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Customer Review

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 October 2018
People have such high expectations these days. I bought the echo dot (never having had one over privacy issues) and I am chuffed to bits. It’s so much more than Siri, my last flirtation with voice AI. I bought it to listen to a bit of music, to ask about news and weather and for it to read my kindle (not audible.com) books. For this the speaker is great. How anyone can expect it to compete with a home sound system for its size and price is anyone’s guess. But I can move it around from kitchen to bedroom and it’s a fun little companion when I’m washing up. I used to use my smart phone connected to a Bluetooth speaker and this is way more convenient. Spotify is great and the voice recognition is superb. Took no time to set up and I like the fact it is powered by a proper plug because I am likely to leave it on a lot. I bought it also to help me sleep, I like the fact that I can listen to ambient sounds such as rainfall and have it switch itself off after a period of time. I could got on that it can be used a phone too but I don’t use use that. Frankly it’s worth the money alone for the little things it does.

I’ve now had this a few weeks and these are my thoughts. With a Spotify account you can ask for most songs. If you didn’t, it automatically accessed Amazon music. Now I don’t have Amazon Music Unlimited and so a part of me is wondering whether I would get charged to listen to songs or whether it would automatically click onto the Amazon Prime Music service. Who knows? But I instantly deactivated the Voice Purchasing function through the Alexa app so I hope not. But be wary and maybe keep an eye on your Amazon bills for a couple of weeks just in case. You can adjust the volume by asking it higher or lower or even giving a number between 1 (lowest) and 10 (highest). It will still hear you say Alexa at the top volume but you kind of have to pick your moments in a quieter section of song. I can hear the Dot when I am upstairs and it is downstairs. Beware you could develop a mild strain of your voice if you keep asking Alexa questions (I am thinking of those buying it for elderly relatives). Speaking of which, the ability for them to call you just by voice if, say, they had a fall and could not reach the phone is a pretty reassuring feature. I’ve played some of the quizzes and they are fun. I still like the device and how solid it feels.
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