Amazon Echo Flex, analysis: the smallest of the Echo family is not a speaker, it is Alexa vitaminized

Amazon seems to have a speaker for every user ... even for those who don't need a speaker as such. This is the case of the Amazon Echo Flex, the most compact and affordable member of the family, but by no means the least useful. We have tested the Amazon Echo Flex and this has been our experience.

Amazon Echo Flex datasheet

characteristics SPEAKERS 15mm (0.6 ") mini speaker INTELLIGENT ASSISTANT Amazon Alexa WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY 802.11a / b / g / n / ac (2.4 and 5 GHz) PORTS 3.5mm Jack and 7.5W USB Type-A Port DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT 72mm x 67mm x 73mm; 154 grams PRICE 29.99 euros

Introducing the Echo Flex - Voice Control Digital Home Devices Through Alexa

Today on Amazon for € 23.99

A design focused on the functional

The Echo Flex comes in a box also compact where we find the plug-speaker and a brochure as a manual. There are no cables, because it is practically plug and play. Like the rest of the family speakers, its installation is very simple: it is enough to have an internet connection, a mobile phone and an Amazon account. After downloading the application - available for both iOS and Android - and accessing our account, you will "perceive" the presence of a new device (otherwise, we can hit "+"), we search for our Wi-Fi network and password . In seconds, setup is complete.

Unlike the rest of the speakers without a screen, all of them with a cylindrical shape, the Echo Flex is shaped like a box. On the front there is an LED that tells us if Alexa is listening - off in standby, blue in listening mode and red with the microphone off - an action button and another button to turn off the microphone. On one side there is a jack output, on the back the plug and a USB port on the bottom. It will be in this USB port where we can connect certain devices "made for Amazon", such as motion sensors or lights - for our analysis we have tested the latter - but also charge our mobile phone.

We are facing the most compact Amazon smart speaker in a design that seeks to optimize its functionality while minimizing its presence: that is, occupying little and integrating itself into the wall without leaving the cable loose that we find in the rest of the brothers. So much so, that its acoustic characteristics are compromised - as we will elaborate further on - in favor of this reduced form factor.

And it is that we are practically in front of a speaker that reminds us of the typical anti-mosquito plug that our parents placed on summer nights. Or to a smart plug. By the way: it would have been a very useful detail to provide a plug so that, although the Echo Flex occupies a plug in our house, it is still available. One of the reasons for not doing it is that the Flex would have warmed up more than it does ... yes, if you put your hand on the device you will discover that it is warm.

Turn down the sound, turn up the utility

Despite its small dimensions, the Echo Flex is an independent speaker with Alexa, since inside it houses a small speaker and two microphones to detect our voice. Of course, its main objective is to control our smart devices, skills, configure routines, answer questions such as the news, traffic or our agendas ... the usual thing that we usually ask a voice assistant. We can even use it as hands-free to answer calls.

... but not to listen to music. Paradoxically, we are facing a very little speaker, understood roughly as a device to reproduce sound. "Do not say that I did not warn you", Amazon could answer us, which expressly refers to it in its description as "this Echo device with integrated plug allows you to have Alexa in more places in your house" that "is not optimized for the music playing. " It even suggests that we connect it to external speakers via the 3.5mm jack or Bluetooth.

If you want it to listen to music, even if it is for a room of size, it will be short. We can do it, as with the rest of the family speakers - and any other speaker - but it will leave us wanting more even if we are not very demanding: the sensation in the reproduction is of low quality, without nuances or depth, and the volume is limited.

Not that it's much smaller than the Echo Dot, but both because of the form and design factor and the acoustic architecture it implements, sounds and listens worse than this one. By connecting it to external speakers we can solve its poor sound, but we can do little to improve voice recognition, its biggest handicap. According to my experience, the listening radius with a normal voice volume is a maximum of five meters ... and if there is noise or it is reproducing sound, that range stays in the middle.

With these clear premises, the Echo Flex is very useful for spaces such as the kitchen, the bathroom, the hallway or the garage, places where we might be interested in giving up the ornamental change of discretion and compactness of this device to control the home automation of our house . This vocation is reinforced with accessories specifically designed for the Flex, specifically a PIR motion sensor and an LED. Taking into account that there is only one USB port, we will have to connect one accessory or another. In any case, recognition is automatic.

For our analysis we have tested the lighting fixture. It is made up of 6 RGB LEDs that we can control color, power and brightness from the app and with the voice assistant. It also has a sensor capable of detecting ambient light to turn the light on and off automatically. Of course, it does not power to illuminate a room, but is rather ambient lighting.

These accessories increase its functionality, for example for routines. Here we leave you some screenshots to give you an idea:

  • "Alexa, good night," causes the Echo Flex to turn on the blue light with medium intensity and brightness. I used it to light up the hallway at night.
  • By saying "Alexa, musicote", the Flex plays a playlist of Rosalía from Amazon Music (we can also do it if we have a Premium Spotify account)
  • The phrase "Alexa, good morning" generates that Alexa tells us the news of the day.

Echo Flex, Xataka's opinion

Taking into account the muscle of Alexa, the compactness of the device and which is usually reduced below the 29.99 euros that it officially costs, the Echo Flex is a very interesting gadget. As we have detailed in the analysis, it has all the ballots to occupy outlets in the garage - beware because it is not waterproof, otherwise the terrace or the garden would be equally suitable places -, hallway, bathroom or kitchen.

If you are looking for a device to control your smart home accessories with your voice without being noticed, since it is designed to be integrated into the wall and not be on surfaces, the Echo Flex is the ideal candidate. If you also want to use it to listen to music, within Amazon's own catalog of speakers there are alternatives that cost little more money and improve it significantly in acoustics.

Introducing the Echo Flex - Voice Control Digital Home Devices Through Alexa

Today on Amazon for € 23.99

This product has been assigned for testing by Amazon. Can inquire our policy of relationships with enterprises.

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