Updated 8/23/19 – our Echo Auto finally arrived! We’ve completed our initial tests, which you can now see below.
Alexa in the Car
Amazon Echo AutoThe Amazon Echo auto is a new addition to the Echo family. Now, users can benefit from Alexa in their car, as she can virtually act as your co-pilot. The Echo auto is controlled by your voice, just like all Echo products, and can play music through your car’s speakers, read news to you, open garage doors, act as a GPS (mapping system), set reminders, and more. The Amazon Echo Auto is currently available on an invite only basis, but we expect it to be more broadly available soon.Check Price
- Control your car, home, and all Alexa enabled devices on the go
- Has the ability to hear you over loud noises, such as your A/C, music, and road noise.
- Users have hands-free control over a ton of different features.
- Uses data from your smartphone. Depending your data plan / smartphone, this could be problematic for some users.
Amazon Echo Auto Design
The Amazon Echo Auto looks to have quite the compact design. Although this item has not yet been formally released by Amazon (still an “invite only” product), it has a design and usability that makes it feel just like other Alex enabled devices.
Here are some of the commonalities we see with the Echo Auto:
The Echo Auto uses a blue light bar to let you know when it is listening and responding to you. Additionally, there is an action button and mute button on the top of the Echo Auto, which is the same design utilized by the 1st generation Echo and Echo Plus.
RELATED – See our Echo Plus review here
The only other items located on the top of the Echo Auto is an 8-microphone array, which is designed to hear you from all angles of the car (and over the top of car / road noise).
How does it get power?
Along the side of the Amazon Echo Auto is a Micro-USB power port, which can plug into your vehicle’s power ports. Once your car turns on, the Echo Auto will power up.
Is the Echo Auto noticeable?
The Echo Auto is surprisingly small. It easily fits in the palm of your hand, on your dash, center console, or even in a cup holder.
Amazon includes a magnetic mount that attaches to your vent. So that’s probably the ideal location, but it’s small enough to sit in several places in your car.
Size & Dimensions
As noted above, the Amazon Echo Auto is not a large device. It sits at 3.3″ long, 1.9″ wide, and 0.5″ tall. The size allows it to easily fit on your dash, console, or on the included air vent mount.
- Length – 3.3″
- Width – 1.9″
- Height – 0.5″
- Weight – 1.6 oz (45 grams)
Overall performance is excellent.
The Amazon Echo Auto works exactly like any other Echo devices. Plug it in, sync it to your account, and then start talking to Alexa.
That’s about it.
Here’s some of the things you can do with Echo Auto:
- Hands-free voice control
- Stream music
- Use as a GPS / locator
- Set location-based routines
- Control your smart home items (like Nest and Ecobee smart thermostats)
- 50,000+ skills
All in all, you can expect to see the Echo Auto act in a manner similar to all other Echo products offered by Amazon. The skill set is the same as most other Echo products.
Is it Bluetooth compatible?
The Amazon Echo Auto is indeed Bluetooth compatible. If your vehicle supports Bluetooth, the Echo Auto can connect to the Bluetooth through the Alexa app on your smartphone.
On the other hand, if your car does not support Bluetooth, you do have the option of connecting the Echo Auto to your car via an auxiliary cord. The Echo Auto contains a 3.5mm audio output, which is where the auxiliary cord will plug in.
RELATED – Read our Echo Sub review (for even better music control at home)
What all is included with the Echo Auto?
Within the box, included is the:
- Echo Auto
- Air vent mount
- Power adapter
- Micro-USB cable
- Auxiliary cable
- Quick start guide
Everything you need to get this device up and running is included with the purchase.
Usability was exactly what we expected and hoped for. It was a mirror to other Echo devices we’ve used in the past.
Let’s take a look at the set up:
- Plug it in
- Mount it to your dashboard
- Link it to your phone / car through the Alexa app
It took us about 5 minutes to install the hardware, plug in, and sync to our phone. Unsurprisingly easily.
Once you have the device set up, you can begin using it whenever you’re in your vehicle.
What can you do with Echo Auto?
All the same stuff you can do with any other Echo device. Here are some of the things we tested and what we experienced:
- Told Alexa to play specific playlists and songs in Spotify
- Turned lights on at our home so we didn’t have to walk into a dark house
- Turned the AC up a few degrees as we were leaving and down when we started driving back home
- Made phone calls (though it did kick those back to our phone for the actual call, I need to play around with the settings more and enable the Alexa to manage mic and send the audio through the car’s speakers)
- Use other Alexa skills to enable other apps and integrated devices
What can’t it do?
Currently, timers and alarms are not supported on the Echo auto. It’s unclear if they will be supported in the future. Thanks to Modern Castle user Warren for bringing that to our attention!
Echo Auto a Good Value?
In a word, yes.
Like other Echo devices, it just works. Plug it in, sync it up, and you’re good to go.
Having Alexa in your car is cool as is, but the fact that you can control so much more than just your music and news is extremely satisfying.
This is basically the only device of its type (that we’re aware of). It’s great to have an assistant on the go that works as seamlessly as the Echo Auto does.
All things considered, it’s a great value and a great addition to most cars.
Amazon Echo Auto Specifications
Below is a table showing the full list of specifications of the Amazon Echo auto:
|Specifications||Amazon Echo Auto|
|Type||Car Virtual Assistant|
|Cordless||Cordless speaker operation, but requires power cord|
Who Should Buy the Amazon Echo Auto?
The Amazon Echo Auto is one of the coolest Echo products, in our opinion. It’s easy to install, integrates seamlessly with the rest of the Amazon Alexa app, and so far the usability experience has been great.
I would recommend the Amazon Echo Auto if you’re looking for the following features in a car virtual assistant:
- Want to have Alexa in your car – By adding the Echo Auto to your car you’ll have the option of speaking to Alexa directly from your vehicle. Once mounted on your dash, you can utilize all of her skills and features by voice.
- Want to have hands-free access to tons of Alexa features and skills – As a voice controlled device, the Amazon Echo Auto gives you completely hands-free control over your music, GPS, news updates, and many more impressive skills offered by Alexa.
- Like the idea of connecting your car to your smart home – Although this Echo Auto is designed for your car, it is a part of the Echo family which means you have the option of controlling your smart home items through your car (when within reach).
For more information on the Amazon Echo auto, see here.
- August 23, 2019 – Updated with real world tests, our own photographs, and our initial thoughts based on our experiences.
- November 15, 2018 – Initial version of the page was published.
Alexa, Now In Your Car
The Amazon Echo Auto is the first Echo device designed for your car. It took us about 5 minutes to install on the air vent and sync with our smartphone. Controlling Echo Auto is as easy as any Alexa devices. Simply say “Alexa” and then say what you want to do. Was a great addition to the car and let us more easily play music, make calls, and control our other smart home devices. A great value, especially at its current price.