Best Digital Travel Alarm Clocks 2017
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have trouble getting up in the morning. We all have a tendency to sleep in, and sometimes it makes is late for work or other appointments. It can also be difficult getting kids and teenagers to get up on time, too, so an alarm clock is a necessity rather than a bonus. The only problem is, which one do you buy? There are many different types of alarm clock, after all, so the choice is a difficult one! The modern world has seen a move towards digital products and away from analogue, and the same is true of alarm clocks.
We’re going to looking at ten digital travel alarm clocks that you can buy – the travel element is important, as we are considering holidaymakers and business travellers as the major buyers – each with its own attributes and some with very interesting and useful features. They are all affordable and come with many different alarm functions, and we help will get you out of bed more quickly! An alarm clock that is portable is also a bonus, and we have looked at some of those too. So, before we move on to our list, let’s have a closer look at the digital alarm clock, what it does, and why it is the choice of clock for you.
How Digital Travel Alarm Clocks Work
It’s pretty straightforward, surely? A digital alarm, clock tells the time, and makes a noise to wake you up when you want it to! Well, yes, and no, because some of those listed here also do other things. They most likely have a snooze button, so you can have five minutes more before you have to get up (it will tell you again) and some might even have a radio attached, so you can wake up to music. But, most of all, they all have one feature you can’t miss – the digital display.
The digital display was all the rage with watches back in the late 1970’s, and is back again on alarm clocks and some other items, too. Many people find the large, clear numbers to be easier to read – especially when blurry-eyed first thing in the morning – and the screen tends to be backlit for ease of reading in the dark. So, now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s have a good look at ten of the very best digital alarm clocks on the market right now, and we’re pretty sure there will be one for you.
We start our reviews with a very neat, fun and cheap digital alarm clock, one that would be great for kids, for adults and even for travel. It’s the oddly named Zhpuat, and as its full name suggests, it comes in a range of funky, fun colours. This little clock is neatly designed and looks utterly basic, but in fact it comes with some interesting features. First, we like the colour selection – everything from black to bright blue through orange, red and more – and it has the snooze function that all such clocks should have. The backlight isn’t on all time, you get it for five minutes when you hold a button.
It’s also shockproof, thanks to a sturdy casing, which makes it ideal for travel use, and it also has a progressive bell which begins softly and gets louder, so you get to wake up slowly! It is easy to set, too, and comes with a full guarantee if you are not satisfied. This model needs three AAA batteries, which are not included, so will need replacing once in a while. At not much more than ten quid it’s a well-priced, cleverly designed little clock that is very popular.
Pros: Neat, great colours, progressive alarm
Cons: Batteries not included
This is another really neat little design, and one that comes with many great functions. First, it is fitted in a clamshell cases, so you can fold it like a traditional travel clock for ease of use. The large, square screen is easy to read, and the time function takes up the centre of the screen. Other information displayed includes the alarm time, temperature, day and date, and it looks and feels like a solid and well-made device. We like the orange case, too, which is bright and jazzy.
The cover clips open to create a stand, and the soft blue backlight makes it easy on the eye – it comes on for five seconds when requested – so as not to damage the eyes at night. The snooze feature repeats every five minutes, as is the norm, and is activated by an easy to find button. The two required batteries are included in the price of this very clever and useful little clock, which would be perfect for home use or as a travel clock. Affordable at just over a tenner, the batteries are included.
Pros: Compact, well-made, folding case
Cons: None we can find
This model took our fancy thanks to its very sleek, super-thin case. It’s a clamshell design, as above, in white, blue or black, and you stand it up in the usual fashion. This clock is extremely compact and would easily fit in a pocket or purse, and is perfect for travel use. The big, bold numbers are easy to read – you can choose 12 or 24-hour function – and the backlight is soft yet bright enough to enable you to see it when selected. It has a temperature display as well as the clock and date/time function, and is suitably light to be entirely portable.
This is another model powered by three AAA batteries – not included, but readily available on the high street – and we advise you follow the manufacturers recommendations as to which type to use. It has the usual snooze function, too, and looks good on a bedside table, and is well-made and sturdy enough for travel use. As with the above two, this one costs not much more than £10, so it’s worthy of addition to the shortlist.
Pros: Neat, very thin, bold and visible
Cons: Batteries not included
This one makes an immediate impression; it’s large, bold and stylish, and very neatly designed. It’s a typical clamshell model so you clip the back under it to stand it up, and comes in very stylish black and white. It’s made of durable, tough plastic and is suitable for travel use as it is very thin when folded, and the large format screen means the numbers are easy to read even when only half awake! A manually operated, soft backlight helps, and is perfectly timed to adequately read the time.
There’s something rather neat about the design of this one, and you also get the option of 24-hour clock, a date and day function, and the temperature feature. The snooze function is practical and the button easy to find, so you can have your extra few minutes with no problem. This one comes with battery included, so is ready to go, and is very easy to set up. Probably the neatest design we’ve reviewed so far, it’s also the cheapest at a little less than £10.
Pros: Cheap, neat, multi-function
Cons: None we can see
This neat, large model is perfect for anyone with poor eyesight, as the numbers are large enough to be seen by anyone at a glance. It comes in a stylish silver clamshell case that is well-made and suitable for travel, and is very slim for fitting into a purse or pocket. You also get large, bold letters for the day, date and temperature, and the usual snooze feature too. It’s a handy clock that we like, and when we tell you the price, we think you will like it, too!
One unusual feature of this model is that it also features a countdown timer; we’re not sure what use this is on an alarm clock, but it’s there anyway! It has a full calendar showing month, date and day, and is easy to set up and use. The only downside is there is no light for night use, so you need the room to be light enough to see it. That price we liked? Less than five quid, with battery included, so it’s well worth a look if you are looking for a very cheap alarm clock.
Pros: Very cheap, big screen, timer
Cons: No backlight
This rather old fashioned – sorry, we mean retro – design from Casio is an unusual one. It’s chunkier than many of the others, and is a rather dour black, with a screen that resembles one of the old, classic Casio digital watches that were all the rage. We found the function buttons on the bottom of the case rather fiddly – as opposed to the simple to use, bigger buttons on most other models listed here – and hard to read except close up.
The screen displays only the time – albeit in big, bold easy to read letters – and there is a manually selected backlight that allows you to read it easily at night. The beep style alarm is also rather old fashioned, although you do get the snooze function that is a necessity with these items. There’s not much more we can say about this one bar it’s rather ugly, and not as funky as some of the other options, but it is only a tenner, and does come with a battery included.
Pros: Retro look, battery included
Cons: Retro look
This model is a little different, and has some very impressive properties. It gets its time signal from a radio source, so is amazingly accurate, and will automatically adjust for when the clocks go backwards and forwards. It’s not the prettiest of clocks – more functional and sturdy – but nevertheless has a certain look, but it does offer accuracy not seen on the other models we have reviewed, and is loaded with functions. It’s also got a solar panel, although it does require a battery.
The big digit display is very easy to see and looks great when the orange backlight is on, plus you also get various other functions. These are the usual day and date, temperature and – unusually – humidity, and a snooze function as standard. It takes two AA batteries, which are not included, and is an interesting model in many ways. It should be noted that this one operates on UK time only, as it is tied to the UK standard radio signals, but as we said, it is very, very accurate. At more than 17 quid it’s pricier than the others, but what price is that to pay for the bragging rights to getting your time from an atomic clock?
Pros: Super accurate, many functions
Cons: Not very pretty, perhaps the price
The second of our Casio selection, this one confirms our suspicions that the once trend-setting company is stuck in the past. This design is clunky, ugly and looks cheap, and if they are trying to give a retro 70’s vibe, it just isn’t working. The whole design looks unfinished and simply cobbled together, and we can see no reason why anyone would choose this one over any of the sleeker designs, especially as there is no difference in price. The screen is small although readable, and the function buttons tiny and hard to use.
At least the snooze button – which doubles as the light button – is big and reachable, but you only get one function, which is the time (plus the alarm, of course, which is the whole point). We don’t see the point of a clock that is stuck firmly in its original era, as things have moved forward. At ten quid, we also consider it expensive, when compared to some of the more stylish models here. Not for us, I’m afraid.
Pros: It has an alarm
Cons: Fiddly buttons, ugly design, only time function
Back to normality now, and this model is an impressively large screen clock, with big, bold numbers showing the time from any distance. It’s neatly designed and a typical clamshell – perfect for travel – and very thin when folded to close. It also comes with a stylish and very neat mock-leather case, so you can put it in when you store it away for travel. You get all the main features, including an alarm with a snooze function, and it comes well-equipped for the price. We like the white finish on the case, which feels well made, and the screen is clear.
With additional features including 24 hour clock, a temperature display, calendar and date functions, this seems like a pretty standard alarm clock, but add in the very useful world time zone index, and it becomes an extremely useful tool for international travellers. It stands up nicely when opened and really feels like a quality item, and at less than 12 pounds is worth a chance. You should add this one to your list if you travel abroad, as it could come in very useful indeed. The single cell-type battery is included in the price.
Pros: Neat design, multi-function, world clock
Cons: None that we can see
Our final selection is the second from the HITO brand, and it is a back-to-basics model, but with some interesting features. It’s not a clamshell but a square box, with a big 4x2inch screen and numbers to fit. This one is easy to read, clear and simple, and while perhaps awkward for travel, would be great for a bedside clock. It has the usual snooze feature with five-minute delay, and the button is easy to hit, so you can take your extra minutes if you want! It’s a neat little clock that would be great for a kids room, for example.
Features also include temperature, date, day and time, and an ascending and pleasant alarm sound, and is guaranteed completely silent – when not sounding the alarm! This one has a very interesting feature in the shape of a light sensor; when switched on, the backlight will not come on during daylight, but will when the room gets darker. If this light would bother you, then you can turn it on and off manually, too. That may not be this clocks best feature, however: it’s a multi-function digital alarm clock for less than six quid. Unless you need a clock for travelling, this is a very good buy.
Pros: Great price, light sensor
Cons: Not foldable
Ten of our picks from the best travel alarm clocks from 2017, and we reckon there’s something there for everyone. These are not all of them – there are many more to choose from should you wish – but are the top items on the market now. Before we sum up, lets recap some features to look out for.
Features to Look For
So, we’ve shown you ten of the best digital alarm clocks you can buy right now, and as you will have seen there are certain considerations. Part of your consideration will be in whether you are going to use your clock when travelling, as some of these may not be suitable. We suggest you consider the following:
- Foldable or not – The foldable, clamshell design has its roots in travel clocks of years gone by, and is still the design of choice for most people looking for a travel clock. While some of the above are travel designs, others are not, so choose carefully for the right design.
- Multi-Function – You may be interested only in the time and the alarm, but if a calendar is important to you, some of the above models will not fit your needs. There are many other available functions, too, so make sure you take careful note of the specifications before making your final choice.
- Big Screen – Waking up half asleep, you need to be able to see the time, so make sure you have a clock with a large enough screen. Most of these have screens that are large enough for easy viewing.
- Snooze – you need a snooze button; everybody needs a snooze button!
- Backlight – for use at night, a backlight is a necessity. Most of these have one, and they are usually switched on just for a few seconds at the touch of button, so as not to keep you awake!
That’s about it; we’ve given you ten digital travel alarm clocks to look at, and we reckon there will be one there for every budget and requirement, so all that remains is for us to give you our final summing up.
Let’s Wrap It Up
Digital travel alarm clocks are useful items – especially if you travel abroad – and as you will have gathered, there are many available functions. We recommend that, for frequent travel, you choose one of those with a clamshell case, as it will fold flat and small, and be easy to stash in your luggage – or even a pocket.
No single model stands out in that respect, but we did like Number 9, with its big, bold screen, world clock function and carry pouch, as well as its price in the midfield of the selection. There you go then, that’s our pick for you! Have fun on your travels!