We analyze the Amazon Echo Plus speaker, the speaker with a virtual assistant that has just arrived in Spain and offers us a complete ecosystem, although it depends on continuing under Amazon's supervision.
Amazon Echo enters the big door in Spain, all the important products are already available and we had the opportunity to thoroughly test the Amazon Echo Plus, its strongest bet to dazzle the most demanding consumers. This is a speaker of remarkable quality, although it does not reach the level of other products in the same price range and more focused on offering an audio experience in itself.
As expected, integration with other services depends on the approval of Amazon. The greatest attraction that Amazon echo Plus will have, which is not a little, is to offer music through Amazon Music and make the purchase on Amazon, so if we get this speaker we will be more inclined to use their services.
However for these functions it is essential to have an Amazon Prime subscription, making the initial expense of an Amazon Echo, whether in the model that is from Dot to Plus, makes us spend more on the service. That they gave at least a couple of months of Amazon Premium with the purchase would be appreciated knowing that we are going to use it precisely for these services and not have a product that barely has services.
If that is not enough for us, which is normal, little by little all kinds of skills that make it have more functions thanks to external developers. The skills that we use will be controlled by an application for Android and iOS, which we will also use to configure the speaker. We have national newspapers, radios from all over the country, games like Akinator to ask questions of the device, or ambient sounds for all kinds of situations.
Amazon Echo Plus, the largest model and with more features
But what makes the Echo Plus unique compared to the other Amazon Echos? It is the most expensive model we have and at the software level it does the same as other models and little else. It has built-in a temperature sensor that will help us to know the exact temperature in a room.
Also it is the most thought-out model for home automation, since it incorporates an IoT Hub that allows you to connect devices such as Philips Hue or TP Link bulbs. To take a more affordable model, we would have to connect the relay or bridge that uses the brand of devices we want to use, which can be a saving in very specific contexts.
The sound is as desired for an assistant speaker. Bass feels good without rumbling, but sometimes warmth fails in middle and high notes, but unless we're trained audiophiles, it won't bother us much and it sounds pretty good. It can also be connected to other better speakers, so it is not a problem to improve the home system, since Amazon Echo Plus is designed for that.
The idea of the Amazon Echo Plus is for Alexa to control almost everything in the house that can be connected. It is not little and it does it very well, but it leaves us in the lurch of only having this product and not even having Amazon Prime. We will have a great speaker that answers questions and helps us manage the calendar, but we will lose a great potential of not having more things, and that is where it fails.
If we have nothing to connect, we will have a slightly smarter speaker with which to have somewhat robotic conversations but at the end of the day pleasant. Amazon expects us to connect more things, such as plugs, a good subwoofer, headphones, light bulbs, fans ... Everything that connects to Alexa and by the way we buy in your store.
It's not bad in itself, but limits the product market to those who really have the money and time to build a complete smart home. It will not be enough just with the speaker, but it will depend on the things that are connected. Is the Amazon Echo Plus expensive? Deep down, yes, but in return we will find a highly integrated system that will allow us to prepare everything for complex situations in a single voice command.
For example, we can say that we leave the house and Alexa can automatically turn off the lights, lower the thermostat and unplug all the devices that should not be connected under any circumstances if there is no one at home. We could, for example, start a sleep routine that lowers the lights little by little and puts ambient noises to help us sleep. Or start a training routine with which a treadmill is turned on and a playlist comes out to exercise while a kettle is activated that leaves the water ready for an infusion. The possibilities are endless, but require investment.
As you see, it takes a lot of time and money to prepare some routines, so unless you are people with a very regular rhythm of life and you have the money to improve the house little by little, it is a bit difficult to recommend this, but it is not a bad product at all, quite the opposite.
However, If your desire is an almost futuristic smart home and you have money to spare and you want better than average sound, the Amazon Echo Plus will leave you delighted., both for its design that combines perfectly in any decoration and for the enormous support it is receiving at the skill level. If not, maybe a cheaper model will do most of the functions, but I still see no reason to declare the Echo line a bad product, only that You must very necessarily find a very specific consumer with money and time to invest in your home of the future.