A Different Design
The new Echo has a very different look about it compared to the previous generations of Echos, and I like it a lot. The spherical shape of the Echo looks smart and somehow doesn’t stand out as much as the previous design when sitting next to ornaments in my living room.
The Echo that I was sent for review came in a Glacier White finish, which again I liked. Other colours available are Charcoal and Twilight Blue. As is popular with a lot of home speakers, the Echo is coated in a textured fabric. There are four physical buttons on top of the Echo, volume up and down, a microphone off button, and an action button. I didn’t make any use of the action button as I used the “Alexa” command.
I have a smart TV, smart bulbs and a RoboVac in my home, so using the Alexa App, I enabled the EufyHome skill to communicate with the smart devices. I was very impressed at how quick and seamless connecting to the smart devices was.
During my time with the Echo, I was able to throw any questions at Alexa for example, “Will I need an umbrella today?”, “How many sleeps until Christmas?”, “What’s the capital of Brazil?” and more often than not, I’d get the expected answer. Setting timers, alarms and reminders was a simple process, and very useful.
The Echo even has an integrated temperature sensor, something that I could not take advantage of as I don’t have a smart thermostat in my house. It’s a great feature, though, and one that I could definitely see myself taking advantage of in the future.
Another feature that was useful in my house was drop-in. Alongside the Echo, I was sent the new Echo Dot, which I set up in my daughter’s room. She is only 7, but thanks to how easy and accessible Amazon’s products are, she was using it like a pro in no time at all, even asking for stories and songs at bedtime.
Anyway, I digress back to drop-in. On several occasions, when my daughter was in her room listening to her favourite songs, we would drop-in with her to tell her that tea was ready, or that she needed to come downstairs to tidy her toys away.
For its size, the all-new Echo delivers a loud, punchy sound. At highest volume levels, you do lose a slight amount of fidelity. However, for the most part, it performs perfectly well enough as a speaker. If you’re an audiophile looking for a speaker that you’re going to be using every day to listen to music at a high quality, then the Echo isn’t for you.
If like me, you’re using it more for the smart functions, with the occasional song and podcast, then it’s perfect. Speaking of music, the Echo can connect to all popular music streaming services. Of course, Amazon would be happiest if you used their music service; however, Apple Music, Spotify and Deezer all work with the Echo.
The Rapid Wrap Up
Other than a slight loss of quality with the sound at the highest volume, there isn’t anything negative to say about the latest Echo and Echo Dot. They look great, produce a more than acceptable sound, are simple to set up and are excellent smart speakers.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase the All-new Amazon Echo and Echo Dot using the links below.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.