The last to come out in the initial Echo line was the Echo Spot. But what is an Echo Spot? We see everything on websites and in particular the notion of connected alarm clock! No, but seriously… It's like saying that a Swiss Army knife is a can opener. It is one of the tools, but not the end. So why this shortcut? Because on its beautiful round screen, the time is displayed? But that would mean that the smartphones, microwaves, Blu-ray players are alarm clocks? No ? That's it…
Follow us for a presentation of this boiling ball.
Amazon Echo Spot: an Echo with a screen!
True to its marketing, Amazon delivers the Echo Spot in a blue cardboard box. But there, it's just a "sleeve" around a mat black box enhanced with a smile. Amazon brilliant. Coiled at the bottom of this box is a 10 cm diameter ball for 420 grams. There is also a power cord with an adapter. To note, Amazon has taken care to match it to the chosen color. It may be a detail, but it is appreciable!
There are two colors to choose from: white and black.
The configuration is a little different from that of other Echo devices because the process will be done directly via its screen. Like the whole range, the Spot will operate on your 2,4 or 5 GHz Wi-Fi network.
The difference with the other Echo comes from its shape, but also from its 64 mm diameter LCD touch screen (i.e. 20 cm perimeter, you see that everything you learn at school is used one day or the other !). This 480 x 480 pixel screen may seem too small or too big, because we don't really know, when we unpack it, what the Spot will allow us to do. That said, once lit, you are quickly blown away by its quality! First of all, the color rendering is excellent and the resolution is quite suitable for the size. We will see later in the article what it will be used for.
The Spot has a 36 mm loudspeaker diffusing through small openings in the lower part, but also 4 others on the top. Of course, we are not at the level of the Echo 2nd generation, but way beyond the disappointing sound of the Echo Dot 2. And like other devices, it has a 3,5mm jack to plug it into a more powerful device. You can also pair it with a speaker via Bluetooth.
If you are used to Les Echos, you may be wondering where is the famous moving ring of light? Well, it's integrated into the screen, on its periphery. Moreover, it is the screen in its entirety that will light up and interact during requests. On the top, you will find 3 buttons: volume +, volume - and the equivalent of "mute" (to mute the microphone and the camera).
But the same question keeps coming back, why an Echo with a screen? We come to it… But know that in principle, you can do exactly the same things as with the other devices in the range… With additional things! We are indeed far from the vulgar awakening ...
Amazon Echo Spot: sound and image
In short, you can do the same thing as with the Echo… but not only thanks to its touch screen!
Here is a non-exhaustive list of basic functions. We take them back, and we detail!
- Daily help: Alexa will give you the weather forecast, traffic, the latest news, will also tell jokes, anecdotes, do Internet research, program alarm clocks, alarms, timers ... With Echo Spot, Alexa will display the weather maps (symbol, temperature, etc.) for the day and the following days. All your requests will be visual (you will have the traffic display, or whatAlexa is saying).
- Launch Skills: with the Spot, if the Skills are visual, you can for example watch the news that will be presented or even launch a meditation skill with sound and images. By launching the news, you can also fast forward by circling the screen with your finger.
- Listen to music : in this case, the Spot displays the covers of the albums. You can also ask Alexa to show you an artist's albums and choose the one that interests you from the list.
- Help you manage your connected home: once the request is made, the Spot shows the lamp or the socket on. From there, you can, by touching the screen, turn on or off directly, but also navigate your connected elements and your routines to launch them.
- Alexa also reads your Kindle or Audible audiobooks, native.
- Make calls between echoes or to an app Alexa : then there, if the person who calls you has an Echo Spot or uses the video function of the application Alexa, you can make very good quality video calls!
- Watch videos on Amazon Prime Video: for Prime customers, Prime Video is included in the subscription. You ask Alexa a particular episode of a series, or the name of a series, or simply open Prime Video to choose what you like. To watch, two possibilities: screen not enlarged to have a complete vision of the image (but it is enough, even very, small) or full screen vision (therefore in circles and cropped). It's a bit of a gadget, but we get a taste for it!
- Scroll through your agenda but also written news, things to try, etc ...
- Adjust your connected thermostat Nest (that we tested here) or another compatible brand Alexa.
- Adjust sound equalization directly on the screen.
- Ah, and yes, it is also an alarm clock !!!
The Echo Spot is an Echo in its own right, but with specificities inherent in its touch screen. You quickly get a taste for it and it brings real added value. The user experience is really taken to another level than with a "simple" Echo. The sound is also less disappointing than the Dot, and quite acceptable for watching a movie on its screen, listening to news and announcements. For music, there is the limit ...