Amazon launches Echo Flex in India

Our Bureau Bangalore | Updated on November 20, 2019 Published on November 20, 2019

Amazon Echo Flex

The Echo Flex costs Rs 2,999

Amazon’s Echo line-up of products, featuring smart assistant Alexa, is getting rather long as the company on Wednesday introduced the Echo Flex, a plug-in smart speaker, in India for Rs 2,999.

What is the Echo Flex?

The Echo Flex is a device that looks somewhat like an adaptor and plugs directly into a standard electrical outlet. It uses no wires or chargers. Once plugged in, turned on and set up using the Alexa app, Flex becomes a miniature Alexa speaker. The tiny size of the device makes it obvious enough that it isn’t meant for listening to music on, though it does play a song on voice command, but more controlling compatible smart home devices, such as lights. Amazon describes is as the most affordable way to voice control smart home devices and get help from Alexa in more places in the home.

The Echo Flex plugs into the wall where Amazon says it puts Alexa capability into places. At the same time, the Echo Flex also has a built-in USB-A port so the user can put it close to a table to charge a phone (7.5W) or other devices, using a single outlet.

Flex can be used to turn on lights with voice commands or control the AC if it is using a smart plug or is Echo compatible. It works with devices such as smart lights and plugs from brands including Philips, SYSKA LED, Oakter, TP-Link etc to bring in more devices into the smart domain.

The user can also make announcements on other Echo devices in the household, add items to a shopping list or check the latest cricket score.

Echo Flex also has a ‘microphone off’ button

Alexa’s voice and music, if requested, comes through clearly but because of its small size doesn’t sound like a proper speaker. Like other Echo devices, a user can connect the Echo Flex to existing speakers using Bluetooth or a 3.5 mm audio cable for a higher audio output.

A warning however is that the Flex does not control the electrical output itself and cannot be asked to turn off charging on the phone or other USB device connected to the Flex itself.

“We are happy to introduce Echo Flex for users in India to access Alexa even more conveniently now from any room in the house. With its compact form, Echo Flex can be plugged in directly into an electrical socket to provide all functionalities of an Echo device,” said Parag Gupta, Head of Amazon Devices.

Echo Flex includes the same Echo privacy controls as other devices, but includes a microphone off button that electronically disconnects the microphone. Additionally, users can also view, hear, and delete their voice recordings at Alexa Privacy Settings or in the Alexa app at any time.

Echo Flex is available for pre-order starting today and will ship next month. The new Echo Flex joins Echo Dot, Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Show, Echo Show 5, Echo Studio, and companion Echo devices (Echo Sub, Echo Link and Echo Link Amp) to create the Echo family of devices.

Published on November 20, 2019
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