Amazon just can’t limit its excitement in the Indian market and is going full throttle with its products and service. Just in the middle of Amazon’s Great Indian Festival, the e-commerce giant has launched the entire Echo family in India. This includes the Amazon Echo, Echo Plus and Echo Dot, the Alexa-powered smart speakers.
Amazon Echo is a voice-controlled smart speaker powered by Amazon’s artificial intelligence (AI) or the personal assistant Alexa. It can do lots of tasks (or skills) like answering questions, provide information, news, cricket or football scores, plays music and more. Moreover, you can use it to control smart home products like the smart lights and plugs from brands including Philips, SYSKA LED, Oakter, TP-Link and more.
The device also multiplies as a powerful speaker that can play your music from various services like Amazon Prime Music, Saavn and TuneIn. Well, you read it right, Amazon India is also launching Amazon Prime Music in India.
Talking about the personal assistant Alexa, Amazon claims its has been heavily customized for the Indian audience. It can fluently understand Indian English accent and supports local pronunciations and intonation. Third party Indian developers are already building localised skills for Alexa. Some of the popular skills include Saavn, ESPNcricinfo, Ola Cabs, Times of India and more.
To get started, you just need to speak loud the wake word “Alexa”. Echo devices detect the wake word and begin streaming your request to the cloud where Alexa processes the request leveraging Amazon Web Services.
The original Amazon Echo device is a hands-free Alexa-enabled smart speaker. It includes an array of seven microphones that use beam-forming technology and noise cancellation. This allows the device to clearly hear your request in a big room or even when in a noisy room.
Amazon Echo has a 2.5-inch down-firing woofer, dedicated tweeter, Dolby processing, and 360-degree omnidirectional audio that’s fine-tuned to deliver crisp vocals with a dynamic bass response. So, you use the speakers for streaming music from Saavn or other music streaming service. As for connectivity, you get Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support.
Amazon Echo Plus
It adds up more features to the original Amazon Echo with sound powered by Dolby, a far-field microphone array, and comes with the built-in smart home hub. The most important one is the smart home hub which can connect to compatible smart home devices easy. Like controlling your smart lights and plugs from brands including Philips, SYSKA LED, Oakter, TP-Link and more. It can automatically discover and set up compatible lights, without the need for additional hubs or apps.
Amazon Echo Dot
The smallest Echo device, the Amazon Echo Dot offers almost the same features of Amazon Echo without having the dual big speakers. Other than that, it has all the power of Alexa offering a hands-free, voice controlled device. You can connect it with speakers through Bluetooth or by using a 3.5mm stereo cable, enabling you to add Alexa to any home entertainment system.
|Amazon Echo||Echo Dot||Amazon Echo||Echo Plus|
|Price||Rs 4,499||Rs 9,999||Rs 14,999|
|Overview||Add Alexa to any room||Alexa-enabled smart speaker with great sound||Alexa-enabled smart speaker with built-in smart home hub|
|Streaming Wi-Fi music||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Connect to ext. speakers||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Smart home compatible||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Speaker size||0.6″ tweeter||2.5″ woofer, 0.6″ tweeter||2.5″ woofer, 0.8″ tweeter|
|Device size||32 x 84 x 84 mm||148 x 88 x 88 mm||235 x 84 x 84 mm|
|Device weight||163 g||821 g||954 g|
Ready to buy?
The Amazon Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot on the initial stage are available by invitation to customers. So, you need to request and get an invitation to purchase an Echo device. Spicing things up, Amazon India will offer an introductory discount of 30 percent on every purchase of Echo devices and one year of free Prime membership.
In terms of pricing, the Amazon Echo is priced at Rs 9,999. Whereas the costlier and feature-rich Amazon Echo plus will retail for Rs 14,999. While the budget-friendly Amazon Echo Dot gets a price tag of Rs 4,499.