Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation) review: Smarter and louder

The latest fad to hit Indian homes in the audio category is smart speakers. While there are many who are not exactly enthusiastic about the smart devices, there is a small but growing section of users, who prefer the multitasking features of smart speakers like


Amazon Echo Dot design

The new Echo Dot is bigger in size than the previous generation one and has got a different icon for the microphone button, though it has a similar cylindrical design. Tough and super-portable, the smart speaker comes with a fabric grille around the body. Its top surface has got buttons for volume control, microphone and action (Alexa) along with four small orifices for the microphone input.

The smart speaker has got the trademark circular light ring on the upper side that glows in blue when everything is working normally like when issuing voice commands to it and glows in orange when in setup mode.

On its side, it has got ports for AUX audio output and charging. The new Amazon Echo Dot comes with a 15W power adapter.

Design wise, the smart speaker is very durable, has got sober looks and can be carried around easily in a bag, even in a small handbag.

The Echo Dot can be connected to another speaker via Bluetooth or an AUX cable. For optimal performance, you need to place the speaker at least 1 metre away from the Echo Dot if you are connecting it through Bluetooth and a minimum of 15 centimetres away when using an AUX cable.


Amazon Echo Dot performance

To set up the Echo Dot, you need to first have the Alexa app on your smartphone. After the installation is done, just follow the instructions on the app and you would be good to go soon. In case you are not logged in to your Amazon account, you would need to do so. The Echo Dot needs your Amazon account and a Wi-Fi connection to work. In the setup mode, the light ring around the Echo Dot glows in orange. While you are about to start with the proceedings, you will get voice alerts from Alexa, saying: ‘’This device is ready for setup. Just install the Alexa app and follow the instructions.’’

Ask Alexa to play a song you like and it’ll tell you within moments whether it could play the song for you or not depending upon its availability in the music library.

You can ask it to play the daily news, actually refine your query by asking for news by different media organizations, ask about the weather details, control other smart devices in your home, set timers, voice shop on Amazon (only for Prime members) and even order an Uber (after entering Uber login details into the Alexa app).

By clubbing multiple commands together, Alexa can help you do several things with the help of one short phrase. For example, you could switch on your lights, TV and other devices with one small phrase. This option can be pretty useful in case you have many smart devices.

Coming to the sound output, the latest Echo Dot does sound a lot better than the previous iterations and by itself, it can fill an entire room with sound. However, it is not yet fit to handle all genres of music. Acoustic, Bollywood tracks and instrumental music sound really well on it but bass-driven and other heavy stuff like Rock and Metal won’t be good friends with the new Echo Dot. You can still connect another external speaker capable of handling the heavy sounds with the new Echo Dot. So, there is not a lot that you would be losing on the sound output factor.

The new Echo Dot offers superior call quality than the previous generations and that may have a lot to do with the microphone array (the set of four orifices on the top, one near each button) and the noise-reduction algorithm by Amazon for phone calls.

The ‘Drop In’ feature of Echo Dot lets you make on-demand calls to anyone at any place in the country. Also, there’s the new Brief Mode that is meant to ‘not make’ Alexa respond to every word you utter which can be annoying when you are having a conversation with someone and Alexa starts interjecting due to your voice.

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