Amazon Echo (3rd Gen) review: Undermined by its own portfolio1 min read . Updated: 03 Nov 2019, 08:13 PM IST
- The 2019 Echo offers better audio quality than those before it, but only by a small margin
- It is priced at ₹9,999
At some point in the life cycle of Amazon’s Echo devices, the company will have to discontinue some of these devices. The company now has the Echo Dot with Clock, the Echo (3rd Gen), the Echo Show, Echo Show 5, Echo Plus, Echo Studio, and the Echo Spot selling in India.
The Echo Spot seems to have been the first speaker to be discontinued in terms of updated versions, and if Amazon had to pick a second one the Echo would be our pick.
Now, that’s not because this isn’t a capable smart speaker, or that it’s overpriced. It just doesn’t seem to make sense in the portfolio anymore.
For instance, the 2019 Echo offers better audio quality than those before it, but only by a small margin. The bass response has visibly improved, but overall audio fidelity is not like audio focused portable speakers, many of which are being sold in this price range.
With that compromise in mind, the Echo Show 5 seems to make more sense to us. Because while you do miss out in audio capabilities, the screen on that device makes it much easier to use a smart speaker.
On the other hand, while the Echo now looks and sounds exactly the same as an Echo Plus, that one can also act as a hub for any zigbee-enabled Internet of Things (IoT) device. So, Amazon would probably benefit from making the Echo Plus its only mid-segment smart speaker instead.
Essentially, the sample size for people who need an Echo has decreased significantly. It’s not an entry segment smart speaker like the Echo Dot with Clock, it doesn’t have a display like the Echo Show 5, and it doesn’t have the Plus’ zigbee hub. The recently launched Echo Studio, of course, is the speaker Amazon has made for those who want good audio experiences.
In sum, as far as recommendations for a sub-10k Echo go, the Echo (3rd Gen) doesn’t seem to be the right answer anymore. Though the Echo isn’t a bad option, everything else seems to provide better value. So, why keep it on the market?
The good thing though is that it can do anything other Echo devices can, so you won’t lose anything if you buy the third generation Echo.