Published On: Tue, Jul 9th, 2024
Technology | 2,502 views

Amazon revives popular Echo speaker but this time it’s less creepy

Amazon has resurrected one of its discontinued Echo speakers with the Alexa voice assistant onboard, and this time it’s less creepy than the versions that went before it. That’s because the new Echo Spot, which is designed to be used as an alarm clock device, doesn’t have a camera on it – an addition to the original version that people found creepy.

The wholly redesigned new Echo Spot is a “smart alarm clock” that is “built for the nightstand” according to Amazon, with several colours to choose from and many customisable clock faces to pick.

Like with any other Alexa device, you can use your voice to set alarms, view the weather, play music or identify a tune, and listen back through the built-in speaker. You can use four alarm chimes or wake up to your favourite tunes.

The little Echo Spot can link to Amazon Music, Apple Music and Spotify depending on your audio allegiances, plus you can get it to play podcasts and audiobooks too.

“Customers care about the way they wake up in the morning and go to bed at night and the all-new Echo Spot will transform the way they start and end their day,” said Eric Saarnio, vice president, Amazon Devices International. “Thanks to customisable clock faces, personalised designs, new alarm sounds and colourful visual animations, Echo Spot is the best smart alarm clock designed for any bedside table.”

Amazon has quietly removed the camera from this new Echo Spot, which we think is a smart move. In fact, until today Amazon had actually not been selling any Echo Spot models, and this altered device is a reintroduction of the line.

The presence of a camera on a gadget that sits next to your bed was too much for technology editor Dave Snelling when he reviewed the original Echo Spot back in 2018.

“There’s plenty of people who feel uneasy about the camera in their laptops let alone the thought of one being installed in the most private room in your home,” he said.

“The question you’ll have to ask is, are you happy letting an internet connected camera into your bedroom … ?”.

When the original Spot launched in 2018, complete with camera, it cost £119. The good news is this less creepy new model benefits from six years of advances in tech, so we think it looks a lot sleeker and minimalist. It also costs £79.99, a nice price reduction from the first generation, in either Black, Glacier White, or Ocean Blue.

If you like the sound of the Echo Spot, you can pick it up for just £49.99 from today until the end of Amazon Prime Day, which confusingly runs over two days on 16 and 17 July.

“Echo Spot is available now in Black, Glacier White, or Ocean Blue for £79.99, but Prime members can get it for just £49.99 while stocks last, in celebration of Prime Day,” Amazon told us in an email.

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