construction and design
At first glance, the Echo Spot looks a bit lost in the Echo lineup, as it mixes features from the Echo Dot and Echo Show lines. For example, its small size and LCD screen make it mistaken for a “smart alarm clock”.
In my opinion, this is not an issue, as watch faces should be standard on all Echo Dots, not just specific, more expensive models.
On the days I used the Echo Spot, it was in my room most of the time, right next to my bed. Its body is spherical, very friendly and compact and fits in any corner. I would even go so far as to say he was the inspiration for the Echo Dot (4th gen) because the two are so similar.
It’s not all-powerful: on the front, there’s a 2.5-inch flat screen and a front-facing camera. Being a relatively old product – released in 2017 – it’s possible to justify the rather thick edges, but I wish they weren’t so thick to accommodate larger monitors.
On the back of the Echo Dot, on the other hand, there’s a standard 3.5mm audio-out jack in case users want to amplify sound with more powerful speakers. In the upper area, there are 3 physical buttons (volume up and down, microphone off) and 4 microphones to recognize the user’s voice.
screen and experience
One of the differences from the Echo Spot at launch was its touchscreen for making calls and playing videos. However, with only 2.5 inches, a resolution of 480 x 480 pixels and LCD technology, I can already say that the visual quality is not surprising.
I didn’t expect a difference: the screen is too small for any video content to be comfortable. But yes, you can stream movies, series and music video clips, and you just need to be very close to the device to see something.
It’s not just the panel that’s problematic: the maximum brightness of 250 nits is pleasant, and if you wish, you can turn on Adaptive Brightness, which lets the system automatically adjust brightness based on your surroundings – ideal for waking up in the morning without much glow lights. .
Plus, even though it’s old, the Echo Spot’s screen offers a night mode, which is great news for anyone who wants to think of it as a “smart alarm clock”.
Basically, the interface is the only thing that works on this little round screen. Both the wallpaper and the clock face fit together perfectly, so we have good resolution, nice colors, and no content cut by rounded corners.
Features and usability
The Echo Spot supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5 GHz), so it has everything you’d expect from an Amazon Echo device. To use all its features, just sync it with your Amazon account – connecting is quick and easy.
Of course, the Echo Spot is compatible with the Alexa personal assistant and supports familiar skills. On the first day of testing, the device had serious problems for not supporting Brazilian Portuguese, which made it completely limited.
That’s because, in addition to being bad for non-English speakers, many skills that are popular in Brazil won’t work even if you ask in another language – she can’t understand “Alexa, play Show do Milhão” or “Fala, BBB”, ex .
Luckily, I woke up one day, opened the Amazon Alexa app, and there was a software update that enabled our Echo Spot language, which made me very happy, as all the assist commands in Portuguese were also enabled.
Although Alexa understands Portuguese, it’s a shame that the Echo Spot’s interface still doesn’t support our language. This mainly limits the news shown on the display as it only understands English content.
Since I use the Echo Spot as my smart alarm clock most of the time, I ended up not having too many problems. Alarms and timers can be created very quickly, and four microphones are able to pick up your voice, even at great distances from the device.
The Echo Spot is an evolution of the first Echo Dot in terms of sound, but the sound quality of the latest model has improved so much that the 2017 handset ended up falling behind.
Not that the Echo Spot’s sound drivers are bad. No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” has a nice definition, but it can’t keep the bass off and the treble bursting at full volume.
You can even equalize the music through the Amazon Alexa app, but the adjustments are pretty limited and unfortunately don’t work miracles.
For comparison purposes, I placed the Echo Spot next to a recent Echo Dot (4th generation) to play the same song. The difference between the two is huge, with the latest Echo betting on frequency balance and losing nothing.
Is it worth buying the Echo Spot?
The Echo Spot is an Echo device, and it even has an interesting proposition, but if you’re thinking of importing it, it’s not worth it.
The first reason is availability: in addition to not being sold in Brazil, it is difficult to find it on the foreign market because it is already an old product. Also, usually when it is found, it is very expensive.
Another hurdle for the product is its time-to-market. It was released in 2017, so its sound quality is inferior to the 3rd and 4th generation Echo Dots – it’s worth noting that both are available in watch versions that can fit on your nightstand.
The screen is the Spot’s biggest differentiator over the Dot, but it also doesn’t offer much advantage over the latest models connected to the watch, as the experience for movies, series and videos is disappointing with such a small panel.
That said, maybe it’s better to wait for a possible second-gen Echo Spot with updated sound drivers and a bigger screen than betting on an older device.