Many people have searched their email day in and day out looking for the golden ticket: an invite to purchase the Amazon Echo. Having Siri or Google Now in your home is a great concept and Amazon has taken a good shot at in home vocal recognition. The Amazon Echo is in somewhat of a beta stage, but it seems its capabilities could be endless.
Disclaimer: This article will be sharing impressions from the first day of use, and will later lead to an in-depth review of the Amazon Echo.
Amazon did a great job designing the Amazon Echo. With its matte black color, the Echo looks great just about anywhere I set it. When I first saw the Amazon echo, I was surprised by how large it was. I had never checked out the dimensions of the Amazon Echo before I first laid eyes on it, so in my mind I imaged it being much smaller than it is. The Echo stands about 10 inches tall, is just over 3 inches in diameter, and weighs a little over 2 pounds according to Alexa (this was the first time I was not nervous asking a woman their weight). The echo only has two buttons, a mute button, and an action button which helps keep a slim and simple look.
Amazon’s Echo comes with a magnetic remote that can stick to your wall, fridge and anything else magnetic or metal. The remote is also black and fits well in my hand. With that said, for the amount of buttons on the remote, I would have liked it to have been a bit smaller. The remote is about 5 1/2 in. tall and about 1 1/2 in. wide.
There is a light ring on the top of the Echo which indicates to you that Alexa is listening. The colors are bright, vibrant, and fit well with the overall design.
There are two speakers in the Amazon Echo, a 2 1/2 inch subwoofer along with a 2 inch tweeter. I would consider the speaker quality above average. I was not blown away by the sound quality, but was satisfied overall. The Echo can get surprisingly loud if needed and can be controlled by either telling Alexa your preferred volume by saying “Alexa volume 3” or by using the remote.
Under the light ring sits seven microphones, these microphones utilize beam-forming technology that allow Alexa to hear you regardless of where you are. I was thoroughly impressed by how well Alexa was able to recognize my voice when I was speaking to her and was even more impressed by how well it filters out background noise. I tried everything! Running the dishwasher, vacuuming the floor, doing the dishes, I even had my child throwing a fit in the background. Almost every time Alexa was able to hear me and determine what was being asked.
I was even more impressed with how quickly Alexa was able to answer my questions. There was less than a second delay between me asking the question and Alexa answering it. While there were some questions that Alexa was not able to answer such as what time specific TV shows air or how many cities are in a particular state, Alexa was able to answer most basic questions.
Overall, I was surprisingly impressed with the Amazon Echo. While it is only day 1, I have found the Echo extremely useful for tasks such as playing music, asking for metric conversions when cooking, and even settling debates when playing a trivia game. There is only so much you can learn after only one day of use. The more you use Alexa, the better she can adapt to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences; so you need to give it some time before you can really know how well it can perform.
The Amazon Echo is priced at $199, but Amazon Prime members can purchase the Echo for $99 upon receiving an invite from Amazon.
With that said, be sure to check back for an in-depth review of the Amazon Echo. Until then tell us your thoughts. What are you most excited for? If you currently own an Amazon Echo what do you feel it is missing from the device? Let us know in the comment section below.