CNET First Look
Amazon's Echo Spot isn't a must-buy, even for Alexa fansAmazon's newest Echo gadget is basically a voice-activated clock radio with a touchscreen -- but Alexa's visual interface is still too underdeveloped for us to recommend.
[MUSIC] This is the Amazon echo spot, a smallish oval shape deluxe speaker with a built in touch created camera. Aside from using Alexa exactly as you would with the Amazon Echo, The Echo spot also lets you To make video calls, checking on your smart home camera feeds, or watch video on that tiny two and a half inch touchscreen. At $130, the Spots puts the difference between the pint size Echo Dot and a touchscreen equipped Echo Show. Like the Dot, it's a small sized speaker with an aux-out jack that lets you connect with bigger [UNKNOWN] Like to show, that touch screen has an extra layer of glanceability to the relax your experience. And it's not just the clock face, you will also see extra info during weather forecast, video clips during your class briefing, lyrics in album when you stream songs from Amazon. And more as you Alexa like normal Still I question how much that touch screen actually adds to the Alexa experience. This is still very much a voice-first user interface, and the display often feels like an after thought. The other problem is that your video options are extremely limited. For instance, there are almost 4,000 different news sources you can add into your flash free things, but only 27 of them feature video. To make matters worse, you can stream videos from sources like Amazon Prime Video and Twitch, but you can't stream from YouTube, at least not right now. That is a huge blow to this ecosystem and it's not gonna get any better until Amazon and Google stop squabbling with one another. I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to happen. As for the camera, Amazon says that it only uploads video during video calls and Drop ins. And you can disable it all together in the settings, all by just pressing the mute button. Still, I'd have preferred that Amazon put a physical shutter on the Spot so that you can keep that camera covered until you actually wanted to use it. I mean, after all, a lot of people are going to use this thing as an alarm clock and keep it pointed straight at their bed. All in all, the Echo Spot is a charming looking gadget with a nifty It's light design and it makes sense if you think you'd use it to make lots of video calls or check your smart home camera feeds. It has everything that you like about Alexa in a brand new package. And I also like that it's a lot louder than the [UNKNOWN]. But like the Echo Show, the Echo Spot's visual interface Is underwhelming, and the lack of YouTube support is a major disappointment. I like the Spot, but I'm not ready to recommend it yet, not even for Alexa fans. [BLANK_AUDIO]