Amazon has unveiled an all-new 2nd Generation Amazon Echo Dot. It’s available in the US for $49.99, the UK for £49.99, and Germany for €59,99. That’s considerably less than the $89.99 price of the first generation model. The main difference between this new model and the first one announced earlier this year is the new one no longer has a spinning volume wheel on top, like on the full sized Echo. Instead, the new Echo Dot has volume up and down buttons, like you find on the Amazon Tap. The new Echo Dot is also thinner than the original, at 1.3″ compared to the original’s 1.5″ height. It’s also lighter, weighing in at 163 grams versus the 250 grams for the first generation version.
The new Echo Dot functions identically to the previous generation, but Amazon says they’ve improved voice recognition with a more powerful, completely redesigned voice processor. There is also a new Echo Spatial Perception technology that allows multiple Echo Dots within earshot to be aware of each other so that only the one you are speaking to responds. This feature will also be rolling out to the Echo and first generation Dot through a software update.
The new Echo Dot is available for pre-order now in both black or white, and will arrive in the US and UK on October 20th and in Germany on October 26th. Amazon is also selling the new Echo Dot in a 6 and 12-pack. If you buy 5 Echo Dots and enter promo code DOT6PACK at checkout, you’ll receive a 6th Echo Dot for free. If you buy 10 and enter promo code DOT12PACK at checkout, you’ll get 2 Echo DOts for free.
Wow Amazon is gotten the price-point down enough to make it worth while to buy the 6-pack for the whole home.
Of course it will hear everything in my house…
Privacy vs convenience
It actually only listens for the wake word, until you say “Alexa” nothing else is recorded or sent elsewhere. The wake word is a local filter and done with local processing, wheras what you say after the wake word is sent to the cloud for analysis, the proper action determined then sent back to the device.
The way Echo devices work is very private, you are choosing what gets sent for analysis via use of the wake word.
People who worry about this seem to ignore the mobile location tracker that happens to have comprehensive listening capabilities that they carry around everywhere every day. You know, your smart phone.
It this just a special pre-order price, or what the regular price will be? Tempted to get one, but not quite ready to pull the trigger, as I just am not sure it will do what I am looking for.
I currently use a site called Cloud Caster, which keeps track of my podcasts, with bookmarks of where I left off, etc… Does anyone know if Echo/Alexia has that level of podcast functionality?
$49.99 is the regular price. Echo/Alexa cannot track podcasts directly, but there are several podcast related Alexa Skills. It also supports TuneIn, so you can request to play podcasts directly from there, or you can always just connect to your phone and play that way. There are many podcast options, just not a built in subscription feature.
Thanks for the info. I’ll have to try to research TuneIn a bit.
I use TuneIn for my local radio station in the morning instead of trying to log onto my phone through my next radio app. I have Alexa Tap and she works great. I have three of the Echo’s on pre-order. Nothing has been charged to my card as of yet if that maybe a concern of yours :)
Meh, the announcement I’m waiting for is the 3rd generation Fire TV with HDR (disclaimer: I have no knowledge of any coming such announcement other than what I read here on aftvnews and cordcutternews).
But I did order one, through my existing Echo, and got a $5 discount off of the $49.99!
Ordered an Echo Dot, that is. Not a 3rd-gen Fire TV.
Was that the first time you ever bought something using Alexa?
Does anyone know what Bluetooth version this is using? Is it BLE or 4.0?
It occurs to me that Amazon knows what Google Home is going to cost and they lowered the price of the Dot to be competitive.
I’m sure Google Home will be as successful as Google TV. And Android TV. And the Nexus Player….
Hmm, feel like there is a pattern in here somewhere.
Has anyone heard if they will be doing anything for those of us that purchased the first generation for $40 more just six months ago?
Heard that they are giving you a secret high-five! Though I’m sure if you contacted support over your concerns of paying $40 more than the current model, they’ll probably figure out a way to help you out.
The build quality on the older one is much higher. The newer one is cheap plastic, the older one was metal and included a volume ring. I’m fine with what I paid for the first version of the Dot.
So is the DOT just the Echo without the speaker? What exactly is purpose/use of the DOT?
It has a speaker, its just equivilent of a high quality cell phone speaker rather than a decent bluetooth speaker. The primary purpose of these is for tasks that don’t require very high volume and audio quality, such as home automation voice control, basic questions and answers, bedroom alarm clocks, timers, etc. They are also good for when you want to use one with an existing audio setup, such as pairing it with an existing BT speaker or with a home audio system/stereo. Not everyone needs the speaker functionality, they just want a voice assistant.
Ah I see, thanks for the explanation !