Amazon Echo Review

 

Hey there everyone, how we all doing today? Thanks for coming back for another post on my computers and consumer electronics blog, your continued support really means a lot to me. Now, onto the circuitry of this week's post- I was lucky enough to find some online classified ads for an Amazon Echo! How crazy is that right? I don’t really know why someone would sell this, but I didn’t stop to think about that before snatching it up. Amazon did introduced the Dot in the fall for a lot less, but doesn’t come anywhere close to the power of the original Echo.

 

Amazon Echo Black

 

Background

The Amazon Echo first came out in November of 2014 and has been continually updated and refreshed to keep consumers on their toes. Last April Amazon released the Echo Dot which is a smaller version of the Echo and in September they released an updated version of the Dot that also cut the price down to about $50 USD. The new Dot supposedly has better speech recognition, but is not as powerful as the Echo. The original and more expensive Echo can easily fill a room with sound, and do so for hours.

 

Amazon Echo Family

 

First Impressions

As a kid born in the nineties, I always knew I wanted to talk to my house. Countless times at home I would say to my girlfriend “ I wish the computer/TV/toaster would just listen to me” and know thanks to Amazon Echo and Alexa (the AI counterpart) I can do just that. I ask for the headlines while brewing coffee, I ask for the recent episode of my favourite podcast during my morning workout (another way of integrating fitness and electronics) and then ask it to set a timer for my frozen pizza after hearing the girlfriend isn’t coming home until late. It even turns my lights out for me before bed, and turns the TV off twenty minutes after nothing is playing (usually meaning I am asleep). I now talk to my house everyday.

 

Fitting into your Life

That is really the biggest success from Amazon’s full of personality smart speaker. It finds a way to seamlessly integrate itself into your daily life and I would assume in most cases it also improves your life. I have just that much extra time to do little things, whether it be take more time shaving or eat a nicer breakfast because I can now do two things at once. The Echo still won’t cut vegetables up for you, but it can read you the email from Grandma when you do.

 

Availability

The Echo initially was an invite only beta gadget that you still had to pay for ($99 at the time) however it now retails for almost twice that at $180 USD at in store locations. So far, you can’t get it officially in Australia, and even if you could it would cost around $255 AUD. For our UK readers, expect to be shelling out over 150 pounds, and that might be the cheapest price for a while. For the most part though the Amazon Echo is worth it. This is not just a souped up speaker trying to outsmart Siri, this is the connected home experience you always wanted-but might not have known you did.

 

How do I use it?

If you get your own Echo, it is really easy to get started. Simply plug it in right out of the box, and you will hear Alexa waking up. She will introduce herself, then guide you through the setup process. You will need to connect to your house's Wifi network via your phone or tablet, then sync things up with the Alexa app. That’s it you are ready to have a fully automated house! The speaker will light up anytime you say ‘Alexa’ or you can choose ‘Echo’ if having a name creeps you out. Then just say what you want. The Echo is a great listener, so any question you have should be answerable.

 

 Amazon Echo Alexis App

Well that about wraps up my thought on the Amazon Echo. An absolutely amazing piece of technology that shouldn't be missed, and if you have to then try and get one of the smaller Echo Dots. I hope you guys liked this week's post, and if this is your first time reading on here then please check out another post of ours, like this one on free Iphone apps.