CNET First Look
GE's $200 Alexa lamp lights up the smart homeHere comes the sun -- or, rather, here comes "Sol," GE's new, funky-looking Alexa lamp.
[MUSIC] We're seeing a flood of third party Alexa devices this year. And the newest is right here, an eye catching Alexa powered lamp from GE called Saul. The price, 200 bucks. Now what GE really did here was to take the familiar blue light ring from the top of the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot and then expand it into this full size ostentatious looking desk lamp. You can adjust the brightness of the lamp by using these touch controls on the base or you can open up the C by GE app on your Android or iOS device. And also adjust the color temperature or turn on this clock display that lights up with a red and blue light to tell you what time it is. So, right now, it's about a quarter past 12. Aside from that, it works just like an Amazon Echo, you wake it up by saying Alexa, then you give it a question or command. It's the same Alexa with of all the same smarts, skills, and music, plus an extra trick or two. My favorite is that it will give you a visual countdown whenever you set a timer. Saul can't call other Alexa devices, though. For that you'll need to use the Alexa app, or one of Amazon's own speakers: the Echo, the Echo Dot, or the Echo Show. There's a Better Call Saul joke to be made there, but I can't Can't think of it. Another limitation, it doesn't include Amazons ESP feature. Which makes it so that only the Alexa device that's closest to you responds to your command. Amazon seems to be keeping that feature to itself and not sharing it with third party devices like these. That's a shame because, ESP is super important. You wanna put Alexa in every room of your house. Sorry, I don't have that I also wish the design were a little bit more defined. It's a good looking lamp but it feels a bit plastic-ey to me A more premium build would have gone a long to justifying that steep $200 price tag. All that said, I really can't help but like this thing. And I like that GE took a risk with an eyebrow raising design. If you're looking for an extra electro gadget for your bedroom and you're willing to splurge for something unique, sal certainly fits the bill.