Which Amazon Echo should you buy?

One Alexa, loads of very different gadgets – we can help

When Amazon's personal assistant first launched a couple years back, Alexa only came in a tube. But now there are multiple tubes to choose from – and other shapes too.

Now Alexa is found all over the place, from the familiar home speakers to smartphones, the Fire TV, and even smartwatches. And the core Echo family itself has grown to encompass some rather unexpected creations, including a couple with a screen and another with a camera that judges your fashion sense (yes, really).

Still haven't brought a spoken assistant into your home? Here's a look at the six current Amazon Echo devices and why each might be the best fit for your needs.

Best for: A bedtime companion

Amazon Echo Spot (US$130)

We were pretty nonplussed by the Echo Show, but the Echo Spot might be a better pick. It's essentially the bedside alarm clock version of the Echo Show, with a smaller, circular 2.5in touchscreen.

The compact package looks a lot more appealing than the Echo Show, plus the circular interface has style. And it seems pretty perfect for setting alarms and waking up with music, or seeing a news briefing when you roll out of bed.

The best part of it, however, is surely the price. It's releasing just before Christmas in the States, where it'll sell for US$130—that's $70 less than the Echo Show. So if it happens to sell for £130 when it hits the UK in early 2018, it'll deliver a similar discount from the Show.

We were impressed by our brief demo earlier this autumn, but we'll have to wait and see whether this is an essential new Echo form, or just a smaller version of the so-so Echo Show.

Best for: When you can't dress yourself

Amazon Echo Look (US$200)

Of all the forms the Echo has taken, this is the least expected. The Echo Look is essentially a style consultant, built to dress you down when you get dressed up for the day. Really? Yes, really.

It's a hands-free, tripod-mounted camera flanked by four LED lights, and you can ask Alexa to snap your photo at any time to see your outfit. You can spin around and see the result in real time on your smartphone, save images to a look book, and even get blurred backdrops in the photos so that your look really stands out.

And if you need a second opinion, you can ask Alexa: a combination of machine learning and input from style experts have concocted an algorithm that'll decide which of two outfits looks best. You trust the cloud, right? Good.

Otherwise, it's an Echo, albeit likely not the best-sounding one for music. The Echo Look is only available in the States right now through an invitation-only program, although you can request an invite. It seems super-niche, and unless you are style-obsessed, you're probably better off with one of the cheaper Echo models. You'll do just fine with a mirror.