Amazon Echo: Review

The two year wait is finally over and it is time to review one of the most exciting devices of the recent years. Amazon Echo has finally hit the markets and we are ready to tell you all about it; what we love, what we hate and what we expect from the next models.

The device was originally launched in the US by the end of 2014, but in a very limited number and only available for Prime members. Those in UK had to wait for another 2 years before they were able to buy Amazon Echo, but the wait was definitely worth it. In these 2 years, Amazon worked hard on all the bugs and polished their product. There were definitely some functionality issues when they first released the device, but they are long gone by now.

Basic Info

Amazon Echo currently has 3000 skills – applications that are compatible with the speaker. The design is as slick as it can get and the number of physical buttons is minimal (Volume ring, Mute and Listen button on top of Amazon Echo, not like you need them anyway). You do not have to worry whether or not it will fit your interior design. When it comes to setup, the process is quite simple. The price for Amazon Echo is £149.99. The dimensions are 235mm x 83mm with a cylindrical shape. It comes in two colors, black or white.

The size of the Amazon Echo is rather small and it makes it even more impressive when you hear the massive sound that it gives through a 2.5 inch woofer and 2 inch tweeter.

The placement of the device in your home does not play a big role as it produces 360 degree omni directional sound and has seven microphones with noise cancelling technology. The device can recognize its “wake-up call” Alexa even if there is music playing, a lot of noise, or you just woke up.

Once you get it

The first thing you want to do when you get Amazon Echo is to set it up. The whole process does not take more than a couple of minutes. You have to start by downloading the Alexa companion app on iOS or Android, connect Amazon Echo and follow the instructions. Then connect to the Wi-Fi and you can start interacting with Alexa.

To help you out, there are several ideas for the first conversation you can have with Alexa during the set up on the box itself. You can get even bigger selection on the Alexa app.

What it does

Besides the regular features of the device, with Amazon Echo you can set an alarm, check weather, find out the time or hear the daily news and all these through voice control.

Alexa does not require you to say exact phrases all the time, it can answer more general questions as well, like “what is new today?” Alexa also has some jokes to offer you every now and then, which allows you to have some fun with it besides general usability.

Advantages

One of the main benefits of Amazon Echo is that there are no limits when it comes to experimenting with it. The device basically learns and feeds off of you, so there is always room for improvement. It is super fun to use and goes perfectly with most of the smart home technology.

Disadvantages

The quality of the speaker alone could definitely be better. When you turn the volume to maximum the sound gets a little distorted. We would advise connecting your own speakers to the device is they are of a decent quality. Also, while there are up to 3000 skills offered by the Amazon Echo, only small part of them are actually useful, while the rest seem more like filler ones.

Verdict

Overall Amazon Echo is definitely a great addition to any home. It is fun, exciting and super convenient. The more time you spend with the device, the more use you find to it. While there is definitely a room for some improvement, the overall quality of the product is absolutely great. Amazon Echo was worth the wait!