Xiaomi Mi Smart Clock: Smart alarm clock with Google Assistant for 60€
The Xiaomi Smart Clock is a small Google Assistant smart speaker with a display and is intended for use on the bedside table. Here, it is supposed to replace the classic alarm clock and of course be nice and “smart”. Unlike a Nest Hub, the Smart Clock can unfortunately not show videos from YouTube and Co. on the 4-inch display, but it also only costs about 60€ and was already available for 30€ thanks to offers. You can find out exactly what the small alarm clock replacement has to offer in our review.
- Xiaomi Mi Smart Clock
Mi Smart Clock Technical Specifications
|Xiaomi Mi Smart Clock|
|Display||4 inch Touchscreen, 800 x 480 Pixel, 233 PPI|
|Speaker||1,5 inch Lautsprecher|
|Microphones||2 far field microphones|
|Smart functions||integrated Google Assistant, integrated Chromecast|
|Connectivity||WLAN 2,4 GHz, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Memory||1 GB RAM, 4 GB mass storage|
|Power supply||Micro USB connector (5V/2A)|
|Dimensions / Weight||113 × 68 × 81.5 mm / 272 g|
|Scope of Delivery||Mi Smart Clock, power supply with cable, manual|
Simple design for every bedroom
I would describe the design as typical for Xiaomi, since the Smart Clock is quite plain. Thus, it should be able to fit into as many bedrooms as possible, which has already worked quite well for me. With dimensions of only 11.3 × 6.8 × 8.15 cm, it does not take up much space and should fit on most nightstands. The case is made of plastic, but the entire underside is covered with relatively non-slip gray rubber.
Also on the bottom are slots all around for the 1.5-inch speaker. Only the micro-USB port is at the back – a cable (1.2 m) with an angled micro-USB port that is firmly connected to the power adapter is included. Three buttons are found at the top, which, from left to right, offer the functions “turn down”, “mute microphone” and “turn up volume”. To the left and right of the buttons are the two far-field microphones.
Good display & weak speaker
The front is made of glass and has quite large black borders around the LCD. The color display measures 4 inches diagonally and is of course also a touchscreen. The resolution is not particularly high at 800 x 480 pixels (233 PPI), but it is perfectly sufficient for the size and type of product. You can manually adjust the brightness in eleven levels (0-10) or let the automatic brightness do the work. I did that as well and it works very well thanks to the integrated ambient light sensor. The lowest brightness is not too bright and the highest does a good job even in a lot of sunlight.
The color reproduction is not particularly strong; a high-contrast AMOLED panel would be a nice upgrade for the second generation. The touchscreen responds quickly to inputs and the viewing angle stability is also good. This is an important factor especially after waking up when you are lying in bed in an absolutely impossible position again.
The 1.5″ speaker fires downwards all around, so the sound is then reflected from the table and spreads well. Unfortunately, the sound itself is not the best. Tinny, flat and without bass, the speaker is still sufficient for the radio, podcasts and wake-up or sleep music, where you only half listen. The best comparison I can think of are those (cheap) kitchen radios that you hang under the cabinet. My Nest Mini (2nd gen) simply sounds much better.
Setup of the Mi Smart Clock
Like a Nest Hub or Nest Mini, setup is easy via the Google Home app (Android / iOS). When you plug in the Smart Clock, it boots up and guides you through the setup process. Since I already use Google Assistant and Google Home, the alarm clock was displayed directly in the app and I could start the setup, which only takes a few minutes.
The Xiaomi Home app is not needed at any point, and you don’t need a Xiaomi account either. This is a pure Google Home / Google Assistant product, which is simply made by Xiaomi. There is also no special integration or connection with other smart Xiaomi devices. The advertised connection to the Mi 360° Home Security Camera (2K) is, as far as we understand it, half via Google Home, but the camera is at home with Xiaomi Home. You then have to link Xiaomi Home with Google Home to see the camera’s live feed from the Smart Clock. This is then also only possible via a voice command. Unfortunately, we could not test the camera connection. If you have any current experiences, please post them in the comments.
Operation & functions of the Mi Smart Clock: Music, photos, smart home and much more.
The user interface obviously comes completely from Google, because the direct competitor, Lenovo’s Smart Clock 2, apparently runs the same software. It is very simple, even simpler than the Nest Hub. The home screen shows the current time and, depending on the selected design, also the current weather and day. If you activate the “home screen ticker”, reminders, current music playbacks, alarm clocks and more from Google Assistant are also displayed on the home screen.
Nine different clocks, a photo show from Google and the user’s own photos are available as home screens. The latter only works when you use Google Photos. Here, you can also select the albums to be displayed (or use the automatic highlights) and thus have a small digital picture frame.
Swiping from the top edge gives you access to the alarm clock, schedules, play music, night light as well as the control of the lamps in the assigned room. Swiping from the bottom edge gives you settings for brightness, volume, do not disturb and takes you to the system settings.
If you swipe to the left, you first get to the current music playback, then to the alarm clock, the weather, the linked music service (Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music or Deezer) and finally to Google Calendar. Other music apps cannot be integrated as nicely with Google Home, but as long as they support Google Cast (Chromecast), they can be played on the Mi Smart Clock.
The operation ran 95% of the time without any problems. Whether via swipe gestures or voice commands, the Smart Clock runs better than my Nest Hub (1st gen) in some places and very rarely needed a short pause for thought. Speaking of voice commands – they are always understood well and correctly thanks to the two microphones. You can ask and command anything here just like you can with a Nest Mini or Google Assistant on your smartphone. The weather forecast or light control is then also shown on the display.
The Smart Clock as an alarm clock
Admittedly, the term “light alarm clock” chosen by Google or Xiaomi is perhaps a bit exaggerated here, because the Smart Clock does not come close to the effectiveness of the well-known Philips devices without real lamps. However, Xiaomi or Google at least offers the option to slowly increase the brightness of the display step by step (starting 30 minutes before the alarm time) and thus wake you up a bit more gently. If you want, Google’s AI can play a different, specially composed piano wake-up tone every morning.
The alarm clock(s) can be set on the display or by voice command. Of course, alarm clocks can also be repeated on selected days (e.g. Mon.-Fri.). If you want, you can listen to the morning routine right after you turn off the alarm. This can be configured in the Google Home app and then informs you about the weather, appointments, the way to work and news in the morning, for example.
The night light comes in four different colors (orange, orange-red, red, purple) and the 11 familiar brightness levels. When activated, it stays on for between 1-30 minutes and can help you fall asleep or provide just enough light to navigate to the toilet.
Is the Xiaomi Mi Smart Clock worth it?
Overall, I like the Xiaomi Mi Smart Clock. The design is simple, but modern and the quality is more than okay for the price. The display is also surprisingly good and the operation and performance are also convincing. The biggest drawback for me is the speaker, where more is simply possible even in this size. The micro-USB port could also have been USB-C in 2021.
Nevertheless, I can recommend the Smart Clock for €45 if you really want the display. If you don’t need it, you can simply buy the Google Nest Mini for 10€ less and get a better sound. There are directly comparable products from Amazon with the Echo Show 5 and from Lenovo with the Smart Clock 2, which also runs with Google Assistant. Therefore, the latter is worth a look if you do not like the design of Xiaomi. Functionally, the two devices should be very similar.