Remember Echo? The always-on, voice-controlled home hub that Amazon launched to great excitement seven months ago—and that Amazon would only allow you to buy if you were selected from interested Prime members?
Today the company said it would make Echo a readily-available product for anyone who wants to buy one. What that implies about Echo’s sales numbers is unclear, but Echo is now readily available for $180 on Amazon. That means Amazon’s review page is up, too, which interesting—even if there’s an obvious conflict of interest in the fact that Amazon hosts the reviews of its own product.
Out of 18,274 reviews, Echo gets very respectable 4.5 stars. The vast majority of reviews are positive (like our own). Most negative reviews, of which there are only 1,675, level the criticism that Echo isn’t as futuristic as they expected:
Okay. Not sci-fi hardware.
It works best as a bedside alarm clock. I don’t use it much for anything else.....”Alexa, set an alarm for 6:00am.” “Alexa, snooze.” It’s only failed me once. Unfortunately, I missed a flight that morning, but it was probably my fault since I was drunk and hung over from the night before and probably said, “Alexa, STOP!” in my sleep.
For now, and until connected home is REALLY up and running, the Echo is pretty much the same as any other voice-controlled personal assistant.
Anyways, if you’re interested in Echo, now’s the time. Amazon says it’ll start shipping on July 14.