When Amazon tasked itself with making one of the best smart home devices even better, the answer proved as simple as putting time on its side. Literally — it added a LED clock beneath the fabric-swathed side of the third-generation Echo Dot, birthing the Tom's Guide Award-winning Amazon Echo Dot with Clock.
Bringing smart home devices into your home can be intimidating. Yet something about the soft, sand-colored Echo Dot with Clock is welcoming.
It gives Alexa a familiar face — that of an unsophisticated nightstand alarm clock. Perhaps it’s the hockey puck-shaped device’s sheer ingenuity that makes it one of the best smart speakers we’ve tested all year, or maybe we’ve just grown that fond of Alexa.
The $60 price point is quite enticing, too. Whereas a number of smart speakers and other smart home devices can get costly for full functionality, the Echo Dot with Clock is affordable and lets you use all of the best Alexa skills. You can even group multiple of them together to create an intercom system in your home, and send messages out to your Alexa contacts.
Audio quality is almost an afterthought, but when do you want a soundtrack the Echo Dot with Clock delivers, especially for its size. Sure, it's not the loudest speaker, but the sound more than fills a bedroom.
At first we were a bit suspicious of the $10 premium for the clock. But after using the Echo Dot with Clock for several months now, we wouldn’t want an Echo without the LED display.
Whether it’s for checking the time in the early mornings or setting a timer for culinary endeavors, you will no longer need to ask Alexa for the time, which Amazon said is among the most frequent queries fielded by its voice assistant.
If all IoT companies sought to solve problems using the “with Clock” approach, people might be more convinced to raise their home’s IQ.