The Smart speakers are now largely positioned as the epicenter of smart homes. While Google had an advantage until last year, Amazon seems to be doing really well in marketing its Alexa powered smart speakers in India. (Amazon Echo Dot with Clock Review हिंदी में पढ़िए)
During the just-concluded annual festive sales, Amazon offered these Echo speakers bundled with its Fire TV Stick and smart bulbs at discounted prices. This strategy quite successfully spurred Alexa’s market share and mind share in India.
Out of the entire Echo speaker family, the Echo Dots have received most love simply because they are the most economical option and ideal for people experimenting with smart homes for the first time.
Amazon more recently launched an upgraded Echo Dot 3rd generation with a built-in clock. We have been testing the new Echo Dot for a good ten days and will now share our experience in the following Echo Dot (3rd gen) with clock review.
- Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen) With Clock Review: Unboxing
- Amazon Echo Dot 3rd gen with Clock Review: A Smart Clock
- Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen) With Clock Review: Sound and Alexa
- Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen) With Clock Review: Verdict
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen) with Clock Unboxing
- Echo Dot
- Power adapter (15W)
- Instruction manual
- Warranty guide
Amazon Echo Dot 3rd gen with Clock Review: A Smart Clock
The new Echo Dot is identical to the original Echo Dot 3rd generation (review) in every design aspect. Yes, there is an addition of a small LED display peeking through the mesh fabric but the overall feel remains the same.
This simple LED clock, however, makes a huge difference. I know it doesn’t add a whole new level of interaction as the Echo Show 5 (review) display does, but this LED screen is more than just a clock or at least its impact is.
Apart from time, it can show things like the current temperature outside, volume level, countdown timers, Alarms and most importantly it makes the Echo Dot quietly sitting on the corner shelf a lot less forgettable.
This LED display has adaptive brightness support, which means the Echo Dot automatically becomes a lot less distracting during night time.
The button layout remains the same: volume up and down, mute button to block Alexa ears (microphones) and an action button. The top surface has that same matte-plastic feel. You can tap the top surface to snooze alarms – which is certainly cool to sneak a few extra minutes (9 minutes to be precise) of sleep – or you may tap the action button to completely dismiss the alarm.
There’s no change in how the light ring functions. It glows in blue color when Alexa is listening and turns red when mics have been blocked. Whenever there’s a notification Alexa will notify by flashing yellow color.
Just like its predecessor, there’s a power input and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Dimension wise, it’s the same as the last generation, however, with the addition of LED display makes it a 100 grams heavier.
So, the major takeaway here is that the LED Clock is quite useful. Had Amazon added a bit more customization, say, multi-color LEDs, this could have been more fun.
ALSO READ: Amazon Echo (3rd generation) Review
Amazon Echo Dot 3rd gen with Clock Review: Sound and Alexa
The ability to converse in Hindi and Hinglish has been the biggest improvement in Alexa in the last few months. The new language supports means that the Alexa now fits in a lot better in north Indian households and is readily accessible to elders and kids at home.
You can change the Alexa default language to Hindi or English or set it to a multi-lingual mode where one can converse with Alexa in English and Hindi without changing the language settings.
Experiencing Alexa in Hindi on Echo Dot 3rd generation with Clock was fun. That’s because we are not talking about raw linguistic support but the ability to respond with witty replies and some times with famous Bollywood dialogues like “sara shehar mujhe Alexa ke naam se janta hai” (a hat tip to a popular dialog in Kalicharan). Also, Alexa is remarkably good at understanding Hindi.
There are about 750+ Alexa Hindi Skills available right now and Amazon says that number will grow rapidly.
Alexa is still not very deft at grasping context, for instant you can’t respond to “Which Device” query with “this one”, and quite often we had to switch back to using specific commands instead of casual sentences.
As for the audio quality, there are no changes as compared to the regular Echo Dot (3rd gen). Despite the compact size, the audio is loud and crisp enough for a big-size Room or even a regular hall. And yes, the 1.6″ sideways firing speaker sounds better than the Google Home Mini aka Nest Mini.
The mic reception is awesome, but it is better suited to a room, not a hall. If you are close, the Echo Dot can also catch your whispers. In fact, Amazon Echo devices now have a dedicated whisper mode that you must try.
ALSO READ: Google Nest Hub Review
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock Review Verdict
The Echo Dot 3rd gen clock version is certainly a good addition to the Alexa smart speakers family. Since most of the things remain the same, Amazon is rightly not pushing it as the Echo Dot 4th generation.
With the addition of a tiny display, the new Echo Dot is so much better for your nightstand. Currently, it is retailing for Rs 4,999 which is a thousand rupees more than the original, clock-less Echo Dot. Is paying extra 1000 bucks for the clock worth it? We’d say YES, it definitely is.
Amazon regularly pushes its Echo devices with attractive discount deals and offers that you can leverage to reduce the effective price.