TheEffect.net's review of Amazons latest Echo Auto
We’ve covered a lot of Amazons Echo devices in the past, but most of those have been for use at home. Released a little while back, but through invite only, the new Amazon Echo Auto is now available to everyone who wants one.
We’re not going to get into the Echo ecosystem in this review as we’ve covered that in some of our older reviews that can be found HERE. In this review we’ll focus on the build and functionality of the Echo Auto in its primary location, the car.
The Echo auto is a small flat rectangle that’s top is covered in microphones and 2 buttons, the action button and the mute button. On the side you have a micro-usb port (Amazon, why no USB-C still??) and a 3.5mm aux out jack. In the box, you also get an air-vent mount for the Echo Auto that works quite well, but doesn’t work with every type of vent. You can see from the image below which vents it works on and which it doesn’t. I wasn’t sure if it would work on my vents as they look like one of the unsupported types, but it worked no problem.
The mount is well designed and the Echo Auto itself attaches to the top magnetically and stays put in place. There’s some nice cable management built in as well which is great as I really don’t like cables hanging down from my cars dashboard. I had the Echo Auto on the mount for a few days, but decided to see if I could position it somewhere neater, so I got a short usb cable and some velco command strops and mounted it under the A/C controls in my car. The mic’s are pointing down, which isn’t ideal, but I’ve not had any problems with it picking up my voice.
Speaking of picking up my voice, the Echo Auto there are a total of 8 microphones and far-field technology, so it can hear you over music, air conditioning and road noise and I’ve found this to be pretty accurate as when it was mounted on the vent, it was even better at picking up my commands compared to the Echo Show 5 I have in my kitchen.
My setup in my car uses Android Auto, and while they say it’s not ideal to connect via USB to Android Auto, I’ve had no issues using the Echo Auto to control my music, make phone calls, and ask for various pieces of information. The Echo Auto connects to my phone via Bluetooth and my phone is connected to my cars system via a USB-C cable. The only complaint I have, and it’s most likely down to my phone (so could affect you as well), is I find I have to open the Alexa app when I get into the car for the Echo Auto to see the app and establish the connection. It’s not a major inconvenience, but it’s annoying none the less.
Overall, I found the Echo Auto far more useful that I thought I would. Being able to drive up to my house and ask Alexa to turn on the lights, or, when the weather changes, boost the heating so it’s warmer when we get in, has been great. For the price of 50 pounds from Amazon, if you’re in the Alexa ecosystem, it’s a great addition to have with you on the road.