Tech

Amazon Echo Dot is Back at Half the Price

By Jonna Marcaida Calagui , Oct 04, 2016 01:30 PM EDT
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Amazon decided to cut back the second generation Echo Dot's price to half the original. Now, Alexa - Amazon's virtual voice assistant - would sell into as many homes for just a price of $49.99. With a smaller, sleeker and more stylish body, the new Dot is even more powerful with a new set of "skills" to boot.

Smaller but powerful

Aside from cutting its price to half, the new Echo Dot is smaller with just two volume buttons instead of a volume ring. Amazon also made the new Dot even better and more powerful. Its predecessor was a smash hit for Amazon and even won distinction from CNET as an Editors' Choice. Stocks sold out quickly and after months of being unavailable, Alexa returns with plenty of new "skills."

The new voice app's "skills" allow Alexa to do more than 3,000 different things that a consumer asks for, including calling for a ride, making credit card payments and even ordering pizza. 

With the release of the cheaper Echo Dot, the smart home speaker powered by Siri that Apple is planning and the smart speaker Google Home might find it hard to beat the competition.

Using Alexa

The Echo Dot wakes up when the wake word "Alexa" is said. Alexa is Amazon's equivalent of Siri found in a speaker. It records every word that a consumer says and responds to it in just a matter of seconds. Other wake word options are also available like "Amazon" and "Echo."

The Dot's new microphone hears even better than before. Giving voice commands is much easier even if there is background noise or music playback. Consumers can stream music from different channels like Amazon or Spotify, set timers, look up facts, make it an alarm clock, read the day's headlines from news sources or tell jokes.

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