Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen) review: Both Google and Amazon have been trying to convince consumers to spend on a smart speaker, a device which can play music, control lights and appliances and serves as a home assistant. While Seattle-based Amazon is the undisputed king in the smart speaker segment, the company is also seeing intensive competition from Google after the success of the Home Mini.
To combat Google’s growing status in the smart speaker segment, Amazon has launched the third-generation Echo Dot speaker in the market. The all-new Amazon Echo Dot still is the small, puck-sized version of the Echo speaker, but promises 70 per cent louder sound than the original. The new Dot has a better, softer design, too. The third-generation Amazon Echo Dot is bigger and powerful than its predecessor and can be purchased for Rs 4,499. Here’s our verdict on the all-new Echo Dot.
Amazon Echo Dot 3rd gen price in India: Rs 4,499
Amazon Echo Dot 3rd gen review: Design and build quality
The third-generation Echo Dot has received a complete overhaul in terms of the design language. The new Echo Dot is still compact and has a hockey-puck shaped device, but it is slightly larger. The Dot is wrapped in a textured fabric which makes it similar to the Home Mini. The design is impressive and you can choose the Dot in three finishes — black, grey and white, whichever suits the décor of your house.
On top, you have the same control options as the previous-generation Echo Dot: a mic button to stop Alexa listening, an activation button, and the regular volume buttons.
Surprisingly, Amazon has changed the power adapter for the new Echo Dot. So, now the new Dot no longer uses the micro-USB port. Instead, the company has gone with a cylindrical DC power tip and a rounded wall plug. There’s a 3.5mm audio output on the back, which essentially allows the Dot to daisy chain with other units for a more immersive experience.
Amazon Echo Dot 3rd gen review: Setup
Setting up the all-new Echo Dot is simple and straightforward. Android and iOS users will need to download the Alexa app on a mobile device and then sign in to their Amazon account. Once done, the new Alexa app will ask you to add devices. Click new device, select Amazon Echo Dot 3rd gen speaker, and the new Echo Dot will be ready to be paired. I chose Saavn as my default music service, but you can also set Amazon Music as your preferred music service.
Amazon Echo Dot 3rd gen review: Features
In terms of core functionality and features, the third-generation Amazon Echo Dot is no different from its predecessor. It works exactly like the previous generation model. For starters, the Echo Dot is powered by Amazon’s Alexa voice-assistant, which can answer your queries, keep you up-to-date with the latest news, tell you about the weather, and more. Say something like, “Alexa, play hit songs of the 90s”. You no longer have to pull out your phone, connect it with the speaker and search for playlists. Now you can control your music with your voice.
The Echo Dot also has the ability to control smart home devices. To turn off the lights with Alexa, say: “Alexa, turn off the bedroom lights”. The range of smart home products compatible with Alexa is growing and the support continues to increase.
Amazon Echo Dot 3rd gen review: Sound quality
Amazon claims the new Echo Dot is 70 per cent louder, all thanks to a larger 1.6-inch speaker (the old one had a 1-inch speaker). Honestly, I too agree with Amazon.
Yes, the new Echo Dot is louder than the previous model. The sound quality has also been improved, which is a big jump. When it comes to listening to music, the new Echo Dot is a lot more punchier and has a deeper sound with more bass. For a tiny speaker like the Echo Dot, this level of sound quality is unbelievable.
Amazon Echo Dot 3rd gen review: Should you buy it?
Yes. In my opinion, the new Echo Dot is a better option compared to the previous generation model, which is currently available for Rs 3,499. The new Echo Dot offers a lot of genuine improvements: superior sound quality, premium looks, and better integration with smart home devices. If you are in the market for an affordable smart speaker, I would suggest you buy the 3rd gen Amazon Echo Dot. The main competitor of the Echo Dot is the Google Home Mini, which is also a nice option. The only advantage of the Home Mini over the Echo Dot is a better voice assistant in the form of Google Assistant. In the end, the choice is yours.