As cool of a tech as Amazon’s original Dash was from three years ago, it didn’t enjoy the same success as the outfit’s Echo line of products. While we’re not entirely sure for the reasons behind that, it could very well be a matter of the device not being a vehicle for Alexa, Amazon’s very popular digital assistant. If that’s the case, then there should be no reason for the Amazon Dash Wand to enjoy a healthy level of success.
An updated version of the Dash, the device takes on the same size and form factor as its predecessors, allowing you to either set it down on a table or hang it on a hook. This time around, they even threw in magnets on the body, so you can snap it onto the kitchen fridge for easy access every time you notice you’re getting short on supplies. It’s even water-resistant, so there’s no danger of getting it wet in the kitchen.
Similar to the first two versions, the Amazon Dash Wand comes with a barcode scanner, so you can simply scan empty packages to add a new one to your order list, along with an integrated mic for simply reciting your orders. Unlike it, however, the new device comes with an integrated speaker, along with Amazon’s Alexa on board, so it can hold interactive conversations on top of taking all your orders. It supports all of Alexa’s functions, complete with downloadable skills for extending its capabilities to your liking.
Available now, the Amazon Dash Wand is priced at $20.
Let us take a closer look at the device to see if this updated version of the Dash wand is worth a buy or not. Design and Build Quality - This updated version of the Amazon Dash wand is essentially a smaller redesigned version of the old device. The device is 50% smaller than the original. It has a cylindrical shape that is about 5.6inches flat and it weighs in at around 31 grams. The design of the product is quite attractive and rugged. The device is water resistant as well. The build also seems quite sturdy. A hook present of the top of the device can be used for hanging purpose.On the back of the Amazon Dash wand,you can find some magnets that come in handy while sticking the device to the fridge. The device lacks multiple control buttons. There is only a single button present on device surrounded by a LED ring that can be used for activating Alexa.
Device Setup - The process of setting up the Amazon Dash is simple and straightforward. In the box of the device, you can find a card that has a URL listed on it. The URL will provide you some information on how to set up your Amazon Dash by making use of the Amazon App for Android and IOS. Then you are required to download the Amazon App so that you can start the setup process. Once downloaded, open up the application and navigate to “Your Account “, now click on setup a new device under the Dash buttons and Devices option. After this step, choose the dash wand option and the Dash wand setup screen will greet you. This screen will provide you step by step instructions on how to get your device going.
Voice Control - This upgraded Amazon Dash Wand comes with Alexa Built in. This allows it to work just like most other Amazon echo devices. Alexa can be enabled by using the button on the front of the device, once enabled you can ask it any question or inquire about any fact just like other full-blown echo devices. This device is good for home automation as well as it is capable of controlling Alexa-compatible smart home devices. It can perform thousands of first party and third party Alexa tasks.
There are certain restrictions however. The device is not capable of playing music and setting up timers and alarms currently. This may well be just a software issue that will be sorted out with updates. With this device, Amazon has tried to make something that will make your shopping process a breeze. This device is aimed more towards the shopping niche, less towards other areas of functionality. Ordering a product from Amazon has never been easier. You can tell the device the product you would like to add to your cart and it will immediately respond. The product informs you about the pricing, what you are ordering and then asks for the permission to complete the order.
Barcode Scanner - The barcode scanner is one of the most useful features of the Amazon Dash wand. It is incorporated into the tip of the device. When you press the button to activate Alexa, the scanner also automatically becomes activated. You can point it towards any barcode to scan it and order the product mentioned on the barcode with blazing fast speeds. Once you use the Dash Wand to scan the barcode on the back of your required product, it will automatically add it to your buying cart on Amazon. As long as the product you are scanning is available on Amazon, it will add it to your cart. If some product is not available on Amazon, it will share some similar products with you.If it is unable to find a specific product by its barcode, it will inform you about it. If the scanner does not work well for you, you can always go back to the voice control for help in ordering the product.
Thanks to the Amazon integration, the device is capable of searching and ordering a wide variety of products. It is capable of ordering products from the Amazon Fresh service as well.
The Scanner also comes with a nice security feature that turns the scanner off if you intentionally or non-intentionally point the sensor towards your eyes. The dash wand makes use of built-in sensors to check for the angle at which the device is being pointed.
Battery Life - The battery life of the device is quite good. Unlike most modern tech gadgets, the device does not come with a rechargeable battery. Instead, two AAA batteries power it. It is both a good and bad thing. Good thing because AAA batteries are cheap and readily available, bad because these AAA batteries tend to last less than rechargeable batteries in most cases.
Extra Features - The Amazon Dash Wand comes with many useful features. The device comes with magnets that allow it to be attached to any magnetic surface such as Refrigerators. If you do not have any magnetic surfaces in your kitchen, then you can make use of the included hook with double-sided tape to hang the device anywhere. The barcode scanner up front can also be used as a flashlight when required. The scanner has a strong RED light that can help you find your way in the dark.
Price - The Price of this device is the most interesting bit about it. It sells for around 20$ on Amazon. With this product, you get tremendous value for money. It is basically a fully-fledged Alexa enabled device just like the more expensive echo devices. For only 20$, you are getting a home automation device, a barcode scanner and a personal shopping assistant.
However, this is just half of the story. Once you buy the device for twenty dollars and register it, you get 20$ off from your next eligible purchase from Amazon. You are essentially getting this gadget free if you are an Amazon user, which most of us are.
Conclusion - Taking all the Pros and Cons into consideration, the Amazon Dash Wand is a great update to the original that is worth the asking price. A gadget like this deserves a spot on the buying list of every Amazon customer. The small size, included magnets and hook allow it to be used anywhere in the house. This device makes the buying process much more streamlined. The device comes with a plethora of features. It has multiple personalities as well. You can use it as a standalone barcode scanner. You can also use it as an Amazon Alexa device to control your home and perform thousands of different tasks although the Alexa features are limited, as the device currently does not allow music playback or support for alarm and timers. You can also use it as a personal shopping assistant and a kitchen companion.
For a mere 20$, you cannot ask for more. The device has its flaws but the pros outshine the cons. This little gadget is a great buy for anyone who wants a budget-friendly Alexa enabled device mainly for shopping purposes.