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How to Make a Voice or Video Call Using Amazon Alexa

Calling people on the phone is so very 20th century. Did you know you can use your Amazon Echo device to make voice calls to other Echo owners and, in the case of the Echo Show, video calls as well? You can also receive and make those calls via the Alexa app on your smartphone. Here's how.

MORE: Which Alexa Device is Right For You?

1. You can only call people who are in your contacts and also have an Echo or the Alexa app installed on their smartphone. To find people you can contact, open the Alexa app on your smartphone.

2. If you're not already in the Communication screen, tap the speech bubble on the left side of the bottom toolbar.

3. Tap the Contacts icon (in the top right corner). If it’s your first time using this feature, the app will ask for permission to access your Contacts. You'll need to choose Allow in order to make calls. You may also need to enter a valid phone number and confirm it in if this is the first time you've used the feature.

4. You'll see a list of all the people you can call with your Echo. Tap any contact to see their information.

5. Tap the icon underneath a person's name to start a voice or video call from the Alex app.

6. To start a voice call from the Echo, simply say "Alexa, call John Smith." The Echo will confirm that it correctly understood the contact's name and then start the call. If you have an Echo or a Dot, the ring at the top will pulse green while the call is active.

Credit: Amazon

(Image credit: Amazon)

7. On an Echo Show, if you're calling someone who has an Echo Show or the Alexa app, it'll start a video call by default. You can turn off video by saying "video off" after the call has started, or by tapping the video button on the screen.

Credit: Amazon

(Image credit: Amazon)

8. To end a call, say "Alexa, end call" or "Alexa, hang up." On an Echo Show, you can also tap the Hang Up button on the screen.

MORE: For more Alexa-related tips, tricks, and how-tos, check out our complete guide to Alexa.