Some owners of the Lenovo Smart Display (opens in new tab) and Lenovo Smart Clock (opens in new tab) have been left with blank screens after a “firmware issue” caused their devices to malfunction almost five months ago.
As reported (opens in new tab) by The Register, back in April reports began to emerge that some owners of the company's smart home devices (opens in new tab) were experiencing frozen screens. Since rebooting Lenovo's Smart Display and Smart Clock or reverting the devices back to factory settings only offered a temporary fix, users took to the company's support forum (opens in new tab) to voice their concerns.
Although the scope and scale of the problem remains unknown, sales data from Canalys (opens in new tab) shows that Lenovo has shipped around 1.2m Smart Clocks and an estimated 650k Smart Displays.
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A reader of The Register reached out to the news outlet to provide further details on the issues they've been experiencing, saying:
“We've explained countless times to them [Lenovo] before that the screen freezes shortly after powering on (often in a matter of minutes, sometimes a couple of hours) and you are unable to interact with the device. The device gets rebooted, it works fine and then it freezes again.”
Shifting the blame to Google
According to Lenovo's Smart Home community lead Zuzana who asked the company's customers to have more patience in a forum post (opens in new tab), Lenovo has been working with Google on a fix since June. However, customers are growing increasingly upset with the lack of progress from Lenovo and this has led to additional frustration.
In a statement to The Register, a Lenovo Spokesperson explained that Google is responsible for deploying software updates to both its Smart Displays and Smart Clocks, saying:
"Software updates are deployed by Google for Lenovo Smart Displays & Smart Clocks with the Google Assistant. The Google product/engineering team is working on replicating the firmware issues identified by some users so they can in turn issue a fix. For more details, you can contact Google directly."
While Google's own Nest Hub (opens in new tab) was originally powered by a Linux-based OS and then later Fuchsia (opens in new tab), Lenovo's Smart Displays run on Android Things which was closed off to new projects from January of this year.
We'll have to wait and see if Google's engineers are able to come up with a fix but even if they do, it may be too late to pacify disgruntled Lenovo smart device customers.
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Via The Register (opens in new tab)