Amazon Echo, the e-commerce site's ambitious, but flawed voice-controlled Bluetooth speaker is now available for pre-order in the US. The device had a soft launch earlier this year, and was only available by invite only. After a few months and some much-needed improvements to the Alexa-powered device, that barrier to entry has finally lowered.
If you live in the US, Amazon is now accepting pre-orders for the device, which runs for $180. No word yet on an international release, but we've reached out for a statement.
The idea of an intelligent Bluetooth speaker that can connect you to the vast selection of goods and services that Amazon offers is one that's admittedly pretty tempting to buy into. But should you? It depends.
The price has dropped $20 since its early 2015 introduction. Also, Echo's internal AI, named Alexa, (think Siri) is getting smarter and more capable by the day. It's much improved from the aforementioned soft launch, the intelligent personal assistant can now set alarms, recite scores and schedules for your favorite sports team and can even control some connected home tech with nothing but your voice. If this all sounds great, you'll love the Echo.
On the other hand, the Bluetooth speaker lacks mobility, as it needs to be tethered to the wall at all times by a power adapter. But if that's the price to pay for a speaker with voice-powered smarts, then we're totally alright with that.
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