Amazon Echo Spot

7.8/10 AVG.
RATING

  • Amazon Echo Spot
  • Amazon Echo Spot
  • Amazon Echo Spot
  • Amazon Echo Spot
  • Amazon Echo Spot
  • Amazon Echo Spot

The most attractive of all Amazon’s smart speakers but sound quality isn’t the best.

- Jonathan Bray, Alphr 


The smaller sized screen feels more useful here, but it also doesn't need to do as much to justify its presence.

- Andrew Hayward, Stuff 

Specs / Features


Echo Spot is designed to fit anywhere in your home. Use 2nd generation far-field voice recognition to watch video flash briefings, see music lyrics, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, browse and listen to Audible audiobooks, and more. All hands-free-just ask. | Echo Spot connects to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service to play music, read the news, answer questions, control smart home, and more | Just ask to play a song, artist, or genre, and see lyrics with Amazon Music. Also, stream music and books from Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Audible. | Use the built-in speaker or... More

Echo Spot is designed to fit anywhere in your home. Use 2nd generation far-field voice recognition to watch video flash briefings, see music lyrics, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, browse and listen to Audible audiobooks, and more. All hands-free-just ask. | Echo Spot connects to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service to play music, read the news, answer questions, control smart home, and more | Just ask to play a song, artist, or genre, and see lyrics with Amazon Music. Also, stream music and books from Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Audible. | Use the built-in speaker or connect to speakers through Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable. With multi-room music, you can play music on your Echo devices in different rooms. | Ask Alexa to turn on your lights, show baby monitors and front door cameras, and lock your doors. Plus, control your thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, and more. | Call anyone hands-free, or make video calls to family and friends with an Echo Spot, Echo Show, or the Alexa App. Instantly connect to other Echo devices around your home. | With tens of thousands skills, Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new features. Just ask Alexa to control your TV, request an Uber, order a pizza, and more.

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Specification

Brand Amazon
Model MW46WB
Warranty 12 months
Release date 19-December-2017
Size 10.4 x 9.6 x 9.1 cm (4.1 x 3.8 x 3.6 in)
Weight 419.3 grams
(14.8 ounces)

The "1-Minute" Review

What's good

  • Cute circular design
  • Decent audio quality for the size
  • Bright, colorful display
  • Small footprint to fit anywhere in the house

What's bad

  • Ever-present camera creates privacy concerns
  • Display too small for useful multi-person video calling
  • No YouTube support

We already have smartphones, smart speakers, and smartwatches. Now, Amazon is introducing the smart alarm clock. The question on everyone’s mind is if it’s really necessary—especially since most people just use their smartphone as an alarm clock.

So what makes the Echo Spot "smart"? It’s essentially an Echo Show—just smaller and with a circular screen.

Many reviewers found the rounded design cute and well-suited for bedroom decor. At 4.1-by-3.8-by-3.6 inches, it's a petite device and weighs a paltry 419 grams—or just under a pound. This makes it easy to move around or take with you on the road.

The body is made of matte plastic and available in white or black. While reviewers often complain about big bezels on phones and tablets, they found the chunky bezels added visual interest.

Dominating the front of the spot, you'll find a 2.5-inch round display with a resolution of 480-by-480 pixels. On paper, this might seem low. But considering the size of the screen, most found the resolution adequate. They add it isn’t something you’ll be looking at for hours on end.

Putting the low resolution aside, reviewers were happy with the screen as it was bright and colorful with excellent viewing angles. Engadget adds, “... the small display was perfectly functional for showing basic information like the weather, a calendar overview, trending headlines, and to-do lists.” While it’s also capable of playing video, it does not support YouTube.

Like the Show, the Spot can perform video calling—either with other Echo devices with screens or with phones via the Alexa app. While it worked well enough, most critics suggest using the Show if you intend on making lots of video calls. The small display made it difficult to see multiple people.

The biggest drawback of offering video calls is the always-watching camera. While a button on top of the device can disable both the microphone and camera, smart home devices have had issues with hacking in the past.

Sure, you can place some tape over the camera. But the camera is in the same place as the auto brightness sensor, so this might lead to your display being too bright or dark.

If you're worried about privacy, an alarm clock isn't the best place for a camera—so you might want to skip the Spot.

Like other Echo devices, you can use voice commands to control features and talk to Alexa to perform various tasks—such as playing music, answering questions, and setting timers. While the controls worked well, many reviewers wanted more touch control options. Using voice for simple commands—such as turning off a light or setting an alarm—felt awkward.

Due to its compact size, it only packs four far-field microphones. Reviewers were pleased to discover it worked just as well as the seven microphone arrays found in larger Echo models.

As for the audio quality? Well... it's not amazing. But most were quite impressed with how well the 1.4-inch speaker sounded. While it didn’t reach the levels of the larger Amazon Echo, they were surprised with how rich and loud it got considering its size.

With that said, they add it won’t fill a large room with sound. But it can connect to other speakers via Bluetooth or wired connection.

While reviewers liked the cute rounded design and its capabilities, most are hesitant to recommend it. CNET states, “It’s a well-made gadget that looks great, but the marriage between that touchscreen display and Alexa’s voice-first user interface feels forced... Amazon still has work to do.” The Verge adds, “... it’s not particularly cheap and has that pesky camera that most people will not want in their bedroom. Despite that, I personally really like it…”

Critic Reviews


Digit

Compact, works well as a desk clock

from Digit

As a smart speaker, the Echo Spot does everything its brethren like the Echo and the Echo Plus do. The value proposition of the Echo Spot lies in its screen which is able to display videos, mostly of news clips if needed. It also functions as a very good-looking clock, however, with the built-in...More

As a smart speaker, the Echo Spot does everything its brethren like the Echo and the Echo Plus do. The value proposition of the Echo Spot lies in its screen which is able to display videos, mostly of news clips if needed. It also functions as a very good-looking clock, however, with the built-in webcam, I couldn’t help but feel uneasy putting this on my bedside table.

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Firstpost

Visually appealing but expensive foray into smart speakers

from Firstpost

If you are in the market to dip your feet into this whole digital assistant speaker universe, I would suggest you go with the Echo Dot. It’s portable, supports all the major Alexa skills and has a very low entry barrier when it comes to the price point. Of course, the speaker on the Dot isn’t...More

If you are in the market to dip your feet into this whole digital assistant speaker universe, I would suggest you go with the Echo Dot. It’s portable, supports all the major Alexa skills and has a very low entry barrier when it comes to the price point. Of course, the speaker on the Dot isn’t as powerful as it is on other Echo products. The Echo Spot makes sense for you only if you really want the assurance that a display will offer in addition to the voice assistant supporting speaker.

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Alphr

The smartest alarm clock of them all

from Alphr

Despite its weaknesses, then, I rather like the Amazon Echo Spot. It's a rather well made, attractive-looking smart speaker that, like the Echo Show, adds an extra dimension with the addition of the touchscreen and webcam.

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Despite its weaknesses, then, I rather like the Amazon Echo Spot. It's a rather well made, attractive-looking smart speaker that, like the Echo Show, adds an extra dimension with the addition of the touchscreen and webcam.

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Apple Insider

A cool device, but needs to do more with its screen

from Apple Insider

Most people can safely skip the Echo Spot if they want and get another smartspeaker. There are better-sounding options, and if you want its alarm functions any screenless Echo will do, so long as you're prepared to say "Alexa, stop" before leaving for work. The Spot lets you dismiss alarms with a...More

Most people can safely skip the Echo Spot if they want and get another smartspeaker. There are better-sounding options, and if you want its alarm functions any screenless Echo will do, so long as you're prepared to say "Alexa, stop" before leaving for work. The Spot lets you dismiss alarms with a touch. The product's only real big sin is its price tag. While it's far cheaper than an Echo Show, $130 is a lot ask for the Spot's capabilities until it supports more video platforms, including YouTube.

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PC & Tech Authority

An attractive and feature-packed twist on the Echo

from PC & Tech Authority

It’s a well made, attractive speaker that adds an extra dimension with the addition of the touchscreen and webcam. The one problem I have is with its price. It’s too expensive.

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It’s a well made, attractive speaker that adds an extra dimension with the addition of the touchscreen and webcam. The one problem I have is with its price. It’s too expensive.

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Gadgets Now

Good things come in small packages

from Gadgets Now

The Amazon Echo Spot is a very good smart speaker and if you’re in the market for one, it should certainly be in your consideration set. If not for anything else, it’s a damn good looking table clock!

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The Amazon Echo Spot is a very good smart speaker and if you’re in the market for one, it should certainly be in your consideration set. If not for anything else, it’s a damn good looking table clock!

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Ausdroid

Definitely worth your dollars

from Ausdroid

At $199 the Echo Spot isn’t really for the audiophile, but it’s great for people who like more visual aspects – like me – and if you want, you can also pair a Bluetooth speaker or spare speaker to it to improve the sound quality.

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At $199 the Echo Spot isn’t really for the audiophile, but it’s great for people who like more visual aspects – like me – and if you want, you can also pair a Bluetooth speaker or spare speaker to it to improve the sound quality.

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Deccan Chronicle

It's time to sack that old alarm clock

from Deccan Chronicle

If you are looking for a smart desk assistant and don’t like going through the complicated interfaces of your smartphone’s app for implementing simpler daily activities such as setting a reminder or going through your daily news briefings, then the Echo Spot will certainly appeal to you.

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If you are looking for a smart desk assistant and don’t like going through the complicated interfaces of your smartphone’s app for implementing simpler daily activities such as setting a reminder or going through your daily news briefings, then the Echo Spot will certainly appeal to you.

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NDTV

Stands out from other offerings

from NDTV

With the Echo Spot, Amazon has added a new dimension to interacting with a digital assistant. While voice is still the primary interface, visual feedback can make it more versatile. The device is also well built and would look at home on a work desk or a bedside table.

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With the Echo Spot, Amazon has added a new dimension to interacting with a digital assistant. While voice is still the primary interface, visual feedback can make it more versatile. The device is also well built and would look at home on a work desk or a bedside table.

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Canadian Reviewer

More like a robot than just a speaker

from Canadian Reviewer

The Amazon Echo Dot is a delightful evolution of the smart speaker. While the small display isn’t big enough to watch video for prolonged periods of time, it’s cool to see trailers, news briefs and sports highlights and not just hear them. The Echo Spot definitely has advantages over audio-on...More

The Amazon Echo Dot is a delightful evolution of the smart speaker. While the small display isn’t big enough to watch video for prolonged periods of time, it’s cool to see trailers, news briefs and sports highlights and not just hear them. The Echo Spot definitely has advantages over audio-only models even though I expect users to question the placement of a camera on such a device.

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