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Smart Home

Put a Google Assistant-powered alarm clock on your nightstand for $30

Best Buy's Insignia Voice smart-speaker is back on sale! Plus: Sprint's latest deal is almost too good to pass up.

It looks like a fairly typical alarm clock, but Insignia's nightstand-friendly speaker is endowed with Google Home voice-controlled goodness.

Best Buy

Today's deal is a rerun -- of a rerun! But it's too good not to share again, because it's still a killer deal (even if it is $5 higher than last time).

It starts with me repeating something I've said many times: The Amazon Echo Dot makes a great addition to your nightstand -- but it's imperfect in two ways.

First, it has no display. Any bedside accessory worth its salt should be able to show you what time it is. Second, it's a pretty weak speaker, which is why I always recommend pairing it with something bigger and better.

Or, you could just buy this: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Best Buy has the Insignia Voice Smart Bluetooth Speaker with Google Assistant for $29.99 (plus tax and $5.99 for shipping). Last time around it was $24.99, but let's not quibble over $5 when this thing originally sold for $100.

Ok, Google!

Available in all black or gray, the Insignia Voice is basically a Google Home designed for your nightstand. It's a digital clock, an alarm and a smart speaker, one that's large enough to deliver decent, room-filling sound -- unlike the Dot or Google Mini.

Of course, if you prefer to sleep next to Alexa (so to speak), you'll need a Dot. But if you're just as happy with Google's nameless Assistant (I don't know why, but I want to call her "Barb"), the Voice gives you much of the same functionality.

For example, you can ask it to set an alarm (natch), tell you the weather, check traffic, look up movie showtimes, play music, request an Uber, control other smart-home gadgets and so on.

Indeed, it does pretty much everything a Google Home can do. The only thing it can't do is make phone calls -- hardly a dealbreaker in my book.

CNET hasn't reviewed the Insignia Voice, but over 1,400 Best Buy customers collectively rated it 4.4 stars. Many of them praised the sound quality, noting that it was better than the Google Home's. Some of the more negative reviews relate to a volume problem that appears to have been addressed with a firmware update.

I'm not sure I'd pay $100 for an alarm clock, even one with smarts. At $30, though? This almost makes me want to ditch my bedside Dot.

Your thoughts? And if you already have one of these, is the LED clock sufficiently dimmable? Some bedside clocks I've seen, wow, you could read by them.


Sprint's new plan is how much?


Bonus deal: Sprint continues to offer a free year of phone service when you port your number from a competing carrier, which I continue to find amazing. Of course, after that first year, you'll be on the hook for the regular $60-per-month rate.

If that doesn't sound too appealing, or you're looking to set up a new line of service, check this out: For a limited time, Sprint is offering new unlimited lines of service for $15 per month. Whaaaat?

Go for Sprint

It's called Unlimited Kickstart, and as usual there are some, well, limitations, at least on the data side: Video streams at SD-quality 480p (not a big deal, IMHO), music tops out at 500Kbps (also totally fine) and data may be "deprioritized" (read: Throttled) if the network is congested. Standard stuff.

I know from a past Twitter poll that some folks have great Sprint coverage and others (like me) decidedly do not. If you're in the former category, this is one of the all-time-great deals on mobile service. My only real question: Could Sprint decide to jack up the price in, say, six months or a year? (I suppose that's an issue with any carrier, though. AT&T, for its part, just raised the price of its grandfathered unlimited plan.)

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!