Amazon Echo Smart Speaker
Amazon Echo Dot
Echo Dot (UK version here).
Due to coronavirus disease COVID-19 pandemic, more people are staying home or working from home. During break time, Echo has become a good source of entertainment including music, jokes, humors and more. Just say “Alexa, entertain me”. And the latest edition can even show time, alarms and timers on the LED display.
Since Amazon Echo devices are released in selected countries only, the app cannot be downloaded directly outside those selected countries. However, the app can be downloaded from US app store via VPN. Some of online services are chargeable while some are available in US only.
With 50,000+ free Alexa skills and counting, Amazon Echo has a huge library of voice apps and online services. In addition, for smart home control, Echo has over 1000 Alex skills for 3rd-party smart devices. It’s not surprising why Echo is the first choice for smart home virtual assistants. Meanwhile, parents will love the kids model because it comes with 2-year worry-free guarantee. Indeed, Amazon will replace it for free if kids break it within 2 years!
1. This product has been released in 40 countries and more to be added.
2. Some online services are available in the above countries only.
Why This Smart Speaker is Our First Choice
We recommend Amazon Echo as our first choice of best smart speaker for many reasons. First of all, we must be able to use it in any country including Asia. Here are the top 5 reasons why:
- The power adapter is universal, i.e. 100-240 VAC, which is suitable for countries with US power rating as well as UK power rating.
- We’re spoiled for choices: 3 major models are smart speakers, smart displays and on-the-go.
- The number of Alexa skills are growing exponentially and they are free!
- Most of the smart devices are compatible with this smart speaker.
- The app is very user-friendly and anyone can get the most out of this app easily.
How This Smart Speaker Improves Our Lifestyle
With Amazon Echo in our home, our life will never be the same again. Considering the number of features packed into this tiny smart speaker, it’s easily worth multiple times of the hardware cost. Here are the top 5 reasons how this smart speaker makes our lives better:
- The free app includes thousands of free Alexa skills (voice apps) arranged in more than 20 categories. The categories include newest arrivals, smart home, news, music & audio, games & trivia, food & drink, health & fitness and more. Download or delete any skill that you like.
- With built-in speakers for far-field voice recognition, it’s very responsive to our voice across the room and we don’t need to shout.
- Just say the wake word “Alexa” and the blue ring lights up and waits for voice command like “Alexa, what’s the latest updates on stock market?”
- Reminders and alarms feature are so useful. No more busy typing the time and description in mobile devices, just say “Alexa, set a reminder at 12 noon.”
- Adding a 3rd-party smart devices is straight forward. When connected, just say “Alexa, turn on kitchen light.” The contactless control is used to be very useful for physically-challenge people. Now it’s even more useful for everybody during the age of coronavirus.
When Our Smart Speaker Becomes Even Better
These are the few complains we have on this best smart speaker:
- International delivery is not available. We need to engage local delivery forwarder.
- Not all online services are available in all countries.
- The voice assistant can understand English and limited languages only.
- For people who are concerned with privacy, they need to delete the history of voice commands manually.
- Warranty is limited in the country of origin.
What to Check Before Buying
Verify that you can download the free app and run the app in your smartphone. If you can’t find this app in your local Google Play store or Apple App Store, then download it from US app store directly.
Where to Go From Here
Due to the international shipping costs and custom duties, it’s worth buying locally even when the price is slightly higher than overseas prices. The only 2 reasons why you should buy the recommended items here are: 1) the items are not available locally, 2) the local prices are significantly higher.
Amazon Echo is our first choice of smart speaker but don’t just take our words for it. Explore our other top choice for comparison.
Interested in finding out what other best smart home devices that can work with this smart speaker? Check out our home page for more best smart home ideas.
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