Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Generation In-depth Review
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Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Generation In-depth Review


hello I’m Wanderer001 and
this is my review of the echo dot version three I have previously done a
review of the predecessor to the version three here at the echo dot version
two our view can be found over in the corner but they came out with a new one
the big selling point of this one is the bigger better speaker then the version
two had so let’s just quickly go over the specs of the version three here so
you are looking at a device that is three point nine inches wide by three
point nine inches high because it is a circle and has a depth of 1.7
it is considerably heavier than the echo dot version two at ten point six ounces
or 300 grams the top of the device is a matte plastic finish you’ll notice that
you have four little pinholes there those are for the four speakers at the
echo dot version three has as opposed to the seven speakers that the echo two
version two had I’m just gonna start calling them that because saying it
every time is going to be a mouthful on the top of the device aside from the
little pinholes you have for the microphones you
you also have this LED light ring which will light up I’ll show you a little
later when you activate the echo with the activation or trigger phrase you
will also notice later that the light will change a slightly lighter portion
as its following you around to let you know which microphone is listening to
you so you have your volume up hard key your volume down hard key your trigger
phrase activation so you don’t always have to use your voice to activate it
you can just push on that and ask your question and then a dedicated hard mute
button sadly even though echo has come a long way and made a lot of changes when
I first got the version 2 to the version 3 here they still will not let you
actuate the mute action by voice you do have to use this hard button right here
now coming down the big change that the echo version 3 here has is this this is
your speaker grill and it goes pretty much all the way around the
device except for that little cutout now this is fabric so very similar to the
Google home mini review over there so they kind of have up scaled a little bit
compared to I’m just going to grab off camera here the echo dot version two
which you can see is just a shiny bit there and if we come up to the top
you’ll see the perforated cutouts for these seven microphones up here notice
that the version three is considerably thicker so while this one was about the
size of a hockey puck this one is chunkier and that’s because of the
bigger speaker that outperforms the echo dot version two in every way shape and
form coming around to the back here you will notice that you have just two ports
similar to how you had just two ports in the back of the echo dot version two you
will see a major difference they both have the 3.5 millimeter output so you
can attach these hardline to a better speaker which you probably wanted to do
with your echo dot two echoed out three maybe not so much but you’ll notice the
echo dot two here has a microUSB port while the version three has a dedicated
power line so sadly unlike with the version two where you could just grab
any old microUSB cable and plug it in this one if you screw up the power cable
that comes with it you have to get another dedicated power cable from
Amazon now flipping it over to the bottom you have a rubberized texture all
around and it does pick up dirt and dust rather easily but it helps it to stay in
place so notice I’m putting a bit of force behind it just to see what it’ll
do and it’s not moving so let me show you the power cable since I happen to be
talking about it just so you get an idea of what you’re looking at so you have
here a six-foot cable and there is your dedicated in with a power brick that is
one point five by one point five by two inches so it is definitely
different than the previous plug that you had with the version two it does sit
considerably closer to the wall however the footprint is much bigger than the
old version so that is something again to keep in mind you do get more cable
than you did with the original echo 2 but you do have trade-offs so to speak
one of your next questions aside from you know differences between the echo
version 2 and version 3 would probably be how easy is it to set up the echo
this may be your first device that you’re getting to help you with home
automation or just to have a voice assistant so let me show you how easy it
is to set up the echo version 3 okay this is gonna be setting up of the echo
dot Persian 3 start off by plugging it in and waiting and this is all in real time to give you
an idea just in case yours takes this long that you don’t panic [echo] hello your
device is ready for setup just follow the instructions in your Alexa app alright so I turn that down a little bit so that it’s not overwhelmingly loud so
we’re gonna go into the echo app that shall not be named and we come down and
select in the lower right hand corner the devices area and then we come up to
the plus sign here and select that we have a new device and then we have
choices Amazon echo lights plugs we are going to select an echo and this is the
echo dot I see that they have lots of different choices but they don’t
differentiate dot one version two or version three so we’re gonna select
version three okay so here it actually does show you the difference which is
nice so Version three or version one and two you can skip this step if you wanted
to but I’m not going to we’re gonna say version three and then here is the
available device I’m gonna select that and it’s asking us to select our Wi-Fi
so we are going to put it on Hal there cuz that’s where I put all of my I o T
devices and now we wait for it to connect the dot so you can kind of see
in the background there put the phone over to the side so maybe it’ll be a
little easier to see as it’s spinning with color so there you go your record
dot is now set up tap continued rise is ready yeah
so they forgot says the device is ready so we click to continue and then here we
go we got extra things so connect cable bluetooth use echos built-in speaker so
we are going to say use the built-in speaker and now it’s just bringing me
back to the main login page so this is actually set up so if I said Alexa what
is the weather in Gettysburg in [Echo] Gettysburg Pennsylvania it’s 48 degrees
Fahrenheit with cloudy skies today you can look for lots of clouds with a high
of 49 degrees in a low of 39 degrees and that’s the setup alright so like you saw
it that’s simple yes it did take a little more time but that’s in real time
you’ll notice now that I also have the echo plugged in so we’re gonna talk
about some of the brains of the operation after the few little extras
that we have to talk about with the actual device because the thing is the
echo ecosystem everything is done in the cloud so realistically we’re looking at
the peripheral here this is a means to get to all of that amazon data so you
are looking at being able to support dual band Wi-Fi so 802 11 a BGN and AC
as well as 5 gigahertz same thing ABG and AC so I would recommend sticking
with the 2.4 gigahertz spectrum so that you can place us further away while the
five gigahertz spectrum can be faster it limits you arrange with these things
now I have also limited the amount of data that this can use over my network
mainly because I have a lot of home automation things plugged in and I don’t
want them choking my network so keep in mind that anything that I reference with
the version 3 to the version 2 I have also done to the version 2 so I’ve
limited the network capability to 1.5 Meg up and down for this as well as I
did for the version 2 now I still have to
other echo dots in my house this has replaced the one that was sitting in my
bedroom so I still have the one in my kitchen and the other old echo dot
version 2 is now going to live in my second bedroom now one of my concerns
with the new version gonna do that for a second new version versus the old
version is the build quality the build quality is excellent with this but
similar to my complaints with the Google home Mini this fabric limits my
placement of where I can put this because I don’t want to get this dirty
the other echo dot that I have lives in my kitchen there’s grease splatter over
everywhere and I just wipe it off wipe it down and I don’t have to worry about
it with something like this around the device it kind of makes it so that I’m
concerned about where to put this if you’re putting this in a living room or
a bedroom situation you won’t have to worry but if you’re considering putting
it in your kitchen you’re definitely going to want to consider where in your
kitchen you’re gonna put this just something to think about now you did see
me mute the device you can see this red ring around there that indicates that it
is no longer listening and from this point in the video on I will be saying
the trigger phrase quite frequently now with the trigger phrases you have
choices it doesn’t just have to be what you hear on the TV which is Alexa you
can also use computer or Amazon now I’ve tried using computer cuz well I’m a nerd
and Star Trek but you’re going to probably utter the word computer or hear
computer ordered uttered on your TV set a lot more than you would alexa or
amazon now since I mentioned TV set placement of these is key I do have one
that lives under my entertainment center and it does get triggered occasionally
from people talking on the TV now that’s not them saying the trigger phrase it
just arbitrarily goes off every now and then still haven’t figured out why every
time it happens I send in a report and I go false-flag it shouldn’t be doing that
why is it doing that so keep in mind it may turn on by itself all you have to do
is said trigger phrase stop or trigger phrase turn off if you happen to be
watching a program something like South Park
that Rick rolled a whole bunch of people who had echo devices buy their TV sets
just keep in mind that is a possibility you can always just mute it but you have
to use the physical button so we’re gonna take the mute off and I’m going to
start saying the trigger phrase a lot so please keep that in mind starting off I
say Alexa and you will notice blue light all around now I’m going to shadow that
just a little bit because I want you to see I’m gonna say stuff and the light
will change slightly Alexa so when I come over here you can see that light is
slightly moving because it’s trying to figure out which microphone which
microphone to use to listen to me and you did hear her maybe say because I
have the lapel mic on so you can’t really hear it that well I really don’t
know that one because she couldn’t figure out what I was talking about now
aside from the built-in mics on this it also has technology called far field
communications so if you happen to have more than one of these in your house it
will be able to determine which one is closer to you and use that echo in order
to actuate a particular skill which is very helpful so you don’t have two of
them trying to run the same skill at once and that’s also why all the other
echoes that are still plugged in are muted in my house so I don’t have to
worry about that there are a lot of things that you can do with the echo
here it has basic knowledge information you can run queries you can do math all
that fun happy stuff that I talked about in the other echo
version two video has not changed it still is capable of doing that because
the brains the Alexa all lives say I can use the button to turn it off if I
wanted to it all lives in the cloud but because it lives in the cloud a lot of
the things that I was talking about have changed they’ve made improvements mainly
being routines routines is something that I wanted but didn’t know how to
talk about it in the last video I wanted to set up a routine for my bedtime where
I would say trigger phrase action and then things would turn themselves on and
off in my home automation system at the time they didn’t have that
but now they do with routines you can set up multiple actions to happen where
things turn on and off just by saying a single trigger phrase now in this case
the trigger phrase that I use is goodnight when I say goodnight things
happen now because it’s smart also when I say goodnight it does not say the
acknowledgement phrase so if I said Alexa turn on living room lights I’m
gonna turn that up a little bit Alexa turn off living room lights okay
notice how she says okay when I say the goodnight one she does not say anything
now you will notice that I did turn up the volume a little bit the volume scale
is based off of one to ten unlike in previous versions you can actually now
tell it to Alexa increase the volume which will move it up by one in the slot
of ten which is kind of nice that it does that now another thing that they’ve
added is shortened acknowledgments I don’t use that because I don’t mind it
saying okay however I do like the fact that it has whisper mode so if you have
this in a child’s bedroom and you say so [whisper] Alexa turn on turn off bedroom lights [echo] *whisper* a few things share that name which one do you want [whisper] bedroom light echo] *whisper* ok you can whisper to it and it will
whisper back to you and I I really appreciate this one especially since I
have a light in my bedroom which my wife sometimes comes in to bed a little later
than I do and the one light is a tp-link light over there smart light so she can
use this to turn it on and off and not wake me up because it’s nice and quiet
the other thing that they did is create they created groups so I have one group
in my entire house which is just everywhere and that is every echo device
that I have I can tell it to play some music and it will play that everywhere
on all the devices all at once another thing that I complained about was I wish
I could trigger music from this device but to play on a different
device well guess what Amazon does that now I can trigger something from here
over there now the one thing that still arcs me a little bit is I want to be able
to have a flash briefing which is just a grouping of skills that kind of is like
a bulleted news report start on one finish on another or
trigger it from one to the other that one will not work also and I think I
figured this out is because flash briefing is a skill if I were to do that
skill and then try and trigger a tp-link skill to turn something on or off
it kills the flash briefing if you were playing music and went to a trigger
skill the music would move down and then the skill would happen and the music
would come back so that’s that’s kind of nice so one of the things that still can
be an issue you may have noticed I don’t know if you heard it for sure
with the whisper mode activated there were things that shared a similar
namesake but I have found especially since it’s around the holidays with my
Christmas tree you don’t have to be exact with the wording that you say to
trigger something of that nature so let me show you what that looks like Alexa
turn on Christmas tree okay Alexa turn off Christmas tree
okay Alexa turn on Christmas lights okay Alexa turn off Christmas lights okay
Alexa turn on Christmas okay Alexa turn off Christmas so not terrible it as you
saw it’s just a little little thing to consider now a lot of the features that
I’ve been talking about that the echo dot version 3 here can do require you to
use the Amazon II app now to keep this video short I do have a full review or
walkthrough of the Amazon application which can be found in the corner there
so if you wanted to see how to set some of these things up like whisper mode
or flash briefings you can go check that video out and that’ll show you how to do
that so what I’m gonna do now is I’m going to bring the lapel mic over to the
echo here to give you an example of what the sound actually sounds like now I’m
not gonna crank it all the way up we’re just gonna start it up and let you hear
something Alexa play rock music [echo] here’s a station for rock music classic rock on
Amazon music *rock music playing* Alexa play latest episode of daily tech
news show [echo] getting the latest episode of daily tech news show here it is from
tune in [DTNS] thanks everybody who supports independent tech news directly if you’re
not already become a DTNS member at patreon.com slash DTNS so there you
have a few examples of what the limited volume of this sounds like now that
wasn’t all the way up just keep that in mind this does crank much better than
the echo version 2 did now one of the things I do want to talk about is the
perceived delay that I noticed between the version 3 and the version 2 it is
noticeable that it does take a little longer it seems to process your request
it’s not terribly long so it’s not going to screw with your workflow at all but I
did notice when we first got this that it would take a little longer to process
and it’s not terrible just slightly noticeable so one of the
new things that they also have done not necessarily with the version 3 here but
Amazon echo devices now support multiple accounts now they did before
you just had to switch between the two but now similar to Google home this will
recognize multiple vocal patterns and determine whose account should be used
and that is very useful even though my wife doesn’t use this quite as much as I
do except to turn things on and off so aside from the speaker one of the big
things that is different between the version 3 and the version 2 is the power
cable and power consumption the version 3 because it does have a larger speaker
it does use a little more power so when idling it uses between 1.4 and 2 watts
and when you actually play something it uses between 2.6 and 2 point 9 watts now
when you get your initial LED flare up there it does use a spike of a bit more
on both but it’s just limited to when the mics are being active and the LED is
going so not terrible it’s it’s low enough and power usage that you can have
a couple of these stacked around your house and
have to worry that they’re going to chew up a lot of electricity now I did try
and limit being redundant between things that I covered in the echo version two
review I suggest if you’re looking for like all of the skills and stuff that
these devices can do that you go check that out
I was trying to do a balancing act between the new things that the version
3 can do and just specific things that the version 3 has but if you are looking
for something that is your first foray into a voice assistant or a home
automation hub because you can use this for home automation and for the most
part it talks to everything in anything although Amazon has started down the
road of producing its own home home automation equipment over there is a
review for a Amazon branded smart switch so this is a platform for them they’re
using it but they’re starting to limit who they talk to which has me a little
concerned but it still talks to enough other vendors that I’m not terribly
concerned so the echo dot version 3 here is well worth considering even though
depending on when you get this the price can fluctuate it’s sitting at the normal
price of what the past normal price of the echo dot version 2 which is anywhere
between $50 and $25 on sale I have seen it as low as $20 during some of the
Christmas time stuff for 2018 but then you also have to consider the echo dot
version 2 is going on sale as well and it’s slightly cheaper so the question is
that 5 or 10 extra dollars do you want to spend it on the version 3 well to you
I say do you need the better speaker if your dot is buy something that you can
plug into and have better speakers that no you don’t need this personal opinion
but if you need the better speaker then the version 3 is what you want to get
now with that said I have been Wanderer001 if you have any questions
or comments please leave them in the area below as always thanks for watching

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