Amazon has added yet another Echo device to the already rather extensive line-up of Echo speakers, displays and accessories. It is called the Echo Flex, and it does take some time to wrap one’s head around what this really is, and what can you do with it. This is what Amazon calls a “plug-in” and is exactly what the name suggests—a plug that, well, plugs into any of the wall sockets in your home. It is priced at Rs 2,999 and the versatility is what will define whether it is really useful for you or not. You can preorder the Echo Flex now and the deliveries start on December 10.
The biggest difference between this and most other Echo devices has to be the lack of wires—since it plugs directly into the socket. And it can do pretty much anything that the Echo Dot would do for instance—listen for “Hey Alexa”, let you control the smart home gadgets with voice, do Announce messages to other Alexa speakers at home, hands-free calls to your friends who use another Echo device, tell you the news and play music, to name a few. This also has a USB-A port, rated up to 7.5-watts, for charging devices such as phones, tablets and even powering your portable speakers, for instance. Our customers are looking for more options on where they can place Echo devices across their homes. We heard them. With its compact form, Echo Flex can be plugged in directly into an electrical socket to provide all functionalities of an Echo device,” says Parag Gupta, Head of Amazon Devices.
The most interesting bit surely has to be the 3.5mm jack, for audio out capabilities, in case you want to connect a larger speaker for music playback. The Echo Flex itself has a ting 0.6-inch audio speaker, but we suspect that won’t really be much for music playback. Amazon says the Echo Flex supports the same set of Wi-Fi networks as other Echo speakers, which means the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks are compatible. The convenience aspect is ticked off—you can simply unplug and plug this anywhere in your home, as long as the socket is well within the range of the home Wi-Fi network.