Best Amazon Alexa Devices of 2020

There are so many to choose from that it’s overwhelming.
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Alexa lovers everywhere, pay attention. Out of the many options, we’ve picked the four best Amazon Alexa devices for your home (and car).

Keep reading to get the skinny on which devices we picked and why we think they’re the best.

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PSA
This piece is solely about devices with Alexa included. We also have a guide on Alexa-compatible devices if that’s more what you want.
Best Amazon Alexa devices of 2020 comparison
DeviceImagePriceLearn more
Echo Dot$49.99View on Amazon
Echo Show 8$129.99View on Amazon
Echo Flex$24.99View on Amazon
Echo AutoEcho Auto, Black, Side View$49.99View on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 07/20/2020 5:15 MST) Full disclaimer

Echo Dot: Best smart home hub

We recommend Echo Dot for a connected home.

The simple Echo speaker still holds up in the smart hub market. Of the basic Echos, the Echo Dot is our favorite for home automation.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Adorable
  • Different colors
  • Different types

Cons

  • Average sound

What we like

What’s not to like about the Amazon Echo Dot? It’s small, it’s cute, and it does everything a full-sized Echo does. That means that it can do the following, among other things:

  • Turn the smart lights on and off
  • Lock and unlock the front door smart lock
  • Change the smart thermostat temperature
  • Change the smart TV channel
  • Call your mom
  • Play music
  • Play games
  • Tell jokes
  • Tell riddles
  • Tell stories
  • Read recipes
  • Remind you of things
  • Wake you up with alarms
  • Alert you with timers
Echo Dot price and features
ModelImagePriceColorsLearn more
Echo Dot$49.99Charcoal, Heather Gray, Plum, SandstoneView on Amazon
Echo Dot with Clock$59.99SandstoneView on Amazon
Echo Dot Kids Edition$69.99Kids Blue, Kids RainbowView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 07/20/2020 5:15 MST)

As if the regular Echo Dot isn’t enough, you can also get upgraded versions.

There’s the Echo Dot with Clock, which sounds gimmicky at first. After all, it’s not that hard to ask Alexa for the time. But take it from us: it’s seriously nice to have that digital display. If you jerk awake in the middle of the night, disoriented, the time’s automatically displayed on your nightstand.

There’s also the Echo Dot Kids Edition. You’ll pay a premium for this Echo’s built-in parental controls. But for the concerned parent, it could be worth it for the restricted access, time limits, and transparent activity tracking.

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Echo Glow
We love the Echo Glow, the mysterious-looking, color-changing orb that’s actually a smart lamp. It’s designed specifically for children, so it’s the accessory to pair with your Echo Dot Kids Edition.

See the Echo Glow

What we don’t like

We thought of one thing we don’t like. The Echo Dot is smaller than other Echo versions, so it lacks hard-hitting bass capabilities. The sound isn’t bad, but it’s not good enough for some audiophiles.

If sound is a priority for you, we recommend an Echo Plus or Echo Studio.

Echo Show 8: Most versatile

If you want everything an Echo Dot can do plus browsing, streaming, and video calls, try the Echo Show 8.

With the Echo Show 8, Alexa can help you watch Amazon Prime Video, read recipes, video call friends, and visit some websites.

Pros

  • Large screen
  • Video call camera
  • Different types

Cons

  • No YouTube app

What we like

Those of us used to devices with screens may feel slightly disconnected from the screenless Echos. Plus, there are things you just can’t do without a visual display.

Enter the Amazon Echo Show. It has all the Echo Dot’s features and even more. The screen lets you video chat with friends and family, watch movies and TV shows, read recipes instead of having them read to you, browse the internet, and pore over new colors for your LIFX bulbs. You can even look at your security camera’s feeds.

Our default recommendation is the newest Show, the Echo Show 8.
Echo Dot price and features
ModelImagePriceColorsLearn more
Echo Show 8$129.99Charcoal, SandstoneView on Amazon
Echo Show 5$89.99Charcoal, SandstoneView on Amazon
Echo Show$229.99Charcoal, SandstoneView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 07/20/2020 5:15 MST)

We’ve included a few versions of the Echo Show in the table. The Echo Show 8 is the latest and greatest, but you can also get some of the same functionality with a Show 5 or regular Show. It depends on how badly you want the most up-to-date version.

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Echo Show prices
With Echo Shows, the newest and best models aren’t necessarily the most expensive. We suggest comparing model prices before buying if you have a specific budget.

The regular Echo Show also has a bigger screen than the other two models, so if you want a lot of real estate, that’s the way to go.

What we don’t like

A lot of the best, most entertaining content is on YouTube. Because Google owns the Tube of You and jealously guards it for its Nest Hubs, you can’t ask Alexa to pull up a YouTube video.

You can type the YouTube site into the search bar and navigate it that way. It just takes away a lot of the convenience.

Echo Flex: Best budget pick

Flex is the best way to get some Alexa in your life without breaking the bank.

An Echo Flex gives you the delights of an Echo in a cheaper, miniature form.

Pros

  • Compact design
  • USB port
  • Different types
  • Lower price tag than other Echos
  • Optional nightlight or motion sensor

Cons

  • No accessories included
  • Meh design

What we like

Not everyone wants to drop $50+ on an Echo. If you’re one of those people, you could try getting an Echo Flex. It usually runs at about half the price of a Dot.

The Flex is essentially a small, square Echo that plugs into a standard electrical outlet. It works as a smart home hub and connects with other Echo models for drop-in calls or announcements. It also has some cool Flex-only features, like a USB port. You can use the port to charge your phone or watch or to plug in an accessory.

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 07/20/2020 5:15 MST)

As you can see, Amazon sometimes bundles the Flex with THIRDREALITY motion sensors or nightlights. They plug straight into the USB port, which is nice, but you have to pay extra for the bundle.

What we don’t like

We wish the nightlight and motion sensor were included in the base price for even more savings. We also don’t love the visual design of this thing. It’s a little ugly, especially contrasted to the Dot.

Echo Auto: Best mobile option

Take Alexa on the road.

If you’ve ever been sitting in your car and thought, “Man, I wish I had Alexa with me!” then you’re in luck with Echo Auto.

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Mobile
  • Eight microphones

Cons

  • Limited compatibility
  • Costs as much as Echo Dot

What we like

Meet the only Echo made for the inside of a car, the Echo Auto. This little thing is designed specifically for commutes and road trips. It has eight microphones so Alexa can hear you over the engine, and its Bluetooth audio plays through your car’s speaker system.

With Echo Auto, you can multitask while you drive.

With your Echo Auto along for the ride, you can multitask while you drive. You can make calls, check the news/weather/traffic, play music, and get dinner recommendations while still keeping your eyes on the road.

What we don’t like

The Echo Auto won’t work with all cars or even phones. Check before you buy so you don’t end up with a product you can’t use.

It also has limited functions compared to other Echos. It can’t be used for home automation, which is fine, but it’s still as much as the full-featured Echo Dot. We guess you’re paying a novelty tax for the convenience of putting it in your car.

Other products we like

Here are some runner-ups for best Alexa products.

Let’s look at a couple of other Amazon Alexa products we love.

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Amazon Fire TV Cube

Alexa-controlled TV? Yes, please. This little cube can access multiple streaming services and act as a smart home hub.

Our take on the Fire TV Cube

A Fire TV Cube brings you 4K Ultra HD, and it’s voice-controlled. You can ask Alexa to change the channel or turn off the lights—all without lifting a finger.

If you enjoy watching television, the Fire TV Cube is an easy way to incorporate Alexa into your TV room. Its price is on par with the Echo Show, and you can even get it bundled with a Food Network Kitchen subscription. Bon appétit!

Echo Loop

The Echo Loop is essentially a ring with Echo built in. In some contexts, it’s useless, but it can be a valuable tool in the right situation.

Our take on the Echo Loop

One of our video reviewers, Steve, swears by the Echo Loop. He likes that you can use it to quietly talk to Alexa anywhere in your house.

Our other reviewers also think the Echo Loop is an amusing concept, and it can come in handy when you aren’t near one of your stationary Echos. But it’s really only useful in your home. It won’t work when it’s not Wi-Fi connected, so you can’t travel with it.

Essentially, if you’re looking for a pocket-sized Echo, this won’t work. But if you don’t want to buy a large Echo for every room in your house yet still want unlimited access, a Loop is a perfect fit.

The Echo Loop is water-resistant. You can wear it while washing your hands.

Just know that you have to request an Amazon invitation to try the product since it’s not fully on the market.

Recap: Which Amazon Alexa device is best?

We recommend any of these devices.

Let’s walk through our top Alexa picks once more.

Echo Dot: Best smart home hub—If you mostly want to manage your smart home, go with the Echo Dot. You’ll get full voice control over your system in a tiny, round package.

Echo Show 8: Most versatile—Whether you want to video call, watch something, find a new recipe, or just unlock the door, Echo Show 8 is here for you. But you’ll have to take a few extra steps to watch YouTube.

Echo Flex: Best budget pick—If you don’t want to spend much to get Alexa, the plug-in Flex is inexpensive. It doesn’t look like much, but it gets the job done and has a USB port for add-ons.

Echo Auto: Best mobile option—Technically your only mobile option, but it’s the perfect way to get on the road with Alexa. Just make sure your car and phone are compatible with the Auto.

Is your house ready for Amazon Alexa?

Alexa can do all kinds of things for you—but only if she stays connected. To get full Alexa access, you need a reliable internet connection and a good phone plan.

Recommended internet plans

If you’re just using Alexa as a voice assistant, basic internet coverage should do ya. But if you want to use smart products of any kind in tandem with your smart speaker, you’ll need something better.

Resident internet expert Catherine McNally says, “The more devices and people you have using the internet, the more speed you need.” So with each person and each device using your internet connection, you’ll want to increase your Mbps.

Here are some higher-speed plans we recommend.

Recommended internet providers for Alexa
ProviderMonthly priceDownload speedsLearn more
Xfinity Internet$19.99$111.95*151000 MbpsView Plans
Verizon Fios$39.99$79.99200940 MbpsView Plans
AT&T Fiber$35$60100940 MbpsView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.
w/Auto Pay + taxes. Equipment charges may apply.
For the first 12 months plus taxes and equip. fee.

Recommended mobile plans

You need to use your phone to set up Alexa and download new skills. And if you have Echo Auto, your device will rely on your phone to work correctly.

Check out some mobile plans that might give you the boost you need.

Amazon devices FAQ

How does Amazon compare to Google?

Alexa and Google Assistant each have their strengths and weaknesses. They’re similar, but not exactly the same.

You can learn more by reading our Amazon Echo and Google Home reviews.

How do I set up my Amazon Alexa products?

You start by plugging in your device and downloading the Alexa app. Then you follow the app instructions for a successful installation.

We’ve created a guide that talks more about setting up Amazon devices.

Should I get a Fire TV Cube or Fire TV Stick?

Amazon’s Fire TV devices have similar functions. However, the Fire TV Cube is more of an Echo device with streaming capabilities. You can use it to control your smart home, not just your TV. That isn’t true of the Stick.

For that reason, we would recommend the Cube over the Stick in most circumstances.

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