Other Gadgets

Dot meets clock: Smallest Echo gets a bit of display

Mala Bhargava | Updated on October 30, 2019

The Dot with clock adds a little more to Amazon's Echo smart speaker

You know how it is when you open one eye to take a bleary look at the time and maybe go back to snoozing for just a few minutes more? That’s just the scenario that Amazon’s newly refreshed Echo Dot is good for.

The Dot is one of the smallest in Amazon’s Echo smart speaker line and was at one time one of the best selling of the lot, because it wasn’t too expensive and customers didn’t mind trying it out. The Dot was in its third generation, getting better in sound quality and in design, when Amazon added another little refresh, making it the 3.5th generation, because it’s the same as before, except for the addition of an LED clock. Seeming to sit under the fabric covering of the little speaker, the display shows the time, but also a few other things such as the temperature, when you ask Alexa, and changes in brightness or volume when you adjust them. It won’t show you the date or anything else — perhaps that’s for another refresh.

The new Echo Dot looks very much the same as the previous one and seems to be in just a light grey colour right now. It’s a little thing, but sounds quite good for its size. You can absolutely connect it to a bigger speaker you already own, if you want to retain the smart speaker features and the Alexa assistant, but listen to bigger and better sound. The connection can be via Bluetooth or an aux cable.

The Dot is built nicely, with a rubbery underneath, so it doesn’t slip and fly off a surface if knocked a bit by accident. It’s unobtrusive enough to fit anywhere, without being an eyesore.

With the number of Echo speakers we’ve covered, readers will know that all of these have more or less the same skills for users to tap: asking questions about weather, movies, general knowledge, cricket and anything under the sun, using specific apps such as for horoscopes, learning or games, controlling smart home devices such as lights, and creating routines or a sequence of actions that play out when scheduled to do so. Speakers with displays have another layer of capabilities. The Dot with clock adds that little bit to the Echo speaker, to make it an option for those in the habit of glancing at the time. It can also be a nice alarm clock, which you can silence with a small whack on the head.

The new Echo Dot doesn’t replace the regular Echo Dot without display, but for the privilege of displaying the time, does cost disproportionally more. The Dot with clock is priced at Rs 5,499, while the one without the clock (third generation) is Rs 2,999. The clock is nice to have, but perhaps not at almost double the price.

Price: Rs 5,499

Pros: Useful addition of a digital display for time, weather, alarms and timers

Cons: Additional display feature limited and doesn’t warrant the price difference

Published on October 30, 2019

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