What is Amazon Alexa?
You've probably heard of Amazon Alexa by now. But did you know that Alexa is the name given to Amazon's artificial intelligence assistant?
This unique personality can play music and audiobooks, stream podcasts, provide weather and traffic updates, read the latest news, and even control the smart devices in your home automation system.
Alexa is built-in to every Echo device. Using just your voice, you can wake up Alexa and command it to do plenty of fun stuff - we'll cover all of these devices in the review below!
6 New Generation Alexa-Powered Amazon Devices
The current Echo Dot is the 2nd generation of its iteration. It is completely hands-free, and activates via voice-control through its built-in 0.6-inch speaker. The tiny Echo Dot is capable of hearing you across the room, and even while music is playing.
There's no need for you to pause your music - all you need to do is say "Alexa," and the Echo Dot wakes up immediately.
If you have more than one Echo Dot in your home, it can respond intelligently by selecting the Echo nearest to your voice. Also, you can connect the Echo Dot to your headphones or speakers over Bluetooth or a 3.5-mm audio cable for stereo sound.
With the Echo Dot, you can ask Alexa to make calls, send messages, provide the latest weather updates, play music, read audiobooks, control your smart home devices, plus much more.
The Echo Dot's built-in speaker also doubles up as an alarm clock or cooking assistant in the kitchen. What's cool is the Echo Dot doesn't require the full-sized Amazon Echo to work, so it's a great way to add Alexa to your home for less than $50!
The Amazon Echo is what started it all. Like the Dot, the Amazon Echo is now in its 2nd generation, and comes with improved Dolby sound.
The all-new Amazon Echo looks gorgeous as well. You can choose from up to six different styles including wood veneers and fabric finishing. No matter what your decor looks like, you're sure to find a style that will complement your home.
So what can the all-new Echo do? Like all Alexa devices, the Echo is capable of playing music, tuning in to radio stations, controlling your smart home devices, making calls, reading the news, and answering your questions.
You can even play music in different rooms with multi-room music. All you need to do is set up your Echo devices in different rooms.
With a newly designed speaker (2.5-inch woofer and 0.6-inch tweeter) and Dolby processing, the Echo is capable of filling your entire room with omnidirectional music.
Seven microphones with beam-forming technology coupled with noise cancellation means that your Echo can hear you wherever you are at home, even when you have your favorite tunes playing.
The Echo Plus is the easiest way to start building your very own smart home. Integrated into the device itself is a built-in ZigBee smart home hub that lets you easily set up and connect compatible ZigBee lights and locks, and wall switches from GE, Philips Hue, and Yale.
In fact, setting up your smart home devices is as simple as saying, "Alexa, discover my devices." Your Echo Plus will find and connect to any of your compatible smart devices.
The Echo Plus gives you voice control over your music, and allows for hands-free calling and messaging.
Seven microphones tucked away underneath the light ring means the Echo Plus can hear your voice from even across the room.
All you have to do is say the wake word "Alexa," and the Echo Plus lights up, ready to respond to your next request.
With the Echo Plus, there is no need to buy an additional home hub. Plus, you get Alexa and a speaker (2.5-inch woofer and 0.8-inch tweeter) all rolled up in a nice package!
The Echo Spot is a fresh take on the traditional Echo design. Alexa is now housed in an all-new compact design that fits anywhere in your home. So what's new with the Echo Spot?
Unlike the other Echos that simply read the news or weather forecasts, the Echo Spot shows you everything. The front-facing 2.5-inch display screen means it can show you video flash briefings, kitchen timer countdowns, your personal calendar, to-do lists, and even music lyrics.
You can also personalize your Echo Spot with its collection of clock faces, or your very own photo stored in Prime Photos.
Plus, you can now make video calls to family and friends if they have an Echo Spot too.
The Echo Spot features 2nd generation far-field microphone technology-four to be exact-coupled with noise cancellation and beam-forming technology to ensure that your voice requests are always heard. The Echo Spot comes with a 1.4-inch speaker.
If the Spot's 2.5-inch display screen is too small for you, then you'll love the Echo Show. Sporting a 7-inch touchscreen, the Show packs more detail in its bigger screen. You can now get more detail in your morning news briefing.
The Echo Show is designed to be a compact multimedia powerhouse for your smart home. Dual 2.0-inch speakers powered by Dolby processing provides room-filling music and extended bass response.
Like the other Echos, you can ask Alexa to play any song or artist and stream music from Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn.
The Echo Show comes with eight microphones and beam-forming technology to hear you from anywhere in your room instantly. Pair it with any other Echo devices in your home and Alexa is capable of responding to the Echo that you're closest to.
The Echo Look is Amazon's latest Echo device that's focused on people who enjoy fashion.
With its hands-free camera, it takes photos using just your voice. Its background LED lighting and depth-sensing camera let you blur the background to make all your outfits pop.
You can ask Alexa to help you see a live view or take videos of yourself from every angle using the Echo Look app. View photos of your outfits and share them with friends, or make a selection of your favorites.
Style Check also gives you a second opinion on your outfits by combining machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists.
The Echo Look can check your calendar and commute, give you weather reports, set timers and alarms, manage your to-do lists, play and stream music, and everything else that a regular Echo does.
Echo Look - love your look, every day.
With 6 different Amazon Echo devices on the market, you're sure to find a device that suits your budget and needs. From the simple, affordable and compact Echo Dot, to the multimedia powerhouse Echo Show, you can now afford to have your very own Alexa voice assistant.