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Reflections on buying and setting up an Amazon Echo with Alexa

By Dan Wilson February 12, 2018 - 7:27 am

Perhaps rather late to the party, I’ve just recently acquired an Amazon Echo with Alexa. As an Amazon Prime subscriber, the device arrived the next day as expected and the only annoyance was the price. Having bagged an Echo, it was irksome that the day on which it arrived I received an alert to tell me that there was a promo offering it on Amazon for £15 less than the £89 I had paid.

I was impressed by the stylish packaging and the Echo has a reassuring heft about it. It feels like a quality piece of kit as you unpack it. And it does look good too. It’s not garishly branded and the swirling light, that’s important as you set up, is attractive. I downloaded the app to my phone and prepared to get it going as soon as possible.

The biggest problem with set-up, which is hardly a fault with Amazon or the device, was that I couldn’t find my wifi router password, and that delayed the process of getting started. But once I’d sorted that, it was a seamless experience. The instructions are clear and the app intuitive as it guides you through the process.

But once it was going, I started to wonder what I was going to use it for. It was very easy to get the BBC set up and running so I could easily tune into Radio 4 and Radio 2. As a big listener to the wireless, this will be useful for me ongoing. The BBC skills are well executed and you can you request the most recent programme in a series easily: “Alexa. Play The Archers.” I’ll be saying that a lot.

Spotify is also the other service that I’ll be using and the Echo will spur me on to create more playlists. A browse through the list of things it can help me do though has been uninspiring thus far. Although, I am amused by the skill that let’s me ask for the noise the Tardis makes when it lands and I do like the joke of the day and several trivia services.

I’m personally unsure that I will be using my Amazon Echo with Alexa for shopping, despite my Prime subscription. And as it stands, I feel that I have predominantly purchased a rather expensive voice activated radio and juke box. But maybe I’m missing the point.

What do you use your Alexa for and what skills and devices do your recommend as indispensable?

  • Josh Herbert
    6 months ago

    I’d very much agree. I also have a very expensive voice activated radio and juke box. But I listen to a lot of spotify. Connection to a bluetooth amplifier is essential!