Smart Home

This smart wall clock works with Alexa—but do you really need it?

This isn't your grandfather's clock

Amazon's Echo Wall Clock  is a companion device for Echo speakers that can help set visual timers and reminders. Credit: Amazon

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It seems like just about everything works with Alexa in some form or another, and the Echo Wall Clock is no exception. This timekeeper is Amazon's latest attempt to make everyday products easier to use—and it kind of succeeds at doing that.

When using the clock, you can set multiple timers and reminders, and, instead of using your Amazon Echo speaker to keep track of how much time is left, you can see how much time remains when you look at the analog clock. That's because the Echo Wall Clock, which retails on Amazon for $29.99, has 60 LED tick marks that light up to show you how much time is left.

How to set up the Echo Wall Clock

set up
Credit: Amazon

It takes several minutes to get the Echo Wall Clock up and running, and you'll need an Echo speaker nearby to do so.

The Echo Wall Clock is probably one of the easiest Amazon Echo products I’ve ever set up. It runs on four AA batteries, which are included with your purchase. However, since Alexa isn’t built into the clock itself, you’ll need an Echo speaker to set up and control the hangable timepiece, like our favorite Echo speaker, the Echo (third-generation).

Once the batteries are placed in the back of the clock, all you have to say to your Echo speaker is, “Alexa, set up my Echo Wall Clock” and it will immediately begin pairing. (See? It really is that easy.) Amazon recommends placing the clock within 30 feet of an Echo speaker for optimal use. The downside here is that you can only use one Echo speaker to control the clock. If you have multiple Echo speakers in your home, the others can’t be used with the Echo Wall Clock.

There’s a status light on the front of the Echo Wall Clock, which turns and blinks a variety of colors depending on what’s happening. When the light pulses orange, that’s how you know it’s in pairing mode. Then, when it syncs to solid blue, that means the clock is done pairing.

Overall, the pairing process took several minutes for me. The light began flashing blue because the clock was installing software updates and syncing to the correct time. The status light on the Echo Wall Clock will pulse yellow when a notification is received (much like your Echo speaker). It will also alert you when the batteries start to die by blinking red once—and blinking three times if an error occurs.

The box also includes a drywall screw and a drywall anchor so you can hang it up on the wall.

Ways to use the Echo Wall Clock

cooking in kitchen
Credit: Amazon

The Echo Wall Clock can simultaneously handle multiple timers and reminders.

I placed the Echo Wall Clock in my kitchen, where I figured it would get the most use. Working from home, I use my kitchen to prepare just about every meal. Oftentimes in my case, I’m whipping up multiple meals to accommodate the bellies of the three other people in my family. And, as you can imagine, it can be easy to forget how long the chicken nuggets have been in the oven and how much time is left on my risotto. You get the picture.

My oven only has two timers, and while I sometimes use my smartphone or other smart speakers to keep track of it all, it still isn’t always easy to manage. Amazon’s Echo Wall Clock provided an easy way for me to visually keep track of it all, so I don’t overcook dinner.

There are plenty of other ways to use the Echo Wall Clock, too. If you have kids, the Echo Wall Clock can be used to set timers for reading, homework, TV, time spent on tablets, and more. Or, if you’re working out at home, you can use the clock to set timers for however long you’re completing a certain exercise. It’s also a great way to get a quick clean of the house done or remind yourself to flip the laundry if you can’t hear your machine’s timer dinging in the garage or laundry room.

The Echo Wall Clock can also be used for reminders. For example, you could say, “Alexa, remind me to pick up the dog from the groomer at 2 p.m.” When it’s 2 p.m., all of the LED lights outlining the clock face will flash, in addition to the reminder that plays from your Echo speaker.

The Echo Wall Clock's design

mickey mouse
Credit: Amazon

Aside from black and white, the Echo Wall Clock also comes in a Mickey Mouse design.

While the 10-inch Echo Wall Clock lends itself to an expensive-looking sleek and modern design, the quality of the clock actually feels a little cheap, like it’s made of flimsy plastic. However, since the clock just hangs on the wall, the rickety construction probably won’t be much of an issue since there’s no reason to touch it. And, considering that it’s under $30, the quality lines up well with the price. There’s also a Disney edition of the Echo Wall Clock, with Mickey Mouse front and center on the clock face.

One thing about this clock that really stood out was its silence. If you’ve ever owned a wall clock or any sort of analog clock, then you know that the persistent ticking sound can be truly bothersome overtime. Luckily, the Echo Wall Clock does not produce the annoying ticking sound.

However, just be careful you don’t accidentally touch the clock hands. I happened to do this while fumbling around with the clock and the big hand fell off. I was able to press it back on and it functioned just fine, but just a word of caution.

How easy is it to use the Echo Wall Clock?

At the time of publication, the Echo Wall Clock does not work with other Amazon products like Fire TV Cube, Fire TV, Fire Tablets, Echo Dot Kids Edition, or Amazon Tap. We recommend pairing this with the best Echo speaker, which happens to be the Echo (third-generation). However, aside from the Echo Dot Kids Edition, you can use any Echo speaker to control the Alexa-compatible clock.

The Echo Wall Clock works best for timers 60 minutes or less. When I set a timer for 90 minutes, the tick mark above the number 12 lit up. I then proceeded to set two additional timers—one for four hours and another for two hours. However, there was no change to the clock face. The same tick mark was still illuminated, and I had no idea which timer it was keeping track of or how much time remained.

During the final minute of the timer, the clock counts down, with all of the tick marks lighting up until the time is up.

There’s not really enough space on the clock to allow for timers over an hour, so hopefully, in future versions of the Echo Wall Clock, if there are any, a small digital clock will be added to the face to accommodate for this.

Once the timer goes under the 60-minute mark, the tick marks light up and you will be able to see how many minutes are left. During the final minute of the timer, the clock counts down, with all of the tick marks lighting up until the time is up. And, of course, you can always ask Alexa how much time remains on a specific timer. When the timer is up, your Echo speaker makes the announcement—not the Echo Wall Clock. To shut the timer off say, “Alexa, stop the timer.”

Echo Wall Clock privacy concerns

Alexa doesn’t live inside of the Echo Wall Clock, so you don’t have to worry about the timekeeping device listening to your private conversations or recording audio without your permission.

The best way to protect yourself is to adjust the settings of your Echo speaker in the Amazon Alexa app.

However, since the clock does require an Echo speaker to work, there are some steps you can take to safeguard your privacy at home. The best way to protect yourself is to adjust the settings of your Echo speaker in the Amazon Alexa app. Unless you have one of Amazon’s Echo smart displays, like the Echo Show 8 or Echo Show 5, you can shut off the mic by pressing the mute button on the top of the speaker. For screen-enabled Echo devices, there is a shutter and mic shut-off switch on the top of the smart display.

Additionally, you can turn on audible alerts. This is found in the Settings area of the Amazon Alexa app and be used to know when your Echo is listening beyond just the indicator light (the Echo will chime when it thinks you’ve said the wake word).

Even though Bloomberg recently reported that Amazon employs workers to manually review voice recordings, but you can opt-out of having your voice recordings included in the review process by going to Settings > Alexa Privacy > Manage Your Alexa Data, then toggling off the setting that says Use Voice Recordings to Improve Amazon Services. In these privacy settings, you can also delete voice recordings, which are accessible to anyone you share the app with. You can even set up auto-deletion every three or 18 months.

Is the Echo Wall Clock worth it?

video games
Credit: Amazon

Aside from cooking, the Echo Wall Clock can be used with kids to set timers for homework, video games, and chores.

The Echo Wall Clock certainly can be a useful tool to help you juggle multiple recipes simultaneously in the kitchen, but it really boils down to how you use it. For a cook like me, I found the visual representation of the timer to be useful. Especially so when I had multiple timers going at once. But, unless you already use your Echo to regularly set timers or reminders, then you probably don’t need to invest in the Echo Wall Clock.

Get the Echo Wall Clock on Amazon for $29.99

Get the Echo Wall Clock Disney Mickey Mouse Edition on Amazon for $41.99

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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