The Echo Wall Clock tells time and visualizes Alexa timers

Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored
Updated Wed May 22, 2019

Story highlights

  • The Amazon Echo Wall Clock is available now for $29.99.
  • If you're an avid user of Alexa timers, you'll like the Echo Wall Clock.
  • Keep in mind it's an Echo companion device, so you'll need to link with an Amazon Echo.

Editors Note: Just in time for Memorial Day, the Echo Wall Clock is on sale for just $24.95 with free Prime shipping.

Chances are you've heard of Amazon Alexa and the first party Echo devices. But did you know there's an Echo Wall Clock? It launched in late 2018 on Amazon.com at $29.99, but there's a core requirement. Like other Echo gadgets, the Echo Wall Clock is a companion device. You'll need to pair with a first party Echo device.

I've had about a week with this smart clock, and it's an enchantingly simple device. Just think about the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes of Alexa. Building out a knowledge base, having it handle natural language and provide what seems like daily updates. For the Echo Wall Clock, Amazon wanted a simple device that complemented the Alexa experience. Specifically one with notifications and timers.

Setting it up

Inside a bright blue box, you'll find the Echo Wall Clock, four AA batteries and a wall anchor with a screw. The instructions are minimal, and this is a common theme with this device. After popping the batteries in, you'll ask Alexa on your Echo to "pair my echo wall clock." She'll then tell you to hold down the blue button on the back for 10 seconds, at which point the small circular light on the clock face will start pulsing orange. This indicates pairing mode, and when it turns blue, the setup process will be done.

I first paired the Echo Wall Clock with a first generation Echo Show, then a second generation Echo Show and then a second generation Echo Dot. With all of these, the pairing was fast, although it did take 45 seconds for my Echo to connect with the Wall Clock. The good news is that I didn't experience connectivity issues after that. The excellent news is that once you're connected, the Echo Wall Clock does everything else.

Amazon makes it clear not to touch or force the hour and minute hands, since it will auto set the time. It's super cool to watch as it pulls the time information from your Echo and the hands move to match it. A big pain point of a traditional clock is getting the time right, and this takes the hassle out of it. The Echo Wall Clock will always have the right time and will auto switch for things like daylight saving time. Simply put, it's very cool.

What can the Echo Wall Clock do?

Aside from auto setting the time, the Echo Wall Clock doesn't have the most extensive feature set. Essentially you're getting a clock so you can see the time, but the other draw is the device's visual timers. Unlike the Echo Spot or Echo Show, other Echo devices don't provide visuals. When you set a timer on the connecting Echo device, the ring around the numbers on the Echo Wall Clock will light up.

It's an intuitive way to show timers, and it works for multiple ones. Setting a one-minute timer will have the entire ring light up and the countdown will begin. It's easy to see it counting down, thanks to the counting LED notch being the brightest. With multiple timers, there will be several bright LED notches, and seeing how they progress is pretty easy to pick up on.

In my testing, I found myself using it to set reminders for tasks like doing the laundry or even cooking. If you're an avid user of Alexa timers, I think you'll like the Echo Wall Clock. It's fun to watch, easy to tell time and is an excellent visualization of countdowns.

The Echo Wall Clock is also silent; there is no ticking and not even a speaker. As a smart home device, there isn't much tech here. It has two hands, an LED ring around a plastic watch face, a quiet motor to move the hands, Bluetooth antennas, a small circular LED and a battery pack.

Amazon offers one color, a black watch face with a white ring and white numbers. It's a sleek minimalistic look that should fit in almost any environment, but I can imagine potential customers wanting a white face. Either way, the current Echo Wall Clock has a plastic face that can be a little tricky to view in direct lighting due to a subtle glare. You also might desire a second hand, but if you want a connected wall clock that works, you won't be disappointed.

Bottom Line

If you already have an Echo, you're set and can order an Echo Wall Clock. You'll connect it using your voice and you'll be off to the races. If you're new to the Alexa ecosystem, you'll need to buy an Echo to use the Echo Wall Clock. In this case, the investment is more than $29.99. Luckily the second generation Echo Dot is normally $29.99, and like most Echo devices, Amazon regularly discounts them.

The Echo Wall Clock is an intriguing device and proof of concept for simplicity. If you're addicted to Alexa Timers, I also will make the case that it's a no-brainer purchase. You can get an Echo Wall Clock now for $29.99 on Amazon.com.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer's listed price at the time of publication.