How to set up your Lenovo Smart Display

It’s no secret that we love the Lenovo Smart Display (we gush about it in our review).  The screened smart speaker with Google Assistant offers some serious competition for the Amazon Echo Show, with a touchscreen for viewing information, watching shows, making video calls, and much more. But before you get to do all that stuff, first you have to link your Smart Display to all the right services. Here’s what you have to do.

Step 1: Download and sign in on the Google Home App (if necessary)

Google Home App

The Smart Display is designed to work with the Google Home app. If you already have the Google Home app downloaded for another device, you don’t need to worry about this step. But if you don’t have it, then you need get the Google Home app and sign into it with your Google Account login before you begin. Don’t worry, you don’t need to have a Chromecast or Google Home device for this to work, the Home app will naturally pair with your Smart Display. The Home App works on tablets, phones or computers.

Step 2: Turn on the Smart Display

lenovo smart display 952
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

With your Google Home ready to go, unbox your Lenovo Smart Display, plug it in, and turn it on. The opening screen will instruct you back to the Google Home app, and the device and your app will instruct you from there.

Step 3: Pair the Display and Home app

You should now see a new notification that says “1 device found” and a prompt to “Set Up.” Select the prompt to begin. You may need to wait a couple of minutes for the notification to appear.

Your Google Home app will now display a short code with the message “See the code?” while your Smart Display will go to a Setup screen and show it’s own four-digit code. Check the codes on both of your devices to make sure that they match. This helps stop Home from accidentally pairing with the wrong device or a neighbor’s Smart Display. In the bottom right of the Google Home app, you’ll see a Yes option. Select the Yes to pair the two devices and continue.

Step 4: Answer Google’s many questions

Now Google Home will ask you a number of questions about Lenovo Smart Display so you can create basic settings for the device. These steps are simple enough, but very important for configuring the Smart Display, so we’re going to go over them one at a time.

  • Choose whether or not to “Automatically share device stats and crash reports with Google.” Make your choice based on privacy decisions – this will have no noticeable effect on your Smart Display performance.
Home App Room
  • Choose what type of room the Smart Display will be in. Google Home will have you pick from options such as Bedroom, Dining room, Family room, and so on. This helps identify the Display more easily if you end up adding other devices to the Home app, so it’s important to be accurate.
  • Pick out a “unique name” for your Smart Display. Name it something obvious so that it’s clear exactly what the name is referring to. This name will be used for internal Home app management.
allie 360 camera review home app  1
  • Connect your Wi-Fi network. Obviously your Smart Display needs to hop online, so the app will have you choose your Wi-Fi network and, if necessary, input your password.
  • Read the privacy terms. Google will present you with information about how it (and Google’s partners) will treat your data, and the data from people you communicate with using the Smart Display. Give it a read, and then choose Next.

Step 5: Customize and add services

Now Google will take you through yet another list of questions and forms. These, however, are more directed at how Google Assistant performs and what tasks the Smart Display can carry out. This part is a bit more involved, so we’ll walk you through the details.

  • Choose whether or not to use Voice Match. Voice Match is a service that teaches Assistant to recognize individual voices. It’s most useful if you have multiple people in the house who will be using the Smart Display, so Assistant can tell the difference between them. If it’s just you using the Display, you don’t really need to worry about it. If you choose I Agree, you will have a further option to display personal results (calendars, recommendations, contacts, etc.) when Google Assistant recognizes a particular voice. This is generally a useful feature, but you don’t have to enable it.
  • Choose between a couple of voices for your Smart Display. You can play samples of each voice to help you decide which to select. Hit Next when you are done.
  • Fill out your address. Your Smart Display is particularly handy for finding traffic and weather information, but first Google Assistant needs to know where you live.
  • The Smart Display is a great way to casually catch up on videos or movies. However, you will need to link the right accounts first. Google will ask you to “Add your video services” with options like HBO, Starz, and so on. You will need the account logins and passwords for these services, so have them ready if you want to stream video.
  • Input your phone number and verify. This will link your phone number to the Smart Display for video calls. Google will send your phone a verification code to complete the setup process, so have your phone handy if you’re on a different device.
  • Pick out some art. When the Smart Display is chilling in “Ambient” mode, it can display some random pretty pictures. You can make those pictures less random by choosing types of photos/art from the Art Gallery as prompted, or choose from your own collection.
  • Add credit card information. You can do this if you want to purchase via the Smart Display and voice commands.Google Home App
  • Link music services. You can link your Spotify, Google Play, Pandora, and other music accounts at this point. This is useful if you listen to a lot of music on these services and want your Smart Display to play them on demand.

Step 6: Start using your new Smart Display

lenovo smart display 956
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

You should be finished now. When done, your Smart Display should switch to an intro scene, then a general info screen. Test out Google Assistant by saying “Hey, Google” or “Ok, Google” and asking a question or playing a movie or song, just to make sure everything is working as intended. You may also want to check out some of the other ways you can personalize Google Assistant.

Product Review

Invisible until you need it, SimpliSafe is a no-hassle way to watch your home

These days, there a lot of do-it-yourself home security systems out there. How do you choose? Simplisafe’s latest offering brings together beautiful hardware and the ability to customize your home security package. We do wish that we…

Need a do-over? Here's how to factory reset an iPhone, from XS on down

Resetting an iPhone can alleviate all sorts of software woes, and wipe away personal data should you sell your device or give it to someone else. Here's how to factory reset an iPhone from within iOS or iTunes.
Smart Home

Holy mistaken identity! Nest Hello doorbell pegs Batman T-shirt as intruder

A Nest Hello smart doorbell's camera mistook a homeowner's Batman shirt for an intruder and locked him out of his own home. Doesn't it know the real Dark Knight wouldn't use the front door?

iOS 12 is now available -- here's how to install it on your Apple device

Apple unveiled iOS 12 at this year's WWDC and it's now ready for everyone. Here's how to install iOS 12 on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch using your device's settings or with iTunes on your computer.
Smart Home

Amazon ups its smart home game with a new Echo Show, microwave, and clock

Amazon revealed a whole bunch of new smart home products at its annual hardware event in Seattle this week including a redesigned Echo Show, a smart microwave, a new security platform, and more.
Smart Home

Amazon gives the Ring Stick Up Camera a 1080 HD upgrade

Amazon revealed an update to the Ring Stick Up Camera that includes a new body design and an improved, 1080 HD camera to livestream any action that crosses in front of the lens. The new model comes in wired and battery-powered versions.
Product Review

With the thump of an Echo Sub, Alexa goes from an assistant to a DJ

Amazon’s Echo Sub can pair with an Echo to provide the room-filling bass that little speakers just can’t muster on their own. And at $130, all that bass won’t break the bank, either.
Smart Home

Here’s how to pre-order everything Amazon announced this week

Amazon announced new devices available in its Echo, Fire TV, and AmazonBasics lineups. Most of the devices aren't available quite yet but if you head over to Amazon, you can pre-order them.
Smart Home

Forget smart locks: Locky makes your keys smarter

Instead of an expensive and complicated smart lock, consider making your conventional key smarter instead using Locky, a Bluetooth-equipped key case that communicates key location, use, and door lock status via a smartphone app.
Smart Home

It cooks! It blends! Instant Pot strikes again with a blender that can cook

From the creators of the popular Instant Pot electronic pressure cooker comes the Instant Pot Ace blender, which can both cook and pulverize food. It turns soups, purees and the like into one-pitcher operations.
Smart Home

New to Instant Pot? A no-pressure guide to using the popular pressure cooker

The versatility of the Instant Pot makes it a great kitchen companion, but it also makes the multicooker a little intimidating if you're a newbie. Here are some tips on how to use the magical device.
Smart Home

Rise and shine with the best alarm clocks to kick-start your day

People are finicky about their sleeping habits, but, fortunately, the best alarm clocks can probably match your lifestyle and budget. Here are some of our current favorites, including the Amazon Echo Spot.
Smart Home

Amazon’s partnership with SideChef makes Alexa your sous chef

Amazon and SideChef are cooking up a new interactive kitchen experience as Amazon integrates SideChef's recipes into its new Echo devices, enabling users to access recipes, photos, and video demos.
Smart Home

A study says kids and security spur people’s smart home purchases

Why are more people inviting internet-connected smart home devices into their households? According to a survey sponsored by Home Depot, the growth is primarily being driven by children and security.