AMAZON Echo Dot (3rd Gen)
4.4 / 5 Ratings on amazon
58,299 Reviews on AMAZON
+1000 Answered Questions
4.4/5 Sound Quality
4.3/5 Bluetooth Connectivity
4.1/5 Voice Integretion
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Build and Design
The first thing you notice about the third generation Echo Dot is the redesign. This generation of dots is certainly a lot sturdier and better built than what we've seen in the first two generations. I think it's because it includes better speakers. The speakers of the first two generations of the Echo Dot only sounded marginally better than the speakers on cell phones.
The only thing that looks like a clear nod to Google's range of smart speakers such as Home and Home Mini is the use of textured fabric in the design; the first two generations of dots were all made of plastic, albeit much more compact. But thanks. Apart from the improved speaker quality, you wouldn't mind the extra volume of the new Dot: It weighs 300 g and is 43 mm thick.
The design elements that characterize an Echo device along with other loudspeakers are still there, elements such as the bright LED light ring and four buttons with a good feel. This time you will find four far-field microphones. The Echo Dot has a rubberized surface that ensures that the dot remains fixed and does not slip. There is a power input and an audio output on the back.It would have been nice to have a micro USB or USB Type-C port instead of a proprietary port that accepts a 15W adapter on their earlier incarnations, you still get a circular device shaped like a hockey puck , but the new 1.6-inch indoor speaker now shoots in 360 ° far field. These microphones are designed to pick up your voice from any type of noise or clutter and from a greater range.
There is dual band WiFi support that you need to connect through the Alexa app on your mobile device. Setting up the Dot is pretty easy as long as you have a WiFi access point. There is an option to connect a dedicated speaker to the Echo Dot via the audio output on the back. Thanks to A2DP support, you can also connect your Bluetooth speaker to the Dot to stream music instead. While there's no smart home hub like the Echo Plus, you can configure the Dot to control smart lights as long as they're connected to a compatible hub. It also has the Alexa calling feature called Dropin.
Performance and Ease of Use:
Not much has changed on the performance front. The current dot generation is all about improved design and improved speaker quality.It's certainly a big leap from the previous generation Dot speaker, which wasn't too loud and was only marginally better than a smartphone speaker, which doesn't say much. With the current dot generation, the sound quality has definitely seen itself. An improvement. There's a lot more bass and the music sounds a lot richer. Thanks to four far-field microphones instead of just one in the previous Dot generation, the current Dot generation is able to decipher voice commands even during music playback. Thanks to the rounded design of the speaker, the sound will bounce off surfaces, especially if you keep the Dot in a corner of the room.
Alexa Skills have certainly seen some updates and it's a constant effort from Amazon, but keeping up with new skills is a big job and Amazon needs to find a way to make learning new skills easier.
There are still some fundamental problems, not the least of which is the way in which messages are read. I had already worked it out in my Echo Spot review, and not much has changed. In fact, there was a recent Reuters study examining the future of language and its importance for news which found, "Despite the rapid growth and strong advancement of language technology, news consumption on these devices is currently lower than expected most usage is focused on very brief news reports. Many users are unaware of the wider range of options around the news. "Getting the news the way you want is still difficult.For example, I can't just ask Alexa to give me the tech news summary and bypass all other news genres. With the summary, it's almost like being forced to listen to everything your chosen intelligence service has to offer. You can't even skip the news sections once the briefing begins. Obviously there is a lot to be done here.
When it comes to other functions like listening to music, getting weather updates and tracking the progress of your favorite soccer team, the Dot does well. In fact, it's more suitable for quick QnA sessions than long ones. For things like buying or booking an Uber, I found it much better and faster to do it on your smartphone. This is definitely not yet a subject for smart speakers. as simple as it is shown in the various advertisements.
One feature I like is the Kindle integration, where the dot reads a book from my last position. With Bluetooth support, I can pair the Dot with my headphones and have an audiobook experience when I'm too tired to read a book. The Kindle Y is now available in India with Audible. You can also use Alexa to listen to your Audible audiobooks.
Recently the new Fire Stick with support for Alexa was also announced. While it's great to ask the Fire Stick to play your favorite shows, voice control isn't the best if you're looking for non-English content. I would still use the remote control to play the show I want to play instead of being frustrated because Alexa cannot understand the names of certain TV shows or movies.
Thanks to the compact size of the Echo Dot, there are some innovative uses such as For example, this user who uses the Echo Dot in conjunction with a wireless access point to stream songs in their car, or those teachers who use Alexa in a classroom.
The competition of the Echo Dot is the Google Home Mini. While there was no comparison in the sound quality of the second-generation Dot and the Home Mini, the Mini offers the best speaker experience, with the third-generation Dot, things have certainly gotten better. for Amazon. But when it comes to contextual speaking and longer conversations, the Google Home Mini still has a huge advantage over the Echo Dot. For example, if I ask the echo: "Hello Alexa, which is the best team in La Liga?" I get the correct answer, but if I follow this question, "Hi Alexa, who is the captain of this team?" Alexa is confused for not keeping the context of the conversation: the best team in La Liga and their captain.This would work perfectly on a Home Mini, for example.
Smart speakers have been around for several generations. In India, the Amazon Echo line was launched last year, followed by Google, which brought its Home line to India in April this year. As a category, smart speakers have yet to gain a foothold as most of our experiences with devices have been limited to simple tasks. While the idea of a smart speaker is exciting, they are rarely practical.
With the third generation of its Echo products, Amazon has made a design update on all of its products, and if you weren't sure about smart speakers, the Echo Dot (third generation) is a good place to start. The quality and louder speaker make it a much better option compared to the previous generation Dot, but prepare for a slight learning curve with the Echo Dot as Alexa skills evolve and Amazon continues the Echo line.
Conclusion and price
The conclusion is very simple: If you have never bought a smart speaker and are curious about the offer, the Amazon Echo Dot is the right entry into this segment. Price too bad. However, be prepared for a learning curve.
If you had a previous generation Echo Dot, don't care. Instead, get a powerful bluetooth speaker and pair the Dot with it for better sound.
If you confuse between the Echo Dot and the Google Home Mini, the purchase decision will depend entirely on the system in which you have invested heavily. If your use case relies more on search-related queries, the Home Mini makes a lot more sense than the Dot. Both are equally good for everything else. The advantage of the Dot is that you can pair it with an external speaker if you want, which is not possible with the Home Mini.