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Welcome. Today we are going to talk about Alexa, the intelligent virtual assistant compatible with the Echo line of devices, both developed by Amazon.
Alexa is also compatible with numerous smart devices such as light bulbs, switches, cameras and sensors. The most interesting thing is that you don’t need to pay for the virtual assistant’s support, you just need to have a device compatible with it. Want to know more and clear up all your doubts about this novelty? Continue with us.
- 1 Summary
- 2 The best Alexa: Our Picks
- 3 Buying guide: everything you need to know about the best Alexa
- 3.1 What is Alexa?
- 3.2 What are the communication features of Alexa?
- 3.3 Can I keep up to date with Alexa?
- 3.4 How to have a smart home with the help of Alexa?
- 3.5 How Alexa can help me in everyday life?
- 3.6 Can you ask Alexa to play music?
- 3.7 Is Alexa safe?
- 3.8 What else should I know about Alexa?
- 3.9 Which devices are compatible with Alexa?
- 4 Purchase criteria: How to compare Echo models
- You can purchase one or more Echo devices – same model or different devices – as they are compatible and can be paired via Bluetooth.
- With a device from the Echo line, you can control the devices of the smart home: Lamps, switches, surveillance camera, sensors, locks and more.
- Accompanying the device is a plug adapter and a quick start guide. All Echo devices come with a one-year warranty and technical assistance included during this period.
The best Alexa: Our Picks
Buying guide: everything you need to know about the best Alexa
A few weeks after announcing the arrival of Amazon Prime service in Brazil, Amazon took another step in its expansion in the country and brought us its virtual assistant Alexa, which understands and speaks Portuguese.
Alexa and the Echo devices – which support artificial intelligence – are designed to connect all aspects of your life. Want to learn more about Amazon’s artificial intelligence? Check out this Buying Guide.
What is Alexa?
Alexa offers features related to communication, information, entertainment and productivity. The software also controls the smart devices in the home.
What are the communication features of Alexa?
Simply sync your contacts with your Echo device (via the Alexa app) and request the call or message by voice command. In the case of text messages, you can ask Alexa to read or write them. Important: The contact must also use the app or have an Echo device.
Another interesting feature is Drop In, used to quickly connect to one or more Echo devices connected on the same network. You can send a notification to all devices at the same time.
Simply inform “Alexa, do Drop In on behalf of the device or in the environment“. You can also establish this communication through the app. Learn about the main advantages – and some disadvantages – of the service in the table below:
Can I keep up to date with Alexa?
Those who like sports will love knowing that Alexa summarizes the main news on the subject, informs you of the results of matches, date and time of upcoming games, positions in the table and much more. You can customise the news summary to follow your favourite teams.
You can also plan your day with the help of Alexa, just ask the weather forecast. Oh, and with the Echo Show 5 device you can access a full version of the weather forecast.
Another possibility is to ask about traffic conditions before you leave home. In the app, you must enter a place of departure and destination, save the settings and ask about the route by voice command.
Alexa also translates words or phrases in more than 50 languages – you can question the meaning or ask Alexa to tell you what the vocab or phrase looks like in another language. The artificial intelligence is trained to recognise different regional and cultural accents.
You will also have access to questions, answers, facts and trivia on various topics: general topics, calculations, definitions and spelling. Alexa also tells jokes and has its own personality and sense of humour.
How to have a smart home with the help of Alexa?
You can control numerous devices, including light bulbs, smart plugs, cameras, locks, sensors and more, via voice command (provided these devices are Alexa compatible).
To connect these devices is easy, just configure the device through the manufacturer’s app or website, open it on the same wireless network as the Echo device and connect them through the app or Bluetooth.
You can group these devices (provided they are compatible) and control them at the same time, always via voice command.
Tip: Update these devices whenever you’re prompted to do so.
See what you can control with Alexa:
- Lights: You can control smart lights remotely or by voice command. You can turn them on, off, adjust the intensity or change the shade – provided the device has these features.
- Smart Plugs: With smart plugs, you can turn ordinary objects into smart devices. In addition to turning these devices on and off, you can track electricity consumption through the Alexa app.
- Cameras: With the Echo Show 5, you can connect surveillance cameras, indoor or outdoor, and monitor the interior or perimeter of your home via voice commands.
You can check who is knocking on your door or if the baby is sleeping – yes, it works like a baby monitor – whether you are inside or outside the house (when you are outside use the app to access the images).
How Alexa can help me in everyday life?
Another option: ask Alexa to remind you of an important event or appointment and send a reminder to your smartphone. Other possibilities are to set up to-do lists and shopping lists. You can add or delete items.
In the day-to-day kitchen, you can also ask Alexa to request a timer, conversions and recipes.
Can you ask Alexa to play music?
You can also connect available Echo devices and create music playlists for various environments. You can swap different songs or enjoy the same songs in every room.
Is Alexa safe?
For example, your voice is only recorded and sent to the cloud after the device detects the activation word “Alexa”.
Such recordings can be deleted whenever you wish. It is also possible to deactivate the microphone and camera by pressing a button. Another possibility is to cover the camera with a cover integrated into the Echo Show 5.
What else should I know about Alexa?
The Alexa app is compatible with Fire Os, Android and iOS devices. It is also accessible through the web browser.
Which devices are compatible with Alexa?
- Echo. It is a reference when the subject is smart speaker. The device has two speakers with Dolby sound quality and equalizer controls, for that reason it can reproduce audio in 360º, with dynamic vocals and intense bass.
- Echo Dot. It has four long-range microphones, which enable you to communicate with Alexa from across the room. You can also connect the device to speakers via Bluetooth or 3.5mm audio cable.
- Echo Show 5. This is a device that is different from others as it features a 5.5-inch touchscreen with HD resolution. The device has a compact design that fits in any room of the house.
One of the advantages of buying a device with a screen is the possibility to integrate indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras and view the images through the device.
With the Echo Show 5 it is also possible to make video calls. The device is customizable, you can choose the clock face and use your favorite photos on the home screen.
The device has an integrated 1MP camera with HD resolution. You can turn off the internal camera and microphone by pressing a button, another possibility is to slide the built-in cover.
Purchase criteria: How to compare Echo models
All devices in the Echo range offer Alexa support and pretty much the same commands and features – with the exception of the Echo Show 5. However, there are some differences that may change your experience with the device, we’ve listed the main ones below:
- With or without screen
- Sound quality
- Device design
We will detail each of these topics throughout the section. By following these tips you will find the ideal device for your needs.
With or without screen
The Echo Show is the first device in the line-up to feature a 5.5-inch touchscreen with HD resolution. The device also features a 1MP camera with HD resolution and a 4W speakerphone on the back.
The device is ideal for those who have surveillance cameras in the internal or external areas of the house, as you can view the images through the device. Another possibility is to make video calls through the Echo Show 5. You also have access to multimedia content.
The devices in the Echo line are smart speakers, for this reason it is essential to evaluate the sound quality of these devices at the time of purchase.
The Echo is the one that stands out the most in this sense, as it has premium sound quality with 360º projection through two speakers: 3″ neodymium Woofer and a 0.6″ Tweeter. These two speakers have Dolby sound quality.
The Echo Dot has only one speaker with 1.6″ and the Echo Show 5 has a 4W speaker. It is worth mentioning that all models can be connected to external speakers via a 3.5mm cable or Bluetooth connection.
You can find Echo devices in different shapes and sizes. The Echo has a cylindrical shape just like the Echo Dot, the difference between them is that the former is larger and the latter is compact.
The Echo Show, on the other hand, resembles a tablet, with a rear speaker stand.
Another difference is the tone, there are options in black, gray, white or blue (only the Echo Dot). The choice is related to personal preference, but the lighter the device, the more it will attract attention.
Of course, in addition to all the criteria already mentioned, the price of each needs to be taken into account when choosing your Echo. Obviously, the models with more features end up costing more.
Therefore, the Echo is the most expensive of the family, followed by the Echo Show 5 and the Echo Dot. You should weigh price against other criteria before deciding which Echo is right for you.
Tip: You can install the purchase in up to 12 interest-free installments on your credit card.
(Source of image highlighted: Disclosure / Amazon)