The Amazon Echo is a home-assistant speaker which can be controlled by your voice. Using Amazon's Alexa Voice Service, you can ask the Echo all sorts of questions and requests.
For example, you can order Amazon Echo to re-order products, find a restaurant, play specific music or schedule a meeting. The Echo also handles a few productivity tasks such as taking notes, setting timers and remind you of things still on your digital to-do list.
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Pro Uses extensive Alexa ecosystem
The Alexa Voice Service found on the Amazon Echo is also used on the Fire TV set-top-box from Amazon, and in other products such as the portable Echo Tap and smaller Echo Dot as well. The Alexa integration in different products allows for a greater ecosystem with shared features and skills. The Alexa Remote extends to this ecosystem as well.
Pro Supports over 900 skills which integrate with apps
The Amazon Echo has an extensive library of 'skills', simple commands that you can use to control all sorts of different apps. Ordering a pizza from Domino's or requesting an Uber ride is just a couple of words away. Amazon constantly updates Alexa's skills and developers can easily integrate them into their apps.
Pro Alexa constantly learns and improves
Alexa will work a lot better after a couple of weeks of use, because the assistant adapts to your speech patterns and personal preferences. Commands are also stored in the Cloud and are analysed by Amazon. That means Alexa - the voice-assistant service and ecosystem of Echo - essentially constantly gets smarter.
Pro Far-field voice recognition works well even in longer distances
Amazon Echo has seven microphones built-in to listen to your voice in any direction. The microphones work great and perform perfectly even with longer distances. It also works while playing music.
Pro Always listens to your voice
The Amazon Echo personal assistant will always listen to your voice and will be activated whenever you say the words "Alexa", "Echo" or "Amazon" for immediate and hands-free control.
Pro Also streams music from Amazon Prime
Echo is an Amazon product and offers great integration with the rest of Amazon's services, especially Amazon Prime. The Echo family is currently the only virtual assistant that is compatible with Amazon Prime Music. You can also stream music via Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn. The ecosystem is fairly open, as developers can easily integrate Alexa's voice commands into their apps.
Pro Offers extensive support for other smart home devices
Amazon Echo works well with other smart home devices and Internet of Things products, such as Nest, Ecobee, SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, Belking WeMo, Philips Hue, Lifx, Big Ass Fans and even IFTTT. In short, Echo is very open to use for third party devices.
Pro Good quality omnidirectional speaker
The Amazon Echo features a 360* omnidirectional speaker. Users have reported great sound quality and speaker sounds, which make the Echo a perfect fit as a music player.
Con Voice assistant isn't seamless and thorough
The conversations you can have with Echo aren't seamless, and most conversational voice commands (such as follow-ups to a previous question) won't work well with Alexa. The voice assistant will also answer simple answers and requests, such as facts. Sometimes, Alexa has troubles differentiating words which results in a clumsy answer.
Con Not compatible with Google Play Music or Apple Music
Amazon Echo does not provide support for two of the most popular online streaming music services: Google Play Music and Apple Music. However, they could be added in the future and you can also use Bluetooth to pair a device that does support Play Music or Apple Music.