My sister-in-law got an Amazon Echo as a gift and I was given the privilege to do the unboxing for her. In case you’re not familiar with this device, the Amazon Echo is a tall, black cylinder speaker that contains a microphone, speakers, woofer and tweeter that is designed to play music, control smart devices and answer questions. It’s functions are primarily designed to be activated by voice commands but it can also be done with the provided remote control.
Right now there are only two options for the “wake word” and the Amazon Echo responds to the default name “Alexa” but can be changed to the other option which is “Amazon“. Users though could change the device name to a more friendlier name to make it easy to identify a specific unit. This is useful when you have multiple Amazon Echo devices in your home.
The Amazon Echo comes in a very nice packaging. The box contains the device, power adapter, remote control, remote control mount, 2 AAA batteries for the remote, quick start guide and the manual.
Setup is straightforward and is done via the Amazon Echo app available on Android, Fire OS and iOS. Users can also do it via a web browser by going to https://echo.amazon.com/ and signing in with their Amazon.com account.
You can ask Amazon Echo about news, sports, traffic and weather information, play songs via bluetooth from Pandora, iHeartRadio & TuneIn radio stations, Amazon Music Library and Prime Music (if you have a Prime account). You can also ask about certain information from Wikipedia and ask basic questions like definitions, measurements, etc. It can also control compatible WeMo and Philips Hue devices.
This is a pretty cool device and can be useful at times. My 8-year old son is having lots of fun asking it questions and jokes. Right now, with its current price and available set of futures, it’s a bit pricey to recommend to most users. Another thing to take note is that this device is an Amazon product so most of its features are centered on Amazon’s services.
To purchase the Amazon Echo, users have to request for an invitation. The regular retail price is $199 but Prime account holders get a $50 discount bringing the price down to $149.
Anyone here have or plan to get an Amazon Echo? Which feature/s do you like best? What feature/s would you like to be added in future updates? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.