Amazon Echo Auto Review: Verdict
For drivers rocking an older car that doesnt enjoy the benefits of Bluetooth, Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, then the Echo Auto may prove useful. Provided youre absolutely infatuated with Alexa and dont want to have to use one of the alternatives when youre driving. And in fairness to Amazon, it has managed to build a very capable Bluetooth adapter. Those are not easy to find.
But anyone driving quite a recent car will struggle to find a way for the Echo Auto to be useful. All of its most practical uses can be handled with Google Assistant or Siri, both of which have better app support and control over your phone. Auto Mode goes a long way towards improving Alexas lot, but it still irks me that its essentially locked behind a $50 purchase when it really shouldnt be.
You just need to ask yourself, is it really worth spending $50 for a fancy Alexa adapter, when you can just as easily use Google Assistant or Siri for free? Thats a question only you can answer.
Tom is the Tom’s Guide’s Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It’s long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. Hes usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea wont let him buy the stuff he really needs online.
Looking To Give Your Car A 21st Century Upgrade The Echo Auto Is A Useful Alternative For Apple Carplay And Android Auto
You may have an Amazon Echo in your home to help you with a range of activities and tasks, but what about your car? Take Alexa and her smarts on the road with an Echo Auto device.
Available for $50, an Echo Auto works with the Alexa app on your phone to make phone calls, send messages, provide directions, play music, and more. Plus, you can access special features, including Auto Mode to turn your phone into an Alexa display and Start My Commute to announce the news and weather, update you on traffic conditions, and play games.
It should be noted that Echo Auto doesnt quite offer the same range of features that come with more advanced options, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. So why use it? While your car must support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for either of those services to work, an Echo Auto is fully functional in most vehicles without any special gear or attachments, and it works with both iOS and Android devices.
Do I Need An Echo Auto
The Echo Auto works best for anyone who is already part of the Amazon ecosystem. The device functions as an alternative to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. If you’re using one of those interfaces, then Echo Auto most likely isn’t for you. But if you don’t have either in your vehicle then Echo Auto is a great choice
If your car stereo doesn’t currently have Bluetooth support, Echo Auto provides a built-in Bluetooth connection so that you can control functions like music and maps from your phone while interacting with the device.
We should note that Echo Auto does not have its own speaker. So if you don’t have Bluetooth in your vehicle, you’ll need to use the 3.5mm auxiliary input of your car’s radio to hear what Alexa is saying.
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Amazon Echo Auto Review: Design
The Echo Auto is a small rectangular device thats 3.3-inches long and 1.9-inches wide, making it slightly smaller than a credit card. However, its also half an inch thick, and looks similar to a small battery pack you might carry around in your bag or wallet.
It also features the same two buttons as any other Alexa speaker: one mutes the microphone and stops Alexa responding, and another button lets you toggle the virtual assistant without having to say Alexa first.
Plus, theres the classic Amazon arrow logo, which makes it look like the Echo Auto has a smiley face on it.
Other design features include a micro USB and 3.5mm Aux port on the right hand side of the device, and a square-shaped indent that lets the Echo Auto magnetically connect to the mount thats included in the box.
Overall, its quite a sleek and discrete device, one that can slip into any nooks or cubby holes that you might have in your car.
The mount itself is almost the complete opposite, and looks like an unwieldy metal 7. A 7 that also has a rubber grip for connecting to your cars vent, and a small cable clip that stops the Echo Autos cables from dangling precariously over your car.
Alternatively, there are third-party Echo Auto mounts out there that are a little more subtle, and since the Auto is magnetic you could just pick up a cheap phone mount and see how that plays out.
Echo Auto Invitation Only
So now the bad news. The Amazon Echo Auto is available by invitation only at the time of this articles publication. Be sure to visit Amazon and get on the list. It could take a few days or several weeks to receive your invitation. While you can only get an invite to purchase a single Echo Auto at a time, you can re-submit for a second invite a few days after your initial order. Hopefully, these devices will become more readily available in the weeks to come.
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The Best Use Of Echo Auto
We have already seen what the Echo Auto is, it is not only a very economical device that adds that point of intelligence that voice assistants offer to your car with a very simple installation. So much so that basically you only need a cable or Bluetooth connection to connect to your car radio and your mobile device, from which it will use the data to connect to the internet.
From there, thanks to the various microphones that it integrates, it will be able to listen at all times to what you ask for and give you the appropriate responses through the audio system of your car, all in a very simple way compared to what the installation requires. from other options or systems like Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
Therefore, although it rivals in certain aspects, it can coexist perfectly with both if you want. Because it is not a rival as such but a complement. One that makes Alexa a great co-pilot with which you can do things like control home automation while driving. So, if you were interested in him and you are not yet clear how to take advantage of it, write down these ideas.
Enjoy Amazon’s Echo Auto
If you’re looking to add a smart assistant to your car, then the Amazon Echo Auto is a great way to go. Its accessible price point and comprehensive feature set make your driving experience more manageable and hands-free.
Unfortunately, Echo Auto won’t replace all-in-one options like Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. But for a great price, the device allows many older model cars to drive into the future.
And if you’re looking to pass the time on a long road trip with Echo Auto, make sure to enable some skills before you head off.
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What Is Amazon Echo Auto And How Does It Work
Ray Prince is a freelance writer with more than four years of experience covering automobiles and technology, writing for publications such as Gadget Review, Hybrid Cars, Auto Guide, and Vehicle History. Read more…
Amazon Echo Auto brings most of Alexas voice assistant features to the vehicle. With a quick voice command, users can stream audio, receive turn-by-turn directions, make phone calls, shop on Amazon, and more. Its a welcome reprieve from fumbling with dashboard buttons or your phone.
Amazon Echo Auto: Setup And Performance
Setting up the Echo Auto is much like other Echo devices, but with reminders from the Alexa smartphone app to only do so while parked. The Echo is powered with an included USB cable, which can be plugged into your cars USB port or the 12V lighter socket via the included adapter.
It is then a case of adding the Echo Auto to the Alexa smartphone app. This process includes establishing a data connection between your smartphone and the Echo Auto, then ensuring your phone is connected to the car via Bluetooth.
This is because the Echo Auto is fed data from your phones internet connection, and your phone sends audio to the car over Bluetooth. If that data connection to your phone fails, due to driving through an area with patchy 4G coverage, then Alexa becomes unresponsive and streaming music stops.
We were immediately impressed by how well the Echo Auto heard our voice while driving, and how quickly Alexa responded to requests. We also have Apple CarPlay and found that Alexa through the Echo Auto was far quicker to respond, and more reliably so, than Siri through the CarPlay of an iPhone hooked up via USB.
Interestingly, we were able to have both systems running at the same time, with the same iPhone providing digital radio through CarPlay and Alexas voice through the Echo Auto.
The reliability and speed with which it hears and responds is undoubtedly one of the Echo Autos greatest strengths.
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What Can Amazons Echo Auto Actually Do
One of the first things I tried to do with the Echo Auto was asking Alexa for directions. Seems logical enough, right? To my surprise, instead of reading me turn-by-turn directions, Alexa instead sent the directions to my phone. This kind of defeats the purpose of asking Alexa for directions, since I can just ask Siri to do the same on my iPhone XR.
Mostly, though, you can do all of the same things with Echo Auto that you could any Echo speaker like ask Alexa for the weather, latest news updates, add items to your Amazon shopping list, set reminders, play music and podcasts, and more. If you have any smart home devices at connected to Alexa, you can use the Echo Auto to check on those products. For example, if you have a smart door lock thats compatible with Alexa, you can say, Alexa, is the front door locked? With the Echo Auto, you can also adjust your smart thermostat during your commute by saying, Alexa, set the thermostat to 75.
But it was my kids who got the biggest kick out of having Alexa in the car. My toddler enjoyed playing games like hide-and-seek with Elmo, while my 7-year-old loved asking Alexa to put on songs from the “Descendants 3” soundtrack. So, while I dont find the Echo Auto totally necessary, as it does most of the things my smartphone can already do, it could be a lifesaver for parents who have any lengthy summer road trips planned.
Tips And Tricks To Take Advantage Of Amazon Echo Auto
The Auto could be a rival to Android Auto and Apples CarPlay in certain uses, but we dont think it really claims to be. However, we do believe that with so many possibilities that you can squeeze in your day to day, what it can be is a great complement. So much so that it could make Alexa your best co-pilot. So lets see how we can get the most out of it.
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Amazon Echo Auto Review And Installation Tips
Amazon Echo devices have become invaluable in our homes. From turning on the lights, to telling you a bedtime story, Alexa has morphed from a geeky gadget to an endearing AI companion we interact with more and more each day. That is, until we leave the house. But dont fret, the Amazon Echo Auto is on the way! We were fortunate enough to get one early and the following article explains what you can expect from Amazons latest gadget.
Review Or Add Things To Your Shopping List
If you manage the shopping list through the Alexa options , when you go in the car you can add new things that you have realized that it is necessary to buy or consult what you wrote down and you do not remember well. Here it is up to you how to squeeze this option, but you will surely find the utility. Because it has all happened to us in a moment going in the car and not remembering what to buy.
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Take Alexa With You On The Go
People including myself really only have one problem with all this reliance on Alexa. Its the fact that Alexa isnt readily available once we leave our houses. Or at least, that used to be the case. Thanks to one of Amazons best Alexa smart devices, I dont have to worry anymore.
Its called the Echo Auto, and its basically an Echo Dot for your car. It gives you hands-free access to all the Alexa skills you love. Plus, it plays Alexas voice or streaming music through my cars speakers.
This is a must-have for anyone who uses Alexa. And right now, refurbs are on sale right now for just $24.99 instead of $50 if you get a refurb this week. Thats a gigantic 50% discount from the full retail price and its the lowest price weve seen since Black Friday last year.
Dont miss out on this Amazon Echo Auto deal!
Amazon Echo Auto Pros And Cons
If you have a newer car thats already equipped with its own tech accessories, there may be one major question looming in your mind: Why do I need an Echo Auto? The best answer we can give you is that the Echo Auto can make your driving experience completely hands-free, limiting your interactions on your cell phone or car monitor. However, the device doesnt exactly provide enough features to make it a complete game-changer by any means.
Echo Auto is infinitely more useful to car owners who have vehicles with limited functions and want to add safe online features to use while driving rideshare passengers around the city. Still, even for owners of older car models, this device isnt anything fancy. Connecting your smartphone to an AUX cord and cell phone car mount then enabling its built-in voice assistant can help you safely access similar features. Your smartphone may arguably be fancier, since it has a screen, unlike the Echo Auto.
The biggest perk of Echo Auto as a rideshare driver is delighting your passengers with the ability to control their own ride just by saying a wake word and command. This isnt guaranteed to get you higher tips, but is a great way to keep your five-star rating as long as the rest of the ride goes well. Its also a generally well-built tool that doesnt have any known bugs or issues, and is discreet enough for you to avoid car theft, even when its left out.
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How To Set Up Amazon Echo Auto To Work With Your Car
– The Amazon Echo Auto offers the convenience of Alexa in your car. It’s not the first device to do so, but thanks to its slim design and the fact that it’s made by Amazon, it’s one of the slick options out there.
When it comes to adding any accessory to your car, there’s bound to be a lot of questions about how to set it up and what it will actually allow. To help you get organised, here’s a quick run down of your setup options.
What Amazon Echo Is
Now that you know that Echo comes with an AUX input, you might be wondering about what exactly this device is ?
You must have seen Alexa Ads on your TV or while watching videos on YouTube, isnt it true? The Echo line of devices were the first products that Amazon introduced with Alexa technology.
Some of the models of Echo include Amazon Echo Dot, Amazon Echo Spot, Amazon Echo Plus, Amazon Echo Look, and Amazon Echo Show. All these devices use Alexa technology and make life much simpler at home and office.
The Echo has a compact design but at the same time it is integrated with lot of abilities and features that you wont find in all smart devices.
This smart device just needs your voice command to start and work. The moment you connect it with the working internet connection, you can command whatever you want on the internet and Alexa Voice Assistant will provide you with a very quick response from Echo.
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Is There An Echo In Here
Lets start with the design. At 3.3 x 1.9 x 0.5 inches, the Echo Auto isnt a small device or a particularly pretty one. Whether youre putting it in the center console or propping it up using the optional Echo Auto Air Vent Mount, its far more noticeable than the relatively svelte Roav Vivaand not in a good way. The bulbous enclosure has little character and picks up fingerprints much too easily. And since it depends on one of your 12V sockets for power, hiding it will take some doing.
The Echo Auto has two buttons and eight microphone holes on top.
As soon as you plug the Echo Auto in with the provided Micro-USB cable and in-car power adapter it will spring to life, with a an LED strip lighting orange to let you know its ready for setup. Like any Echo device, youll need to open the Alexa app on your smartphone to connect it. Youll then need to add it as a new device and run through a few sound checks, but its all very quick. All in all, you should be up and running in less than a minute.
Once you start using the Echo Auto, one thing becomes painfully clear: theres no display. You can ask it to do the same things that youd use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay to do, such as play music or get directions, but theres no Echo Show-style interface to display it. Instead, the Echo Auto uses the screens at its disposalthe nav system for music, your phone for directionswhich sort of defeats the purpose of asking Alexa to do it in the first place.