Amazon Echo Spot: first look at the tiny device that wants to replace your Echo Dot

The Amazon Echo Spot was one of the more surprising reveals at Amazon's big Echo event, which saw a new redesigned Amazon Echo, a supercharged Amazon Echo Plus and the Amazon Show coming to the UK.

The Echo Spot is a cross between an Echo Dot and a smaller version of the Amazon Show. It's a device that is extremely versatile – so much that Amazon hasn't really badged what it is. It's a smart alarm, a device to read messages and make video calls... it's also lovely looking.

Spot as an alarm clock

Unfortunately we didn't get a full hands-on with the Amazon Echo Spot as the devices at Amazon's event were in demo mode, but what we saw was impressive.

Looks-wise, it's a little chunkier than your average smart camera. The screen is small, at 2.5 inches, but it's nice and bright. The design of the Spot is one of the best we've seen from Amazon, though. It's certainly something you won't mind having on show in your home... unlike the Echo Show.

The first demo we saw was the Echo Spot used as a smart alarm. You get the option to switch the faces of the clock, and there are a variety of faces on offer and a number of different alarms available. Once you're awake, you can use the Spot to get your daily briefing and it will also show off video. So, if you fancy watching a clip or two from, say, The Late Show (that was the demo we saw), then you can.

You can also read your messages on the screen and make calls. This is a new addition to Alexa in the UK that's been in the US for some time now. We saw a demo of someone making a call and it made so much sense – their face pops up on the screen and you can have a chat, much like FaceTime. 

Like the Echo Dot there's an integrated speaker but it's not the best. It's passable for things like chatting, but you may want to link up the Echo Spot to a better speaker system when you use it. 

Another way Amazon wants you to use the Spot is as smart cam monitor. We saw a demo where you could get a smart cam video link up on the screen –from a compatible smart cam – where it was streaming from a nursery. The stream on the demo was, again, clear and bright. 

Multiple Spots

That's the thing with the Amazon Echo Spot – much like other Echo devices, Amazon wants you to have a multitude of them in your home so you always have access to video chat no matter where you are. Essentially, they want the Echo Spot to replace the Echo Dot.

The Amazon Echo Spot is a little more expensive than the new Echo, though, and in turn much more expensive than an Echo Dot.

The addition of the screen means it's priced at $130, and it'll be out in the US in December. The UK will have to wait a bit, however – it won't be available until sometime in 2018.