By now, everyone knows about Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot, but a newer addition is the Echo Flex. Despite how the name sounds, it’s not some type of flexible cable or cord version. However, it’s a more convenient option for adding Alexa to your home or adding on to your current Echo setup.
What Is the Echo Flex?
Before diving into the benefits, you should know what this Echo device is. It’s a smaller device that plugs directly into an outlet. There aren’t any cables to deal with. Think of it as a nightlight, though it has much more functionality than just a light. It includes a speaker to let you talk directly with Alexa.
However, that is the one major con for the Flex. The speaker isn’t meant for music. While it’ll play music, it won’t sound great at all. You can connect it to another speaker via Bluetooth or by setting another preferred Echo speaker in your home for playing music.
1. Convenient to Add Almost Anywhere
Unlike the Echo and Echo Dot, the Echo Flex doesn’t require a shelf, table, or counter to sit on. This means you can add it to any outlet, even if there’s nothing around it. This makes it more convenient to add to your home exactly where you need it, such as in a hallway, bathroom, or any area where you just don’t have room to set a device.
2. Charge USB Devices
Since you’re giving up an outlet, the Flex comes complete with a USB port to easily charge your USB devices. Of course, if you’re charging devices, you may want to have a table nearby to lay your phone, tablet, or other device on while it charges.
3. Add Attachments
The Echo Flex’s USB port has a dual purpose – attachments. Customize your Flex by buying the add-ons you want most. At the time of writing, Amazon currently has three different attachments that can plug directly into the USB port:
- Smart Clock – Set the brightness, use it to see your set timers in action, and switch between 12- and 24-hour formats.
- Smart Night-Light – Control the brightness, color, and when it turns on and off.
- Motion Sensor – Trigger Alexa motion-activated routines.
All of these are available for $14.99 each. You can only use one at a time. However, you can customize each individual Flex, such as adding a night-light to a hallway or a clock to the kitchen.
The Echo Flex is just $24.99, and as with most Echo products, Amazon regularly runs promos with cheaper prices. For instance, there was a $15 discount when you buy two promo at the time of writing. The Echo Dot is $49.99, though regular promos make it around the same price as the Flex, especially if you buy more than one.
If you’re looking for a more affordable entry point for using Alexa in your home, the Flex is the cheaper option. Or, if you already have an Echo or Echo Dot, it’s cheaper and more convenient to add Flex devices to other areas of your home to make it easier to use Alexa anywhere in your house.
5. No Cables to Deal With
If you hate trying to hide cables, it’s tricky to find the perfect place to add your Echo device. You have to make sure the cable’s long enough to reach or try to bunch up excess cable for shorter distances. With the Flex, there aren’t any cables to deal with at all. As an added bonus, if you have small kids or pets, there aren’t cables for them to mess with, and the Flex can cover an outlet, protecting curious little fingers.
Overall, the Echo Flex is a great addition to the Echo line. While it won’t make your music sound great, you can still hear Alexa clearly throughout a room. Plus, the convenience alone makes it a good way to expand Alexa through your home.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/ReferenceMan
Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.
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