The Plug and Forget Echo. Is it worth it or is it a disapointment???
Review by Rounak Roy
The Amazon Echo Flex offers all of Alexa's voice control features in a tiny ₹1999 package. This is where the Echo Flex shines. The Echo Flex is a smart speaker that plugs directly into your existing power outlet just like a phone charger and lets you access most of Alexa pretty much in every corner in your house with a power plug like a bathroom, living room or even your garage. Its pretty affordable and doesn't have any extra wires hanging out of it but there is one downside, the inbuilt speaker is too quiet for songs. Although Amazon already gives a disclaimer when you go to purchase it, "Echo Flex has a mini built-in speaker that is not optimised for music playback. For richer and louder sound try Echo Dot. Alternatively, you can smartify your existing speaker by connecting to Echo Flex via 3.5mm aux or Bluetooth."
The Echo Flex looks very different than the rest of the Echo lineup, it looks more like a phone charging brick than a Echo device. But don't be fooled by its appearence. It's a simple, white matte finished box with rounded corners on the sides and a two-prong power plug emerging from the back. The front panel holds Alexa and Mic Mute buttons, a small indicator light, two pinhole microphones, and two small grilles for the tiny tweeter. There is a USB port on the bottom which can charge your phones with upto 5V 1.5A output, alternatively you can attach any add-on made for the Echo Flex in that port.
Setting up the Echo Flex is same as every other Echo out there. Plug it in, wait for it to complete its boot sequence and then use the Amazon Alexa App on your phone to connect it to your wifi and Amazon account. Alexa can control thousands of different smart home devices, including all major brands like Nest, Philips Hue, and TP-Link.
You can even ask the Echo to play music from Amazon Music or read audiobooks from Audible but this device is not meant to be used like this. The tiny speaker is only for small voice commands like weather or just an Alarm. To get the full experience connect a Bluetooth speaker or a wired speaker to the 3.5mm port. I am using it with my Creative Pebble 2.0 Speakers and the sound is decent but the credit for sound goes to the Pebble.
Pairing the Echo Flex was a breeze and I am using it in my room which I am slowly upgrading with more Alexa compatible smart devices. Alexa can pick up my voice form pretty far-away in a non noisy environment, but if there is noise then you need to speak in a louder tone.
From my viewpoint this is a good device for people who want to venture into the world of smart devices, get this device if its offered only at a discounted price as the Echo dot sometime comes close to the price of the Flex. I got this as a bundle with a Philips Wiz Smart Led for just $12.49 which is a good deal imo. I will rate it at a 9/10 if you get at a discount like me or a 6/10 if you get it at it's normal price where its not worth it.