This plug-in Echo device lets you use your voice to control compatible smart home devices
Powerful functionality, myriad uses and a reliable companion—all these terms truly define Alexa, the brain behind Amazon’s Echo range of smart speakers. Be it early morning alarms or reminders to get daily chores done, closing the day with a bedtime story, or understanding requests in English and Hindi, Alexa (it turned five last November) has emerged efficient and dependable, gradually becoming a favourite companion across many households. Recently, the Jeff Bezos firm brought to the Indian market yet another innovation—Echo Flex, a plug-in smart speaker that saves on space by plugging directly into a standard electrical outlet; no more wires and chargers. In simple words, you can now access Alexa even more conveniently.
Available for Rs2,999, Echo Flex is certainly an affordable way to voice control compatible smart home devices and get help from Alexa at more places in your home. Echo Flex also has a built-in USB-A port so you can easily charge your phone (7.5W) or other devices, all while using only one outlet.
The Echo Flex plugs into any standard electrical outlet, making it perfect for spaces where power cords can be a hassle, like the hallway or a bathroom. You can simply ask Alexa to control compatible smart home devices. Switch on the lights as you enter your home or turn off the AC as you leave the room, all without lifting a finger. Echo Flex works with devices such as smart lights and plugs from brands including Philips, SYSKA LED, Oakter, TP-Link and more.
You can also make announcements on other Echo devices in the household, add items to the shopping list or check the latest cricket score, and responses will come through the speaker on the device that’s been optimised for Alexa’s voice. Just like other Echo devices, you can connect the Echo Flex to your preferred speakers using Bluetooth or a 3.5 mm audio cable for a higher audio output. Say, for instance, when you want to enjoy your favourite music and audiobooks.
Set-up is simple—download and install the latest version of the Alexa app from the app store and plug in your Echo Flex. Open the Alexa app and follow the on-screen instructions to set up your device. If you aren’t prompted to set up your device after opening the Alexa app, just tap the Devices icon in the bottom of the screen to get started. The app helps you get more out of your Echo Flex. It’s where you set up calling and and messaging, and manage music, lists, settings and news.
The Echo Flex is built with multiple layers of privacy controls, including a microphone ‘off’ button that electronically disconnects the microphone. Additionally, you can also view, hear, and delete your voice recordings at Alexa Privacy Settings or in the Alexa app at any time. To delete by voice, you can also say, “Alexa, delete what I just said” or “Alexa, delete everything I said today”.
Estimated street price: Rs 2,999