Amazon has recently launched in Italy a whole family of Echo devices , all with the voice assistant Alexa , and among these also Echo Spot , the only one in our country – waiting for the arrival of Echo Show – to have a display to enrich Alexa’s answers with images and to perform additional functions such as video calls with other Spot devices or with Alexa’s smartphone app.
The sales package is rather essential, as for the other Echo devices: inside we find the Echo Spot and the power cord. The design , on the other hand, is elegant and minimalist by Echo Spot: basically a sphere with a diameter of 104mm with two flat areas at the bottom, to support the device on a plane, and in front, to accommodate the screen. The weight is 419 grams.
Above the display, a camera for video calls . At the back of the device there are, at the top, 3 keys (volume up, microphone / camera on / off, volume down) and 4 long-range microphones ; at the bottom, the power port, the 3.5mm audio jack output, and the speaker holes are positioned.
Compact and pleasing to the eye, Echo Spot can be placed anywhere in the house without disfiguring with the furniture, but the ideal point is the bedroom, where it replaces the old clock radio.
The Echo Spot display is a 2.5-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 480 × 480 pixels. Of course, they are not the right size to watch a movie, although this is possible by asking Alexa to play content from Amazon Prime Video, but the screen allows you to add information to your voice answers .
As for connectivity there is Bluetooth to receive audio from a smartphone or to send to an external speaker, and the 2.4GHz and 5GHz dual band WiFi. The speaker is 36mm and as for the other Echo is facing down.
So we come to the point of our review: how did Echo Spot behave, and how is it positioned compared to the other devices of the Amazon ecosystem? Echo Spot does everything Echo can do, Alexa is always the same Alexa and she keeps learning new things thanks to the growing number of available skills. It can then play music, check the various gadgets of our smart home, answer many questions and much more.
The sound quality is quite good, and certainly higher than expected. Despite the small single speaker, the music is still pleasant to listen to although it is not comparable to a Hi-Fi system.
The advantages of the display are many: while Alexa speaks, she shows the information in a graphic way , starting from the weather forecast up to the covers of the listening pieces and the video version of the daily summary news. While at rest, it shows the clock, with the possibility to choose between different analog and digital watchfaces , and to set a personal background by selecting a photo from our Amazon Prime Foto account. Also the settings of the device can be consulted and modified directly from the touchscreen, by lowering the list of options with a gesture from the top of the display.
The probably most interesting feature is the possibility of making video calls from an Echo Spot device to another , or a smartphone with an installed Alexa application . In order to make or receive video calls, you will need to register with Alexa’s communication service and synchronize your smartphone address book; then you can decide whether to accept calls from all contacts, only from the family or from anyone. In the hours when Echo Spot is in Do Not Disturb mode , or by pressing the center button on the device, you will not be able to receive calls from anyone.
Other uses of the screen of Echo Spot include, after the activation of third-party skills , the ability to view live video of a compatible security camera or a baby monitor, consultation of reviews of restaurants and businesses, recipes for the kitchen and also video, both in the original format and in full screen.
In conclusion, we can not but be satisfied with this new device Amazon and the many additional features made possible by the presence of the display, albeit small. Perhaps the list price is a little high , especially when compared to the prices of other devices in the Echo range, but it is really good on the nightstand and in the morning it is a pleasure to watch the news on the news while still under the covers.