Amazon Echo Review – The “Not-So-Smart” Smart Home Appliance

You can find just a bit of everything inside the Amazon Echo. It should be a smart home appliance that can also act as a portable speaker. Another feature is that it is partnered with the e-commerce giant, Alexa. Hence, it is also a personal virtual assistant that is able to listen and respond to commands, at least in concept. However, its features seem to need more testing during development as there are functionalities that do not offer great results.

Amazon Echo Review - The "Not-So-Smart" Smart Home Appliance

The Amazon Echo Shows a Lot of Promise But Fails to Deliver

As for its design, the Amazon Echo does a fine job of being striking and inconspicuous at the same time. It fits in just about any room inside the home. It has a thin, cylindrical body that has speaker grates at its bottom. There is also a light-up ring found at the top which will tell you if Alexa is currently listening, or if she fully understands the commands given to the device.

The looks of the Echo is a cross between stylish and average (more on the latter). However, this must be Amazon’s goal. It is designed to be a smart home product that should make life easier around the house. If it is the type of device that would immediately get noticed once you enter the room, then it would have lost its purpose. The device will be able to fully meld into the environment as there are people who will not take immediate notice of it.

It is a feature-packed device that comes in like a “Jack of All Trades” but is also a “Master of None.” First of all, there’s the speakers; even though it does give “okay” results, it’s not also the top-of-the-line audio you’re looking for. Audiophiles will find the audio experience unimpressive and may even opt for a higher-end experience from other devices.

Perhaps the main problem of the device is also its core-feature – the Alexa voice commands. For instance, if you were to ask the AI to play Pandora, it will make her revert to the last-played station. The device found itself to make simple search tasks a difficult endeavor. On many occasions, users may find themselves going through the accompanying iPhone app instead of just instructing the device to do things through voice commands.

The Amazon Echo is a cool concept as it can handle a bunch of things at once. However, it feels that the product got released way ahead of time as there are still a lot of areas that need refinement and improvement.

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