Lenovo takes on Philips, Nest and Amazon in the battle for your smart home

The Lenovo Smart Essentials range has launched at IFA 2018 in Berlin, Germany, and it's looking to take over as the brains of your smart home.

Initially the family of smart home products is made up of three devices; Smart Plug, Smart Camera and Smart Bulb. You'll probably be able to guess what each one does from their names.

Lenovo's already announced Smart Display is also compatible with this new range, and it can act as a hub for the firm's new smart devices.

They're all controlled from your smartphone using the same app - Lenovo Link - and you can opt to group devices together for easier automation of certain areas and rooms of your home.

There's support for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa too, allowing you to control the smart home devices with your voice.

Meet the family

  • Lenovo Smart Plug - can be plugged into any open outlet, allowing you to control any compatible device that's plugged into it. It essentially makes 'dumb' tech a little bit smarter - for example, plug your TV into the Smart Plug to remotely turn it on and off at the wall, avoiding the power-sucking standby mode. The Smart Plug price is $29.99.
  • Lenovo Smart Camera - is a smart surveillance camera that lets you monitor live video footage inside the home - day and night. The Smart Camera also has a built-in mic and speaker allowing for two-way audio, and it goes up against products from Nest, Somfy and co. The Smart Camera price is $99.99.
  • Lenovo Smart Bulb - lets you remotely schedule and customize lighting. You can adjust the color temperature and dim brightness, or turn the lights on and off from anywhere, at any time, via your smartphone. If this sounds familiar, it's because it's very similar to the Philips Hue offering. The Smart Bulb price is $29.99.

There are already a number of products that offer a similar experience to Lenovo's new range - including Nest, Philips and Amazon - which means it has its work cut out when it comes to making in-roads into this rapidly developing market.

Lenovo's Smart Essentials range will go on sale in the US this November starting with the Bulb and Plug, while the Camera is expected to arrive in early 2019.

The devices will come to more markets, likely early near year, including Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 

  • IFA 2018 is Europe's biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new phones, watches and other tech as they're announced. 
John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.