Review: Echo Dot (Ultimate Smart Home Accessory?)

Smart homes are becoming more and more commonplace. People are relying on advanced devices to help them with standard day-to-day tasks around the house. The Amazon Echo Dot is a simple little tool that can help you control your smart home even more effectively. It’s an affordable product that ties nicely into other smart products around the home.

With the Echo Dot and a few other smart home products you can easily control the music that plays in your home, you can control the lights in your home, you can look up information, create lists and do a whole lot more all with your voice. The Echo Dot is a capable little device that serves as an exceptionally useful tool in the kitchen. Add one or several to your home, and you’ll make it much easier to manage. Of course, the Echo Dot can’t do everything, and there are some limitations to this device. Read on to learn what it does and what it doesn’t do, and whether or not it’s something you’ll want to invest in.

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Control Smart Accessories

The Echo Dot works on its own to control a wide range of smart home products. Put one in your bedroom and turn the lights on and off, lock or unlock your doors, raise and lower window shades and even adjust the temperature of your space all from the comfort of bed. It’s designed to work with Samsung SmartThing, Nest, WeMo, Philips Hue products and many others. That means just about any smart home accessory you can find, is likely to function with the system, making it easy to automate more actions around your home.

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Control Music around Your Home

The Echo Dot can attach to speaker systems in your home and control the audio playback that they offer. Add a dot to the stereo in your living room and you have a voice-controlled music machine that can access your entire playlist. Ask the Dot to play a specific song in your library and moments later it will start up. It’s quick and very convenient. The Dot connects to devices via Bluetooth or a direct 3.5 mm connection. It will connect up to your Amazon Music library, as well as Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn and iHeartRadio, so you can get music from your favorite sources.

Make Alexa Voice Calls

Know someone else with an Echo? Now you can call them directly in mere moments. Simply register the devices of other people, and calling them is as quick and easy as giving a voice command. Check up on your parents, your babysitter, your brother that lives in another country and anyone else that you can think of. If they have an Echo you can call them, and you don’t have to pay any fees to use the voice service. It’s quick and easy.

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Enjoy Voice Control in Every Part of Your Home

The Echo Dot is completely capable of running home automation systems and it’s very affordable compared to the full-sized Echo. Add several dots around your home and you’ll have voice control over your entire system no matter where you are in your home. The Echo products are capable of detecting which device is closest to you, so you’ll always be accessing the closest Echo or Dot product to you, even if multiple devices are within range.

Manage Kitchen Activities Conveniently

The Echo Dot is an ideal companion in the kitchen. It makes creating shopping lists quick and easy and you can look at them later on right on your smartphone while at the store. You can also set alarms, fire up a cup of coffee and even convert different units to make sure you’re getting the right measurements. You can even ask about calorie amounts in different food items when you’re trying to figure out which items in your fridge go along with your diet plan.

Fully Customizable

The Echo Dot isn’t the only home automation tool available today, but it’s one of the best looking ones. It can be fully customized using one of the many different Dot cases on the market today. Choose a case that will get your dot looking just like the rest of the décor in your room and it will blend in seamlessly. This is one of the nicest things about the Dot because it really does fit in most rooms.

Control with Mobile Devices

Not only does the Echo Dot enable control of your home through voice commands, it also makes it possible to control your home with your smartphone or tablet. There is an Alexa App available for free to Fire OS users, Android users, and iOS users. You can add the app to any of these devices and control your home from anywhere within your home network.

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Echo Dot Drawbacks

While there is a lot that this little system does well, it does come with some drawbacks. The first is that you’ll have to take the time to set it up before you can do much of what the system is capable of. It may not even play music until you add in all your music accounts to the system. The Dot also won’t be able to take on home automation tasks until you’ve connected it with those devices. The little guy can’t tell you your music playlists or the items it’s added to a playlist. It can’t automatically find songs from all your different music services, and you’ll instead have to ask it to play music from a specific source. You also have to be careful how you phrase things to the little guy if you want it to work properly, but that’s the same with all the voice-controlled utilities on the market today. Sure it has its limitations, but there is still a lot to like about this automation tool.

The Echo Dot is a smaller and nearly as capable device as the full-sized Echo. It’s a good value product to add to a home that you want more voice control coverage in and is ideal for connecting to speaker devices and other media systems around your home. The Dot works well on its own as well and is an affordable tool for automating your home a bit more.

Echo Dot Can Be the All in One Device You'll Ever Need

Ease of Use
Customization Settings

The Echo Dot can do some pretty cool things, find out if it stacks up to the competition out there and where you should go buy it!

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