Innovative, technically mature, easy to use, smart, responsive and powerful; According to the manufacturer, these attributes characterize the “Echo Auto” smart speaker system that the retail giant Amazon manufactures. And that's not supposed to be surreptitious advertising. But we just wanted to have another option alongside Huawei's HiCar, MirrorLink, Android Auto / Android Automotive, Apple CarPlay & Co. take a closer look. The highly functional technical gadget connects via Alexa The smartphone app is uncomplicated with Alexa, so that the services of the voice assistant can be used flexibly in the car on demand. Numerous vehicles can be retrofitted with the smart tool using a 12 volt connection or a USB cable for power supply. "Echo Auto" is then coupled to the smartphone via a conventional Bluetooth connection. Older vehicles can also be easily retrofitted. Use via the aux-in input is also possible.
The manufacturer's recommended retail price for the device is around EUR 60. The heart of the technically quite sophisticated, compact smart speaker system is a total of 8 powerful microphones for the best possible filtering of any background noise in the vehicle. This construction serves as an essential building block for the highly reactive system, which, in direct comparison to voice assistants from the Apple and Google brands, is bound to an above-average responsiveness. “Echo Auto” therefore reacts immediately and at lightning speed to questions and instructions from users. Equipped with more than 10000 different technical skills, the practical tool impresses with a variety of product features for maximum user-friendliness, pronounced multifunctionality and convenient handling that is fun and intuitively designed.
Tool for maximum user friendliness
Thanks to its high level of multifunctionality, “Echo Auto” gives you the option to have news read aloud at any time, for example, to find out about current gasoline prices and the parking situation in the area, or to have traffic jam reports announced. At the same time, “Echo Auto” allows access to the individual digital calendar, facilitates payment via PayByPhone, the playback of entertainment formats such as music and audio books and enables uncomplicated navigation (provided that location access is activated) via the map material of the smartphone. If desired, the smart voice assistant from Amazon can also be conveniently linked to the control of garage doors and smart home systems, as we know in principle from Alexa at home.
If required, the system is compatible with streaming services such as Spotify and Amazon Music. “Echo Auto” is characterized by the first-class handling of the device via precise voice control, which is why the gadget reacts ideally to all commands. The excellent voice control provides holistic relief for the driver. In practice, without having to take your focus off the road or your hands off the steering wheel, important instructions can be conveniently passed on to the innovative device. Designed to be user-friendly, “Echo Auto” connects to the individual user account of the smartphone to which it is linked. Costly reconfiguration of the device is therefore no longer necessary. Anyone who uses modern infotainment systems in the car uses “Echo Auto” primarily to be able to access the advantages of Alexa skills.
not suitable for every vehicle
However, certain vehicle models are generally not compatible with the device. Accordingly, corresponding vehicles are over one AUX connection to connect to the tool, if it is available. The ranks of such cars include the vehicle types Audi A 3 (2003-2013), BMW 3er (2004-2013), Honda Jazz from 2001, Volkswagen Up 2011+, Volkswagen Polo from 2009, Toyoto Prius from 2015, Fiat 500 from 2007, Opel Corsa (2014-2019), Infiniti Q 60 from 2017, Infiniti QX 60 from 2017, Jeep Wrangler 2007+, Fiat Punto (2005-2018), Ford Fiesta (2008-2019), Honda Accord (2013-2017), Honda Civic (BJ 2011-2015), Honda CRV (2011-2016), Honda HR - V from BJ 2015), Toyoto RAV 4 (2012-2018), Toyoto Corolla (2012-2018), Toyoto Camry (2011-2019 series), Skoda Citygo from 2011, Seat Mii from 2011, Mazda 3 (2008-2013), Mazda CX 9 (2006-2015), Mercedes C 200 (2014+), Nissan Leaf (2017+) and the Nissan Qashqai (2007+).
the most important features summarized:
- 8 microphones are integrated
- Use only with a smartphone with a data plan
- Name: "echo auto" by "Alexa"
- serves as a voice assistant
- Power supply via USB connection or 12V adapter
- Pairing via smartphone via Bluetooth or via the aux-in input
- all Alexa skills can be used (quiz duel, Akinator, Amazon Music, Spotify, Audible audiobooks, news)
- no vehicle settings can be made
- the microphones can also be used as a hands-free function
- Smart home controllable from the vehicle
- the system can be activated using the voice command "Alexa"
- Cannot be used independently due to a lack of data transmission
there is also some criticism
- Device is superfluous if you can pair the smartphone directly with the system of the car anyway for music streaming and Co.
- Device is superfluous if you already use Android Auto, Apple CarPlay or something else
- Music streaming sometimes requires a lot of data traffic via the data volume from the cell phone
- Data passports, StreamOn Music from Telekom do not work
- to use it must remain in the AUX setting of the radio
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