Amazon Echo Dot's second generation is already on the market, and experts agree that the tiny gadget is one of the best affordable smart home devices fully fitted for voice commands.
We looked at the reviews and took out the main ideas, so you know why the Echo Dot (2nd gen) is a great investment for your smart home.
First off, it should be noted that the new Dot comes with a revamped, less-is-more design, while holstering every capability of its predecessor.
In order to make the gadget more affordable, Amazon changed a few things in the Dot's design. The new Dot is a tad shorter than the original and sports a basic design for the microphone grille.
Instead of a rotatable volume control, you now get a plus and minus button on the unit's top. What is more, the matte finish was replaced with a glossy patina.
"I'm less of a fan of the glossy finish - it makes the new Dot look cheap and attracts dust like a magnet," says The Verge's Dan Seifert.
The Echo Dot does exactly the same things as its predecessor: It summons Alexa with your voice and enables you to read the news, select music, check the weather, control your smart home devices such as Philips' Hue smart lights, hail an Uber, read a Kindle e-book, order a pizza, and many more.
"The new Echo Dot is slightly louder with fuller mids and a teensy bit more bass, but it still makes your ears cringe at the highest volume setting," says Raymond Wong of Mashable.
The Echo Dot (2nd Gen) is Bluetooth-friendly, so you can use it to connect to a larger speaker, but it also offers a 3.5mm cable variant to have decent sound volume.
"[The new Echo Dot] is a much better listener than before," Ty Crist of CNET notes.
This means that the gadget will hear and follow your commands despite blasting music out of its speakers, and even when your TV is running in the background. The first edition of Echo Dot fared poorly in that respect, so it's great to see that Amazon fixed that issue.
The Echo Dot (2nd Generation) can be bought from Amazon's own page, and it sports an attractive price of $49.99.
Keep in mind that the first-generation Dot asked users to shell out $89.99.
The second-gen, mini-sized Amazon Echo Dot is just as potent as its first iteration, but it lands at half that price and packs heavily improved hearing capabilities. What is more, it is the only Echo product that can link in to an existing audio setup.
"There are fewer and fewer reasons not to give the Echo a spin," Brian Heater from TechCrunch notes.