While the Amazon Echo has been available to some lucky users since November, there hasn’t been a way for customers to give the device a traditional review on Amazon’s site, or for prospective buyers to see reviews and ratings from existing users. However, in just the past few days, a stealthy review page has accumulated more than 17,000 ratings and reviews of the smart speaker.
Late last week, Amazon sent many users an email to rate the Echo, and those reviews have started to show up. The results so far: a 4.5-star overall rating.
Reviews are generally positive, with nearly two-thirds of reviewers giving the intelligent talking speaker a 5-star rating. Negative reviews mostly note the bugs and slow rollout of functionality, but still praise the potential of the product. Only 1 percent of reviewers gave the device 1 star.
While there is an Add to Cart option with the reviews, trying to check out with the Echo in your cart leads to an error explaining that purchase of the product is limited to invited customers only.
Users have been discussing the Amazon Echo on Amazon’s forums since they started shipping, but the current Echo product page doesn’t have any reviews or ratings and still asks potential buyers to sign up for a wait list.
Reviews of the Echo from larger tech publications have varied, mostly praising the voice recognition but faulting Amazon for limited functionality. GeekWire’s early review pointed out the excellent sound quality, but held issue with the clunky smarts. GeekWire readers have also weighed in on what they think of the device, even leaving reviews in the comments of articles about the smart home assistant.
One reason for delaying the rollout of reviews for Echo may be because Amazon was still updating the device, adding support for traffic, Google Calendar and Pandora in recent months. Reviews for the device from before those updates may have skewed the results.
In related news, Amazon on Friday rolled out a new algorithm for calculating product ratings and displaying customer reviews, giving more weight to the most recent, helpful and verified customer reviews.
We reached out to Amazon to for more details and will update this post if we get a response.