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Amazon Echo Dot Kids (4th Gen) vs. Lenovo Smart Clock Essential

Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (4th Gen)
Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (4th Gen) (Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (4th Gen)

Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (4th Gen)

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The Echo Dot Kids Edition brings a fun look and interactivity to a child's room. With the included year of Amazon Kids+, there will be plenty of content and safety from the start. Plus, there's a two-year worry-free warranty should something happen to the device.

Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (4th Gen)

Kid-first

Fun, kid-friendly designs
Comes with Amazon Kids+ subscription
Lower cost
Works with Echo Glow lamp
Lacks visible clock
No accessory charging dock

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential Alexa Red Render

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The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa is a helpful device, thanks to its access to Alexa and the easy-to-read Digital LED display. While it does work with Amazon Kids+, you'll have to buy it separately to use it.

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa

A little extra

The display shows only basic information
Compatible with multiple Lenovo docks
Screen can act as a night light
See alarm status at a glance
More expensive
Additional cost for Amazon Kids+
Display could be distracting
No kid-specific designs

Smart speakers are becoming more common and popular all the time, not just with grown-ups. These fun and helpful devices can be a good source of entertainment and information for kids. But, only when they have proper safeguards to ensure inappropriate content doesn't get relayed to a child.

So, if you decide to get a smart speaker for your child, you likely don't want to spend much money on it, and you want it to be safe. The Amazon Echo Dot Kids (4th Gen) and Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa can check both of those boxes, and we're here to help you sort out which will be best for you.

Amazon Echo Dot Kids (4th Gen) vs. Lenovo Smart Clock Essential: The same but different

Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (4th Gen)

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

Smart speakers are devices that can be helpful for kids and adults. However, if kids are going to be using it, you'll want to be sure that it is safe for them to do so since it connects to the internet. Thankfully, all the best Alexa speakers can get a layer of safety when you enable the Amazon Kids+ platform. The software service brings over 20,000 kid-appropriate apps, games, movies, books, and more to its excellent Amazon Fire Kids tablets. There are many audio-specific games and music for smart speakers that kids can access, and parents can have insight into the activity.

So, if both the Amazon Echo Dot Kids and the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa have access to Amazon Kids+ — what separates the two? Let's look at the specs.

Amazon Echo Dot Kids (4th gen)Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa
ConnectivityDual-Band Wi-Fi
Bluetooth A2DP
WiFi 5 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 5.1
Speaker1.6-inch Front-Firing Speaker1.5-inch Front-Firing Speaker
DisplayNo4-inch Digital LED with auto-brightness
ColorsTiger
Panda
Misty Blue
Clay Red
Comes WithPower Adapter
Alexa Guide for Kids
Power Adapter
PrivacyMic On/Off ButtonMic On/Off Button
Access to Amazon Kids and Kids+Yes, Included, 1 Year FreeYes, Additional Cost
Dimensions3.9 x 3.9 x 3.5 inches (100 x 100 x 89mm)3.67 x 4.46 x 2.80 inches (93.3 x 113.48 x 71.33mm)
Weight12 oz. (341.3 g)8.78 oz. (249 g)

Right off the bat, there are visual differences. The Echo Dot Kids features one of two fun prints — Tiger and Panda — on a spherical-shaped device. You won't find any display beside the LED ring at the bottom to indicate the device has heard you or show notifications.

The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa's offers a basic, digital LED display to show the time, temperature, alarm status, and an indication that Alexa heard you. For colors, there are two options in either Misty Blue or Clay Red, and though these aren't overly bland choices — they aren't all that fun either. Of course, there's a lot more here than looks to unpack.

Amazon Echo Dot Kids (4th Gen) vs. Lenovo Smart Clock Essential: Sound and features

Source: Lenovo and Amazon

As you would expect, both smart speakers offer direct access to Alexa, and both have a switch to disable the microphone. Sound quality will be similar between the two speakers — good, but not great. While the audio quality won't be rumbling their bedroom walls, kids will likely be plenty happy with either option in terms of the sound output. Lenovo redesigned its Smart Clock lineup's shape when it released the Lenovo Smart Clock 2. The sound from the Smart Clock Essential will offer similar audio results.

The software is the most significant point of separation between the Amazon Echo Dot Kids and the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa. While both do work with Amazon Kids+, only the Echo Dot comes with a free year of the service. Cost is $4.99 per month for non-Amazon Prime members and $2.99 for members.

If you're looking for an option that offers a visual display, the Smart Clock Essential is a great option. It can be quite helpful to have the clock and weather front and center without asking for it. Plus, the screen's glow can act as a nightlight even when automatically dimmed. There's no camera to worry about or anything that can distract your child, like the Echo Show 5 Kids.

Amazon Echo Dot Kids (4th Gen) vs. Lenovo Smart Clock Essential: All about the accessories

Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (4th Gen)

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

An interesting feature for both of these smart speakers is that companion accessories are available for each of them. Amazon has the $30 Echo Glow lamp, not to be confused with the Amazon Glow. It is a color-changing smart lamp designed to work with Echo Kids devices to act as a light, but it also can be set to change colors.

The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential has three different docks that it will work with. First, there are two new Lenovo Ambient Light Docks; the smart speaker sits on top and connects to the dock via Pogo pins on the bottom. There are two choices for the light docks in fun shapes inspired by sea creatures — a sea lion or an octopus. You can control the multi-color LED lights by voice and tapping on the Smart Clock's top. Available later in Q1 of 2022, these will cost $30 each.

Source: Lenovo

Lenovo's other dock sits under the Smart Clock Essential and brings a bit more functionality. Though not as fun visually, there is a night light built-in, a wireless charging pad, and a USB-A port for charging a device. This dock is currently available for purchase with the Lenovo Smart Clock 2. It is slated to be later available to buy separately, but a date and pricing aren't available now.

Amazon Echo Dot Kids (4th Gen) vs. Lenovo Smart Clock Essential: Which should you get?

Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (4th Gen)

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

While most kids would likely be happy with either option, and both will do a great job, your choice comes down to use. If the speaker's primary user is a child — the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition will likely be a better option. It's designed for kids first, includes Amazon Kids+ for a year with kid-safe content and parental safety controls, and a two-year replacement warranty.

Lenovo's Smart Clock Essential with Alexa would be a great choice for perhaps an older child who may find the tiger or panda design too immature. The parental controls will allow you to set the age range so that your older kid won't be too restricted. However, you'll want to fork over the monthly fee to get Amazon Kids+ for the device to ensure that no inappropriate content sneaks through.

Chris Wedel
Senior Editor - Smart Home
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, he enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.