(Pocket-lint) - Amazon announced several new devices during a special event in Seattle, including an all-new Echo Dot. The Echo Dot is the small, puck-sized version of the Echo speaker, offering a way to access Alexa smarts without the need for the full-sized Echo.
The new model brings a fresh design coupled with sound improvements, but how else does it differ from its predecessor? Here is how the all-new 2018 Echo Dot compares to the old Echo Dot from 2016.
All new Echo Dot vs old Echo Dot design
- New Echo Dot: 99 x 99 x 43mm, 300g
- Old Echo Dot: 84 x 84 x 32mm, 163g
- Material finish on new Echo Dot, no case necessary
The all-new Echo Dot has a new and improved design compared to the original model. It might be a little larger and heavier than its predecessor, but it comes with a more rounded design with a material finish around the outside like the Echo, resulting in a much softer and more sophisticated look.
It is available in three colour options - Charcoal Fabric, Heather Grey fabric and Sandstone fabric - and like the previous generation, it has a light ring around the circumference at the top. The power port has changed from Micro-USB on the rear for a cleaner finish, but the 3.5mm audio output port remains.
On the top of the all new Echo Dot, there is a volume up button, a volume down button, a microphone off button and an action button, just like the previous Echo Dot.
The 2016 model is smaller and lighter than the new model as we said, but it has a much more plastic finish unless you add one of the six Echo Dot cases to it, which come in leather and fabric options. It has a Micro-USB port on the rear for charging, while Amazon branding is present on the front, something you won't find on the new Echo Dot.
New Amazon Echo Dot vs old Echo Dot sound
- New Echo Dot: 1.6-inch speaker
- Old Echo Dot: 0.6-inch tweeter
Aside from design, sound is the second area where the new Echo Dot improves on its predecessor. The 2018 Echo Dot, or third generation, has a 1.6-inch speaker inside while the previous Echo Dot has a 0.6-inch tweeter.
This should mean the new Echo Dot will be significantly more capable than its predecessor. Amazon has claimed the new Echo Dot now offers "full sound" and it is said to be better at playback of songs through its built-in speaker.
The all-new Echo Dot can also be hooked up to your own speakers over Bluetooth or the 3.5mm audio output, just as you can with the second generation model.
Echo Dot (2018) vs Echo Dot (2016) features
- Both control smart home products
- Both offer same Alexa functionality
- All new Echo Dot said to have better voice recognition
The all-new Echo Dot offers all the same features as the current Echo Dot meaning it's all about Alexa. Ask Alexa to read the news, answer questions, check the weather, set reminders, control compatible smart home devices, or play your favourite music on either Echo Dot and she'll oblige.
The 2018 model is claimed to be better at voice recognition though, offering four far-field microphones, which we presume are better placed, bigger and stronger than the seven on the previous Echo Dot. As a result, it should mean Alexa will be able to hear you from across the room and accurately pick up what you request.
Both the Echo Dot's are capable of audio calls between Echo devices and the Alexa app, as Echo devices have been for some time, and they also work with smart home devices from companies including Wemo, Nest, Netatmo, Hive, Tado, Philips Hue and Bravia.
New Amazon Echo Dot vs old Echo Dot price and conclusions
The 2018 Echo Dot has a much nicer design than the second generation Echo Dot however, with a more premium and seamless finish.
It is also claimed to have better sound quality and better voice recognition so while these two devices might offer the same features in terms of Alexa, the new Echo Dot is the one to go for, especially as it is the same price.