Not a fan of the boxy styling of the Amazon Echo Show, but still love the idea of using Alexa with an integrated display? Good news comes your way in the form of the Amazon Echo Spot, a new Alexa-powered speaker with an onboard display and a more stylish round form factor.
Styled similar to round alarm clocks, the device combines the compact form factor with a round 2.5-inch display that can display a variety of information to keep you up-to-date throughout the day. It can also play video clips similar to the Echo Show, although we have no idea how the round profile will affect the way any content is displayed. Given how small the display already is, we’re guessing they’ll just crop the corners, instead of trying to fit a small rectangular video in the middle.
Aside from the screen, the Amazon Echo Spot also comes with a front-facing camera, so you can use it to make video calls, serve as a baby monitor, and whatever other use-cases people are finding useful with their Echo Show. When not being used to display information, stream video, or show song lyrics, the display can show the time like a regular digital clock, making this a potentially excellent alarm clock replacement for your bedside table.
Like other Echo devices, it also serves as a speaker that you can use to listen to music as well as interact with Amazon’s smart assistant, Alexa. A four-microphone array ensures it will hear all your commands loud and clear, provided you’re within a reasonable distance from the device, with physical controls on top making it easy to use the device while still lying in bed early in the morning. Both the mics and the camera can be turned off, by the way, in case you feel iffy about having both of those things running 24/7. The catch? They can only be turned off (and switched back on) at the same time using a single button on top.
The Amazon Echo Spot measures 4.1 x 3.8 inches (width x height), with a profile reminiscent of the Chumby from way back when. That should make it an ideal size to keep in a whole load of places, from the bedside table in the bedroom to the island counter in the kitchen to your cubicle in the office. Being a small device, of course, it comes with a less-than-powerful speaker. If you already have better speakers at home, you can have the device stream music there, instead, either over Bluetooth or through a wired 3.5mm connection.
As with other products in the Echo line, the device can be used to control your smart home devices using nothing but your voice, from turning on the lights and adjusting the thermostat to locking your doors and closing the window blinds. It’s also upgradable with Alexa skills, so you can easily expand its functionality by downloading new capabilities from the Amazon website.
The Amazon Echo Spot is available now in either black or white colors.