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The introduction of smart speakers to every home has been an increasing topic today. Just this October, Google has announced the new set of their devices, particularly the Google Home which is a minimalist smart speaker integrated with the new Google Assistant and has other similar features to the Amazon Echo. Also, talks have been emerging now about Apple’s plans on developing a Siri-integrated smart speaker that has a built-in camera to it. And now, Amazon Echo Dot 2nd Generation.

Simply, these make the market for smart speakers more competitive, setting standards and options to all audiophiles investing on making their homes smarter with devices.

With all of these competitions, Amazon has got the reason to create another smart speaker that has got better features and absurdly lower prices than what Google and Apple may price to their smart speakers soon. They introduce the second generation of their Amazon Echo Dot.

The original Amazon Echo Dot, just launched last March, has been received by the market really well because of its pint-sized version of the smash hit Amazon Echo smart speaker. After being out of stock for the previous months, the Amazon Echo Dot is back, with same great features, added functionality, and most importantly more affordable with a price slashed to a near $50! Nice strategy from Amazon to get the Dot in every home before the Google Home and Apple’s future smart speaker do.

As mentioned, the 2nd gen Dot smart speaker is still as smart as its predecessor. It has the same integrated voice-activated virtual assistant, Alexa, coming with great capability, and also some plenty of its new features such as the growing library of third-party voice app “skills”, as well as an enhanced microphone that can hear your commands and voice better over background noise and music playback.

To make the story short, the new Amazon Echo Dot offers better features in a cut price.

Get to know Alexa

If you’re not that familiar with the Amazon smart speaker, then you should know “Alexa”, Amazon’s voice-activated virtual assistant. Alexa is cloud-connected which listens to your voice command, record what you say and send it through the cloud to Amazon’s servers. The servers will then figure out your commands and alternately tells Alexa how to respond. In other words, Alexa is “Siri in a speaker”.

With this feature, you can get to ask and do sorts of things. To start, you wake her up by saying her name “Alexa”, or one of the two wake word options, “Amazon” or “Echo”. After that, you can get the Dot to stream music from the Amazon Prime Music and other services like iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Pandora, and Spotify. Alexa can also look up for facts, set kitchen timers, read off daily headlines from different news sources, and set an alarm to wake you up in the morning.

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What makes Alexa more impressive is its improving features thanks to the growing library of a third-party voice apps known as “skills”. At present, there are over 3,000 of them already that teaches Alexa some new tricks. Example here are the Uber and Lyft skills that tell Alexa to call a ride and the Domino’s skill that tells Alexa to order a pizza. The skills can be browsed in the Alexa app, pick one, and enable it by asking (example is “Alexa, enable the Domino skill.”)

Alexa can also control a list of smart home devices, such as smart lightings, smart lock, and popular smart home platforms. Just ask Alexa to perform such controls and she will be able to reliably comply.

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Design

Compared to the first Amazon Echo Dot, the second generation is a little shorter (because it no longer has a ring around the top to control the volume). The new smart speaker features two volume buttons on top of it. The new Echo Dot is also lighter. Aside from that, instead of the matte black casing of the first generation, the second generation is made with a glossy plastic casing (which now available in white, great!).

There is a good feature that makes the new Amazon Echo Dot an impressive smart home speaker. You can now connect it with existing speakers and other audio devices via two connections: via Bluetooth and via cable. Using this feature, you can make the Echo Dot whatever speakers you prefer.

Overall

Amazon is known to design products that are surely impressive, with its functions and great features.

With all of the smart speakers getting introduced, like the Google Home, and smart speakers soon to be announced, like the Siri-integrated smart speaker, the new, second generation of Amazon Echo Dot 2nd Generation. offers a stand out option for many audiophiles, better features at a lower price of $50 only.