In use the aXbo definitely has an impact on how you feel in the morning. Particularly during the initial few days I felt more refreshed than usual, so it does work in that limited aim. However, it's hard to escape the impression this freshness is more a placebo effect than anything else. Since the alarm clock will wake you up to 30 minutes before your stated time, it interrupts your normal sleep patterns, which alone has a beneficial impact. There's no snooze button, either, which is a clever way of re-enforcing the need to get up straightaway. If anything the non-constant, variable nature of the aXbo system is its real strength - a 30 minute window just doesn't seem sufficient to affect real change.
As such, like the software tool, the functions of the alarm clock seem somewhat underdeveloped. Wouldn't it be great, for instance, if the clock suggested the ideal times to go to sleep (or set your alarm) to get the best night's sleep? This, as well as other tips and guidance on how to wake up feeling your best, seem like a missed opportunity given the focus of the Sleep Phase Alarm Clock.
Aside from all these technicalities, there are a few other things about the aXbo worth noting. Like most modern alarm clocks it offers a variety of alarm sounds and chimes and relaxing 'go to sleep' sounds. Unlike most, though, it can deactivate these sounds when it detects you've gone to sleep, so you needn't set a time limit.
Battery life is also very impressive. On a full charge the aXbo can last up to 10 days, so you'll never have to worry about power cuts and could take your alarm clock with you on business trips and holidays. It will also charge via USB, which is a useful ability to have when going away.
There's definitely some promise in the aXbo Sleep Phase Alarm Clock, but not so much as to make it worth close to £200. It's not a bad gadget; not as bad as the final score might suggest, but it's far too expensive for what it does.