Since I wrote my post below I have bought an Echo Dot. It's a great little piece of equipment once you get it connected but I did have trouble connecting it to my phone. I managed it eventually but then my router broke and I had to reconnect it. It refused to connect to my phone again but I did it via my desktop and now it's working really well.
I play music, ask Alexa questions and eventually intend to use some of the smart features like being able to turn the lights on and off. The price has gone down here in the UK so I feel it's a real bargain.