Amazon Echo Auto review
Quick verdict: If you're already heavily in the Alexa ecosystem, the Echo Auto makes it simple enough to get it running in your car – but it's beset with a lot of software bugs that make it distinctly second-rate.
- Adds Bluetooth even to older cars
- Good microphone pick-up
- Wide range of Alexa skills on offer
- Alexa drops connectivity all the time
- Not that useful for navigation functions
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Voice assistants are everywhere these days and Amazon's Alexa is one of the more flexible options when you're installing any of a number of Echo speakers around your home for smart home purposes.
But what about smart cars? That's where the Amazon Echo Auto comes in, adding its Alexa assistant to your car, even if it's an older model lacking inbuilt Bluetooth connectivity. The hardware itself is quite decent for the money, but sadly the whole Alexa experience comes crashing down thanks to software quirks that Amazon has had quite a bit of time to sort out already.
- Simple in-car install process
- Choice of Bluetooth or 3.5mm output
- Most Alexa skills aren't that handy in a car environment
- Poor navigation
- Lots of data dropouts for no reason
Should you buy the Amazon Echo Auto?
It's hard to recommend the Amazon Echo Auto beyond the very small niche of folks who already have a significant investment in the Echo ecosystem and who desperately want the same voice assistant running in the car. Or those who want and need a voice-assistant-guided Bluetooth bridge for their older vehicles.
Even within that group, you're looking at a lot of frustration and "dropped" connections until Amazon sorts out its server issues and improves the software that the Echo Auto relies on.