Top positive review
Just buy it, no brainer!
Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2019
The idea of using an alarm clock never appeals to me... Smart phone is the answer to everything in 21st century, right? But recently, both me and my husband admit that we have been addicted to our phones way too much, especially before sleep, lying in bed, busying with “social” for hours, and procrastinating sleeping time...like, forever! I’ve read numerous articles about how looking-at-bright-LCD tricks our brain into “wake” mode and phone radiation messes with our brain activity and hormone. I don’t doubt those articles at all, I just can’t stop. Airplane mode? No, it’s just too easy to switch the data back on. It’s called compulsion and I need to check if my new Instagram friend replied my message. If you are still reading, you know what I mean. What worse is, this habit has a very very bad impact on our 3 years old - he spends more and more time playing iPad while we are with our phones, never gets back to his room to sleep until very late. We used to judge the parents who were just focusing on their own business, ignoring their kids by handling them an iPad. NOW WE ARE TURNING INTO THOSE! Cellphones need to be kicked out of bedroom, but still wake up on time for work and school tomorrow. Well, we need an alarm clock!
Back to business, choosing an alarm clock on Amazon is not easy - tons of them look similar. There are three reasons I finally chose this model: 1. Most listings are written in crappy English. I just can’t trust your company or product if you even can’t make the description reads legit. This is one of the few listings with reasonable English. 2. One article suggests that a clock with blue numbers is preferable to red or white, and blue is also my favourite color. Great, this narrows down the options significantly. 3. Customer service. The time I ordered this clock, it was just launched with no customer reviews. I was kind of skeptical but really interested, and also had some questions about the clock so I messaged them. They replied my message in less than two hours, answered my questions and explained the return policy and warranty as well (thank you, Emily!). I actually never get my message replied from another seller who carries a similar clock, and to me customer support is very important. Decision made, order placed and Amazon prime was just amazing - I received the clock NEXT DAY. I am glad I ordered the USCCE, it seriously exceeded my expectation. And it DOES feel good without cellphone disrupting your sleep. Who doesn’t support a start-up business offering awesome product, friendly customer service and robust warranty? That’s why I am sitting here writing this thesis-long positive review now, and hopefully, it will help those who are looking for an alarm clock like me.
Some good features to be highlighted:
1. Intuitive setup. You shouldn’t read through the whole manual or refer to a tutorial video to operate a clock (they do offer a Youtube instructional video accessed by scanning a QR code though). All buttons and dials are clearly labeled with function or icon, and everything is clearly displayed on the screen. Time/alarm set up comes routine - press and hold until a number blinks, dial the big button to adjust, single press to next, and continue... One design I like the most is the easy weekend/weekday alarm setting. There are two switches located on the back corresponding to each alarm. You can switch between three choices to make your alarms only work on certain or all days: Mon-Fri, Sat-Sun, Mon-Sun. How convenient is that! We don’t need dual alarms in the morning, but instead, I use the 2nd alarm as a bedtime call for the kid and it actually works quite well.
2. The dimmer. The control is extremely easy - just use the dial in the back to turn up or down the brightness. Thank god it can be turned off completely, because any light in the room will bother my husband to sleep. Another advantage is if I wake up midnight, I can turn the screen on as a weak light to help me walk into the bathroom. This is not trivial - just imagine walking through Lego and toy car messes in complete darkness while half-sleeping.
3. The sounds and volume - basically how am alarm does its job. They have 6 options for alarm: 5 built-in sound (beep, piano, rattling noise like those mechanical bell alarms, bird chirping, and what they call “soft music” but more like a mixture of piano and bird chirping) and radio. If radio is set as alarm, by default, it will be the last listened station to wake you up in the morning. You also have the choice to set a specific channel as your wake up sound by pressing and holding the snooze button while playing that channel. There are two buttons to adjust the volume up and down: when the radio is on it controls the radio volume (with V in front of the number) and when radio is off it controls the alarm (with L in front). Radio volume can be turned off all the way down but the lowest volume for alarm is level 3 so you will never “mute” your alarm by mistake - very well-thought-out. We are light sleepers and level 6 is good enough. Deep sleepers might need more decibels but seriously, level 16 is very loud. Well, the good thing is, it gradually increases so you won’t get startled out of your dream.
4. The radio. To me, radio is like a grandma’s thing and I never listen to any radio even when driving a rental car. But I do find some stations can be entertaining at times, especially when I am cleaning the room (maybe I am just getting old? Lol). Scanning is fast and stations will be save automatically. We receive 34 stations and I will just list the MHz frequency here for those who want learn more about the radio performance (I am a nerd I know, thanks to the years of training in the lab): 88.1, 88.5, 88.9, 89.3, 90.1, 91.1, 91.5, 91.9, 92.5, 93.5, 94.3, 96.3, 96.7, 97.1, 97.5, 97.9, 98.7, 99.1, 99.5, 99.9, 100.3, 100.7, 101.1, 101.9, 102.5, 103.1, 103.9, 104.7, 105.1, 105.9, 106.3, 106.9, 107.3, 107.7. We live close to Washington DC and I know these numbers are pointless for other areas, but anyways... A co-worker in the office tells me that he also uses a clock radio and he only receives 25 while his car normally received about 40 channels. The FM sleep timer is cool, I tested the function but never actually use it. When FM is off, single press this button (the same with time setting) nothing happens; but when FM is on, you can set up the timer, from 10-150 mins.
5. Battery backup. I didn’t realized how important this feature is until the other day my kid pulled off the power. Needless to say I threw 3 batteries in immediately after re-setting everything. I saw a lot of similar alarm clocks just use back-up batteries to restore settings but do not actually support the alarm, so I messaged the seller again, and again they replied my message timely and reassured me that both alarm and radio are supported and exactly the same as when plugged in.
Rooms temperature is about right. There are two charging ports in front just under the screen, to me it is not that important because we have a power strip with 4 USB ports but it can be handy if extras are needed.
Pros are done, now it is time for the other side and things could be improved:
1. Only days (mon to sun) are displayed and it will be convenient if dates are also available. Room humidity would be a bonus, too. But I can imagine that will make the already busy screen display more crowed.
2. Snooze time is set at 9 mins and can’t be changed. It would be appreciated if it is customizable.
3. More choices in the sound library, for example light rains or waves. This is a long shot but it will be cool if it eventually incorporates the function of a white noise machine. It will then require a top-notch speaker and be more expensive I guess... Well, just a suggestion.
4. The package and manual could use more proof-reading and editing work. They misspelled the word “with” on the package and there are multiple grammar issues with the manual.
5. A white color version.
6. A cover for the headphone jack. My kid just keeps pulling the power out of DC and plugging into the headphone port.
It is a raining Weekend and you can tell I am bored, spending over two hours in front of the computer writing this. I don’t always write a product review, but when I do, here we go... If you are still reading, thank you and I hope you find it helpful. I only have the clock for 2 weeks and can’t testify on durability yet, but I will definitely update my review if anything goes wrong. Given their customer service so far and generous warranty provided, I am not worrying to much. If you are looking for a reliable little cheap alarm on your nightstand, you’ve just found it!