Is Amazon Echo Right For Your Home?
Answering the question of whether or not the Echo is right for your home is one that only you can really answer, but we’re here to help you find that answer. To do that we’ll consider whether you really need the Echo, or whether you just want it and will find it handy to have, the difference can help save you a lot of money and frustration.
To answer the question of if you really need the Amazon Echo is easy, especially if you’ve already read the other parts of our review found on pages 1-3 below, but if you’re looking for the quick answer without going back to read the rest of the review, that answer is still pretty easy and answerable, and it’s this:
If you have a ton of smart home automated products that you want to control with your voice, call Uber for lots of rides, or you’re a huge music lover that doesn’t want to ask your phone to play the music for you, it’s definitely going to be right up your alley. Go for it! The Echo Dot won’t disappoint for these purposes and is worth the price. Paying for one of the other Amazon Echo devices is iffy though, especially if you already have a good speaker system. We would stick with the Dot.
Now, on the question of do you want it, that’s a bit more personal of course. To answer want verses need, we would say this:
If you like to voice command your music played through your bluetooth sound system, turn on pretty lights with Phillips Hue or Sylvania Lightify by Osram, or turn on a lamp or two by saying “Alexa, turn off lamp two”, and don’t mind blowing $50 to do so, you may find that this is a nifty gadget to have around. In that case we are recommending you try the Alexa app via your Amazon Fire TV remote that you already have (or should), or buy the Echo Dot for $49. But would I waste $189 on the largest Amazon Echo for those simple purposes? No, in fact let’s go with this: NO.
Unlike all the commercials and advertisements, Alexa is simply not that smart, at least not yet. All it’s good for is controlling music or smart home technology with your voice instead of an app. As for anything else, it’s still needing a lot of work. We paired it with the SmartThings hub and smart lighting kit Omram by Sylvania (also known as Lightify), and it worked great with these products. Where it didn’t perform so great was with anything else, such as in general questions. Alexa had a terrible time finding answers to anything other than super simple questions like “what is the weather today,” or “what’s on my agenda for the day?”
Until we tested this product for ourselves we were quite excited to buy the Echo Dot. We’ve heard nothing but great things from others that have it, but mostly from other reviews online. Therefore, we get that this review of the Echo Dot and Alexa may sound contrary to everything else you’ve heard from reviews online to friends telling you about it too. And it’s true that this final part of our review in helping you decide whether or not it’s for you or not is simply a matter of opinion, it’s really a personal thing whether you’d fall in love with what Alexa can do for you verses hate what she cannot do for you. We are the latter and are sending her back to Amazon for a full refund.
So, did we help? Here’s a last tip that will hopefully be helpful and that is that if you’re on the fence about getting an Amazon Echo unit, get the Echo Dot, especially during sale times like Black Friday, or other big sale events when they knock $10 off the price. Try it out, test it out, and if you hate it send it back to Amazon during your 30 day return period, and if you love it, come back and yell at us in our comments and tell us how wrong we were.
*By the way, if you already have Amazon Fire TV with the voice controller, you already have access to Alexa, so if you’re minimally going to use it, try that first.