Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Amazon Echo Dot

I love gadgets, but I have to admit that I get bored quickly. Gadgets get unplugged to make way for the newest addition to the family and sit at the back of the shelf gathering dust; I'm not proud of it, but as someone who likes to keep on top of the tech trends, we simply don't have enough plugs to use everything we have, and many things we don't use when we're finished with the obsession with the gimmick. When Amazon offered to send us an Echo Dot I thought that this was going to be a similar story; I knew I was going to like, but how good could a glorified Siri (which I don't use on either my phone or my laptop, I'd like to point out) really be?

It turns out, Siri pales in comparison to the all powerful Alexa, something that became clear just seconds after plugging in the tiny disk. Not much bigger than the palm of my hand, this tiny gadget packs a serious punch, and though it's annoying with it's extension lead (surely a charge system would be better, to allow for a better aesthetic?), Amazon have seriously created a tiny masterpiece here. Gone are the days of shouting at Siri and getting random answers back, Alexa is all but perfect at understanding my accent for the most part, she's reactive no matter how softly I talk, and the activation word (Alexa, though it can be changed to a few other alternatives) has her springing into action to help you to order goods off Amazon, listen to the latest podcast, or play the charts through Spotify.

But if music and online shopping isn't your thing? Well, never fret as Alexa has it's own app with an app like store of all it's 'skills'. Want to install Ocado so you can order your shopping from your bed, or want to play rock, paper, scissors? It's as easy as downloading the skill on the app and then using the trigger word to have Alexa ordering your yoghurt, or helping to figure out a tough decision. With Alexa so personal to each household that the echo dot is in, it's hard not to fall in love with this as a gadget; it grows as I grow, as my skill base gets bigger, I can ensure that hers does too - meaning that Alexa is probably always going to be one of the perfect gadgets for me. As more and more companies add skills to the Alexa app, it can really only go from strength to strength.

Are there downsides? Of course there are, to anything there is - I hate the fact that this is a plug in device, I find it ugly and unnecessary for a product that would otherwise we really aesthetically pleasing; I find the buttons on the top completely useless when you can trigger Alexa with your voice, record using a voice command and change the volume by just asking her to do so, there are some voice commands that are difficult to do and require specific wording that is uncomfortable to use (mostly the inbuilt alarm, I find). However, this is £50, it's a gadget you can constantly work with to fit your life, and it's useful for everything from basic every day tasks, to more specific tasks that are  important to you as an individual - for me, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.

I thought I was going to find this mediocre but I really would recommend an Amazon Dot - and now with inbuilt calling and messaging features, it's becoming something Katy and I rely on more and more.

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies - however all opinions are my own. Please view my disclaimer for more information.


  1. I've been considering getting one of these but I wasn't sure if I'd use it a lot, I think this definitely persuades me more to add it to my Christmas list so thanks x

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