Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen) seems almost like a perfect entry-level smart speaker. It looks fantastic and the audio quality is respectable for the price you are paying for the Echo Dot. To many, this will come as no revelation. Yet Amazon is relentlessly pursuing to perfect the Echo Dot. And for the new generation Echo Dot, Amazon has added a digital clock on the front — I couldn’t ask for more.
The idea is to replace your bedside alarm clock with the Echo Dot with a built-in LED clock. Otherwise, the new Echo Dot looks like the third-generation Echo Dot, though with a clock embedded on one side. The new clock makes it easy to see the time, without having to interact with Alexa.
The new Echo Dot now has a clock, but it is worth Rs 1499 price hike?
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock price in India: Rs 5499
Amazon Echo Dot with clock review: Design and build
The Echo Dot easily blends with the decor of your house, thanks to a smooth plastic top and fabric grill cloth wrapped around the sides. As I mentioned earlier, it looks exactly like the third-generation Echo Dot which I reviewed late last year. The round puck-shaped design is reminiscent of previous Echo Dot models. Unfortunately, unlike earlier models, Amazon is making the new Echo Dot available in only white colour at the moment.
On top, you will notice the same four buttons (Alexa, microphone, mute, and volume up/down) as the third-generation Echo Dot, as well as four pinholes for the far-field microphone array. A light ring around the top surface glows blue when Alexa is listening or talking, orange when the speaker is in setup mode, and red when the microphone is muted.
There’s a power connector and a 3.5mm audio output sits on the back of the speaker. Just for your knowledge, the power cord can’t be removed, unlike the Google Nest Mini. What’s missing from the new Echo Dot is some sort of wall-hanging solution, which I think Amazon should consider in the next version of the smart speaker. Right now, you simply have no option to hang the Echo Dot on the wall.
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock review: Clock
I genuinely liked the clock feature on the new Echo Dot. By default, the LED display shows the clock and it’s not difficult to read the time at any given hour — it gets bright in the day or a slightly dimmer when the light turned off. Having the LED clock display is an advantage because I no longer need to ask Alexa for the time in the morning. So whenever you set an alarm through Alexa, the LED flashes, indicating the alarm has been set. And, after the alarm wakes you up, you need to tap on the top of the Echo Dot to silent. So yes, the Echo Dot with a clock is helpful in that sense. But the LED display shows more than just the time. I also liked how when you ask “Alexa” for the weather update, she displays the current temperature on the LED clock display as she speaks.
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock review: Alexa
The new Echo Dot is powered by Alexa, Amazon’s voice-based digital assistant. You can ask Alexa to tell you about the weather outside or give you the IMDB score of the latest movie. You can tell Alexa to read e-books or play music through your favourite music streaming service. The good thing about Alexa is that it works with most popular music streaming services including Apple Music, Prime Music, Spotify, and you can, of course, use Bluetooth and still listen to music on the Echo Dot.
The entry-level smart speaker is also a great device to control smart bulbs in your home or any connected device that supports Alexa through voice control. However, I do think Google Assistant is better at finding information from the web. Alexa is still not proficient at fetching search results from the web. That said, Alexa has improved a lot in the past few months and has gained a number of new features. The Amazon Alexa skills store now has over 100,000 skills available, which are essentially voice apps.
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock review: Sound quality
From listening to Adele’s “Skyfall” to Coldplay’s “Paradise”, it was clear the new Echo Dot offers far superior experience than the second-generation Echo Dot. The sound quality is actually not bad, given how small the Echo Dot is in terms of size. It offers deeper and richer sound quality and I think that’s more than enough. In case you’re looking for high-quality sound, I would rather urge you to get the Echo Plus or Google Home.
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock review: Conclusion
The new Echo Dot with Clock doesn’t offer much else new over the third-generation Echo Dot. Still, I think you should check out the new Echo Dot. The clock adds Rs 1,499 to the price, but I think it’s worth it. The ability to see the time by looking at the Echo Dot is actually useful. That said, if you think the Echo Dot with Clock is a bit expensive at Rs 5499, then you should get the 3rd gen Echo Dot. It’s not only cheaper at Rs 3999, but has the same attractive design and improved audio quality as the new Echo Dot with Clock.
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