I’ve only been playing with my Amazon Echo for a few hours, but so far, I’m very happy with "Alexa".
Echo has a very sold feel. It weighs almost 2.5 lbs and does not have the feeling of cheap plastic.
Setup was very easy, although it felt strange. From iOS or a computer, it involves:
- browsing to echo.amazon.com
- connecting your computer/phone/tablet to the WiFi network created by the Echo
- using the echo.amazon.com webpage to setup the Echo
So far Echo seems like it will be great for listening to music, getting the weather, and getting answers to basic questions.
Playing music with Echo is my favorite feature as well as my primary complaint. Being able to say, "Alexa, play country music," is a great convenience. Being able to use voice controls to change volume and change songs is very convenient as well. The speaker sounds pretty good and produces room filling sound. My main complaint is that Echo pauses audio when processing commands. Just telling Echo, "Alexa, volume down," results in the music pausing for about two seconds. A minor complain is that Echo tells you when it is playing Prime Music.
Echo is also good at telling you what the weather is like.
Echo is not very good at answering questions… Echo answered, "Do dogs dream?" with, "Yes, at least some dogs dream." This is a huge difference compared to Google now which answers the same question with the entire first paragraph from Psychology Today.
The Far-Field microphones work as advertized. I can generally speak in a normal voice while music is playing, and Echo will hear my command.
On a side note, my wife, who does not get excited by technology; is excited playing with Echo and playing different music.
Tomorrow, I’ll post how the alarm works.