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