I have become quite tech-savvy this ongoing FIFA World Cup football tournament. I have streamed live football matches via Sony Liv app on my BlackBerry Keyone Android smartphone and trust me, it’s a real visual treat with crisp clarity and superb screen resolution on the small screen. I have also made judicious use of Amazon’s Echo Spot, a new member of the Echo Family with screen. This Alexa-powered cute smart speaker with a screen gives me the latest updates from the biggest single-event sporting competition in the world.
Whether you are looking to brush up on football facts, keep track of schedules and results or host a viewing party, Alexa has features to make sure you don’t feel left out of any World Cup conversation.
The simplest way to stay on top of your game is to ask: “Alexa, what’s happening in the World Cup?”. Put simply, Echo Spot is a cute smart speaker that combines the popular design of Echo Dot with the added benefit of a display. With the screen, Alexa adds an enriching visual experience to voice activation and control.
I have been using the Echo Dot and Echo Plus in the house for quite some time now, primarily to listen to songs. Of late, I have been glued to the Echo Spot that joins the existing Amazon selection of Echo Dot, Echo and Echo Plus, but distinguishes itself with a great screen. It retails for Rs12,999 and trust me, the Echo Spot delivers everything you love about Alexa and the added convenience of a screen so that Alexa can show you things.
Echo Spot fits easily into any room in your home. The size and viewing angle of the screen make it ideal for use on your desk or the sideboard so you can view your calendar, see the weather update, check the time, wake up to music alarms, turn your lights on and off, see shopping and to-do lists, and more. Let us discover some of the other innovative uses of this smart speaker.
First, you can use Echo Spot’s front-facing camera to start Alexa-to-Alexa voice-controlled video calls or send a message. For instance, you can simply say, “Alexa, call dad,” or “Alexa, send a message to Pooja.” Video calls work between any two Echo Spot devices and also with the Alexa companion app that is available on Android and iOS app stores. The Drop In feature aims to recreate the feeling you get when your closest family or friends drop by for a visit or when you walk into another room to talk with someone in your family.
Echo Spot’s screen enhances your experience of Drop In – now you can visit the living room to see what your loved ones are up to. The instant convenience of Drop In is available on all Echo devices in India including the Echo Spot, Echo Dot, Echo and Echo Plus.
Second, Echo Spot is also a handy screen to catch up on short form videos such as news briefings from several Indian news providers.
When in the mood for a quick entertainment break, you can just ask Alexa and view videos, play movie trailers from Amazon Prime Video, Daily Motion and Vimeo. I caught up with some of the trailers of movies such as Ranbir Kapoor’s Sanju, Meghna Gulzar’s widely acclaimed Indian spy thriller film, Raazi.
Third and most important, Amazon Prime members can shop on any Echo device using only their voice. With Echo Spot, you can also see the product image, title, price and user ratings on the screen when shopping. Purchase products immediately or add items easily to your shopping list or your shopping cart. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
Fourth, you can listen to music on Echo Spot through its built-in speaker. You can also connect Echo Spot to your home entertainment system through Bluetooth or a 3.5mm stereo cable to voice activate your home entertainment system. Browse songs on Echo Spot by asking Alexa to show or play songs by genre, artiste, decade, composer, film, language and more. Control the music playback experience on Amazon Prime Music, Saavn and TuneIn. With the multi-room music feature, play your favourites throughout your home, with synchronised music across all your Echo devices.
Thousands of skills from Alexa India store are available for the Echo Spot. Many have been enhanced so that you can utilise Echo Spot’s glanceable screen to watch cricket highlights on ESPNCricinfo, see recipes from Sanjeev Kapoor Recipes, view cab options and booking details of Ola cab, see the latest horoscope and astrology videos from GaneshaSpeaks, discover restaurants with Zomato, view album art when you listen to your favourite music, and more. Trust me, this Amazon device is highly addictive and will grow on you as you begin to discover its various uses. Highly recommended.
Estimated street price: Rs 12,999