Amazon Echo Plus Review & Comments

Tase

Active Member
I bought this on Black Friday too. It’s my first experience of any smart speaker.
Initial set up is a doddle but thats where it ends unfortunately..the blue skill is useless. I spent a frustrating couple of hours trying to get it to work with my Harmony Elite. Sometimes it worked sometimes it didn’t. Logitech’s support forum was full of negative comments about setting up with Alexa.
Through trial and error I eventually got Alexa to work properly after downloading the red skill and things are working very nicely now.

It does appear however that the skills need to be more throughly tested before they are released. If a product is to be sold on its ease of use then it really should be easy. Without skills this thing is really just a bluetooth speaker!

Overall though I do think these devices can only get better and more clever in time.
 

mike7

Member
I've had the original Amazon Echo and a Dot for almost a year. In that period they have become less glitch free and the number of functions (skills) has increased in the meantime. Obviously I have not tested all the 'skills', but all the fundamental 'Amazon' functions in my experience are trouble free. I think it is a bit unfair to condemn the device because a third party device fails to work properly. Harmony seems to have problems with other combinations of equipment as problems frequently pop up in the Forum so that glitch should be laid at their door. Incidentally the original Echo did not have a Bluetooth link although the Dot did. I have recently added a couple of TP-link switches and they perform perfectly although Alexa has an annoying habit of saying 'OK' after the task as been performed. Perhaps she is expecting a round of applause!

As far as Amazon Music services are concerned there is a cheaper option for Amazon Prime (£79 per annum for TV and free delivery charges) subscribers. You only need to pay a surcharge of £3.99 a month (Echo Plan) to access the full 40 million track catalogue provided it is directed at one device only. This can be a Dot or a Echo. A Pound a week seems like a bargain to me.


Amazon.co.uk: Amazon Music Unlimited
 
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Tase

Active Member
I didnt ‘condemn’ the device as you mentioned. I did state that things are ‘now working very nicely’.
My point is that people are buying these devices for the skills so its upto both the third party providers and Amazon to ensure that the skills work properly.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I love the idea of these. An automated house would be an awesome toy.

But why no digital out?? That’s infuriating. I’d happily set one up for use with some decent actives in a few rooms, but not with a dubious analogue out.
 

Mallardo

Well-known Member
I love the idea of these. An automated house would be an awesome toy.
Strangely enough, I don't. Not sure why but I really don't see the advantage of having everything voice controlled and automated. Seems like an solution to a problem that doesn't exist. I could be wrong but I think this kind of thing is a gimmick. I predict that in a few years time these devices will just be glorified wireless speakers when everyone realizes that barking out orders from your sofa to a virtual assistant to close the curtains or turn up the heating is actually only a few evolutionary steps away from this...
 

Sonic67

Banned
Strangely enough, I don't. Not sure why but I really don't see the advantage of having everything voice controlled and automated.
First up, I like being able to turn the bedroom light off without getting out of bed again.

Second what if you are elderly or disabled. Think it might be useful?

Third I used to have to crawl under the Christmas tree to turn the lights on. Now I just tell Alexa. So for operating something hard to reach it's great.
 

mike7

Member
Sonic makes a good second point. I'm currently examining the potential for the Amazon Echo to be used by blind and partially sighted persons. Many of these people are already using gadgets like talking clocks and 'readers' for the talking book service. It seems all these functions, and a lot more, can be covered by just one device.

I'd like to hear from anyone who is either visually impaired or knows someone who is and makes use of an Echo or Google Home. There needs to be a few tweaks to some 'skills' in order to help people lead an independent life and hopefully I can pass these suggestions on to the developers. There are obvious advantages for people with physical disabilities as well.
 
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Sonic67

Banned
It's funny but whenever I see a thread on voice controlled smart lights and plugs, someone posts about being lazy or makes a reference to Wall-E. Do you get up to change your TV over or do you use a TV remote? If you think exercise is operating a light switch and not doing it is lazy, you want to take a serious look at what exercise is.
 

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