A beginner’s guide to Alexa
We’ve compiled some top Echo tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your Amazon Alexa once she’s up and running.
We take a look at what separates these popular devices
Amazon’s popular Echo lineup seems to be expanding by the minute, presenting a selection of products that include smart speakers, video devices and security systems. But what’s the difference between the many models the e-commerce giant has to offer?
We’ve taken a look at the functions of several devices to help you decide which one is right for you.
The original model of the Amazon Echo was retired in 2017 and replaced with a new, shorter Alexa speaker that comes with a range of finishes for a sleeker and more contemporary look. Fortunately, it still offers the same volume that it did before and also works out at a cheaper price.
The only major problem with the new Echo is that the speaker doesn’t sound quite as good as the previous model, so if you want truly crisp audio, this might not be the model for you. However, it’s still perfect for listening to tunes, managing smart home systems, checking the weather and even ordering a takeaway.
The Echo Dot has also had a recent redesign to ensure it matches the new Echo Plus. The newer version has a larger diameter than the original model, making way for a brand new 1.6-inch speaker.
These changes mean the Echo Dot now works much better as a standalone Alexa device, as it’s equipped to converse with you and offers improved overall sound. There’s also the option to connect the device to another speaker using a 3.5mm cable.
Recent upgrades to the Echo Plus device mean it has been kitted out with bigger speakers, specifically designed to give you enhanced sound. As well as offering the same Alexa functions as the above Echo devices, it also has a built-in Zigbee smart home hub.
What’s more, if music is important to you, it's worth the upgrade over the standard Echo because the sound is really awesome.
If you’re looking for a device with a screen, you should consider the Show. As well as offering all of the Alexa skills of other Amazon models, the Show includes video calling with Skype support, as well as the Echo Plus ability to control compatible smart home devices without the need for separate hubs or apps.
The Echo Show is a great device to keep stationed in your kitchen too, as the HD display allows you to check timers and recipes quickly and easily.
The Amazon Echo Spot is sort of a combination between the Echo Show and the Echo Dot. Best for using beside your bed to set alarms or in the office for Skype meetings, this device has a 2.5-inch screen with a front camera that can be used to make video calls.
Though the Spot doesn’t allow you to control any external smart devices, it’s compact and can be connected to your bluetooth speakers, allowing you to play music anywhere in your home.