One Alexa, Many Echoes
Amazon, Alexa, Echo. Amazon is celebrating success with its language assistant Alexa.
However, the cloud service also needs the right hardware, and Amazon offers that, among other things, in the form of the Echo models.
And, there’s now a whole variety of Amazon, Alexa, Echo.
And the latest addition is the
I’ll show the differences between the Echo models as well as the respective advantages and disadvantages.
Amazon, Alexa, Echo
Here is what all Echoes have in common. Before I go into the differences between the individual devices, the similarities should be clarified in advance.
Because the core feature is available with every Echo model, the language assistant Alexa is cloud-based and therefore reacts identically to each Echo model.
That includes questions as well as commands, such as controlling smart lights and sockets, playing music, and making voice calls.
In other words, everything that is understood and processed by one Echo variant also works in principle on all other devices.
So, if you only want the features of Alexa, it doesn’t matter which variant you buy.
The Skills apps specially developed for the Echoes, run on all models.
Also in common, for the Echoes, is the built-in Bluetooth module to connect to other devices.
Entry Into The Alexa World, The Echo Dot
The cheapest entry into the world of Alexa is the Echo Dot, that Amazon offers.
According to the price, the Echo Dot has nothing special to offer; It is merely a simple speaker with classic radio quality installed.
The Echo Dot model is, therefore, suitable for anyone who just needs the Alexa features and uses an external speaker to listen to music.
Connection options are Bluetooth and an audio 3.5 mm jack.
The Echo Dot is regular $49.99.-
The Music Box, Amazon Echo
It has an integrated speaker that is suitable for listening to music.
Although the speaker does not offer the very best quality, the 63 mm woofer and the 16 mm tweeter is sufficient for casual listening.
In addition, the Echo adapts well to his new home, because it is the only Echo model that offers six different Shells to change.
The Amazon Echo is regular $99.99.-
For Smart Home Fans, Amazon Echo Plus
Visually, the Amazon Echo Plus looks like the first generation Echo and as such is also suitable as a standalone speaker for background sound.
However, inside the expensive Plus variant hides a special feature, a Zigbee module.
With this wireless protocol, which is used by many smart home devices, it is possible to integrate Zigbee devices directly.
That means that you no longer need the bridge, gateway, from the manufacturer to connect Philips Hue Lamps, but use the lamps directly and without Philips account.
Simply insert the bulb into its socket, press the light switch and say “Alexa, search for new equipment”.
The Echo Plus recognises the light source, and you can name it.
After that, the LED can be switched on and off by voice.
However, the functionality is still quite limited.
For example, if you want to connect heating controllers with Zigbee via Amazon Echo Plus, it’s unfortunate, but you are out of luck.
The box recognises the device, but it may not set up.
In such cases, as with any other Echo model, a corresponding bridge from the manufacturer is still needed to use the smart home devices with Alexa.
The Amazon Echo Plus is regular $149.99.-
The Video Station, The Echo Show
The Echo Show has a special feature, a 7-inch display, and an integrated front camera.
Making a clear case for the use of the Echo Show is rather difficult.
Amazon itself sells the show via its video calling feature, but that’s possible with just about any smartphone in combination with a messenger.
Also, smartphones are much more flexible than a landline phone, so to speak.
Making Friends With The Show
And as a house phone, the Echo Show would be a rather expensive choice.
That also means that there is no browser to access information directly.
But if you don’t just want to hear but also want to see the daily summary of the news and weather information, and if you want to see the appropriate album cover for the music played, then you could make friends with the Echo Show.
The kitchen should also be a suitable place for the Echo Show, as it displays recipes, also retrofittable by skill, directly on display.
The Echo Show is regular $219.99.-
Amazon Echo Spot, The Video Alarm Clock
And the Echo Spot is a small, compact assistant with a 2.5-inch display.
The Echo Spot speaker hence is ideally suited as an alarm clock in the bedroom or egg timer in the kitchen.
The sound quality is slightly better than the entry-level device, but for music enjoyment, a real speaker is recommended.
Since the Echo Spot has a camera on the front, video calls can be made with the device.
For some customers, the Echo Spot could be a no-go for that exact reason.
The Echo Spot is regular $129.99.-
Echo Dot Kids Edition
What is the difference between this and the regular Echo Dot?
The smart speakers from Amazon are selling well.
Not least because Alexa is the most popular voice assistant.
She answers questions and, if desired, controls the entire Smarthome. Of course, the assistant is also interesting for children, because the little ones are only too happy to communicate with her.
At first glance, the Echo Dot Kids Edition differs significantly from the regular model.
The Echo Dot Kids Edition is packed in a protective rubber case.
At the moment there are three bright colours blue, red and green.
Included is a small card with some tips on how kids can employ Alexa most useful (or less useful).
The differences, however, are little, because technically the Echo Dot Kids Edition corresponds exactly to the regular Echo Dot. The special feature is rather in the associated software.
The speaker arrives at the buyers with an activated service called FreeTime Unlimited.
Included are numerous kid-friendly audiobooks, radio stations, Alexa Skills from Disney & Co. as well as alarm sounds from well-known characters like Mickey Mouse.
The echo-delivered subscription is free for one year. After that, it costs $2.99 a month.
However, this could be worthwhile in some cases, because the service includes a two-year warranty – which replaces a broken device even if the kids broke it.
Simply return it to Amazon and receive a new Echo Dot Kids Edition.
If the users decide against the fee, the free basic package with control software remains for the parents.
Incidentally, Amazon FreeTime can be activated for existing echo devices as well.
The Echo Dot Kids Edition is regular $79.99.-
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