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The Amazon Echo Spot 2nd Generation
Introduction of the Echo Spot
Echo Spot brings you everything you love about Alexa, in an all-new stylish and compact design that can show you things. Just ask to see the weather, get the news with a video flash briefing, set an alarm, see lyrics with Amazon Music, see your calendar, browse and listen to Audible audiobooks, and more. Personalize your Spot with a collection of clock faces to suit your style or set a photo background from Prime Photos. Plus, make calls to friends and family or make video calls to anyone with an Echo Spot, Echo Show, or the Alexa App.
Echo Spot features 2nd generation far-field technology with four microphones, beamforming technology, and enhanced noise cancellation, so it can hear you from across the room—even while music is playing. If you have more than one Echo, Alexa responds intelligently from the Echo you’re closest to with ESP (Echo Spatial Perception).
The issue is, it looks like a smart alarm clock which means that this may become its default use for many, but its use stretches beyond that.
The Amazon Echo Spot is unlike any other Echo device and that is a good thing. Its curved shell does more than enough to make up for its sibling’s design failings.
Size-wise, it’s the equivalent of a mango. Mangos aren’t the most scientific way to measure things, sure, but at least it gives you an indication that it’s a pretty compact device with a curved back and screen that’s angled up, which makes it easy to view.
It’s a great-looking device, certainly something you won’t mind having on show in your home unlike the, er, Show.
Setup up and ease of use
Setup is similar to other Echo devices, except for this one you can type in your Wi-Fi details straight on the screen, instead of going through the Alexa app.
It’s a little bit fiddly putting in your details that way (it will ask for your Amazon account password, too) but the whole process will take less than five minutes.
Most settings are available directly on the screen through a swipe down from the top of the screen, with a few things such as skills and connections to smart home devices handled by the Alexa app on a smartphone or tablet.
The Echo Spot sounds pretty good for a small speaker, and better than the Echo Dot. It’s more than loud enough to command from across the room and clearly hear the answers, and it’s perfectly fine for playing the odd spot of music, particularly as a bed-side speaker. But it isn’t a patch on £100 speakers or the audio-only Echo.
Unlike the Echo Dot, which is only really passable for things like voice, the Echo Spot had a nice sound to it. You will probably want to hook it up to a better speaker system but if it is on your bedside table, then you won’t complain about the sound.
Performance depends on what you actually use it for. If you did use it as an alarm clock, then it’s got everything you need. There are myriad clock faces to choose from – both analog and digital. They are mainly color based, so you have the choice of things like: Tangerine, Onyx, Bold Teal, Modern Fuschia and Copper, Blues. There are a couple of theme ones thrown in, too.
mazon has also made it so that you can have a song wake you up as the alarm. Or a radio station. This is a new feature that has been added for the UK launch of the device, but it is something that will be available globally.
You can also read your messages on the screen and make calls. This is a new-ish addition to Alexa in the UK that’s been in the US for some time now.
Conclusion: The Echo Spot
The Echo Spot is an attractive little addition to Amazon’s smart speaker range. It does everything you might want from a smart speaker, while adding a clock, at-a-glance information and an easy-to-use touchscreen interface for accessing additional features.
Most will use it on a desk or as a bedside clock. If you don’t want to have your phone next to you while you sleep, perhaps the Echo Spot is a good, less sleep-disturbing surrogate alarm clock.
Essentially, they want the Echo Spot to replace the Echo Dot. The Amazon Echo Spot is a little more expensive than the new Echo, though, and in turn much more expensive than an Echo Dot.
This is because of the addition of the screen. While we still haven’t seen that killer Skill for the screen, it does enhance the look of the Spot and opens up the possibilities for it being much more than just a smart speaker.
- Clear screen,
- Alexa, can hear you well, Bluetooth, video calling, excellent smart home control, lots of clock faces to choose from
- Slways-listening object in your house,
- No web video support,
- Expensive compared to Echo