Getting out of bed in the morning isn’t easy for most people, especially if it’s a work day. Finding the right tools to help you wake up can mean the difference between a good morning and a grumpy one. The Retro Alarm Clock Radio from Electrohome is a small alarm clock that combines a cute design with hand gesture control (no, not that type of hand gesture). But does the clock help you wake up with a sunny disposition? Let’s find out.
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The clock has a fun design that reminds me of the alarm clock that my grandma had on her night stand when I was a little kid. The Electrohome Retro Alarm Clock Radio combines a retro design with modern features that include a white on black LCD display, dual alarms, a motion activated night light and a built-in AM/FM radio.
On the front of the clock is the display with six buttons surrounding it. These buttons allow you to see and set the time / date and the dual alarm times. The alarms can each be set to a specific day of the week, Monday – Friday, every day of the week, or Saturday – Sunday. The alarms are easy to disable if you decide to sleep in. All you have to do is press and hold the alarm clock button to toggle the alarm on and off.
There’s also a snooze bar on top of the clock between the two “bells”. This button snoozes the active alarm and is also used to cycle through the display’s dimmer settings when there’s not an active alarm.
On the left side of the clock are buttons that are used to adjust the brightness of the top LEDs and a button that toggles the wake up light on and off. The gradual wake up light feature will illuminate the two bell-shaped lights on the top of the clock 30 minutes before your first alarm. The light will start off dim at first and will gradually brighten until it is at the user defined brightness level. If you don’t want to use this feature, you can disable it by setting the brightness level to zero when you’re setting up the alarm.
On the opposite side of the clock, there are three more buttons. The top two buttons control the volume levels. The top button will also let you toggle the display cycling which shows the time, date and temperature. The bottom button is used to set radio station presets (10 FM and 10 AM) and is used as a nap timer.
The Retro clock has a built-in power cord and radio antenna. On the bottom of the clock is a backup battery compartment that holds a CR2032 coin cell battery that is used to store the settings in the event of a power outage.
In the image above you can also see the sensors on the top of the radio which are used to turn on the night light or snooze alarms when you wave your hand over the clock.
The white on black display is very bright and easy to see with large digits. Using the snooze bar on the top of the clock, you can cycle through the dimming settings from high, med, low and off.
Be aware that when the display is turned off, there’s still a small icon left on the display that remains lit while the rest of the display is off. This little icon puts out enough light that it can be annoying to people like me who like to sleep in a completely dark room.
The alarms can be set to play the radio or the buzzer. Either one will play for 30 minutes before turning off automatically. Pressing the snooze bar or waving your hand over the top of the clock will snooze the alarm for 9 minutes. To turn off the alarm manually, you have to press the small on/off switch on the face of the clock. I think it’s a little awkward to press that small button to turn off the alarm. It would be much nicer if you could wave your hand over the clock to turn off the alarm and use the snooze bar to snooze it.
The Electrohome Retro Alarm Clock Radio is a decent alarm clock with cool gesture features, but there are two things about it that need improved. First of all, the radio sound quality is pretty bad, so waking to music isn’t very enjoyable. Then there’s the night light feature. Being able to wave your hand over the clock to turn on the lights is a nice little feature, but I thought it was odd that when you do this, the display shows the light level setting instead of the time (if you have the display turned off). I think it would be much nicer if you could easily check the time in the middle of the night with a quick wave. As an clock radio/alarm clock, the Electrohome Retro Alarm Clock Radio didn’t impress me. However, the clock does tell time and it is cute, so it does have that going for it.