July 29, 2014

Hale Dreamer Alarm Clock review

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Up for review today we have the Dreamer Alarm Clock, by Hale. Billed as a “full-featured sleep system for your Android phone”, it’s a device that turns your smartphone into an alarm clock, charging it at the same time.

I am willing to bet that you plug your smartphone in at night and set it next to your bed before sleep. I am also guessing that you use the phone as an alarm clock, too. Chances are good you also like to play music or listen to podcasts in bed, right? Why not enhance that experience with something better sounding and more robust?

hale3Taking the Dreamer Alarm Clock out of the box is a little strange at first, what with the cords sticking out and all. Sure, you’ve got the standard power cord that goes in the backside, but you’ll also find a 3.5mm cord and microUSB cord sticking out of the top. Not regular, slack cords, mind you but rigid ones designed to hold your smartphone in place. The idea is that you plug your phone in, turn on the alarm clock app, and enjoy music or head off to land of Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

While the device measures roughly five inches deep by four inches tall and wide, much of it is used by the 2.25” mono 10w full-range hi-fi speaker. Is it loud? Yes, it most certainly is. If it’s next to your head then you won’t be playing it very loudly, but know that it has volume. It’s not the most rich sound but it’s more than what you’ll need.

The left side of the Dreamer Alarm Clock has a knob to adjust brightness while the right one manages volume. You’ll find out pretty quickly how you prefer your settings. With that said, both are plenty big enough to grasp in the middle of the night, without or without glasses/contacts.

hale1The alarm clock app itself comes with a number of displays and ringtones; both cover a decent range of offerings to suit to taste. There’s also a great lullaby option that you can play for a set amount of time which pipes ambient noise such as trickling streams, rain, pink noise, fireplace, and “traffic” from a city. These are all nice to play as you drift toward R.E.M. sleep.

As you might expect, the app has a number of configurable settings for repeating on specific days or patterns. Like to wake up at 7:00AM on a Monday-Friday but prefer to sleep in on the weekends? No sweat.

The top of the Alarm Clock unit has a handful of buttons which come in handy should you opt for playing music through the device. I configured mine to play Google Play Music but you can pick just about an media application around.

If you’re the type who can’t sleep through the night without being bothered by texts or alerts you might like the SmartSilence feature. Users can configure settings to allow for only select contacts to ring through to disturb your slumber. Anyone who isn’t on your white list is blocked and receives an automatic reply. Not to worry, though, the message does ask if it’s an emergency and provides steps on how to ring through to you. This way, you’re not getting random text messages from people trying to get you out at all hours of the night. Unless, of course, you want only those people to contact you. Otherwise, you can also set it so nobody gets you on the first attempt, not even mom.

The Hale Dreamer Alarm Clock is $79.99 with availability through Amazon and Hale Devices.