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Are you looking for a friend who can tell you the answer to anything? Maybe Alexa can help you out! Amazon Echo, aka Alexa, is the voice assistant that can answer questions you have by using a wake word. Most people use Alexa as their wake word, however, if someone in your household is named Alexa you may want to choose a different word! 😉 Alexa can also help you order things online, call your friends, play music, and more. We review Alexa to see if she’s really as helpful as the hype suggests.
- Use your voice to control it
- Can answer questions, read audio books, give weather and news reports, sports scores
- Can order products from Amazon Prime without getting out your phone or computer
- 1 year warranty
- Constantly adding new functions
- Voice control is not supported for Mac OS X devices
- Complaints of it using Bing instead of Google as its search engine
- Have to buy other gadgets to use all the features (e.g. lighting control)
- If you don’t have Amazon Prime it won’t offer as many features
- Voice control is not supported for Mac OS X devices Complaints of it using Bing instead of Google as its search engine Have to buy other gadgets to use all the features (e.g. lighting control) If you don’t have Amazon Prime it won’t offer as many features
- Amazon Echo Dot:
- Amazon Echo:
- Amazon Echo Plus:
- Amazon Echo Show:
5 Key Features
- Alexa app is compatible with Android, iOS and Fire OS and accessible via web browser
- Plays music from Prime Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more
- Answer questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives sports scores and schedules and more
- Alexa – cloud-based voice service
- Compatible with WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, and more to control lights and other smart switches
How Does It Compare Against Others?
Amazon Echo vs Siri: Answering Questions
Alexa requires that you order your words specifically and ask a question in a specific manner. Siri doesn’t always understand or answer your question. So really there are cons to both. But, if we had to pick one over the other, we’d pick Amazon Echo. Alexa seems to do a great job at answering questions overall and Amazon is continuing to update its features.
Amazon Echo vs Google Now: Answering Questions
Both Alexa and Google answer questions well. It’s honestly up to you and what your preference is as to which device’s answer you’ll prefer. From what we’ve learned in our research, it seems that Alexa answers questions more literally and direct while Google answers questions that may sometimes be a little more detailed or not exactly what you wanted. Both have pros and cons and do a great job at answering questions, but we can’t determine which is better from our research.
Amazon Echo vs Bose: Sound Quality
Amazon Echo is designed to deliver 360° sound while Bose delivers sound straight out of one side of the speaker. If you’re looking for a speaker alone, we suggest going with Bose. You can get the Bose Soundlink for less money than the Amazon Echo and the sound quality is better too. However, if you’re wanting “smart” capabilities then we suggest going with the Echo.
Amazon Echo vs Dot vs Tap vs Plus vs Spot vs Show vs Buttons
Amazon is coming out with more products in its smart home line-up regularly these days. To keep up, we’ve written brief paragraphs to help distinguish the difference between some of the key Echo devices.
Amazon Echo Review
If you want a device that is hands-free and can provide answers quickly, Amazon Echo may be great for you. Ask Alexa about the weather forecast, how to spell a word, what the tallest building is, etc. She always has the answers for you.
She can also provide hands-free recipe assistance and a timer. The Echo has a woofer and a tweeter, so the sound is better than what you find in Echo Dot. If you want to fill your home with Echo products, you may want to start with Echo or Echo Plus and then add on Echo Dots for other rooms.
Echo Plus Review
The Echo Plus is the only Echo product with a built-in smart home hub. It supports ZigBee, WiFi and Bluetooth. It has seven microphones and dual speakers by Dolby. The Plus can do anything Echo does and can also connect your smart home devices.
Echo Dot Review
Echo Dot is a small, discreet cylinder with one speaker. It’s essentially the top 1.6 inches of the Amazon Echo device but it costs much less, only.
Echo Dot must be plugged into a wall outlet and connected to an external speaker. It is always on and always listening for the key phrase “Alexa”. It can stream music, control your smart devices and can do everything else Echo does. The main difference between Echo and Dot is that Dot doesn’t have a full-size speaker. The small speaker in Dot doesn’t put out much audio, so you will want to connect Dot to existing speakers.
Echo Show Review
The Echo Show has a seven-inch touchscreen that allows you to interact with what’s displayed. It has two two-inch speakers and eight microphones, so it can hear you from across the room. It has the best audio compared to other Echo devices, so if you plan on listening to a lot of music go with this one.
It’s a bit chunkier than other Echo devices and has to be plugged in. It can show you the time, weather, calendar, etc. without you pressing a button. You can watch Amazon Prime or YouTube but no Netflix, Hulu, or Sling capabilities. It can remember multiple timers and you can manage your grocery list or pull up a recipe, so it’s a great addition to a kitchen. (I can’t tell you how many times I have had to wash my hands before looking at my phone for a recipe, this would be super handy to have in these instances.)
Similar to other Echo devices, you can ask it a question and it will respond with an answer. It allows you to make video calls to mobile devices or other Echo Shows. The “Drop-In” feature is a little creepy because it lets anyone see what you’re doing without answering a video call. Fortunately, this feature is disabled by default. If you’re looking for a hands-free, visual smart assistant this is a great option.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happened To Amazon Tap?
Amazon Tap was released in early 2016 as an affordable alternative to the Echo. It was smaller and battery-powered so it was portable. Ultimately, the Tap got replaced with the now famous Echo Dot which is still available today.
Why Was Amazon Eco Spot Discontinued?
Echo Spot was an alarm clock version of Echo. Similar to the Dot it has a more disc-shaped design but sits upright like a clock with an analog way to see and keep the time. This device may have been to niche to make a dent in the smart speaker space, especially when most can tell you the time when you ask and set alarms for you (without needing a separate device).
Are Amazon Echo Buttons Still Available?
Amazon Echo Buttons were little clear discs that you could put down around the house and looked like a small hockey puck. It had a clear center but when activated turned a color. They operated via AAA batteries and connected to Echo via Bluetooth. They were intended to “talk” with the Echo for playing games or learning skills from Amazon or other third parties. Think of a game show with everyone having their own “buzzer” to chime in. They’ve since been discontinued, maybe due to a lack of demand.
How Do Echo Devices Compare?
Although Amazon Echo products are more expensive than some of the competitors, it’s worth it if you are looking for a system that is seamless and can be integrated into a smart home easily. It’s really the only smart speaker capable of these types of things at this time. Read our comparison to see how Amazon Echo holds up vs other smart speakers.Tagged With: Review, Smart Speakers