In the Echo lineup of smart speakers, Amazon has added yet another Alex device, Echo Flex Plug-in, a plug-in smart speaker that’s meant for smart home control and plugs directly into the wall socket without any wires and chargers. Here’s what you need to know about the Echo Flex Plug-in smart speaker in our review.
The Echo Flex is essentially an Alexa device which means you can control via voice commands. However, in contrast to Echo Dot, the Echo Flex Plug-in is much more compact and portable, and wire-free as well.
The key feature of the Echo Flex is that it plugs in directly to the power outlet removing any need of cables and adapters, it has a built-in adapter. Having said that, the Echo Flex can be brought into any room, all you need is a wall socket to plug it in.
Design & Features
Speaking of the design, the Echo Flex is a square block that looks like an adapter. On the front side, you will find an LED light with an Alexa button to wake the Alexa without voice, dual microphones, a mute button to mute the mics, and a tiny loudspeaker. The LED light is not as appealing as the multi-color light ring on the mainstream Echo devices.
The Echo Flex doubles as a charger, the bottom side carries a USB Type-A port which can be used for charging USB devices such as smartphones, Bluetooth speakers. The Flex can be used as a charger for your phones as well as a USB charger for any USB chargeable device.
The USB port on the Echo Flex can also be used for connecting any add-ons made for Flex such as a motion sensor or night light. More accessories might be available in the future as time goes on.
The output for the charging is 5V and 1.5A which offers you a 7.5 Watts power output. You might want to avoid this charging if you want your smartphone to be charge faster.
The right side has a 3.5mm output for connecting it to a larger speaker or your home theatre. I think this is a great feature and you don’t end up buying another Alexa device if you already have a better speaker system, you just need to connect to the Flex via a 3.5mm and use aux input or line-in on your speakers. Amazon says the Flex is not designed for music playback, it’s only meant for voice commands for smart home control.
The Echo Flex Plug-in can be controlled via the Alexa app on your smartphone which is available on the Google Play Store and App Store. Once plugged in, you will need to set up the Echo Flex. On your smartphone, turn on GPS and Bluetooth, open the Alexa app, head to the settings menu, select Add Device and select Amazon Echo. Swipe to the bottom and select the Echo Flex and follow instructions.
The Alexa app is at times laggy and responds slower, it’s better if you use voice for controlling the device rather than from the Alexa app.
Like other Echo devices, you can simply ask Alexa to ask about the Weather, book an appointment, play your favorite songs, as well as control using smart home commands like turn on the lights, turn on the AC, lock the doors, discover my devices.
Pricing & Verdict
The price for the Echo Flex is Rs 2,999 and it’s available on Amazon India. The Flex is currently the cheapest Echo device with a compact design and offers a wire-free experience. The speaker is good for voice commands and smart home control, not meant for music playback. You can make use of the 3.5mm jack to connect it to larger speakers. In addition to that, you get a USB Type-A charging port to charge your USB devices.
Overall, the Echo Flex is portable and an in-expensive Echo device for those who use it for voice commands only. You should stick with the Echo Dot unless you connect the Echo Flex with a traditional speaker for a complete experience.
- Compact & Highly Portable
- 3.5mm Audio Output
- USB Type-A For Charging
- Loudspeakers Not Meant For Music