If you want some smart home management, you may be looking at the Amazon Echo or the Amazon Echo Plus. Obviously one has more features than the other, but are they features that you actually need?  In our Echo plus review we are also taking into account it’s price and its usefullness. Here’s what you need to know about the Amazon Echo vs. the Echo Plus.

What’s the Difference Between the Two?

The Amazon Echo Plus is about $50 to $100 more than the Amazon Echo and came out about a month before the Amazon Echo 2nd Generation. Thus, the technology was actually released at the same time, with one model being the more premium version of the other, rather than one model having older technology.

The most obvious difference between the two versions are that they both look very different. The Echo Plus has a sleek and modern appearance, while the Echo 2nd Generation actually comes in more colors. The Echo Plus is somewhat standardized with black, silver, and white, while the Echo 2 has a number of colors: Charcoal, Heather Gray, Oak Finish, Sandstone Fabric, and Silver Walnut Finish. These colors are also patterns, giving the Echo 2nd Generation a unique, textured appearance.

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But, of course, the technology is also different.

What are the Benefits of the Amazon Plus?

The Echo Plus is Amazon’s most high-end Echo speaker and includes most of what you need to start a smart home. With it, you can start buying Philips Hue bulbs and other products without the need for a stand-alone hub (which you’d need if you bought any other Echo).

  • Comes with Bluetooth capabilities. The Echo 2 is able to be connected wirelessly, but it does not have Bluetooth. The Plus can be connected to devices, such as smartphones, through Bluetooth signals.
  • Integration with Phillips hue bulbs and other smart home features. The Echo Plus can be used as a smart home hub, whereas the Echo 2 would need a separate hub to use smart home capabilities.
  • Automatically detects smart home products. This includes sprinkler systems, smart locks, light switches, and more, all of which can be directly controlled via voice through the Echo.

When Should You Get the Echo?

Both of the Echos use Amazon’s Alexa service and both of them feature attractive, shifting colors. The Amazon Echo Plus is mostly useful for those who want to make a smart home. If you aren’t interested in smart home features (or already have a different smart home hub), you don’t need those features in the Echo. The Echo 2nd Generation will be more than enough to give you all the features you need without having to add on the price. Of course, you may also want the appearance of the Amazon Echo Plus, which is another thing entirely.

Many security systems already come with smart home features built-in, so you aren’t going to need to buy an Echo Plus unless you are trying to create this type of system. On the other hand, if you want to develop your own smart system from the ground up, Amazon Echo Plus is an attractive and convenient hub. Both Amazon Echo types will pull their data from the same place and essentially perform similarly until you need to network them.

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And there are also other types of Echo that you might want to consider, such as the “dot” which is an affordable device with stripped down features, or the video-enabled version which has a visible screen.

Are you trying to integrate your systems? Before you start, you should contact a security company to make sure you can integrate all of your home’s essential services into one. Contact the experts at Protect America for more information.