Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation) Review

I bought the Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation) together with some of my friends through the recent “Buy Five, Get One Free Echo Dot” promotion on Amazon. I had to use a shipping forwarder as it does not ship directly to Singapore. Each Amazon Echo Dot was originally US$49.99 (S$71.50) before shipping. With the promotion, it is US$41.66 (S$59.60). After factoring in shipping to Singapore, each Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation) works out to be S$62.90!

 

What is in the package?

The packaging box (front) of Amazon Echo Dot
The packaging box (front) of Amazon Echo Dot

The packaging box (back) of Amazon Echo Dot
The packaging box (back) of Amazon Echo Dot

Unboxing the Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation)
Unboxing the Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation)

The contents - Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation), micro-USB cable, USB charger and instructions to get you started
The contents – Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation), micro-USB cable, USB charger and instructions to get you started

 

What is Alexa?

The seven microphones array inside the Amazon Echo Dot picks up voice instructions pretty much from any direction.


“Alexa” is Amazon’s cloud-connected, voice-activated assistant like Siri. You wake it up by calling “Alexa” or other (configurable) wake words like “Amazon” or “Echo”. The seven microphones array inside the Amazon Echo Dot picks up voice instructions pretty much from any direction. I place it on my TV rack and have no problem telling it what to do from anywhere in the living room. I am pretty amazed by the fact that it did not get confused by the voices from the TV.

You can ask Alexa to do things like playing music (from Spotify Premium), podcasts (TuneIn), reading facts (off Wikipedia), triggering activities on your Harmony Hub (via IFTTT).

The micro-USB power connector and 3.5mm audio connector at the back
The micro-USB power connector and 3.5mm audio connector at the back

In terms of audio/ sound, the Amazon Echo Dot comes with in-built speakers and have the option to connect to external speakers via Bluetooth or audio cable.

The volume control, microphone off and action button on the top face of the Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation)
The volume control, microphone off and action button on the top face of the Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation)

How of the Echo Dot (2nd Generation) the bottom looks like
How of the Echo Dot (2nd Generation) the bottom looks like

 

What am I using it for (in Singapore)?

Well, I just started toying with the Alexa. I have linked it to my IFTTT and made it start/ end activities on my Harmony Hub and triggering the D-Link WiFi Smart Plug. I asked Alexa about the weather in Singapore before heading out. I also added a few skills to Alexa and one of them is to tell bedtime story to my toddler.

Skills? Skills are essentially capabilities (created by third parties) that you can add to the Amazon Echo Dot.

Currently, Amazon still have the bulk buy promotion for Amazon Echo Dot. Use the following coupon codes at checkout:

Promo Code Offer
DOT3PACK Buy Three, Get $20.00 Off
DOT6PACK Buy Five, Get One Free Echo Dot
DOT12PACK Buy Ten, Get Two Free Echo Dots

 

Tips for those in Singapore

  1. If you have trouble downloading Alexa App from Play Store for your Android devices, try using the APKPure app.
  2. If you want to “acclimatise” your Amazon Echo/ Echo Dot to Singapore timezone and address, try following the instructions here.