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Amazon Echo Auto Review 2023 [2nd Gen]: Vroom, Alexa!

In Amazon Echo by Tim Brennan

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Synopsis: In this article, I pledge to do my very best to give you my initial thoughts on the new Amazon Echo Auto that was just released in September of 2022, including the pros and cons. My goal? To help you discover how Alexa can help you on the road ahead this year and beyond.

The Bottom Line First

echo auto reviewNow in its long-awaited 2nd Generation, Amazon’s new Echo Auto brings location-aware Alexa to your car at a very affordable price.

With Alexa as your co-pilot, things you are already doing in your car become simpler.

Echo Auto can help you navigate to your destinations, listen to your favorite music and podcasts, play audiobooks, make calls hands-free, as well as help you find the nearest gas station or taco stand. Alexa can even help you manage your calendar, to-dos, and shopping lists—all from the comfort of your driver’s seat.

Plus, with the latest “2nd-Generation” Echo Auto just released, you get a better form factor and some cool new capabilities. These include a slim new design, a five-microphone array so Alexa can hear you over music and road noise, as well as a fast car charger so you can charge your phone using the device. 

Let’s get into some of the pros and cons of this Alexa-on-the-road device.


Echo Auto Pros and Cons

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The new device is so much improved over the 1st Generation I can’t, in good faith, recommend the Gen 1 Echo Auto anymore.  However, you may be able to get Echo Auto Gen 1 a serious discount. For now, you can request that Amazon email you when the new Echo Auto 2nd Gen is available in the weeks ahead.

I’ll include an image of the new 2nd Gen Model below.

echo auto 2022 2nd gen

Amazon Echo Auto 2022 [2nd Gen]

Here are the pros and cons as I see them right now:

Pros

  • Hands-free navigation
  • Voice control of your tunes, audiobooks, and more.
  • Remote control of smart home (heat, lights, garage doors, locks, thermostats, and other devices)
  • Full Alexa capabilities in your car: to-do lists, calendaring, telephone calls, drop-in, games for the “kids,” and more.
  • Plug and play set up using the Alexa app.

Cons

  • Could eat into phone data plan for those without unlimited data.
  • Could be distracting for some drivers.

📚 Related: Echo Auto 2nd Gen Vs 1st Gen


9 Ways Echo Auto Makes Driving a Gas

So what would an Echo Auto review be without letting you know what this bad larry can do? In this article, I’ll take a deeper dive and review nine ways the Amazon Echo Auto can make your drive easier, more interesting, and more fun.

Here they are:

Of course, I’ll go into each of the nine ways in more detail below. Read on, fellow commuters!!

While I don’t have the latest-Gen device in hand just yet, I’ve done a TON of research since this was announced, and I have enough experience with Gen 1 to feel I can cover the bases for you here.

I even wrote up a review that compares Roav Viva vs Echo Auto last year if you are interested in learning more about Roav Viva.

That said, here’s my UPDATED Echo Auto review for this year.

But first, a flashback!

Here is Amazon announcing the Gen 1 Echo Auto [along with other products] at their “surprise event” last September.

While the company shied away from talking about the general availability of Echo Auto, the scuttlebutt out in the media is that it will be available in time for the holidays. We shall see.

But let’s put a pin in that for now and let me get into the meat of my Echo Auto review. Here’s how it can help you own the road this year.


Way #1. Navigate Like a Boss

amazon echo auto map

I’m terrible with directions. I couldn’t find my way out of a paper bag. Before the advent of GPS, I would often travel back to my old neighborhood the next town over so I could use that launch point for my latest excursion. [Yep, THAT bad.] Needless to say, GPS navigation apps like WAZE, Google Maps, and, yes even Siri have been a godsend.

That is AFTER you get them open.

Admit it you’ve been here too. Fumbling around to get these apps open and ready for the state when they are ready for your input can range from annoying to infuriating to downright dangerous.

And what’s up with that Waze screen that makes you lie and say you’re a passenger before you can get directions??

echo auto for navigation

I always feel dirty after pressing that Passenger button.

Yeah, I’m trying to drive someplace right now, so let’s open up the !@#$&* app already!

Echo Auto promises to solve all this by providing real on-demand voice-controlled directions.

By the way, if you have a major crush on Alexa like me, don’t miss this post  17 Awesome Amazon Echo Device Gifts.


Way #2. Make Phone Calls and Send Texts

Despite laws and hefty fines, the number of people I still see texting and driving regularly makes me nuts.

make phone calls and send texts

Grr. See?

Hopefully, Alexa can help make this ancient history with simple hands-free texting capabilities that actually work.

But what about phone calls?

My little Mercedes wagon has a voice recognition setup that will let me make calls over voice. Aren’t you impressed?

I’m not. It is so over-the-top complicated and unreliable that I never use it.

With some very basic setup to integrate Alexa with your address book, Alexa will let you make phone calls and send text messages using your voice simply. And Amazon continues to add more skills to Alexa on the communications front. For example, you can use drop-in calling to let your family know you are on your way home from work.

Thanks to our friends at Old Nerd Reviews for this helpful unboxing video on the 1st Gen product:

I’m an old nerd too, man! I love the SpongeBob pillows!


Way #3. Get Your Tunes How You Like ‘Em

If you own an Echo device, you know that Alexa has got some mad skills in the music department.

There’s Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Spotify. But did you know that support for Apple Music is now available too?

No question. Alexa can help you get your groove on as you ease on down the road.

Hmm. Now I wonder if there is a skill to control my satellite radio.  I will look into this and report back.

Either way, this will be one of our favorite ways to use Amazon Echo Auto on the road in 2022.

Already have one or more Echo devices at home? Then why not give Alexa a little bling? Check out   Best Amazon Echo Show and Dot Accessories.



Way #4. Enjoy a Relaxing Audio Book

enjoy a relaxing audio book

In addition to tunes, with an Audible subscription, you can listen to the world’s largest collection of audiobooks.

echo auto review

This can be great for that long commute to and from work. Even better, it can help calm your nerves when you are stuck in the bleeping Boston traffic that is enough to get out of the car, jump and down on the roof, and scream to the high heavens ????.

[Yup, me again! Boston traffic is the worst!]

Don’t have Audible yet? Click here to see Amazon’s latest subscription offer.


Echo Auto Review Way #5. Receive a Warm Welcome Home

receive a warm welcome home

With Alexa and Echo Auto at your fingertips—um, I mean voice—the world is yours.

You can combine Alexa with your smart home devices to create “routines” that are anything but…routine.

For example, you could have a welcome home routine that automatically detects when you are within a few hundred feet of home, turns on the outside lights, opens the garage door, turns on a few lights in your home, and even tunes the TV to your favorite local news program.  Pretty cool.

Similarly, you could have a “Workday” routine that automatically locks your door, opens the garage door, closes your smart blinds, and turns on your daytime lighting configuration. Also cool.


Way #6. Manage Your Busy Calendar

manage your busy calendar

I don’t know about you, but I’m terrible at managing my calendar. I too often caught up in what I’m doing [read blogging] and neglect to take the time to properly manage my schedule. If only I had a secretary…but wait! I can get Alexa to manage this for me. Problem solved!

With Alexa as my assistant, I can ask her to schedule meetings, set appointments, send reminders, and more. And with web calendar integration, I have full access to my calendar from anywhere with a web browser, including my phone. Shoot. I have a dentist’s appointment tomorrow at two.


Way #7. Find Nearby Restaurants and Services

Almost out of gas?  No problem. Just ask Alexa the location of the nearest and least expensive gas station. Hungry for a huge cheeseburger with extra pickles and a side of fries? [Oh wait that’s me…]

beef bread bun

Alexa’s got’chu.  Just ask her the location of the nearest hamburger joint. You’ll never run out of gas—or go hungry—again.

On to our Echo Auto Review Way #8.


Way #8. Food Shop from the Road

I do some of my best thinking in my car.  When I think, I usually get hungry!  Lucky for me, I will soon be able to use Alexa lists to add items to my shopping list while I drive.

I recently set up Peapod integration, so now I just ask “Alexa, Ask Peapod to add Powerade Zero to my shopping cart.”

And she does it!

Speaking of lists, my car seems like a great place to put Alexa to work on my good old to-do list as well.

“Alexa, add work on my To-do List to my To-Do List.”

“OK. ”

Okay!

Did you know that you also food shop right from your refrigerator door with the Samsung Family Hub?  Check out my Samsung Family Hub Smart Refrigerator Review.



Way #9. Get All The Other Cool Alexa Stuff Too

Of course, you get all of your favorite Alexa skills too.

This includes weather reports, news, alarms, games, jokes, Find My Phone, food delivery, and on and on.

Yay.

So that wraps up my Echo Auto Review 9 ways that Alexa can help. What do you think?  Is there anything I missed?

Let’s take a quick look at the set up process next. The 2nd Gen set up process is pretty much the same as the 1st Gen with Alexa doing most of the heavy lifting.


Setting Up Your New Echo Auto

Automate Your Life does a nice job with this video walkthrough that includes how to set up a new Echo Auto.

Thanks for pausing the game, man. Very helpful!


Echo Auto Review: Fun Fact

Just out of curiosity, I Googled “Echo Auto Review” shortly after Amazon announced this product waaaay back in September of 2018.

At the time, there were 92 Google results with these words in the title.  Yes, that number indicates the number of pages with those words in the title from the entire Internet.

I tried again a little over one year later, and Google spit back 15,100,000 results.

Last year I tried again and there were and  52,900,000 results!  And again just now there were a whopping 65,700,000 results.

How’s that for crazy popularity?

That said, I feel pretty special that you discovered MY review in that FAT haystack.


Discover What Alexa in Your Car Can Do For You

Now that Amazon has announced a worthy update to Echo Auto, I can’t wait to get my hands on mine to do some testing.

My guess is that it will be available soon. So why not head on over to Amazon and reserve yours now?

You’ll be glad you did.

You can click on the button below to learn more about Echo Auto at Amazon.


Amazon Echo Auto Review – Your Turn

So what do you think of my Echo Auto review and ways you can use it this year?

Are you clear on what Echo Auto can do to help you own the road?

Do you get the information you were looking for? Are you as excited as we are about putting Alexa in your car?

Please leave a comment below and let me know.  I would love to hear from you.

Until next time, be careful out there!

Beep beep !

Here is the email that I received from Amazon after I requested the update on this device.
echo auto email


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