Were Amazon’s Echo Show and Echo Dot smart speakers to make a baby, the resulting offspring likely would resemble Echo Spot.From Echo Show, the softball-sized Spot speaker inherits a screen. From the Dot, the Spot gets its small size and relative cuteness.
What is the Echo Spot about?
The Echo Spot is essentially a clock radio brought bang up to date, packing in all the features you’d find in an Echo speaker into a cute, sphere-like device complete with 2.5in touchscreen.It is a nice hybrid and the whole project turned out to be incredible, while cheap at the same time. It costs $130 and they definitely worth the price. You can even stream full-length TV shows and movies that are available through Prime Video, not that you’d want to watch a lengthy film on the Spot given its 2.5-inch display. At least the Show, by contrast, has a 7-inch screen.At 10.4 x 9.7 x 8.1cm, it’s small enough to fit by your bed, in the kitchen, or – ideally, in Amazon’s mind – anywhere.
Only thing I can complain about the display is that it’s too small and I don’t know how it will properly render all videos on YouTube. Users complain that on the “Spot” the images do not fill up the entire screen as they do on the Show.Amazon’s explanation is that “the combination of a voice-first functionality and a glanceable screen is a new interface and … we’re continuing to work with developers to make it easier to optimize their multimodal skills.”
If a developer has optimized a skill for the larger Echo Show and it meets certain guidelines, the user interface automatically is supposed to scale down and render properly. Amazon also says that all the Alexa skills, regardless of whether they are optimized, will work on Echo Spot.
How does it work and what can it do?
The screen looks good – plenty sharp and colourful enough for the tasks it will be performing, while also fast and responsive when it comes to scrolling through the interface. And it didn’t seem as addicted to fingerprints as the new Fire TV. Watching whole seasons of Prime Video shows, though? You’ll probably be better off reaching for a tablet or TV instead.
Alexa’s most popular skills are playing music and setting alarms, so it’ll come as no surprise that the Echo Dot excels at both. That display means you also get at-a-glance access to the time, date and temperature, plus a whole lot more depending on what you ask Alexa. It’s a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth speaker, albeit, with a tiny 1.4in driver, so you can play music from all the usual supported services like Amazon Music and Spotify. You can take advantage of the 3.5mm audio output and connect it to something more substantial if you want superior sound. It’ll connect to any other Alexa device for a simple multi-room music system, too. Amazon Video support means you can stream TV and video on the tiny screen as well if you really want.