Which Amazon Echo device should you buy in 2021?
Posted on
18th January 2021

Life used to be so simple, there were only a few Echo devices to choose from and it was pretty simple to work out which one to pick up.  

These days there are so many it can be quite tricky (and that’s not even considering the multitude of third-party devices on the market. 

We make games for Alexa, so we’re pretty familiar with most of the Echo line-up by now, here are our favourites and what we’d pick up in 2021:

Echo Dot (4th gen)

At it’s cheap price (often on sale for £30/€30/$30) - the Echo Dot is a great entry point for those wanting to get started with smart speakers. 

Now in its 4th generation - this is the most popular device on this last by far, and the sound quality has really improved in recent years to make it a good bluetooth speaker in its own right for its price point. 

The Dot is equally as capable as it’s larger brothers at answering questions, setting timers, checking the weather, playing games (hopefully our ones) and managing smart home devices. 

If you’re looking for a speaker to blast the doors off at parties, or you really value a device with a screen - then perhaps consider one of the other Echo devices on this list, but for most people the Dot is a great place to get started with voice. 

Also consider the Echo Dot With Clock : If you want to pay a bit extra, you can pick up the Echo Dot with an LED clock on the side  - perfect if you want to replace a bedside alarm clock.

Echo Show 5

The Echo Show 5 is the next in line in terms of cost. It’s less than the fourth-gen Echo, yet has a five-inch screen and camera for video calls. It's a little small for watching videos or movies - but is a good option for a bedside table or in the kitchen. It’s great for playing our Alexa skills too!  Sound quality isn't as good as the Echo, or the Echo Show 8 and only has mono sound.

Essentially, it's a good choice if you have a tight budget but want an Echo with a screen and don't need music to sound amazing.

Echo Show 8

The older, more expensive brother to the Show 5 with an 8 inch screen and stereo sound. While it’s only slightly smaller than the 10-inch Echo Show, it’s far less expensive and features a physical camera shutter (great for privacy.)

It’s a great device if you don’t want to compromise on screen real-estate or audio quality and have a bit more to spend.

We’ll see when the Echo Show 10 launches how well it fits into the lineup, but for now it’s a fantastic all-round device that improves upon its predecessor the Echo Show 2.

4th Generation Echo

Amazon’s signature speaker shared the same spherical revamp with its baby brother the Echo Dot. We’re no audio experts, but the bass is great and it’s a big upgrade over the Dot. 

The Echo 4 now has the smart hub from the Echo Plus, rendering that model obsolete, yet costs the same as the Echo 3, making it great value.

Honourable mentions:

Echo 10:

The successor to the Echo Show 2 has only been released recently (at the time of writing) - but we’ll include it in this list when we can get our hands on one. 

Echo Studio 

Buy this one if you care about sound quality - it supports 3D audio and can play Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality Audio. It’s cheaper than the Apple and Google alternatives and can be paired with an Echo Sub. 

Amazon Echo Flex

The Echo Flex is a utility device designed to slot into a plug socket in areas where you only need basic audio - the garage, spare room etc. It’s probably best deployed as an extra, less power-consuming Alexa in your house to control your smart home devices.

Amazon Echo Auto

The Echo Auto is currently the only Amazon-built option for adding Alexa to your car. There are a few third-party options to consider though, including the Roav Viva.

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