Amazon launched it’s first-ever Echo smart speaker and took the industry by storm, and when they launched a mini version of the speaker, which essentially does the same thing while occupying much less space, it instantly ended up being on people’s buying list!
The Echo Dot was released last year by Amazon and it was the first smart home speaker to come in such a miniature design with all the features of any Echo speaker. It’s low cost and small size was the reason why it was so popular with customers. The Echo Dot can be the master of your smart home and it takes up only an inch or two on your shelf. The device does have its downsides but overall, it has fared pretty well in the tech industry with a 2nd generation launched recently.
Echo Dot Review
Design and Body
The Echo Dot, unlike the first generation Echo smart speaker, was anything but cylindrical. The Echo Dot is spherical, available in black and white colors, is only 1.3 inches tall. The inconspicuous size of the speaker has minimal design features and can easily be kept hidden in your house.
Unlike its predecessor, the Echo Dot has separate volume buttons instead of the volume ring. The buttons glow because of the LED ring around them. The buttons light up when the speaker is in use and when Alexa is listening to voice commands.
The Echo Dot is equipped with subpar internal speakers but there’s a silver lining. You can connect the device with a wire to your larger audio speakers via the audio port or you can connect it to a Bluetooth speaker to amplify the sound. This will make the music experience real and engaging in your house and still smart at the same time.
Without a connection to the stereo speaker though, the Echo Dot does not produce great sounds and it sound weak and anemic to say the least.
It can play a number of songs and music from several different streaming platforms. Simply ask Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa to play your playlist from platforms like Amazon Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and more.
The Echo Dot can respond to a number of skills through Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa. With Alexa, you can control your smart home features. The device supports products from companies like Nest, SmartThings, WeMo, Insteon, IFTTT, Phillips Hue, Lutron, Ecobee and Honeywell. The list is pretty extensive and you can use the Echo Dot to act like your personal robot assistant in the house.
With Alexa, you can also perform the same functions as you can with any other Echo device. That means that despite the miniature size of this device, you can also use the smart voice assistant to read and send your text message or make calls. There’s still a concern with privacy since you can’t block any incoming numbers through your Echo Dot device.
Apart from connecting with your loved ones, you can also use the smart home speaker to order your favorite cheese pizza from Domino’s or other supported fast food chains and hail a ride from the Uber app.
With Alexa, you can also listen to news briefings from FOX News, AP and NPR. Plus, you can listen to the latest sports updates from your favorite sports channels including ESPN. Alexa is so smart you can even connect it to your car and inform you through your Echo Dot device how much gas you have!
Finally, the Echo Dot can play your favorite music just with singing a few voice commands to it. You can also control your smart TV like Amazon Fire with your device.
The list of skills Alexa can perform is long, number in thousands and pretty helpful but there’s always a chance of the voice assistant application glitch or mishear your commands. The far field microphones integrated into the speaker are pretty sensitive so if you own two Echo devices in adjacent rooms, there’s always a chance of the commands overlapping.
Read: Amazon Tap Review
Echo Dot vs. the rest of the Echo Line
The Echo Dot surprisingly is a much popular buy than the original Echo device. Perhaps it was the portability and small size of the Dot that made it the clear winner or it was the much lower costs.
Recently, the Echo Spot has been competing with the Echo Dot because it’s as tiny as the Dot with one additional feature – an LCD screen. For those who want to enjoy a dual effect of both video and music, the Echo Spot is what you’re looking for but if you don’t need the added bonus of video calling or video streaming, then the Dot speaker is a much better choice.[Read: Echo Dot Deals]
The Echo Dot can blend in your house interior easily without standing out too much either. Place it in your bedroom or practically any room of your house and let the Dot become the controller of your smart home.