Hey Alexa! Amazon launches video-enabled Echo Spot for Rs 10,499Harshith Mallya
Like the other Echo-powered devices, Echo Spot supports all Alexa functionalities along with the added advantage of letting you consume content from the screen.
Amazon India on Wednesday announced the launch of Echo Spot, a new member of the Echo family that includes a screen. All the earlier Echo devices- Echo Dot, Echo, and Echo Plus- that were launched in India could be categorised as smart speakers as they had no screen and relied completely on audio commands. The new Echo Spot lets users leverage voice and also interact with and consume content from the screen.
“Echo Spot combines the popular design of the Echo Dot with the added benefit of a display,” said Jayshree Gururaj, Director - Amazon Devices. “With the screen, Alexa adds an enriching visual experience to voice activation and control. We are excited to bring Echo Spot to our customers in India.”
Amazon believes that the size and viewing angle of the screen make Echo Spot ideal for use on your desk or a nightstand 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.
The ability to wake up to musical alarms was among one of the most requested features that Amazon India had got feedback about after the launch of the previous Echo devices. Taking that into account, Amazon had added the ability to set musical alarms on Echo Spot and also made this feature available on all its earlier Echo devices.
Some of the other interesting features of the Echo Spot are:
1) Glance through video news bulletins and movie trailers on the screen
Echo Spot includes a 2.5-inch screen to let users catch up on short-form videos such as news briefings from news providers like NDTV, Aaj Tak, Times Now, and India Today. Users can also ask Alexa to play movie trailers from Amazon Prime Video, Daily Motion, and Vimeo.
2) Browse and shop on Amazon.in using just your voice
Prime members can also shop on any Echo device using only their voice. With Echo Spot, users can now see the product image, title, price, and user ratings on the screen when shopping. They can then purchase products immediately or easily add items to their shopping list/cart.
3) Hands-free Alexa-to-Alexa video and voice calls
Echo Spot also includes a front-facing camera through which users can start Alexa-to-Alexa voice-controlled video calls or send a message. Video calls work between any two Echo Spot devices and also with the Alexa companion app available on Android and iOS app stores.
With this "Drop In feature", Amazon 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 – you can now visit the living room to see what your loved ones are up to. Drop In is also available on all Echo devices in India.
4) Leverage thousands of Alexa skills
Thousands of skills from Alexa India store are now available for the Echo Spot. Amazon India noted that many have been enhanced so that users can utilise Echo Spot’s glanceable screen to watch cricket highlights on ESPNCricinfo, view cab options and booking details of their Ola cab, see the latest horoscope and astrology videos from GaneshaSpeaks, discover restaurants with Zomato, view album art while listening to music, and more.
5) Play songs by genre, artiste, language, and more
Users can listen to music on Echo Spot through its built-in speaker and also connect Echo Spot to a home entertainment system through Bluetooth or a 3.5mm stereo cable to voice-activate a home entertainment system.
Like with previous Echo devices, users can 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, users can play music throughout the home, with synchronised music across all their Echo devices.
Echo Spot also features second-generation far-field technology with four microphones, acoustic beam-forming technology, and enhanced noise cancellation so it can hear the user's voice from across the room—even while music is playing. If you have more than one Echo, Alexa responds intelligently from the Echo you are closest to with ESP (Echo Spatial Perception).
The Echo Spot is currently available for Rs 10,499 on Amazon while the MRP of the product is listed as Rs 12,999. Echo Spot is also available offline at the Amazon devices kiosk in Bangalore and Mumbai, and over 350 offline retail outlets like Croma, Reliance, and Vijay Sales across 20 cities in India.
Google also recently launched its smart speaker series, Google Home and Google Home Mini, in India at Rs 9,999 and Rs 4,499 respectively. Here is a quick comparison of how the Echo Spot compares with the previous Echo devices. Weighing 419g, it is lighter than the Amazon Echo and Echo Plug and doesn't include dual speakers.
You can check out Amazon Echo Spot here on Amazon.in
You can also get a quick overview of Amazon Echo Plus through this video-