All-New Echo Dot Hands-on Review: Better Speaker By Design

The Echo Dot has always been one of Amazon's most beloved and popular devices. Today, Amazon announced that it has brought upgrades and a new look to its puck-sized device.

Notably, the speaker has a thicker and sleeker design. It plays louder music than its predecessor, according to the company, with a richer bass.

Hey There, Good Looking

Amazon devices are getting a cohesive new look. Amazon unveiled a number of new Echo devices at its event, most of which incorporate the same mesh fabric that covers the second-generation Echo Show. The new Dot is no exception: It's mesh from head to toe, and it wears it well.

Last year's second-generation Dot was often described as puck-like, and with good reason. It was black, cylindrical, and something I probably wouldn't be confident displaying as the centerpiece of my coffee table if I were having guests over, unless my decor were all plastic and futuristic.

The new speaker would fit right into a modern living room. It comes in three colors -- charcoal, heather gray, and sandstone, which all look slightly more sophisticated than the older Dot's glossy black and white, and will fit with more living-room color schemes.

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A Joy To Hold

As someone who owns the entire Echo lineup, what I've always appreciated the most about the Echo Dot is its portability. I often bring my Dot from room to room when using different connected products, and to do the same with the Echo or Echo Show would be a hassle.

Holding this thing just feels plain good It fits right in my hand, which is impressive, since I have the smallest hands of anyone I know and often have trouble holding speakers at their base. The mesh fabric feels nice in my hands, which I can't say about the plastic of the previous Dot. The rounded edges make it feel less like a small Pringles can and more like a miniature Echo.

Louder Sound

We weren't able to test the audio on the new Dots, but Amazon claims that they play sound that is 70 percent louder and clearer than that of its previous iteration.

Otherwise, the new Dot retains many of the same features of its predecessor. It can take part in multi-room audio, and can call an Uber, order a pizza, tell you the weather, and all the other fun activities Alexa can do.

It's Bluetooth-enabled, and also has a jack for a 3.5-milimeter audio cable in the back. So if you have other, larger speakers in your home, you can connect the Dot to boom Alexa throughout your house.

Outlook

Overall, the all-new Echo Dot has the potential to fix one of the biggest (in my opinion) flaws of the previous Dot. It also improves upon its speakers and hardware, while keeping the same price that we know and love. Stay tuned for our full review.

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