Update: The official Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation) release date details are below, but you may also be interested in our newly minted hands-on review:
You might as well wait for the Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation) release date before buying the old entry-level smart speaker from Amazon.com. The new version for 2018 launches next month – specifically October 11 – but you can pre-order it today at the links below.
This is the new version of the cheap Alexa-powered Echo speaker announced by the company today as part of the Amazon 2018 device lineup, and it retails for $49.99 (£49.99 / AU$79) and offering a better design along with new features.
The circular hockey-puck-shaped speaker has a more refined look with a fabric finish this year (you no longer have to buy that fabric Dot case add-on, basically).
The speaker itself will be more powerful, according to Amazon, and still retains its line out and Bluetooth connectivity for both physical and wireless connections.
Here’s everything we know about the Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Generation.
Release date, pre-orders and price
The Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Generation will ship next month, with order going out on October 11 in both the US and UK, according to Amazon. However, you can pre-order this cheap Echo speaker starting today.
It’ll cost the same as the previous Echo Dot speakers: $49.99 for the US, and £49.99 in the UK. We’ll add more regional pricing in other countries as we get it.
Design and features
The new Amazon Echo Dot 2018 looks a lot like the old Amazon Echo Dot, which is the most popular Amazon speaker, only its hockey-puck-shaped circular body is wrapped in the fine fabric – the same fabric we’ve seen from the latest flagship Echo speaker refreshes.
It’s more aesthetically pleasing for your home than the plastic Echo Dot Gen 1 and Gen 2 versions, and comes in three different colors Charcoal, Heather Grey, and Sandstone.
It retains its form factor, but Amazon says there’s a brand new mic array for better performance. Alexa should be able to hear you better despite this diminutive speaker’s size. There are four far-field microphones to hear you from across the room.
The speaker driver is also much larger, going from a 1.1-inch driver to a 1.6-inch driver. That helps deliver more powerful sound, lower distortion, and a bigger bass. You’ll appreciate the higher max volume out of the Echo Dot 2018.
The new Echo Dot Gen 3 is 70% louder than Gen 2, according to Amazon, and yes, it still retains the physical 3.5mm output for connecting external speaker. You can also connect it wirelessly to external speakers via Bluetooth. This allows you to use your own more powerful speakers without having to buy the more expensive and more powerful Amazon Echo.
Alexa is built-in in full. You can ask the smart speaker to play music, answer questions, read news, set alarms, and check the weather. It’s also compatible with Alexa-compatible smart home devices, of which there are many in 2018.
Amazon supports a variety of music streamings platforms through the Echo Dot, including Amazon Music (of course), Spotify, TuneIn and a few others.
You can call and message anyone with an Echo device or the Alexa app. It has the same drop-in and functionality that debuted in the original Amazon Echo Show. Skype is supposedly coming soon, but we haven’t tested that out yet.