The latest Echo device from Amazon isn’t a smart speaker or a smart screen. It’s a clock.
You’d typically expect the next sentence to be “but this ain’t no ordinary clock”, especially with the word “Echo” in its name. But the truth is that for the most part it is an ordinary clock: there’s no microphone, no speakers and no Alexa virtual assistant hidden inside. Fortunately, unlike Jeff Bezos’ last big clock purchase, this one won’t set you back $42,000,000.
So what makes this an Echo-branded product at all? It works in tandem with your existing Alexa-based setup, featuring 60 LEDs to keep track of multiple timers. Once paired to an Echo device, you can talk to it via your smart speaker or screen, with commands like “Alexa, set an oven timer for 30 minutes” and “Alexa, set a pan timer for 20 minutes.” The Echo Wall Clock will light up and keep track of all your timers, without getting confused.
Considering its lack of built-in Alexa – or wooden cuckoo to pop out every hour – it’s somewhat pricey for a clock, coming in at £29.99. Still, if you find yourself constantly burning things in the kitchen, it might be worth an investment when it’s released on August 6. Or you could just try making less ambitious recipes: say what you like about beans on toast, it’s very hard to get wrong.
Remember, the Echo Wall Clock won’t work without an Echo speaker or screen, so you need to factor that in, if you’re tempted. If you’re yet to start your smarthome journey, be sure to check out our list of the best smart displays to get you on your way.