Amazon has teased its Echo Auto device for a year now, but it remains invite-only. But there are other issues with the Echo Auto, most namely it only adds Alexa to your car and nothing else. That’s why we like Anker’s Roav Viva, a dual USB port, Alexa-enabled car charger much better.
Currently, the Roav Viva is on sale for just $20 after a $6 coupon and a limited-time promotion, a savings of $16. The device pairs with your phone’s Alexa app and plays back over your car’s speakers via Bluetooth. The USB ports support fast charging, too.
The Roav Viva is compatible with any car that has enough clearance around the charging port to accommodate the Roav’s top section (it measures about two inches by 1.5 inches). It supports all of Alexa’s communication features like calling, messaging, announcements, and even drop-in, and can even play music from most services just like your Alexa at home.
Don’t worry about road noise: Anker’s dual-microphone system with integrated noise cancellation allows you to communicate with the device even when in noisy environments. And as Alexa gets better, so does the Roav Viva, all at a price that right now is pretty close to a standard car charger.
The Garmin Speak is a great alternative
If you don’t need a car charger and don’t mind spending a little more, the Garmin Speak is a good alternative to the Roav Viva. It is mounted on your windshield and includes a screen on the cabin-facing side that shows visual cues when you ask the device for turn-by-turn directions. Normally $100, the Speak is currently on sale for $50.
The Roav Viva can’t do directions at all, so if you’re a frequent traveler, you might find the Speak much more useful. The company also makes a Plus version of the Speak as well. With the Plus, you also gain a dash cam which doesn’t just record your surroundings but enables a ton of cool safety features.
The Speak Plus alerts you if you’re about to collide with an object ahead of you, or if you drift out of your lane. In stopped traffic, it can alert you that traffic is moving again. We think those features are super useful and make it worth the extra money. Right now, the Speak Plus isn’t on sale at Amazon (it’s $145), but we did take note Amazon’s price on the Speak Plus is up to $30 cheaper than its competitors.
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