Hands on: Amazon's video-enabled Echo Spot

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 9
The Echo Spot is Amazon's second smartspeaker with a built-in screen and occupies a unique space in the Echo ecosystem, especially for people with an assortment of smarthome accessories.

Amazon Echo Spot


In most respects the Spot is like any other Echo. Voice commands that work with a regular model will work here, such as alarms, timers, traffic, flash briefings, music playback, and smarthome control. You can also ask general questions, even if Alexa's knowledgebase isn't as deep as Google Assistant's.

A screen, of course, creates extra possibilities. Typically you'll just see the time, local weather, and a rotating series of "cards" with things like headlines and Alexa commands to try. Those Alexa suggestions can be handy, since even if you already own an Echo you might be a little bewildered by your new options.

These include things like clockfaces, Alexa-to-Alexa video calls, a limited assortment of video-enhanced flash briefings, and playing content from Prime Video. Due to the ongoing spat between Amazon And Google, YouTube is very conspicuously absent. That being said a round, 2.5-inch screen isn't suitable for watching more than a few minutes of video anyway.

Amazon Alexa app


Where it does come in handy is with Alexa-compatible security cameras and doorbells. In our test house, with an August Doorbell Cam Pro, we were able to say "show me the front door camera" and get a live feed without pulling out our iPhone. Companies like Nest, Netgear, and Logitech also support live camera feeds.

We'll have more to say in our full review, including how it can help Apple users and how it lets them down, but right now it seems as if the Spot shines brightest as a bedside clock in a well-equipped smarthome. Even if you don't have a security camera, it's nice being able to turn on the lights, check weather, or wake up to your favorite Spotify playlist without rolling out of bed.

Amazon Echo Spot


Keep following AppleInsider to check out our review.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 711member
    Wouldn’t this functionality be available without getting out of bed by enabling Hey Siri?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 22
    kkqd1337kkqd1337 Posts: 124member
    I’m pretty sure the echo spot is over a year old now.

    Weird time to review it.
    fasterquieter
  • Reply 3 of 22
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 528member
    Please don’t review this surveillance machine on Appleinsider. HomePod needs more articles.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,594member
    Please don’t review this surveillance machine on Appleinsider. HomePod needs more articles.
    Just because there's an article about a not-Apple product doesn't mean they run out of space for an Apple one. :/
    It's certainly not competing with anything Apple is offering and they may never have anything in that space. Apple will always get by just fine despite anything Amazon or Google or Facebook or Microsoft does. None of them can bring harm to Apple and if anything it would be the other way around.  

    But I get that living in ignorance might be consoling for some folks (and is) so if you're one of those just don't read anything here that doesn't have "Apple" in the lead line. Problem solved.  
    edited June 9 muthuk_vanalingamlorin schultzjony0
  • Reply 5 of 22
    nunzynunzy Posts: 320member
    This is just a spy machine for a company that sells your data. Use Apple products instead.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,594member
    genovelle said:
    Wouldn’t this functionality be available without getting out of bed by enabling Hey Siri?
    It would depend on whether Siri integrates with your home's smart devices. The number of products compatible with Apple/Siri are few and far between compared to Alexa-controlled which numbers in the thousands.  
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 22
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 181member
    gatorguy said:
    genovelle said:
    Wouldn’t this functionality be available without getting out of bed by enabling Hey Siri?
    It would depend on whether Siri integrates with your home's smart devices. The number of products compatible with Apple/Siri are few and far between compared to Alexa-controlled which numbers in the thousands.  
    Don’t want anybody listening and recording my moaning in my Bedroom and being sent to my friends, totally awkward....or worst yet video recording....NO thanks.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 22
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,682administrator
    If your comment has been deleted, it's time to re-read the commenting guidelines. Specifically, rule 18.
    edited June 9
  • Reply 9 of 22
    d_2d_2 Posts: 39member
    kkqd1337 said:
    I’m pretty sure the echo spot is over a year old now.

    Weird time to review it.
    Nope, deliveries started in mid-December 
  • Reply 10 of 22
    SwampwulfSwampwulf Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    Is this paid content aka an advertisement?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 22
    Pflugerville? Wow! Talk about small world since I live in Pflugerville as well. We definitely are moving up in the world first with In-N-Out, then Costco, and now tech editors living amongst us. :smile: 


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 22
    gatorguy said:
    Please don’t review this surveillance machine on Appleinsider. HomePod needs more articles.
    Just because there's an article about a not-Apple product doesn't mean they run out of space for an Apple one. :/
    It's certainly not competing with anything Apple is offering and they may never have anything in that space. Apple will always get by just fine despite anything Amazon or Google or Facebook or Microsoft does. None of them can bring harm to Apple and if anything it would be the other way around.  

    But I get that living in ignorance might be consoling for some folks (and is) so if you're one of those just don't read anything here that doesn't have "Apple" in the lead line. Problem solved.  
    Time is limited. They made a business decision choosing to cover a bad surveillance product instead of an Apple made one. That is why I feel sad. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 22
    claire1claire1 Posts: 93unconfirmed, member
    This product is pretty cool. There were rumors that Nintendo was gonna make a round product just like this years ago.

    Scary that it will steal your privacy though.

    gatorguy said:
    Please don’t review this surveillance machine on Appleinsider. HomePod needs more articles.
    Just because there's an article about a not-Apple product doesn't mean they run out of space for an Apple one. :/
    It's certainly not competing with anything Apple is offering and they may never have anything in that space. Apple will always get by just fine despite anything Amazon or Google or Facebook or Microsoft does. None of them can bring harm to Apple and if anything it would be the other way around.  

    But I get that living in ignorance might be consoling for some folks (and is) so if you're one of those just don't read anything here that doesn't have "Apple" in the lead line. Problem solved.  

    You missed his 2 main points or refused to acknowledge them.

    1. This is an Apple site.

    2. It's a spyware device like those cheap iKnockoffs.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 22
    asciiascii Posts: 5,628member
    It seems cheap and practical. But yeah watch out for those targeted ads!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 22
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 779member
    I own the device and really like it. 
  • Reply 16 of 22
    hagarhagar Posts: 95member
    gatorguy said:
    Please don’t review this surveillance machine on Appleinsider. HomePod needs more articles.
    Just because there's an article about a not-Apple product doesn't mean they run out of space for an Apple one. :/
    It's certainly not competing with anything Apple is offering and they may never have anything in that space. Apple will always get by just fine despite anything Amazon or Google or Facebook or Microsoft does. None of them can bring harm to Apple and if anything it would be the other way around.  

    But I get that living in ignorance might be consoling for some folks (and is) so if you're one of those just don't read anything here that doesn't have "Apple" in the lead line. Problem solved.  
    That’s the kind of attitude that might lead to the downfall of even the biggest companies. Thinking Apple is untouchable, why would you think that?

    now, this device will definitely not be it. But Alexa is quickly becoming the defacto standard for assistants and home domotica. If they play there cards right, they might go a long way. While HomeKit is stagnant. And Google is killing it in AI. Google Assistant is actually becoming smart and useful while Siri will get Automator scripts with Siri Shortcuts in iOS 12. Yesterday I asked her to call a restaurant in my town and she created some nonsensical reminder. Hopeless. And if she gives me driving directions to the other side of the world one more time... 


  • Reply 17 of 22
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,682administrator
    Swampwulf said:
    Is this paid content aka an advertisement?
    Read our commenting guidelines.

    No, it is not.
  • Reply 18 of 22
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,206member
    claire1 said:
    This product is pretty cool. There were rumors that Nintendo was gonna make a round product just like this years ago.

    Scary that it will steal your privacy though.

    gatorguy said:
    Please don’t review this surveillance machine on Appleinsider. HomePod needs more articles.
    Just because there's an article about a not-Apple product doesn't mean they run out of space for an Apple one. :/
    It's certainly not competing with anything Apple is offering and they may never have anything in that space. Apple will always get by just fine despite anything Amazon or Google or Facebook or Microsoft does. None of them can bring harm to Apple and if anything it would be the other way around.  

    But I get that living in ignorance might be consoling for some folks (and is) so if you're one of those just don't read anything here that doesn't have "Apple" in the lead line. Problem solved.  

    You missed his 2 main points or refused to acknowledge them.

    1. This is an Apple site.

    2. It's a spyware device like those cheap iKnockoffs.
    His post covered point one in the first paragraph. 

    I consider AI an Apple centric site, not an Apple only site. If it were an Apple only site we wouldn't see the presence of articles on Samsung, Google and many other companies.

    Point 2 is pure paranoia. If any company were found to be spying on anyone by design through its products, once discovered, it would see its business collapse and face severe legal proceedings.

    That isn't an 'if discovered', there is no way to keep such practices out of the public eye. Even government agencies have been unable to keep their spying out of the public eye.

    That isn't to say there aren't security issues involved with these technologies but that is different to spying.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 19 of 22
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,516member
    This product has no interest to me, but I did preorder the Fire TV Cube. Fire TV + Echo Dot + voice-controlled universal remote for $89 is a bangin' deal. This will replace the current Echo that I have in the living room along with my Roku Streaming Stick, Harmony Remote and mess of IR blasters. Will probably stick the Echo Dot in the garage for when I'm working out there.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,594member
    claire1 said:
    This product is pretty cool. There were rumors that Nintendo was gonna make a round product just like this years ago.

    Scary that it will steal your privacy though.

    gatorguy said:
    Please don’t review this surveillance machine on Appleinsider. HomePod needs more articles.
    Just because there's an article about a not-Apple product doesn't mean they run out of space for an Apple one. :/
    It's certainly not competing with anything Apple is offering and they may never have anything in that space. Apple will always get by just fine despite anything Amazon or Google or Facebook or Microsoft does. None of them can bring harm to Apple and if anything it would be the other way around.  

    But I get that living in ignorance might be consoling for some folks (and is) so if you're one of those just don't read anything here that doesn't have "Apple" in the lead line. Problem solved.  

    You missed his 2 main points or refused to acknowledge them.

    1. This is an Apple site.

    2. It's a spyware device like those cheap iKnockoffs.
    Neither of your objections are accurate though. First off this is not an Apple site. It has zero connection to Apple themselves and while the articles here generally have an Apple user focus it's not ever been exclusively Apple-specific topics AFAIK, at least least since I've been a member here which is been years. Heck just look at the tens of thousands of words that DED has has writen that have no direct connection to Apple.

    So how is an article about an Amazon product pertinent to an Apple user? That would be obvious from reading this thread. There are hard-core Apple users who also use Amazon Alexa devices. 

    Your second point was already addressed by Avon B7 and nothing more needs to be said about that. Common sense
    edited June 10 muthuk_vanalingam
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