At first, Amazon Echo Plus looks like any other cylindrical wireless speaker, but once you look at it closely you do realise that it has a premium feel to it. Also, the mesh design works in its favour. Top of the tube has two buttons on it, one to mute and the other is an action button (used to turn off alarms, connect with Wi-Fi, among other things). The black ring at the top can be twisted to manage volume.There are seven microphones placed on the top plate that work well; we could voice control music and ask Alexa questions from as far as 20 feet. The outer part of the plate has a LED ring that turns blue when you wake Alexa or red when you mute the device. The power port and a 3.5 mm audio jack are located at the bottom. The audio port is a good addition since it lets you connect more powerful speakers with Amazon Echo Plus easily.
Powering and connecting the device to the local Wi-Fi network does not take much time and we were up, and running within 15 minutes. Just keep your Indian Amazon account handy and it will be smooth sailing. So, what makes all the noise in this device? Amazon has installed a 2.5-inch sub-woofer and 0.8-inch tweeter within the Echo Plus. Together, they allow only the best tunes to flow to your ears. It is one of the best that we have heard this year.
But, one is not going to buy the Amazon Echo Plus just for its brilliant resonance. Alexa is the main USP of the device and its selling point. The voice based assistant works extremely well and it could understand our Indian accent with almost no effort. We did throw some googlies at it, but every time it came up with a solution, did the job, answered a query, played the next song and even dimmed/turned off the lights in no time.
Alexa is the perfect example of machine learning and becomes more intelligent as the days go by. Amazon has Indianized it to cater to the needs of the regular Indian. Things like when is the next Indian cricket match? Play Salman Khan’s popular songs or read out the latest news can be asked, and Alexa will promptly answer. Services like OLA, Zomato and Goibibo are already available with Amazon Echo Plus and more are being added. Users also get a year of Amazon Prime music service (free) with each device. It just keeps getting better. The asking price of Rs 10,499 is not bad for this wireless speaker. Overall, a great device or rather a great personal assistant, to have around the house that can take care of many errands.