In this Amazon Echo review, we’ll be going over both strong suites and weaknesses of the product, while checking out everything it has to offer, so let’s get right into it. Amazon Echo is a device that screams out innovation. While each individual function is not something tech consumers have never seen before, all of them put together make up for a pretty unique piece of equipment that Amazon is pairing up with top tier services to ensure customers that dip into their savings for Amazon Echo will have a premium experience. Amazon Echo has been out for two years now, but only US consumers have had the pleasure of testing it out. A new Amazon Echo review was in order, as UK citizens will now be able to catch up, as Amazon UK is making Echo available locally, thus deserving a fresh scoop on the device.
What can Amazon Echo do?
Amazon Echo is a remote speaker which can connect to other devices through Bluetooth and WiFi. If you have a smartphone or any other smart device, you can probably connect it to this Amazon product. Depending on what kind of device we’re talking about, it can do more than play music, but more on that in a little bit. On top of the default features and capabilities, Amazon Echo can be greatly enhanced by pairing up with physical devices to create the perfect ecosystem (or Echo-system, if you will) with all your other compatible devices.
Also, other apps can be added to Echo’s library so that users gain access to various sources for additional content and capabilities. These apps, once integrated, are referred to as Skills. In this Amazon Echo review, we’ll be going over the three distinct capabilities or functions of the device, and see what each of them provide, namely the speaker, voice assistant and house smart device manager. But first, let’s see what Amazon Echo buyers will be getting for their money.
The specs that run the show and the package they come in
UK tech savvy consumers will be able to buy Amazon Echo in the form of a black or white 9.3 inch cylinder, covered in perforations. The device has a rather simplistic presentation, but users shouldn’t be discouraged by the apparent lack of “bling”. The bulk of its aesthetics show up once the device is turned on and the rotating ring at the top which also serves as a volume knob, lights up.
It’s time to shift this Amazon Echo review into spec mode. The Echo features 360 degree audio, and the two speakers are located at the base. Measuring 3.3 x 3.3 x 9.3 and weighing 2.3 pounds, the device has two mono active speakers with a diameter of 2/2.5 inches. It includes a woofer and a tweeter that team up to provide a decent sound quality. For the diehard music enthusiast, the lack of superior quality will be a tad noticeable despite the device’s Bass Reflex capabilities and integrated active amplifier, but for the people that have casual music listening sessions, this will not matter as much and will manage to make the most out of the Echo experience.
The speaker – What can Amazon Echo play?
Music can be played from various sources and this might be one of the device’s greatest pros. Through its Bluetooth capabilities, Echo will be able to play music directly from your music player or smartphone.
However, there are other options made available by Amazon, such as their own Amazon Prime service, but also top streaming services like Spotify and Pandora. This gives the device the advantage of high versatility, catering to the musical preferences of a wider range of customers. Not everyone would appreciate the fact that on top of the new device, they must also pay for an Amazon Prime subscription. The fact that they are able to stream music from services they are already paying for, such as Spotify Premium, makes it less of a hassle to get the party started. Echo’s capabilities don’t resume to music alone, as you can have it read books to you or even the news from various websites or publications. The Amazon Echo falls right into place in a modern age where efficiency and multi-tasking are key. Not having to switch between multiple devices for various listening experiences can feel very liberating.
The personal assistant – Introducing Alexa and what she can help you with
This side of the device is everything you might expect if you are a tech savvy person that keep ups with the newest features and trends, although personal assistants have been out for a couple of years now. The newest competitor in the voice assistant arena is Alexa, Amazon’s solution for fast, voice-activated computing. Similar to other options provided by the likes of Apple or Google, Amazon’s Alexa is capable of performing an array of tasks. While as a speaker it lacked precision, it doesn’t falter as a microphone. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Echo the microphone is actually Echo the speaker with 7 microphones put together to form a beam effect. What this means is that all 7 microphones will collectively cancel any exterior sound and focus on a specific sound. In this case, the sound is your voice. The great thing about Echo is that it is able to hear users over pretty long distances. Even if household appliances are running or the music is playing, Echo will still be able to differentiate your voice and answer the call.
On to the functions. Just like Siri or Cortana, Alexa started out as simple voice assistant that was a bit gimmicky and more of a form of short term entertainment rather than a versatile tool that provides real help. Just as her predecessors, Alexa grew and eventually became a competent personal assistant. You can ask Alexa questions related to the weather or your favorite sports team’s season so far, but also have it execute commands. Alexa will tell you when an appointment is coming soon and will also open whatever app you tell it to. You can ask her to play a specific type of music from a service of your choosing. If you do not like or use Amazon Prime, you can change it so another service becomes the default option, like Spotify. To activate the personal assistant, users must use the wake up word.
There are several to choose from, so users can get the device’s attention by saying Alexa, Amazon or Echo, followed by their question or command. People that already use voice assistants on their smartphones for example will feel right at home with the mechanics behind Alexa.
The house manager – How can Amazon Echo enhance your home?
The third function of the Amazon product is that of a household manager. What this means is that as long as you have smart devices in your home, you can connect Echo to them. The smart device spectrum no longer includes just phones and tablets. Today, you can find a wifi connection in pretty much everything, as well as a smart interface. This means that if you want, you can have a kitchen with a smart fridge, a smart washing machine and a smart coffee maker. Connect all of these to Amazon Echo and you have yourself a scenario pulled straight out of a futuristic movie from a handful of years ago.
This gadget is great for people that appreciate a true multifunction device which manages to serve in a very competent manner and provides good standards for all three device functionalities.
Looking for a new gadget? How about a Drone? You know you want one!