Amazon Echo Review – After a few days with “Alexa”

We’ve had Alexa (the name Amazon gave this Siri like device) in the house for several days now.  She was shipped in an all black box that just led to even more intrigue.

The kids ask all sorts of questions and most of which she answers with no issue.  We are from Texas, so when I asked her to spell the word “Bed”, she spelled “Bad”.  So I had to take the southern drawl out of my voice and she got it right.  They show her off to everyone and ask her personal questions, like how old she is, where she comes from and how are you doing.  Alexa, to her credit, answers them all.  Sometimes her favorite color changes though.

She picks up my voice quite well, from just about anywhere within 30 ft or so, without me having to raise my voice or speak like I used to speak to my granddad when he was in his 80’s (slow and deliberate).  I usually carry the remote with me, and if I’m upstairs, I call talk into the remote and she picked up exactly what I was saying.  It is quite impressive.

The sound is actually quite good for such a little device.  It fills the room very well and can be heard upstairs clearly.  If you’re looking to play a lot of music with deep bass, this is not a device for you.  This isn’t a Bose system, but one day soon I hope it will connect to everything on your wifi.  There is a world of potential here, this just happened to be the first step and it is a good step.  Right now it plays music, tells jokes, answers questions, does math, set’s timers and alarms, update to do lists, can link to Amazon Prime purchases and gives the news.  It doesn’t turn on the upstairs lights or Christmas tree…yet.  She can also tell you how much wood a wood chuck could chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood.  Here are a few pics, as you can see, it’s not very big, not quite 10 inches tall.

ECHO - "Alexa"

Mysterious Black Box
Echo Box

Amazon Echo – After the first 24 hours

So far, after 24 hours, it’s pretty cool.  The kids keep asking “Alexa” all sorts of questions, such as what is “your favorite color”, “how old are you”, “how tall are you”.  She answers them all.  The kids won’t leave her alone.  I figured Alexa would short circuit with the flurry of questions, but so far so good.  I’ll post a more detailed article later.  I have a feeling It won’t be long before she’ll control everything on the wifi (TV, Thermostat, Lights, etc..)

How Amazon Echo Can Make Your Home A Smart Home

Ever since I first saw the video for the Echo, I wanted one.  It’s almost like something out of Star Trek.  It’s an invitation only purchase for Amazon Prime members.  The first round of invites went out a week or so ago.  I got my invite today and immediately purchased it.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  If it turns into a bad robot and tries to kill me, I’ll still like it better than Siri.

The below article is pretty good.  The CNET review wasn’t very kind, but I think they were just upset because Amazon didn’t give them one and they had to go to Ebay to purchase one.  The ZDNet review was a “10 out of 10” (maybe Amazon gave them 2).


via How Amazon Echo Can Make Your Home A Smart Home.