What you need to know
- The Echo Flex (opens in new tab) is now available and shipping for $25.
- Echo Flex accessories like a nightlight and motion sensor are also now available for $15 each.
- The Echo Flex is a plug-and-play Echo for any space and is the cheapest Echo device.
Amazon announced dozens of new products back in September at its annual event, and arguably the most interesting (and the one that flew the most under-the-radar) was the Echo Flex (opens in new tab). The Flex is a smart plug-like device that you can plug directly into any standard wall socket for instant access to Alexa services. It has a small microphone and speaker so you can communicate with the virtual assistant, and it comes with a USB port so you can charge smaller devices (like your smartphone) through it.
The Echo Flex is conceived as a device that you would put in transitional spaces where you might want Alexa functionality but where traditional Echo speakers don't make sense, like a utility/laundry room, garage, guest bath, or hallway. You can also enhance the functionality of the Echo Flex with a motion sensor (opens in new tab) or nightlight (opens in new tab) attachment, each available separately for $15 per attachment.
The Echo Flex is the cheapest Alexa-enabled speaker that Amazon makes, and when paired with these attachments, it is arguably the most functional. These should sell like hotcakes during the holiday season, and will make great stocking stuffers or white elephant gifts!
Alexa flexes hard
Plug and play Echo device
The Flex is Amazon's way of putting an Alexa speaker anywhere with a plug, letting you ask for things in your hallway or wherever a speaker can't fit.
Echo light up my room
A bright idea for Alexa
This attachment is a great complement to the Echo Flex to light up darkened hallways, garages, or utility rooms.
Put your Echo to work for you
Attach this motion sensor to your Echo Flex to trigger your smart lights or other Alexa routines with just your movement.
Jeramy is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he's defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.
I got mine last week, and so far, so good. The speaker quality is definitely not great, but that's my biggest complaint, and even there, it's perfectly fine for the intended use: being a digital assistant. This isn't meant to be a primary source of music, and that's fine-- this is in the same room as my Google Home, and so far, it's vastly superior in hearing the wake word and doing what I ask. That room also happens to have a 5-speaker surround sound system, so when I do throw a party and want music, that's as simple as running a cord from the Flex to the receiver. (Or as complicated as using the Bluetooth adapter hooked up to the receiver, and finally figuring out how to adjust the Bluetooth delay on my speaker groups) I would fully expect that the next version of this has built-in outlet switches, because that seems like an obvious play-- I had to move a lamp to plug this in, and it would have been great to both not have to move the cord and get voice control over the lamp.
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