Technophile

Amazon’s Echo Dot is now a bit of a ball

Mala Bhargava | Updated on October 30, 2020 Published on October 30, 2020

A new shape, louder sound, and all the Alexa conversation you want

The Echo Dot has been Amazon’s most successful smart speaker in India. It didn’t cost much, and that lowered the bar for the curious to go ahead and try out what this new piece of tech could do. Now the Dot 4th gen gets a unique shape going from a hockey puck-like form to a sphere or ball with a flat base.

The Dot is one of the smallest speakers in the Echo line, so don’t expect massive sound from it. But it has become louder and fuller and also more 360 because of the shape. It’s excellent for quiet one-person listening where the user wants some companionable background music while doing something else perhaps. This obviously isn’t a speaker to blast music with or fill the room with. But it’s pleasant enough at a happy, decent volume. The Dot does have a line-out so if you want to connect it to some existing speakers for better sound, you very much could. You would also retain the smart aspect because the Dot will not lose that capability by being connected to another speaker.

The main job of this speaker is more to answer questions about —well, anything. It’s well built and anyway doesn’t take to being moved around as it isn’t on battery — that’s another Echo. It’s a subtle design that will absolutely not stick out like a sore thumb anywhere. It’s in black, blue and white and in whatever colour it comes, it would be best to make sure it gets its fair share of dusting.

Setting up the Dot is very easy. It may already come with your ID signed in if bought from Amazon but if not, just download the Alexa app and be led through everything. The app also suggests what you can do with the speaker and the resident Alexa assistant. The base of the speaker will glow and swirl to indicate readiness to be set up. Once done, it’ll show up blue when you call out to Alexa. You can ask for songs, weather, information on anything, jokes, stories, recipes, horoscopes, cricket scores etc. Alexa is Indianised and should have no trouble understanding you and can even speak in Hindu or go bilingual with both Hindi and English. Everything is via voice command, but there are volume and trigger buttons on top and also a mute for when you want Alexa to stop listening altogether.

This tiny smart speaker isn’t directly able to set up some smart home devices by itself. Still, it can control them if they’re already set up with other Echo devices or if the smart device doesn’t need anything additional — some bulbs will fit into this category. Controlling lights is one of the most common smart home tasks users carry out with an Echo speaker. Besides that, it can also ‘Drop-In’ for a voice call to other contacts who also use an Echo speaker, and it can wake you up whenever you want. You can snooze the alarm with a small whack too.

Price: ₹3,249

Pros: Capable and industry leading smart speaker, totally Indianised smart assistant

Cons: Design change mostly cosmetic, no disadvantage in particular

--

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on October 30, 2020
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor