When the Amazon Echo debuted in 2015, people were crazy about it — and rightfully so. At first glance, it seemed like a cutting-edge device straight out of a sci-fi movie. . And while the novelty is certainly a bit dated, the Echo remains one of Amazon’s most successful products.

But one common complaint about the Echo was that it had too many features and was too expensive. so if you only wanted for one specific purpose it was hard to justify the purchase. Amazon’s answer to this? Release of two stripped-down variations with lower price tags: Tap and Echo Dot.

In other words, you can think of both of them as Amazon Echo Lite, but each one is for a different end user. Here’s our comparison of all three to help you decide which one is right for you.

Amazon Echo

At its core, the Amazon Echo is a «smart wireless speaker» and while the term is entirely accurate, it fails to unlock the full potential of this cutting-edge device. It’s not technically a personal assistant, but given how much it can do, you feel that you have your own assistant to make your life easier .

But the thing that really sets the Echo apart from other «personal assistant devices» is its ability to recognize and process voice commands. through its Alexa operating system. Sure, Siri and OK Google have been around for years, but Alexa was the first outside of a smartphone.

It is currently on sale for $180.

Echo has seven microphones and an omnidirectional speaker, which means you can activate it from across the room and hear it react wherever you are. At first, his voice recognition is fuzzy, but after some practice, he will understand you perfectly — even if you have an unusual accent or dialect.

By default, Echo can answer questions, order goods from Amazon, stream music (not only Amazon Prime Music. , but also Pandora, Spotify, etc.), read audio books, report news and weather information, stream sports news. schedules and results, and even provide detailed information about local businesses and restaurants.

The biggest feature, however, is that the Echo can integrate with hundreds of available smart home products. like WeMo, Philips Hue, SmartThings, Nest and more. It can also integrate with IFTTT recipes. about all kinds of automated and flexible tasks.

Amazon Echo Dot

The Amazon Echo Dot is a petite version of the Amazon Echo — it doesn’t come with the dedicated speaker you’ll find on the Echo, but instead opts for a basic speaker that still does the job but allows the Echo Dot to be much smaller and lighter.

The Echo Dot is actually Amazon’s answer for customers looking to hook up their own high quality external speakers. which is currently not possible with the original Echo. With the Echo Dot, you can connect your speakers via Bluetooth or a standard 3.5mm audio cable.

It currently retails for $90.

Other than that, the Echo Dot offers just about everything the original Echo does: ordering from Amazon, music streaming from multiple sources, news and weather information, and of course integration with smart home products. It also runs on the same Alexa-based voice recognition system.

Echo Dot is the perfect half price choice when you want echo in every room of your home. Set one as an alarm clock in your bedroom, another as a break room jukebox, another in your kitchen as a controller for all your smart appliances, gadgets, etc.

One big downside is that the Echo Dot can only be ordered through Alexa Voice Shopping. which means it’s only available to Prime users who already have an Alexa-enabled Echo or Alexa TV It’s not clear if this restriction will eventually be lifted or not, but I’d bet it will.

Amazon Tap

Amazon Tap is a simpler and more portable version of the Echo. While the Echo is 9.25 inches tall and 3.27 inches wide, the Tap is significantly smaller at 6.2 inches tall and 2.6 inches wide. If you plan to regularly move your device from room to room, Tap is a much more convenient option.

Another big difference is that Tap is battery powered, unlike the Echo and Echo Dot, which must always be plugged into an outlet. What’s nice is that the Tap has up to 9 hours of battery life on a single charge when playing music — three weeks on standby — that should be more than enough for most people.

It is currently on sale for $130.

Why is it called Tap? Because it doesn’t have voice wakeup like Echo and Echo Dot. Instead, you must press a button on the device before giving it a command. A bit of an inconvenience, but on the other hand, you won’t have to worry about him spying on you by constantly listening.

Tap can answer questions and stream music via Alexa, but it also has the unique feature that it can connect to your mobile devices via Bluetooth and stream music directly from them. So, for example, you can take Tap to the beach and play music directly from your phone.

Which one is right for you?

All in all, it really comes down to this:

But don’t stop there. These Amazon products are just a taste of what’s possible when you really get your hands dirty with smart products and the Internet of Things. Worried about blowing your budget? Dare and get started with some of these very affordable beginner gadgets.

If you need ideas on what to get first, we recommend something very practical like the Nest thermostat to cut down on your heating bills. Nest to cut your heating bill in half. Nest to cut your heating bill in half. or maybe a smart door lock for easy access to the house. or even a smart plug to control devices from afar.

Just remember to stick with one of these reputable smart home brands. brands first time.

How do you feel about the Amazon Echo or its smaller variations? Are these pointless gimmicks? Or are they really as useful as advertised? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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