UPDATED February 10, 2022 This piece has been updated to reflect the emergence of new technology
Christian Mathews Security Writer
Should you get this latest offering by Amazon? Is it worth it? What can you do with an echo dot? Well, to answer these questions and any other you may have, let’s dive deep into Echo dot’s features and what Echo dot can for you.
Even if you’re a technophobe (no offense) whether you know it or not, Echo dot will somehow find a way of appealing to you.
1How is Echo dot different from other Alexa speakers
The first thing you’ll notice when you see the Echo dot, is that it’s a lot smaller than all the other Alexa speakers, and it looks like a hockey puck. Yes, seriously.
The Echo dot looks like a truncated version of the Amazon Echo. It’s just like the Amazon Echo, only that it’s missing the part with the speaker.
Dimensionally, the Echo dot measures a height of 1.7 inches, while the Amazon Echo measures about 9.25 inches in height.
The Echo dot weighs about 341.3g, and the Amazon Echo weighs some 1.06kgs.
Another thing to note is the sound quality. Obviously, with a reduced size for the Echo dot, its audio quality compared to other Alexa speakers is relatively poor.
To make up for this, Amazon added a few tweaks to the Echo dot.
An in-house learning chip and additional microphones have been added to the Echo dot. So, Alexa can hear more of your queries and understand you better, meaning an improved experience for you.
Also, to make up for the audio, you can connect your Echo dot to other external speakers with either an audio jack/stereo or using Bluetooth.
The other Alexa speakers cannot be connected to external speakers. However, this is not to be confused by the fact that although the Amazon Echo speaker allows you to connect other Bluetooth devices to it, you cannot connect the Amazon Echo to other Bluetooth speakers for sound output.
Then there’s the cost.
The Amazon Echo will set you back some 130 dollars more compared to the Echo dot which costs about $50.
Despite these differences, the Echo dot has all the functionality, Alexa and all, like the Amazon Echo speaker.
2Amazon Echo dot uses
As a standalone device, Echo dot’s uses are quite a few. However, with Alexa, the list of possible uses increases significantly. But before we get to it, you should know we’ll be using “Alexa” and “Echo dot” interchangeably. Let’s start with the fun stuff.
Echo dot can cook for you
Just kidding. An Echo dot can’t help you with the actual cooking. What it can do, however, is give you a little help and maybe add a little fun in the process.
You can ask Alexa for recipes, ask her to set the timer, play some music, and even ask Alexa for basic conversions like pounds to kilograms, etc. Then there’s this cool feature. Alexa can even control your sous vide machine, in case you happen to have one or you cook sous vide.
It can make and receive phone calls
That’s right. You can call someone from your Echo dot. And it isn’t necessary for the person you’re calling to have the Echo dot speaker.
Similarly, someone else can also call you (provided they have your phone number) and you can use the Echo dot to receive the call.What’s more, you can even block certain calls, and even leave messages in case no one picks up.
Control your home using your voice
While we’re not yet at “Star trek” levels, Alexa’s control capabilities are quite impressive, to say the least. And you won’t have to worry about having a hub to connect all the smart devices at your home. Echo dot/ Alexa does all that for you, removing the need for a smart hub. So you can ask Alexa to dim your lights, turn them on or off, or even crank up the Air-conditioner, or turn the heater on.
If you opt for Amazon’s latest offering (it’s yet to be released) the Alexa Guard paid subscription, you can also ask Alexa to alert emergency personnel in case of a fire or even a break-in incident.
Help you with your fitness goals
It might not be much, but Alexa can help you start a new workout (You’ll have to enable this skill first), it can give you your Fitbit stats and other relevant information. You can even ask Alexa for nutrition information on anything, say French fries, etc.
Have any kids? If so, or maybe you take care of some kids, you already know what a tough crowd they are to please. Keeping these guys occupied or even entertained is no easy feat. Alexa makes all of these look easy, and is the answer to your problems.
Alexa can get funny, like really silly and kids, something kids will surely love. There are also several hidden Easter eggs, and also in case, you have a compatible display with your Echo dot your kids can even play games. Additionally, your kids can also ask Alexa to play music or even come up with random trivia.
The best part of all this, your kids will easily learn how to voice commands/talk to Alexa.
Find new skills
If you can’t find something you want on Alexa, you can ask Alexa for that specific skill, and if it’s available you can then enable the skill. If unfortunately, the skill you were looking for isn’t available, you can use “Alexa Skill Blueprints” to create your skills for Alexa.
Now you have an idea of what can you do with an echo dot. The list of what you can do with the Echo dot is virtually endless. The list that’s above can’t quite capture all of the skills, but you can always explore Alexa’s capabilities on your Echo dot. While not the topic of this article, many do inquire as to which is better Alexa or Google Home. Depending on your needs the answer will vary.