Today, Amazon confirmed yesterday’s rumors by releasing announcing a second generation Echo Dot. It is officially called the All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) and it retails for $49.99. Like the newly refreshed Amazon Echo, the new Dot will be available in both black and white and will be available on October 20, 2016.
The last iteration of the Echo Dot was $90 and could only be ordered by Prime members using either an Amazon Echo or a Fire TV remote. This generation’s model can be ordered online by anyone. Previous purchasers of the Echo Dot can use Alexa to order and get a $10 credit (restrictions apply).
So what’s different about the new model besides the price and the method of ordering?
- The new Dot is smaller. Both devices have a 3.3″ diameter but is the new one is 1.3″ tall vs 1.5″ height of the original.
- The new Dot weighs a couple of ounces less.
- Original Dot included a four foot long 3.5mm stereo audio cable. That cable is an optional purchase for the new Dot.
- The new Dot has ESP (Echo Spatial Perception), which calculates the clarity of the voice. The idea is that when more than one Alexa-enabled device is present, the device nearest you will respond. It may also help in noisy environments.
- The original Dot had a rotary volume dial like the full size Echo. The 2nd generation has volume buttons similar to the Amazon Tap.
- There does not seem to be a power indicator light on the 2nd generation.
- There appear to be minor cosmetic differences (slashes instead of circles for mic holes and a slightly glossier finish for the 2nd generation).
- The original came with a 1 year warranty. The 2nd generation only comes with a 90 day warranty.
Because the Echo Dot is designed to work with other devices, this morning, Amazon was offering some interesting bundles like an Echo Dot coupled with the Bose Soundlink Mini II. Interestingly, by this evening, those bundles were no longer being offered.
The lack of the 3.5mm cable surprised me. We use ours with a stereo that doesn’t have Bluetooth, so that cable for the AUX jack is really a necessity. And given the fact that some of the 1st generation Echo Dots had overheating problems, I would have much rather seen a 1 year warranty. Although, for $50, for some people, it may not matter.
Are you interested in one of the new devices?