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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.