps from past holidays of snaps of my two sons which its focus on friends and family feature in the app.

In regards to the sound quality, the Lenovo really did not compare to the JBL Link View in fact it was somewhat a disappointment if am honest there was a real lack of bass considering the size of the speaker. Considering I would use this to play music 50% of the time the sound quality was a let down considering its just shy of £200 to buy.

I was also disappointed in the fact I would have to repeat myself when giving this commands this was not all the time but I did notice I was doing this more than when I have tested the Google Home hub.  I have checked this is different rooms but it still misheard me on occasion which I found at times myself having to raise my voice.  

Overall, considering would I spend more than the £119 for a Google Home Hub and by the Lenovo Smart Display that costs £179. If you’re looking for a larger display than maybe. However, the sound quality on the Lenovo was poor so if you want the bigger screen and better sound, in my opinion, spend a bit more and buy the JBL Link View. The plus point for the Lenovo is the fact you can use Google Duo and if you are buying a smart display for making video calls this is a great option. That aside, unfortunately, there are better options on the market.

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