Amazon Echo Plus Review
To be perfectly clear, the Echo Plus is an incredible Echo, but just an okay hub. If you don't need bells and whistles like Z-Wave support or complex automation settings, the Plus is a great way to upgrade your Echo and get a little more functionality.
We recommend the Echo Plus for people already familiar with Amazon Echo products who want more smart device options. Its Zigbee integration and Alexa interface make the Echo Plus a easy way to directly control more than just WiFi and Bluetooth devices.
The Amazon Echo Plus connects to the internet via WiFi and supports WiFi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee devices. It also works with Nest and Sonos products, and it can follow IFTTT triggers.
- The Echo Plus directly implements commands for your smart devices. In other Echo products, Alexa can do this with certain devices, but for most, it needs a bridge, hub, or app to serve as the middleman/translator.
- You get the voice-activated Alexa built-in. Instead of having a separate hub and another Echo product, this one device can perform your smart home automation.
- The app is easy to navigate and use. We wish "Routines" were in the "Smart Home" section, but they're right next to each other in the menu and both have great interfaces.
- You can set up voice-profiles for different people in your home. This allows you to set scenes and receive information specific to you, like calendar reminders.
What Could Be Better
- The new "Routines" section in the app can only trigger smart home devices and provide news, traffic, and weather updates. This means you need to specifically ask Alexa to start streaming music or perform skills, they can't be bundled into a routine.
- Amazon still hasn't figured out how to provide great sound quality in their Echo products. Luckily, there is a 3 mm auxiliary jack in the back of the Echo Plus for a hardwired connection to a better speaker.
- For certain slightly complex automations, like picking a specific color for your smart lights or setting intricate schedules, you'll need to use your smart devices' apps and/or bridge (e.g. Philips Hue Smart Bridge). This is unfortunate for the more tech savvy user, but we know this can be remedied with software and firmware updates.
Warranty & Customer Support
The Echo Plus comes with a one-year warranty, but up to three additional years can be added onto your purchase. Amazon's support team is highly responsive and efficient at dealing with issues.