Technology has changed the way we shop. With the evolution of the internet, online shopping has certainly paved the way for our convenience. With online retail giants like Amazon, you can add everything you need to your (virtual) cart, input your payment details and address, and then wait for your orders to arrive. Amazon continues to strive to make your shopping experience easy, and one of the ways it does that is with the use of the Amazon Dash Wand.
What Is Amazon Dash Wand?
If you have never heard about the Amazon Dash Wand, you are not alone. A lot of people have remained largely in the dark about the Amazon wand. Simply put, the Amazon Dash Wand is the newest addition to the Dash series of the online retail giant. It was launched in 2017.
The Amazon Wand is an Alexa-enabled handheld device that allows you to scan item barcodes around your house to quickly and easily order them from Amazon. It was mainly designed for grocery items and other household essentials. The Amazon wand also comes with a microphone and speaker. And, since the wand is Alexa-enabled, you can just tell the wand to order whatever it is you want to order from Amazon.
Design-wise, the Amazon Dash Wand is small and sleek. It is made of plastic, with the upper half colored in black and the lower half white. The wand, of course, carries the Amazon logo and fits in the palm of your hand with relative ease. The black upper half of the wand ends with a loop so that you can hang it on a hook or attach it to your keychain. The white lower half is bookended with a barcode scanner and carries one large button that you can use to activate Alexa. That said, while the Amazon Dash Wand is Alexa-enabled, you can’t activate her with just a voice command. In that sense, the Amazon Wand is not a handsfree device.
How Do Amazon Dash Buttons Work?
The Amazon Dash Wand is the latest gadget in Amazon’s Dash Buttons line. The Dash Buttons work similarly to the Amazon Wand, though the former comes with more limitations. For those who are unaware, the Amazon Dash Button is an electronic device that allows you to order specific items quickly. These devices come in packs, each one with a single large button and the name of a frequently ordered product. The Amazon Dash Buttons are much smaller than the Amazon Dash Wand, though.
You can configure the Amazon Dash Buttons to order certain items in certain quantities. All you need to do is go to your Amazon account. When you press an Amazon Dash Button, it immediately orders the product and quantity specific to that button using your Wi-Fi signals. Once you click an Amazon Dash Button, you will receive a message telling you that you can cancel your order within 30 minutes.
The Amazon Dash Buttons are great products if you are too lazy to go to the Amazon website or shopping app, manually click or tap on the product/s you wish to order, and check out. You can place these buttons around your house, preferably where you would usually use the product they are intended for. For example, if you have an Amazon Dash Button dedicated to your favorite brand of detergent, you would mount the button in your laundry area or wherever you keep your detergent. That way, when you find that you are running out of detergent, you can quickly and easily order more with literally just the push of a button.
How to Use the Amazon Dash Wand?
The Amazon Dash Wand works differently from the Amazon Dash Buttons, as evidenced above. With the Amazon Dash Wand, you are not confined to a single product per device.
- To begin using the Amazon Wand, all you need to do is launch the Amazon app on your smartphone.
- Press down the Amazon Wand’s button until you see the surrounding light turn into an orange color. This will allow you to connect it to your Amazon account. Then, all that is left to do is to add the Amazon Wand to your Wi-Fi so that you can order with ease.
- To order the products you want, you can either activate Alexa using the button or scan the item barcode using the Amazon Wand’s built-in barcode scanner. If the device recognizes the barcode, it will add the item to your Amazon cart or AmazonFresh. You will know the device recognizes an item if it makes a sound and turns off its light. If the wand does not recognize the item, Alexa will let you know. At times, if it does not recognize the item, it may also ask you to describe the item you scanned.
- On the other hand, using Alexa to add items to your cart is also pretty easy. Just press the button to wake Alexa and then say what you want to order, such as “spinach” or “strawberries.” If you do not identify what type or brand you want, Alexa will make the decision for you. The same goes for vendors.
Unlike Amazon Dash Buttons, though, the Amazon Wand does not automatically check out your items. It only adds them to your cart. Therefore, you will still need to open your Amazon cart and check out manually.
How Much Is Amazon Dash Wand?
If you want to buy the Amazon Dash Wand, you will need to shell out $20 for it. However, if you are an Amazon Prime member, the Amazon Wand is basically free. Sure, you will need to pay $20 to get the gadget, but you also get a $20 discount on your next Amazon order. In that sense, you are technically getting the Amazon Wand free of charge. It is important to keep in mind, though, that you also need to register the Amazon Wand to get the $20 discount. In addition to a $20 discount, Amazon Prime members will also get free access to AmazonFresh for 90 days. AmazonFresh usually costs $15 a month.
What Does the Dash Wand Support And Its Connectivity?
You can easily connect your Amazon Dash Wand to your Wi-Fi so that it is part of your network. In doing so, the Amazon Wand will have access to your Amazon cart when you order something or scan an item.
Apart from your regular Amazon account, the Amazon Wand also supports Amazon Prime and AmazonFresh. You need an Amazon Prime membership to get the wand for free after all. AmazonFresh, on the other hand, is a grocery delivery service. It is not available worldwide yet — not even nationwide. AmazonFresh is gradually making its services available to other parts of the United States, though.
Currently, it is available in various cities, including Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Boston, Seattle, and Dallas. Internationally, AmazonFresh is available in Berlin, London, and Tokyo.
Advantages of Amazon Dash Wand
When you are considering buying something, your first instinct is to naturally weigh out the pros and cons of the item. Is it worth investing in or is it just another way to waste money? To help you out, we have listed down the advantages of owning this device. The Amazon Dash Wand comes with several benefits, such as:
1. Portable and Versatile
Portability and versatility are two of the most obvious advantages of the Amazon Wand. Measuring 5.6 inches, this device fits in your hand, and you can carry it around with you everywhere. As long as it is connected to your Wi-Fi and your Amazon account, you can basically use it anywhere around the house. Unlike the Amazon Dash Buttons, the Amazon Wand is not limited to ordering a few items in specific quantities, making it a very flexible option.
Another benefit of the Amazon Wand is it makes online shopping (on Amazon) fast and easy. By simply scanning the bar code of an item or saying what you need, you can add things to your cart quickly and without hassle. That means you don’t need to physically type what you are looking for and browse through the seemingly endless list of possible items. Just say it or scan it, and you are good for checkout.
3. Control Smart Devices
You can use your Amazon Dash Wand to control the other Alexa-compatible smart devices around your house. That means you can switch the lights on and off, set the temperature, and lock the doors using your Alexa-enabled Amazon Dash Wand. You can also ask questions and convert units if you are at a loss. All you need to do is press and hold down the Dash Wand button and say what you want it to do or answer.
Due to its small size, you may think that the chances of misplacing the Dash Wand are high. However, thanks to its loop, you can just hang it on a hook or on your keychain to avoid losing it. Additionally, the Amazon Wand is magnetic, which means you can stick it to any metal surface you like. Since it was designed mainly for the kitchen, you can fasten it to your refrigerator. This prevents you from losing the device.
5. Cheap or Free
For $20, the Amazon Wand is certainly a bargain. It makes online shopping more convenient and can even control certain smart home devices. Plus, if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can basically get the Amazon Wand for free.
Yes, you’re right. Amazon dash wand does have its own setback, but once you get to know about it, you can easily figure a way to go around it. Here’s what you need to know about its disadvantages:
1. Addicted to Buying on Amazon
One of the hallmarks of the Amazon Wand is its ability to scan bar codes to add items to your cart. Of course, Alexa is not perfect, so it may make mistakes when it comes to recognizing the items you wish to add to your cart. Usually, when you scan the same bar code too many times, it will identify this as a mistake and correct the order. Other times, though, you will find that your Amazon cart is filled with 50 orders of detergent. And what about when you actually meant to scan an item 10 times and it autocorrects that? Make sure to always go through your cart first before checking out.
Speaking of checkouts, the Amazon Dash Wand does not support automatic checkouts. The Amazon Dash Buttons allowed you to order something quickly without the need to manually check your cart out. You only had to cancel your order if you didn’t mean to place it. With the Dash Wand, though, you still need to go into your account and go through the process of checkout.
2. Not Voice Activated
Perhaps one of its most glaring flaws is its lack of voice command support for Alexa. There is no wake word to activate the virtual assistant, which means you can’t operate the Amazon Dash Wand hands-free. You will always need to push a button if you want Alexa to answer a question, operate a smart home device, or add something to your cart.
3. Limited Alexa Functionality
Although the Dash Wand is Alexa-enabled, it does not boast Alexa’s full range of capabilities. The Amazon Wand was specifically designed for online shopping with just a few of Alexa’s functionalities built in to add something extra to it. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that certain features aren’t available. For instance, you can’t listen to music using the Amazon Wand nor can you use it for calling or messaging functions.
You also can’t set timers or alarms. And, given that the Amazon Dash Wand was designed primarily for kitchen use, it does not make sense not to include such essential functions.
4. Impractical Source of Power
Most devices nowadays are rechargeable. Interestingly (and surprisingly), though, the Amazon Wand isn’t. Instead, it runs on two AAA batteries. This can come as an annoyance, particularly if you run out of AAA batteries in your home. There’s also the problem of having to constantly buy more AAA batteries, which is an added cost. Plus, in terms of battery life, a lot of users have criticized the Amazon Wand for not lasting long enough to warrant extended use. In other words, it has very poor battery life.
5. Discontinued Support
Given that the Amazon Dash Wand only entered the market in 2017, you would think the retail giant would have ongoing support for the device. After all, it has only been three years since its introduction. However, Amazon recently announced that it is no longer going to support the Amazon Dash Wand. Amazon made the termination effective on July 21, 2020.
Amazon stopped support for the physical Dash Buttons the year prior, so some people saw the same trend for the Amazon Wand coming. However, given the device’s age, the discontinued support for Amazon wand came as a surprise to many. When you think about it, though, Amazon did fail to make any other advancements or updates for the Dash Wand after it launched in 2017. Sure, Amazon Prime members basically got it for free, but the retail giant mostly kept mum on it after that.
The good news is, you can recycle your Amazon Wand device by visiting this link.
The Amazon Dash Wand definitely has many capabilities that make it appealing for Amazon enthusiasts. Online shopping has truly never been easier, especially when it comes to groceries and household essentials. With the Dash Wand, you can scan barcodes or tell Alexa what you want to add to your cart.
However, when it comes to making a decision, you must weigh the pros against the cons. The Amazon Wand comes with five benefits. It is portable and versatile, makes shopping easy and fast, and can control certain smart home devices. It is also magnetic, ensuring you won’t misplace it. Additionally, the Amazon Wand is very inexpensive, practically free for Amazon Prime members.
At face value, it certainly seems like buying the Amazon Dash Wand is a good idea thanks to its benefits. But, when you consider the drawbacks as well, the verdict becomes strikingly obvious. The Dash Wand does not have voice command support and has limited Alexa functionalities. It also runs on AAA batteries, a very outdated and primitive source of power. There’s also a chance of overpaying when you order too much on accident.
Perhaps the most obvious disadvantage, though, is Amazon’s discontinued support for the Amazon Dash Wand. Without ongoing support, buying the Amazon wand is pointless. It would be a waste of time and money. So, taking both the pros and cons into account, you should definitely not get the Amazon Wand.