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amazon echo spot review

More Than An Alarm Clock: Amazon Echo Spot Review

An excellent addition to the Amazon Echo lineup is the Amazon Echo Spot, a circular, versatile and Alexa-enabled device that can be put anywhere in your house. It can be in the bedroom, the kitchen, at the office or just anywhere you would like. Echo devices are smart assistant speakers, and the Echo Spot is a much better-looking version, being one of only a few Echo devices to have a screen.

Amazon introduced the Echo spot, available in either black or white, in 2014. It is much more than a smart alarm clock. It has a flat bottom and a screen that angles upwards and can be used to control your smart home devices, make calls and can access the internet.

Amazon Echo Spot

amazon echo spot review
4/5

4 out of 5

THE GOOD

  • A good alarm. With its voice command mechanism, you can talk to it and tell it when to wake you up and when the alarm goes off, you can command it to keep quiet. You can also tell it to wake you up with your favorite song.
  • Voice commands. With the Amazon Echo Spot, you can control your smart home devices from the comfort of your bed. You can switch off the lights, control the air conditioner and even check on your baby. This saves you the trouble of having to get up to do all these simple tasks.
  • Privacy concerns. For those worried about being spied on through the device’s camera, the Echo Spot has a setting where you can disable the camera and microphone.
  • Its small size lets it blend in anywhere it is placed.

THE BAD

  • The Echo Spot cannot be connected to multiple Bluetooth speakers or headphones at the same time.
  • Adding smart home devices like light switches, bulbs and cameras to work with the Echo Spot adds to the cost of the device.
  • It is not able to handle multiple tasks without repeating the name, Alexa. You have to say the name Alexa in every command.

THE BOX

  • Echo Spot
  • Power adapter/cable (6 ft.)
  • Quick start guide

THE SPECS

  • Size: 4.1” x 3.8” x 3.6” (104 mm x 97 mm x 91 mm)
  • Weight: 14.8 oz. (419 grams) Actual size
  • Alexa App: The Alexa App is compatible with Fire OS, Android, and iOS devices and also accessible via your web browser.
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity: Dual-band Wi-Fi supports 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 and 5 GHz) networks.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) support for audio streaming from your mobile device to Echo Spot or from Echo Spot to your Bluetooth speaker. Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) for voice control of connected mobile devices.
  • Audio: Built-in speaker. 3.5 mm stereo audio output for use with external speakers (audio cable not included).
  • Accessibility Features: On Echo devices with screens, you can enable Alexa captioning and closed captioning, magnify the screen, toggle color inversion, and choose between color correction options. You can also enable the VoiceView screen reader to use gestures to navigate the screen and hear spoken feedback about the items you select.
amazon echo spot review

What is Echo Spot?

The Echo Spot is a member of the Amazon Echo family. It’s a small, compact, easy to fit, alarm clock-like device that can be connected to smart home devices. It can be used to control the smart devices in your house like lights and cameras. It has a small screen which is used to tell time and display the weather and your calendar.

Can you watch TV on Amazon Echo Spot?

Some international TV stations stream their programs on the internet. Since the Echo Spot has a screen and access to the internet, you can use it to watch those TV channels using the Stream player. You can either watch using the Alexa display-devices or just listen to the audio on the Echo.

How is the Amazon Echo Spot used?

The Echo Spot needs to be plugged in a power outlet. Once it is connected to the power, turn it on, then select your language. After that, you connect to Wi-Fi (the option to connect to Wi-Fi is available in the settings gear.)

Then you will be required to sign it to your Amazon account. If you don’t have an existing account, you can create one. After this, you need to confirm your time zone and then select a device name.

You can use the built-in keyboard to type the name you wish to call the device. Then you need to download the Alexa app to customize the device.

Do you need Alexa for Amazon Echo Spot?

Alexa is the voice assistant service on the Echo Spot. You can do without her and still use the Echo Spot as a regular Bluetooth device. Alexa allows you to control the device with features such as voice command. Without it, the Echo Spot is just another speaker device. Alexa adds a lot of value to the Echo Spot.

Does the Echo Spot have to be plugged-in to work?

The Echo Spot does not have a rechargeable battery and therefore has to be plugged into a power outlet for it to work.

How do I keep the Amazon Echo Spot display on the clock?

You swipe down to get to the settings. Then on the Home and Clock option, you can choose the setting you prefer. By swiping left and right on the themes, you can set and choose from the available clock faces.

Design

The Amazon Echo Spot has a neat curved niche which is to its advantage, making up for the design flaws of some other Echo devices. It is more refined in its circular design enabling it to blend in anywhere it is placed.

In terms of size, it is small – about the size of a mango. It’s a compact device with a curve and the screen angles upwards, making it easy to view. The small size makes it fit anywhere in the house. It can be placed in the kitchen, bedroom or office and not take up that much space.

The screen is also small at 2.5 inches with a relatively good resolution of 480 x 480 pixels. The screen makes it better than some Echo devices, since most of them do not have a screen.

The screen enables the Echo Spot to display a few of its features and also gives the user a UI to get to the settings. It also improves its appearance, making it look pretty sleek.

If you are looking for an Echo product, then the Echo Spot is a front-runner because it has a display screen.

amazon echo spot review

It has a camera located at the top of the screen, volume controls, and a microphone mute button. The microphone button can also be used to disable the camera, giving the Echo Spot an advantage over other Amazon Echo products when it comes to privacy.

It also has four small pin-prick holes which are for the microphones that allow Alexa to listen to speech commands. The Echo Spot has a chime sound that notifies you when Alexa is online. At the back of the Echo Spot is a slot meant for the power cord and a 3.5mm audio jack. It has a speaker located at its base. The speaker grill is visible when looking at it straight-on.

Functionality

The Amazon Echo Spot can perform various functions. First, it can be used as an alarm clock. This is what it is best known for. You can set the time when the alarm should go off; it also displays time.

With the voice commands, you can use it to control smart devices in your home. You can automate your home to work with the Echo Spot via through the Alexa app or voice commands.

It is Wi-Fi enabled so you can use it to access the internet. This is an advantage because you can watch your favorite online programs using the Echo Spot; though we would advise you get the Echo Show for more long-term TV viewing as it has a significantly bigger screen. But you can connect the Echo Spot to your smart TV and control it with voice commands.

It also tells you the weather as well as other important real-time information which is displayed on its screen. This can prove to be useful as it keeps you updated with just a glance. It provides you with traffic updates, so you can avoid heavy traffic by choosing a different route. The information provided by the device may be simple but can be very useful.

The Echo Spot has a speaker which enables you to listen to music or audiobooks. It can also be connected to bigger audio systems to give a better sound experience. This is important as it enables you to enjoy playing music at a volume that bests suits you.

Performance

The performance of the Amazon Echo Spot mostly depends on what you use it for. Relative to the rest of the Echo products, it is very versatile and therefore has a lot of different ways in which it can be used.

Alexa, the personal assistant, continues to be updated and improved in the background across all the Echo devices – we talk about this in our article about Alexa’s light ring modes. With the Echo Spot, vague commands can be mapped to the approximate skills, and therefore you don’t have to remember the exact word you used.

The Amazon Echo Spot is also very useful in the kitchen. Unlike other Echo devices like the Dot and the Input, the Echo Spot can actually display recipes and cooking timers on its screen. It also has multiple timers running at the same time, which helps when timing the cooking periods.

The screen display makes the performance of the Echo Spot better than most Echo family devices. It can be used as a monitor. You can connect it to a smart camera and use it to monitor the house from the comfort of your bed. You can use it to check on the baby or the front door. Also, when listening to music, you can ask that the lyrics can be displayed on the screen.

Alexa can cancel out swear words in the lyrics for you to avoid offense or the delicate ears of children. With Echo Spot you can make video calls – Alexa enables you to connect to another Echo Spot speaker and using the camera and the screen you can video chat with some else in a different room.

When it comes to sound quality the Echo Spot might not be as good as the Echo Plus or the Echo Dot. Its performance can, however, be improved by connecting it to bigger speakers. Because the Echo Spot’s speakers are located at the base it is able to distribute the sound well to its surroundings but that means the surface it sits on is very important for optimal audio quality.

Like all Echo family products, you can choose to use it for audio entertainment and  while it might not be as good as the Echo Dot, but is still pretty good.

The Echo Spot provides a good video display performance; the images on the screen are clear and bright. You can also zoom the picture to be able to view it better and adjust it to the desired size. On a larger display this wouldn’t be preferred but it works on the Echo Spot.

Price

The Amazon Echo Spot costs around $130, considerably less than other Amazon smart display and video devices like the Amazon Echo Show which is about $230. Therefore, if you purchase the Echo Spot instead of the Echo Show, you would save around $100 – which is a decent savings.

The Echo Show does have a more prominent display than the Spot and better audio input, but the Echo Spot has its advantage by being smaller. Size matters, and this makes the Amazon Spot preferable if you are looking for a small size display device.

Conclusion

For those looking to purchase an Echo product, the Echo Spot is our recommended choice. At $130, the Echo Spot beats the other Echo products like the Echo Input and Echo Dot since it has a display.

The screen enables it to show time, date and give you updates like the weather and traffic. It also makes using it easy as it is touch-enabled, most of its settings being accessible from the screen.

It has all the other Amazon Echo family features, like the voice command and the capability to connect to other smart devices. So you will still be able to do all that the other Echo family products can do, with the added advantage of the small size that makes it easy to fit in any room.

The Amazon Echo Spot does what it promises. It might not be a product for everyone, but it has good value, and it is worth purchasing if you’re wanting to get into the smart assistant trend.

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