Amazon’s Echo products are easy to understand. They are speakers, and you plug them in and talk to them. The
Echo Flex is pretty much just the plug part, although it does have a tiny speaker in it. It’s one of
fifteen Amazon products announced at an event at the company’s Seattle HQ.
Smart plugs exist to talk to your smart home devices like lights and thermostats. Without them, you can’t properly set up a home network of stuff. They let you link all your smart products together and in the case of the Echo Flex, even have Alexa built in.
The tiny mic and speaker on the Flex will be no match for full fat Echo speakers, but if you have smart lights for instance in a room where there’s no Echo device then it’s a small expense to pay to get voice command functionality in that room.
With Amazon’s Drop In tech built in it could be a way to speak to your kids’ Echo from the comfort of your garden room or announce that dinner is ready from the kitchen. There’s a USB port built in so you can charge your phone but there’s no full plug pass through.
A button turns the mic on or off like on other Echo products too. We’re not sure why smart plugs are a little more complicated to grasp than standalone smart speakers. Think of them as the glue of a large smart home set up.
Echo Flex price & release date
pre-order your Echo Flex from Amazon where it costs £24.99 / $24.99.
The Echo Flex is the first official Amazon smart plug and it’ll ship on 14 November.