Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2019
I received one of the invitation only Echo Autos in August 2019 and tried it out for two weeks before it stopped working and potentially damaged my car. I was very excited about this product and I already have multiple Fire Sticks, a Fire Cube, an Echo Dot, and an Echo Show 5. I thought it would be neat to have Alexa in my car as well for voice control, music, info, and directions, but it was anything but. I received the unit and the vent holder and set it up in my car. I have a 2012 Toyota Camry and already have and use Entune on my Iphone. The setup was relatively easy, I walked through the addition of the Echo Auto on my Iphone Alexa App and did an all Bluetooth setup so I did not need the audio jack. I also realized it used the Bluetooth for the Mic in the car so I didn’t need to even have the Echo Auto on the vent mount, I was able to keep it in a compartment in my dashboard that had a USB connection. I was really pleased that it was tucked away and a very clean install and I was excited to try it. Initially it seemed great, I was able to ask to give me the weather report, general info, specific songs, and I was impressed it integrated with my Entune system and displayed song titles and Artists during music playback. Alexa seemed relatively responsive and was consistently doing what I asked. There was however a bit of a lag when switching tracks, much more so then when I used Pandora or Apple Music directly on my phone, but for me it seemed worth the trade off to be able to play anything on demand with voice control.

As I used it over the next two weeks I started noticing some serious issues that started to sour me on the device. After a day or so I started getting random drop outs of the Bluetooth connection, sometimes when the car started up and sometimes mid drive. I would call out “Alexa” and just get no response or her voice coming out of the Echo Auto unit itself. I disabled the Entune app on my phone, thinking there may be a conflict, but it did not have any effect on the issue. Alexa would stop responding completely or say “There is a problem connecting with the Bluetooth, please check your Alexa app for more information”. Now when driving this would be dangerous so I would pull over and check the app, it would be running but have a message I had to click to “Confirm I was a Passenger”. Once I clicked that the connection in most cases would be restored, but other times it would not, and I would have to open the Bluetooth settings on my phone and click the Echo Auto device listed to reconnect. In other cases I would have to do all of those steps to no avail and actually restart the car to get it to work again. This could be potentially dangerous if a driver had to fiddled with all this while driving, the whole point of this is to be hands free and provide less of a distraction, but if Alexa gets disabled that seems to go out the window.

I put up with the issues and kept trying to see if there were any other features that may justify the hassle of the dropped connection. I tried some other features like directions, but it only gives you a selection of possible locations and when you choose one it sends the directions to your phone. It doesn’t have turn by turn directions, and again directs you to have to interact with your phone to bring up directions. I also noticed that if I lost internet connection, Alexa would stop working and not even be able to control music that was on my phone. At this point I was ready to disconnect it, but I had a long drive coming up the next weekend, and thought I could give it a real extended road test on that drive. That was not to be, two weeks after I installed it, and the day before I went on that trip I turned on my car and got the following message on my car’s screen “Power consumption of USB device too high. USB device will therefore be turned off.” I immediately unplugged the Echo Auto device and the message disappeared. I did try to plug it in again but the message would appear soon after, and Alexa was completely unresponsive. Rather than risk damaging my car’s electrical system I unplugged the Echo Auto for good.

I so wanted this device to work as an extension of Alexa in my car and add features to my aging Entune system in my car, but it is nothing but a hassle. The built in system in my 8 year old car already does 90% of what I would use the Echo Auto for, with less of a delay and much greater reliably. It adds another point of failure and possible dangerous distraction that simply makes this a unnecessary and useless product. I am also extremely concerned about the message I received on my Car’s Entune system, and I don’t know whether my particular unit was defective, or if it just started drawing too much power. Either way I wasn’t taking any chances, so the unit and mount are being returned to Amazon for a refund.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Unnecessary, Buggy, Dangerous, and Defective Product
By CureMode on September 30, 2019
I received one of the invitation only Echo Autos in August 2019 and tried it out for two weeks before it stopped working and potentially damaged my car. I was very excited about this product and I already have multiple Fire Sticks, a Fire Cube, an Echo Dot, and an Echo Show 5. I thought it would be neat to have Alexa in my car as well for voice control, music, info, and directions, but it was anything but. I received the unit and the vent holder and set it up in my car. I have a 2012 Toyota Camry and already have and use Entune on my Iphone. The setup was relatively easy, I walked through the addition of the Echo Auto on my Iphone Alexa App and did an all Bluetooth setup so I did not need the audio jack. I also realized it used the Bluetooth for the Mic in the car so I didn’t need to even have the Echo Auto on the vent mount, I was able to keep it in a compartment in my dashboard that had a USB connection. I was really pleased that it was tucked away and a very clean install and I was excited to try it. Initially it seemed great, I was able to ask to give me the weather report, general info, specific songs, and I was impressed it integrated with my Entune system and displayed song titles and Artists during music playback. Alexa seemed relatively responsive and was consistently doing what I asked. There was however a bit of a lag when switching tracks, much more so then when I used Pandora or Apple Music directly on my phone, but for me it seemed worth the trade off to be able to play anything on demand with voice control.

As I used it over the next two weeks I started noticing some serious issues that started to sour me on the device. After a day or so I started getting random drop outs of the Bluetooth connection, sometimes when the car started up and sometimes mid drive. I would call out “Alexa” and just get no response or her voice coming out of the Echo Auto unit itself. I disabled the Entune app on my phone, thinking there may be a conflict, but it did not have any effect on the issue. Alexa would stop responding completely or say “There is a problem connecting with the Bluetooth, please check your Alexa app for more information”. Now when driving this would be dangerous so I would pull over and check the app, it would be running but have a message I had to click to “Confirm I was a Passenger”. Once I clicked that the connection in most cases would be restored, but other times it would not, and I would have to open the Bluetooth settings on my phone and click the Echo Auto device listed to reconnect. In other cases I would have to do all of those steps to no avail and actually restart the car to get it to work again. This could be potentially dangerous if a driver had to fiddled with all this while driving, the whole point of this is to be hands free and provide less of a distraction, but if Alexa gets disabled that seems to go out the window.

I put up with the issues and kept trying to see if there were any other features that may justify the hassle of the dropped connection. I tried some other features like directions, but it only gives you a selection of possible locations and when you choose one it sends the directions to your phone. It doesn’t have turn by turn directions, and again directs you to have to interact with your phone to bring up directions. I also noticed that if I lost internet connection, Alexa would stop working and not even be able to control music that was on my phone. At this point I was ready to disconnect it, but I had a long drive coming up the next weekend, and thought I could give it a real extended road test on that drive. That was not to be, two weeks after I installed it, and the day before I went on that trip I turned on my car and got the following message on my car’s screen “Power consumption of USB device too high. USB device will therefore be turned off.” I immediately unplugged the Echo Auto device and the message disappeared. I did try to plug it in again but the message would appear soon after, and Alexa was completely unresponsive. Rather than risk damaging my car’s electrical system I unplugged the Echo Auto for good.

I so wanted this device to work as an extension of Alexa in my car and add features to my aging Entune system in my car, but it is nothing but a hassle. The built in system in my 8 year old car already does 90% of what I would use the Echo Auto for, with less of a delay and much greater reliably. It adds another point of failure and possible dangerous distraction that simply makes this a unnecessary and useless product. I am also extremely concerned about the message I received on my Car’s Entune system, and I don’t know whether my particular unit was defective, or if it just started drawing too much power. Either way I wasn’t taking any chances, so the unit and mount are being returned to Amazon for a refund.
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