Amazon Echo Plus 2nd Generation and Echo Dot 3rd Generation Review
Virtual assistants are on our phones, on our wrists and in our homes. Some of the most popular ones are Google Helper, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. While Google Assistant and Siri are the default, default spots respectively on Android and iOS devices, Alexa does not have the same privileges.
To bring it to a wider audience, Amazon has rated it as a smart home appliances category. The newest models to come to the Indian market are Amazon Eco Dot (third generation) and Eco Plus (second generation). Amazon’s new eco-dot and eco-plus cost Rs. 4,499 and Rs. 14,999 respectively, which was also the prices of the models they had changed. Improvements do not come at any extra cost, should you jump to pick them up? We test them both to answer your questions.
The new Eco device has gone through a design makeover, and now the sport fabric is over. First talk about the new echo dot. The device is slightly larger than the outgoing echo dot, and is also heavy, weighing 300 grams (second Gen Echo Dot only 163g). The new fabric is finishing premium compared to the old model’s shiny plastic, and it will help to better mix the device in your house.
Button layout on echo dot remains the same. There are four buttons: two for volume control, a button to call Alexa, and a button to switch the microphone. It still retains the light ring which gives you visual indication. When you say “Alexa”, it tells you that it is listening for your instructions. A ring of light is seen from any corner of a room, and Google Home Mini has a better implementation than the four lights.
Although the last-gen Eco-dot had 7-microphone array, four remote-area microphones are positioned in the new model. Behind the new echo dot you get 3.5mm audio output and a proprietary power port (a micro-USB port in outgoing echo dot). You get three fabric finishes to choose from: Charcoal, Heath Gray and Sandstone.
While the eco dot has grown in size, Amazon has contracted Echo Plus. It’s still cylindrical design, but smaller and larger than the model it changes. Like new eco-dot, the new Eco Plus has Fabric Finish and is available in Heather, Charcoal Gray and Sandstone. We had a sandstone version for the review. The new device 821g is lighter than the 954g of the old model.
Amazon has made some changes to the button layout and the new echo plus now has a four-button layout similar to the echo dot. There are seven remote-area microphones on top, which are capable of selecting and recognizing your voice while playing music on the speaker.
The original Echo Plus had a rotating dial to control the volume, and it’s gone now because you use the button instead. It’s not as convenient to be able to flick the dial quickly, but it does work out. Speakers are also updated, and you get a big 3-inch woofer and 0.8-inch tweeter. Backwards, you will get a proprietary power connector and 3.5mm audio output.
Audio quality and performance
We first tested the new Amazon eco-dot and compared it with the outgoing model to see how much it has improved. The difference in audio quality is important. It is stronger and warmer than the old unit. While the old model could not fill a small room, the new one was able to do the same.
The overall audio quality is still not great, though. It is difficult to differentiate between multiple vowels or instruments in a greater amount. You can also use Echo Dot as a Bluetooth Speaker with a laptop or smartphone, or you can use Bluetooth to pair Echo Dot with other speakers for better audio quality. Apart from this, as it has 3.5mm output, you can essentially upgrade any existing speaker by connecting with echo dot with smart voice control and music streaming. We also tested new echo dots against Google Home Mini and found Amazon’s offer for better audio output.
Audio quality improved with new Echo Plus. Amazon has used Dolby Audio for this Eco device, and it is capable of producing a good surround effect. When we compared it to the original Echo Plus, we found that there is more bass in it, which is under the larger woofer.
The audio is crisp and the volume can be pumped far enough without distortion. While the audio quality is better than the previous model, we still did not feel like a punch which we liked for low frequencies. You can also add echo plus to any audio source using Bluetooth.
Like its predecessor, ZigBee-compatible Smart Hub is built in 2nd Gen Echo Plus, which can help you connect and control ZigBee-enabled lights, power outlets, devices and other devices with Alexa voice commands. There is also an inbuilt temperature sensor, so you can check the temperature of the room by asking Alexa.
Using Alexa on new Eco-dot and Echo Plus is similar to the way you work on every other Amazon Echo or third-party device. You can ask it to play songs, set an alarm, search the web and answer questions and more. It also has the ability to call other people who use the Echo device or the Amazon Alexa app.
Now you can control the Amazon Fire TV stick using these echo devices. Skills are an integral part of the Alexa Ecosystem, and hundreds of them exist for popular equipment, applications and services. You can enable more skills at any time by using the Alexa App. We have covered extensively in our reviews of Alexa-capable Herman Cudden Alure and Amazon Echo Spot Speakers, so we encourage you to read more about the “smart” features of these speakers, which at the core of their functionality Are.
The new Amazon Echo Dot is a great way to start with smart speakers for your home. Since Amazon has launched new eco-dot and eco-plus similar to its respective predecessors, so it will be understood to go on.
If you are on a strict budget, then you can choose the option of the new echo dot. It has better audio quality compared to the old echo dot as well as Google Home Mini, and audio quality is acceptable for accidental use, you can add it to a better external speaker.
We found that the new Echo Plus is more attractive and feels better than its replacement device. Additional smart features have also been made in this. It is very expensive, but looking at the functionality provides decent value for the price.
Amazon Echo Dot (third generation)
Price: Rs. 4499
Louder than previous echo dot
Average sound quality
Rating (of 5)
Smart Features: 4
Audio Quality: 2.5
Value of Money: 4
Amazon Echo Plus (second generation)
Price: Rs. 14,999
Better audio quality
Useful Smart Home Features
Can do more with bass
Rating (of 5)
Smart Features: 4
Audio Quality: 3.5
Value of Money: 4
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