Ama­zon Echo Spot

AN ALEXA DE­VICE DIS­GUISED AS A BED­SIDE CLOCK – IT’S A GREAT LIT­TLE PER­SONAL COM­PAN­ION

PC & Tech Authority - - CONTENTS -

Phys­i­cally, the Echo Spot looks like a bed­side clock – and when dor­mant its cir­cu­lar 480 x 480 touch­screen shows a colour­ful clock face (there are 23 styles to choose from). Like the Show, it can also cy­cle through up­com­ing cal­en­dar en­tries, news alerts and so on – al­though, since the screen’s only 2.5in in di­am­e­ter, it can be a lit­tle hard to read from across the room.

The Spot isn’t ex­actly a small de­vice, mind. A size­able bezel sur­rounds the dis­play, and the rounded cas­ing bulges out be­hind it: the black model is a bit more slim­ming than the white, but whichever you choose the foot­print is slightly larger than that of an Echo Dot.

Hap­pily, its sound qual­ity is vastly bet­ter, thanks to a much larger 35mm driver. There’s zero in the way of sub-bass, but mu­sic is well bal­anced, and the 66dBA max­i­mum vol­ume is loud enough to sing along to while you’re get­ting dressed in the morn­ing. There are only four mi­cro­phones, rather than the Dot’s seven, but we had no prob­lem get­ting the Spot to hear and un­der­stand us.

Func­tion­ally, the Spot is all but iden­ti­cal to the Echo Show. You can even watch videos on its tiny screen, should you so wish: the pic­ture gets let­ter­boxed at the top and bot­tom, and rounded off at the sides, but if you like to doze off with a TV show in the back­ground, it’s per­fectly doable. It’s just a shame that you’re re­stricted to Prime Video: here’s hop­ing that Ama­zon will sort out some ad­di­tional video sources for the fu­ture.

It’s also pos­si­ble to make video calls from the Spot to other Echo users, or to other de­vices in your own home. Ama­zon doesn’t re­veal the res­o­lu­tion of the lit­tle em­bed­ded cam­era, but it looks per­fectly sharp on the re­ceiv­ing end. The an­gle isn’t ad­justable, though, so if you have it on a night­stand, you might have to slump down on the bed or your friends and fam­ily are li­able to end up con­vers­ing with your crotch.

Tech­ni­cally it may be just an­other Alexa de­vice, but there’s some­thing par­tic­u­larly like­able about the Spot. If the Echo Show’s size­able screen seems to over-prom­ise, the Spot’s dinky dis­play sets ex­pec­ta­tions much more re­al­is­ti­cally. And while sound qual­ity isn’t ex­actly stel­lar, you get both a 3.5mm jack and Blue­tooth to con­nect to an ex­ter­nal speaker – so there’s no rea­son why you couldn’t use a Spot as your pri­mary Alexa de­vice in a liv­ing room or study. $180 • www.ama­zon.com.au/Echo

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