The Echo Spot is the only Amazon device with a tiny, round screen - and that's both the best and worst thing about using it
It has a screen, but not one big enough for serious video-watching.It's small, but not as small as the Echo Dot.
So, what is it for?After several weeks of testing the Spot, I'm still not really sure. At launch, the Echo Spot's primary purpose seemed to be acting as a smart alarm clock for your bedside table or nightstand. It can certainly do that, but it also seems a bit overqualified for the position.
The Echo Spot has Alexa.It can make video calls. It can play music videos.
It can make visual lists and reminders.
It can play music.And - of course - it can display the time.
It does all the things a regular Echo can do, but it does them on a 2.5-inch touchscreen.
And in the end, it was the screen that ended up being both the best and the worst thing about the Echo Spot.
Here's the Spot on my bedside table. It just seems like a fancy digital clock on the surface.
It looks incredibly nice, though! In fact, I think it's the best-looking Amazon Echo device you can buy. The shape is ergonomic, the materials feel high-quality, and it's about the size of a softball: not too big, not too small.Advertisement
There's a camera above the screen, and you can use it to make video calls — just say, "Alexa, video call Jane," and it will call Jane. Even the software design on the Spot is modern and clean, as evidenced by the calling interface.
Video calling is fun and feels a little futuristic, thanks to the round screen. It's rare to see any video displayed that way, which makes the Spot feel refreshingly modern.Advertisement
But, the round screen is where the device also fails. Text isn't designed to fit in a round frame, so it looks pretty amateurish when displayed on the Echo Spot. Luckily, it's a touchscreen, so you can manually scroll down to read the full paragraph.
Lists aren't optimized for the Spot's display either, so by the third item, everything starts to get cut off.Advertisement
Here's a moment from my morning news briefing. A video briefing is one of the advantages of the Spot — it's like having a tiny TV next to your bed — but the size is also a shortcoming of the device. Here, you can barely make out the White House. What's the point?
But the Echo Spot somewhat redeemed itself in the end. At first, I thought it was incredibly pointless to watch a music video on the Spot. How would I even be able to see Beyoncé on this thing? Plus, the square Vevo app — remember, no YouTube videos on Amazon devices — looks terrible.Advertisement
But then I enabled full-screen mode, and here was Beyoncé in all her glory, albeit miniaturized. Sure, the full width of the video gets cut off on the round screen, but feeling like I was on a video call with Bey was worth it.
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