Amazon had launched Amazon Echo a few months back, which is basically a voice-controlled smart Bluetooth speaker. Priced at $200 and $100 for Prime subscribers, the device brings a Siri-like voice assistant by putting it into a tube to your coffee table. All it needs is a Wi-Fi connection for it to answer simple questions. Additionally, you can also listen to tunes from Amazon Prime, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio. For the fans of Pandora, Spotify and their own personal music collection, there is the option of Bluetooth connectivity as well.
The echo looks like a fancy whisky tube that has been painted matt black. The bottom half of the tube is perforated with a canvas of holes, which let sound from the speaker driver inside pour out from the enclosure that is otherwise solid. At the top of the device is an indicator ring that tells about the present status of the speaker.When the speaker is activated, it flashes white and blue. When it’s muted, the whole ring glows red.
As for the dimensions, the cylinder is 9.25 inches high and 3.27 inches around.
According to a review by Wareable:
“The Amazon Echo’s cylindrical design is smart enough to fit into most modern homes without spoiling the décor. It’s 9-inches high and a deep black, but it’s not without its splashes of colour. When you activate the speaker, a blue light will circle around the top ring, with a greenish segment identifying which of the Echo’s 7 directional microphones is picking up the sound. That’s an especially nice touch.“
After setting up this device, you will notice that the gadget has a pretty understandable voice, unlike the robotic voice of Siri. Alexa is the word that you need to say to get the Echo going. It is worth noting that device is not quite clever, though.
According to a review by PC Mag:
“Alexa definitely isn’t as smart Siri or Google Now, and—this is a big one—lacks access to services like your email and calendar, which makes it far less useful. For example, you can set an alarm for 6 a.m., which is perfectly fine if you simply want to use the Echo as an alarm clock, but you can’t schedule a meeting on your calendar for 11 a.m. next Tuesday.“
The device is a solid music player and is definitely the right option for staying in touch with the latest news and weather updates. However, the main issue with this assistant is that at present it is working better with US accents. Another miss when it comes to this device is that to work, it needs a constant power supply.
Nevertheless, the Echo is a brilliant buy with good value for money.