Update Oct. 16: The Echo Dot with Clock is available now on Amazon.
The third-generation Amazon Echo Dot was a big improvement over the second-gen model: It looked and sounded a lot better, and was just $50 (and often much less around the holidays.) So where do you go from there? How about adding a clock? Meet the Amazon Echo Dot with Clock. This small but simple upgrade to the Echo Dot makes a lot of sense, and for $59, isn't too painful price-wise.
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock price and availability
The Echo Dot with Clock costs $59.99. It's available now.
Echo Dot with Clock design and alarm
With the display turned off, the Echo Dot with Clock looks identical to the third-generation Echo Dot: It has the same hockey-puck shape with a fabric covering around the edges, a rounded top with four buttons, and an LED ring around its top edge.
The Echo Dot with Clock was designed to sit on your nightstand. You can ask Alexa to set an alarm and tap the top of the smart speaker to snooze.
Echo Dot with clock display
The small white display pops from beneath the fabric on the front of the Echo Dot. By default, it shows the time, but can do more than that. If you ask Alexa for the weather, for instance, the display will briefly show the current temperature. If you ask Alexa to set a timer, the face will change to show a countdown timer with the amount of time remaining.
I have no doubt that more features like this will be added in the future. Imagine Alexa flashing the score of a game, for example, or the stock price for a company you follow.
I like that the Echo Dot with Clock is smart enough to automatically dim its display using the built-in light sensor. But for those who need absolute darkness while they're sleeping, the Echo Dot's display can be turned off or dimmed. You can do this manually by asking Alexa. I wish the Dot with Clock had a manual control for adjusting the brightness, but asking Alexa seemed to work pretty well.
Echo Dot with Clock: Alexa integration and privacy
Like other Echo devices, the Echo Dot with Clock has Alexa built in, which means you can voice control your music via multiple services (Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, etc.), control your smart home devices, get your questions answered, get news updates, play games and more. You can also access thousands of Alexa skills.
If you're worried about Amazon listening to you all of the time, there's an electronic mic button that disconnects the microphones.
Echo Dot with Clock outlook
The Echo Dot with Clock is a smart little addition to the Echo lineup. If you don't want to get a smart display, there are almost no other smart speakers that have this sort of screen that can show you the time at a glance. For $59—$10 more than the regular Echo Dot—it's an inexpensive upgrade for those who want this feature.