First look: Amazon's Echo Dot with Clock makes for a smarter alarm

It's about time

First look: Amazon Echo Dot with Clock
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The 3rd-generation Echo Dot is still quite fresh, so we didn't expect any major updates during Amazon's hectic September launch event.

What we did get though was a slightly modified version: the Echo Dot with Clock. And, no, there are no prizes for guessing what this is: it's an Echo Dot… with a clock.

It costs $10 more than the existing Dot (which will remain available) and puts a digital LED clock display on the front of the smart speaker.

Why? Because voice assistants like Alexa suck for jobs like asking the time.

First look: Amazon's Echo Dot with clock

On the Dot with Clock (as we're already calling it) the time will be permanently displayed, but the display has other uses.

Ask Alexa what the weather is and it will also show the current outside temperature. Ask for a countdown, and you'll see it.

The clock will also display a small white dot in the corner if you have an alarm set. In fact, it feels like the Dot with Clock is primarily designed as an alarm clock.

Echo Dot with a clock
Echo Dot with a clock

It's still the exact same size, making it perfect for sitting on a nightstand.

And if you do want it by the bed, the display has a sensor to dim the clock so that it's not a distraction.

You can also ask Alexa to adjust the brightness if you wish, which is handy, although we'd prefer actual buttons.

First look: Amazon's Echo Dot with clock

Everything else is the same. The same buttons on top of the same Alexa inside. You can only get it in sandstone at present, though the non-clock version also comes in charcoal, plum and gray.

As someone who uses their Google Nest Hub as a clock, but doesn't want to put it by the bed, I can absolutely see the appeal here.

There are just some things voice will never be able to replace, and telling the time is one of them.

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock: Initial verdict

The Echo Dot with Clock is an admission that voice isn't perfect for certain tasks.

But this is Amazon also recognizing that a lot of people like using their smart speakers as alarm clocks, and that's where the Dot with Clock seems like a perfect fit.

And if you don't want a clock, the regular Dot is still available for $10 less.

TAGGED    amazon    speakers

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