Amazon has launched many Alexa-enabled devices over past few years, but its Echo Dot line-up of smart speakers are some of the more popular ones in the market today. I have been using the 5th gen Echo Dot speaker in Blue (comes in two other colours – Black and White), and here’s what I think about this Rs. 5,499 smart speaker from Amazon.
Design: The latest Echo Dot is very similar in looks to the 4th Gen. Echo Dot, which was a change from the first three generations of small speakers. Here’s you have an orbital-shaped speaker with a flat base and fabric loid around the top with four physical buttons on it – 2 volume buttons, 1 action button and 1 mute button (for its mic). The speaker is slightly lighter than the previous gen., and I would say, still compact enough to be kept in a corner of your room all the time. The base has your multi-colour lights that go off in circular motion to indicate different modes such as pairing mode, interacting or processing your request, or updating firmware. Interestingly, the light will be stronger in the direction from where the device is hearing voice commands.
Sound quality: The Echo Dot 5th Gen. has a 1.73-inch driver and seems to have a fuller sound than two generations older devices. I found it quite loud coming from other smart speakers that are similarly sized and priced. Voice and mids are handled quite well without too much being too. Highs are also a bit poppier while lows are deeper than before, though these are not absolutely great, but it’s overall still balanced as a small speaker that can play your tracks. There’s no 3.5mm audio jack, but you can still pair the device with another speaker via Bluetooth.
Alexa and other features: The 5th Gen. Echo Dot supports Eero network for enhancing WiFi coverage but I couldn’t try it. There’s also a new motion sensor to interact with the with a single tap, so, you can tap in the middle of the device’s top to mute it or shut your alarm off while it’s on. Setting up the device is straightforward and doesn’t require any repeated steps. Alexa is one of the most popular and compatible smart voice assistant out there, and with the 5th Gen. Echo Dot, you can control your supported devices just like before. I didn’t see any hiccups or glitches when it comes to controlling your home devices via the device. Alexa is responsive, understands Indian voice, speaking style and accent very well and is just a good overall smart assistant to have around to do the things you expect from your smart assistant on a regular basis without causing any major issues.
Verdict: The latest generation of Echo Dot is a compact enough smart speaker that has improved audio quality, comers with a nice fabric on top, circular lights at the flat bottom and doesn’t let down with its Alexa capabilities to make the experience familiar and reliable most of the times. So, if you’re looking for a new smart speaker and have Alexa-compatible connected devices or appliances at home, the Echo Dot 5th Gen. is definitely worth a look and consideration.