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Wake up smarter with these superpowered alarm clocks

If you're sick of relying on your phone to wake you up, there's always the trusty alarm clock. Here's what you get if you're willing to upgrade.

Ryan_Crist2.jpg
Ryan_Crist2.jpg

Ry Crist

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1 of 9 Manuel Flores/CNET

You can do better

"I use my phone's alarm app because it's 2018."

That was my colleague Molly Price's semiquizzical response when I polled the office to see who prefers waking up to an actual alarm clock. I suspect a lot of you reading this would answer similarly -- but for some of us, a dedicated alarm clock still beats the fallible phone approach any day (or morning) of the week.

A basic alarm clock obviously won't cost you very much, but if that's your preferred way to wake up, why not spend a little more on a nice one? After all, your alarm clock is the first thing you'll interact with each and every day (or every weekday, at least). And, if you're willing to splurge, you'll find extra features that'll put your old Casio to shame.

To that end, the following is a quick rundown of your most buzzworthy options.

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2 of 9 Ry Crist/CNET

Beddi

Up first, a connected clock called the Beddi. With support for Spotify and Apple HomeKit, plus programmable smart buttons that can trigger your lights, your IFTTT recipes, your Nest thermostat and a whole lot more, it's essentially the Swiss Army Knife of smart alarm clocks. Plus, it offers built-in mood lighting and a sunrise mode that'll help ease you out of bed. The cost? $99. 

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3 of 9 Ry Crist/CNET

iHome iAVS16

I like the Beddi's look a lot better than the sorta-similar iHome iAVS16, which costs more at about $150. That said, the iHome has an ace named Alexa up its sleeve, essentially making it an Amazon Echo, clock edition.

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4 of 9 Chris Monroe/CNET

Amazon Echo Spot

Just one problem there -- Amazon already made an Alexa-powered alarm clock, and at $130, it's less expensive than the iAVS16. I'm talking about the Echo Spot, which features Alexa controls, a circular touchscreen and a built-in camera for making voice-activated video calls.

I'm not sure that I'd want a camera pointed at me as I sleep, but then again, you could always stick a piece of tape over it.

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5 of 9 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

iHome iAVS1

An even cheaper Alexa-powered option? iHome's iAVS1, which now costs $50. It's basically just an alarm clock-shaped dock for the Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker, which you'll need to buy separately for another $50. Put the two together, and you've got the full features of Alexa in your bedside clock, complete with amplified sound for your music.

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6 of 9 Ry Crist/CNET

iHome iAVS2

If the iAVS1 seems a bit big and clunky, then you could also consider iHome's follow-up, the iAVS2. It's the same basic idea as the last model, but the design is more compact, meaning it'll take up less space on your nightstand. I also like the aesthetic a little better, too.

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7 of 9 Chris Monroe/CNET

GE Sol Smart Lamp

Another Alexa-powered option: the Sol smart lamp, from GE. At $150, it isn't an alarm clock per se, but you can turn on a set of indicator lights around the rim that'll let you see the time at a glance. Plus, you can schedule it to wake you up with light in addition to your Alexa voice alarm.

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iHome iGV1

If you're more of a Google Assistant person, don't worry -- the search giant's AI helper is starting to make its way into third-party alarm clocks, too. iHome is again one of the first, this time with the iGV1, due out later this year at an asking price of $140.

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Spectra Solis SO-2000

You should also keep an eye out for the Spectra Solis SO-2000. Like the iGV1, it'll be out a little later this year. The cost? $170.

That's more than what iHome is asking for its similar alarm clock, but the futuristic design might be worth it.

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