Which Amazon Alexa Device Is Best for Your Smart Home?
Updated: Sep 24, 2020
It’s commonplace in modern homes to have a voice controlled smart device such as the Amazon Alexa unit. The integrated, intuitive voice assistant that comes with it is able to do things like control your TV, switch off your lights (with compatible smart bulb), time your cooking, help with recipes, set reminders and can also do fun things like tell jokes, make announcements and even play games plus many more.
There seem to be no end to what you can achieve with the Amazon Alexa unit. It just stops short of being able to babysit your kids while you’ve gone out for a quick run, but that aside, it brings so much convenience and fun into your home.
The entry point of the speaker range is the Echo Dot, retailing for £39.99, it has all the features as the Echo Smart Speaker unit as well as the brand new Echo Studio unit that sits at the top of the line, with the key difference being the size of the speaker and some additional features that are included the higher up you go in the range.
Lets look at the features real quick -
The Echo Dot (3rd Gen) has a great fabric design that sits seamlessly into your home surrounds and you can stream all your favourite music apps including Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, among others.
The new version has a much more crisp sound quality than the previous model and it’s even a little bigger. As Alexa is at the heart, it will answer all your questions like read the news, check the weather, control your thermostat and pretty much any smart device you want to use with voice control.
There’s really not much to fault, although having used the device for a number of months, it does seem to struggle to connect with other bluetooth devices, I tested it using an Apple Iphone XR and a Samsung S10 but works fine when it does connect.
You also need to be aware that if you intend buying an Alexa device to play music through, Amazon only permits you to use your monthly subscription for ONE device. If you add another Alexa device you will not be able to play your Amazon Music with it unless you upgrade your monthly subscription.
Check out on the Alexa Echo Dot on Amazon RRP £39.99
Let’s take a quick look at the Amazon Show display unit.
Amazon first released the Show in May 2017, which features a tactile liquid-crystal display that can be used for playing media, like making video calls using the front camera, and other features like personalising your favourite clock face or photo.
The entry level of the Amazon Echo Show range starts with the Compact 5.5" smart display and gets larger in size the higher up you go in the range. Amazon also offers you a choice of an 8 inch and 10.1 inch screen. Aside from the bigger screen size, between the 3 units, the key difference is in the display itself and the camera resolution. The Echo 8 inch and 10.1 inch display comes with a 1280 x 800 screen resolution, whereas the 5.5 inch screen comes with a 960 x 480 resolution.
Also both the 5.5 and 8 inch units have a 1MP camera, whereas the 10.1 display houses a 5MP camera.
The price of the entry level Echo Show 5 is a mere £59.99 which I think represents really good value, given the additional extras you get if you decide to opt for the display version of the Echo over the speaker unit.
The negative points expressed by some customers is that the Show 5 screen can lag a little bit and is sometimes unresponsive, but the positives seemingly outweigh any negative views as it has a 77% 5 star rating on Amazon.
Check out the Amazon Echo Show on Amazon RRP £49.99
The Amazon Echo Spot is what you'd get if you cross the Echo Show with the Echo Dot. It's a compact Echo unit to sit on your dresser, next to your bed.. As with all Echo devices it has Alexa built-in and has a small 2.5-inch screen, which can be used for basic tasks and skills, like music, but it does a lot more. Like the Echo Show it can be used to make video calls, with a front camera but in a much compact design and there's no Zigbee Controller but it can also connect to your Bluetooth devices around you home.
Personally I feel it’s a tad on the expensive side at £79.99, given the choice, I’d opt for the Show 5 instead as it costs £20 less money, so I would feel slightly short changed if I were to go for the Echo Spot, but the compact design may be more appealing to some.
Have a look at the Amazon Echo Spot on Amazon RRP £79.99