It’s no secret that Amazon wants Alexa everywhere in all shapes and sizes. The newest form that Alexa comes in (at least in Canada) is the Echo Spot. The device is the first (and only) touchscreen Echo devices to makes its way up north and the screen does enhance the overall Alexa experience but the device has few flaws.
Design & Hardware
The Echo Spot has a design that is akin to a magic 8-ball but just with a slice taken out. The device has a 2.5-inch touchscreen that allows Alexa to not only tell you things but also show you things. You can ask Alexa to show your video Flash Briefings as well as Prime Video content.
The screen is good but nothing overly amazing. The Echo Spot has the same second-generation far-field technology with four microphones that the Amazon Echo (2nd Gen) has. And just like that Echo, I found the microphones had trouble picking up my voice. I would have to say, Alexa, multiple times before it would respond.
There is also acoustic beam forming technology and enhanced noise cancellation as well as Bluetooth built-in and a 3.5mm audio jack on the back to connect to external speakers.
The top of the device is where you’ll find the volume buttons and the microphone mute button.
The speakers on the Echo Spot sound good but nothing you’ll be blown away by, they have a slight echoey and tinny sound to them. I would recommend plugging in an external set of speakers or connect a Bluetooth speaker to the Echo Spot.
The Echo Spot works well as an alarm clock because of its compact design and the number of clock faces you can customize it with.
The device can also be used to make video and audio calls using the Drop In feature to talk to either other Echo devices in your home or your friend and family.
The Echo Spot is available in two colours, black and white for $169 CAD. While that may seem a bit pricey, it is still cheaper than the Echo Plus but is more expensive than the Echo (2nd Gen). You can buy the Echo Spot from Amazon.ca and Best Buy.
The Echo Spot has Amazon’s Alexa voice service built-in. Since Amazon recently brought their Echo devices to Canada in December, they also brought along a new English voice for Alexa with a Canadian accent.
Over the past couple of years, Alexa has been gaining more developers who create more skills for Amazon’s Echo devices. Amazon says that there are over 10,000 skills available for Canadian Echo users but in reality, that’s not completely true.
Some skills available for Canadian users include ones from Air Canada, TD Bank, Telus, CBC, The Weather Network, Bank of Montreal and more.
Since the Echo Spot has a touchscreen, there Alexa skills to take advantage of this such as Nest Camera, Ring and Arlo which can be used to monitor your video doorbell or smart security cameras video feeds.
You can also use the Echo Spot to watch Prime Video content. All you have to do is say. Alexa and then whatever Amazon Prime Original you want to watch, such as The Grand Tour or Bosch.
Video looks good on the Echo Spot but as mentioned earlier, it’s not the greatest, especially because of its small screen size that is also rounded.
Overall, the Echo Spot is a great device, it has a unique and compact design and the screen improves the Alexa experience to a certain degree. However, with the lack of Alexa skills in Canada and issues with trying to understand me, it is hard to fully recommend the Echo Spot, especially since it’s one of the more expensive Echo devices in Canada.
- Unique design
- 3.5mm audio jack is nice
- Touchscreen enhances the Alexa experience
- Makes a great (and slightly expensive) alarm clock
- Not as many Alexa skills available in Canada
- Alexa still has trouble picking up voices