Echo plus camera seems like an equation for success. Not so fast.

The newly introduced Amazon Echo Spot — a miniature take on the video-integrated Echo Show — is meant to act as a smart alarm clock. However, early reviews of the Alexa-integrated Spot have noted the addition of a camera is basically useless.

According to reviews of the Spot, while the “clock” itself is beautifully designed and functional, the camera feels both creepy and unnecessary.

Because the Spot has a small, sleek design, its futuristic look makes the video function a bit of nuisance to use, according to one review. For example, calling friends and family on a tiny display — however cool it may look — isn’t functional since you can’t see them well enough.

This defeats the way Amazon wants the camera feature to be used. According to the company, “Spot users to make video calls Call almost anyone hands-free, or make video calls to family and friends with an Echo Spot, Echo Show, or the Alexa App. Instantly connect to other Echo devices around your home.”

Furthermore, in theory, the Spot’s non-intrusive presence is meant to have it fit on any nightstand or table in your home. However, like with most new technologies, a constantly “watchful” feature like the Spot’s camera is already creeping early users out.

As for the rest of the Echo Spot’s features, which seem to match those of its big sister the Echo Show, have been met with praise. These include full connectivity with Amazon’s Alexa voice service, with commands that range from seeing the weather forecast to calling an Uber. Echo Spot also allows streaming audio with Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Audible.

Perhaps like the Show did with its video display, the Spot will have to prove that a camera-integrated Alexa product is indeed useful.


If you liked this article, check out this video of a levitating clock.