As long as sound high quality isn’t vital, the Echo Flex is a reasonable good speaker that permits you to speak to Alexa and management your good devices. This is our evaluate.
Among the many many new Echo gadgets that Amazon launched again in September was the Flex. It’s the brand new entry-level Alexa system and it’s fairly sensible.
Meant to be used the place you simply have to bark a command at Alexa or get a climate replace, it plugs instantly right into a mains socket and provides a fundamental cell phone-style speaker for audio. No wires, no fuss.
This makes it ideally suited for garages, halls or landings the place you may wish to management good lights, locks, switches or plugs.
However due to a few nifty add-ons, it’s extra versatile than you may count on.
Echo Flex: Value & availability
You’ll be able to purchase an Echo Flex from Amazon for £24.99 / $24.99, although on the time of writing it was discounted to £19.99 / $19.99. And within the US, you should purchase a pair for $35 when you enter the code FLEX2PK on the checkout.
That makes it half the value of an Echo Dot, however the Dot is usually on sale so it’s value ready for a deal when you’d want a speaker that’s adequate for music playback.
It’s also possible to take a look at our information to the Amazon Echo vary.
Echo Flex: Options & design
Amazon noticed firms making wall mounts for Echo Dots, and a few of these even allow you to pop your Dot right into a holder that hooked up to the mains adapter. And so it thought it might as nicely remedy the issue with a brand new mannequin, and thus the Flex was born.
At 67 x 72mm it’s sufficiently small to plug right into a double wall socket (the UK kind, at the least) with out blocking the neighbouring socket. The identical isn’t true if in case you have an extension with a number of sockets as they are typically nearer collectively, however in any case, this can be a very small system.
It solely is available in an off-white color, however that is undoubtedly a better option than black, which might be much more conspicuous.
A small LED lights up blue to let you realize Alexa is listening, and there are two buttons: the multi-purpose choose button, and a mic-mute button. There aren’t any quantity buttons.
On the aspect is a 3.5mm audio output so you possibly can join a speaker for higher sound, however in some methods this appears a bit of pointless for most individuals. Nevertheless, it’s a bonus nonetheless.
Beneath is a USB port which you might use to cost your cellphone (although not quick cost it) however its actual function is to mean you can connect equipment.
They’re costlier than they need to be: at £14.99 / $14.99 every they’re greater than half the value of the Flex itself, however the movement sensor specifically might be the killer characteristic that may make it definitely worth the cash.
We’re nonetheless ready to obtain one to check it out, however have already heard nice experiences that there’s minimal delay between movement being sensed and the set off motion being carried out.
The sensor may be configured within the Alexa app and you’ll create a routine to do just about no matter you want. Generally you’d set it to activate lights when movement is detected, however you possibly can equally get Alexa to learn your Flash Briefing as a substitute.
Sadly, there isn’t any USB passthrough so you possibly can decide just one accent, not each.
Plus, as a result of the movement sensor must be plugged into the Flex, you possibly can solely have one until you purchase a number of Flex models. For many conditions, although, none of this will probably be an issue.
The truth is, the primary drawback most individuals could have is the placement of their mains sockets, which are typically close to floor stage. That’s effective for the movement sensor, but it surely means the speaker is additional away.
In what we think about a little bit of a missed alternative, there’s no mains passthrough, however the Flex may have doubled as a sensible plug that you might use to show Alexa-compatible devices on and off.
Alexa abilities and good options
The 2 farfield mics can decide up your voice even when there’s noise, and the speaker is loud sufficient to listen to Alexa more often than not.
And by way of high quality, the speaker is ok for making or receiving calls, for making broadcast bulletins and listening to speak radio or podcasts.
These are simply a number of the issues you are able to do with Alexa. However the Flex is simply as succesful as another Echo speaker so far as Alexa is worried. She is going to flip in your lights, flip off the fan, set timers, convert models, inform you what a ristretto is, add gadgets to your purchasing record, when the native grocery store shuts and a complete lot extra. We’ve written a information explaining the way to allow Alexa abilities.
The Flex is a good addition to the Echo vary, and is good if in case you have lights and plugs you possibly can management with Alexa in locations the place even an Echo Dot may be an excessive expense.
The equipment could make it much more helpful, but it surely’s a disgrace that it isn’t a sensible plug itself.
Amazon Echo Flex: Specs
- Measurement: 72 x 67 x 66 mm
- Weight: 166 g
- Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.four and 5 GHz)
- Bluetooth (A2DP help)