This is a We Own it review!
Amazon Echo Dot is the Amazon Echo’s smaller brother (or sister actually!). It doesn’t feature as large speaker, however majority of features are the same and you can use all the same skills as you can on Amazon Echo. You can buy Amazon Echo Dot 2nd gen for under £50 on Amazon.
Amazon Echo Dot is basically your miniature home assistant operated by voice commands starting with ‘Alexa’. So whatever you say after ‘Alexa’ – the assistant will try to do.
What does the Amazon Echo Dot do?
Amazon Echo Dot comes with some pre built skills (voice commands if you like) and some you can download:
- ‘Alexa – what’s the weather?’ Will give you current weather in your area. You can add ‘tomorrow, next week’ etc and Alexa’s answer will change.
- ‘Alexa – what’s in the news’ –
and it will read you the news
- Alexa – Simon says – make me pancakes’ – and it will repeat ‘make me pancakes’
The basic functionality also has some smart home control features like playing music, but majority really depend on connected apps (sorry, skills!) but there aren’t that many yet (at the time of writing of this review).
Alexa updates automatically and learns over wifi, it has a mobile phone app too.
Most importantly, Alexa allows you to add things to your Amazon shopping basket, the real (in my opinion) plan behind the item. You can also add things to your shopping list, however if you have kids and there are 4 of you at home, things get a bit complicated with the voice commands.
How does it work & what is the tech?
Alexa constantly listens, so at any point when you say ‘Alexa’, it reacts (changes colour) and you can see it’s listening for the command.
You’ll need to plug it into your mains socket and connect via the mobile app to your local wifi. It they gets updates and is pretty much ready to go.
Since the launch Amazon Echo Dot has some strong partners in terms of skills, you can order an Uber ride or takeaways from Just Eats, future success really depends on how often you use these services and if there will be more skills.
How much does it cost?
Amazon Echo Dot today is £49.99 – sometimes there is a special deal from Amazon on £5 off.
What’s it like living with it?
One of my issues with using it was my accent, sometimes the voice recognition wouldn’t be great, could be due to so-so microphone on the device too.
It needs to be positioned well, so the microphone is not covered, it occasionally picks up random things from the TV too.
What are our final thoughts?
Currently it’s faster for me to tap on my mobile in order to find the news or get something done, it’s also always nearby, when Alexa is likely to be in another room from which I am. So it all depends on your habits and if you do a lot of things that have skills designed for them.