The Echo Dot is sort of a mini version of the Echo speaker, packing the same voice-assisted punch as its predecessor. Similar to the bigger version, users can ask the Dot questions and Alexa will reply with answers sourced from the cloud via Wi-Fi connection. Dot can also check the weather, play music, control smart devices around your home, and even request an Uber.
However, while the Echo Dot employs the same “far field” voice control tech as its predecessor, the micro-sized device isn’t designed to rock out tunes in 360 degree sound like the Echo. Instead, the device is more like an audio adaptor with smarts inside, allowing users to connect it to their preferred speakers via a 3.5mm analog audio cable, or Bluetooth connection, though the dot does have a small speaker tucked inside for voice feedback from Alexa herself.
On the other hand, we have the Amazon Tap, designed as a “portable version of the Echo.” The speaker is light in weight but heavy in the sound department, equipped with Dolby audio DSP, and 360 degree omni-directional audio, just like the original Echo. And while the speaker can meet up with Alexa and all her charms when connected to Wi-Fi, the Tap also boasts Bluetooth connection for travel, allowing you to take it along for the ride and play your favorite tunes from your smartphone, with up to nine hours of battery life.
Amazon’s latest devices follow the release of its Dash Button and Dash Replenishment Service, designed to make our domestic lives even easier — and smarter. The Echo Dot is priced at $90, while the mobile Amazon Tap is on sale for $130. Both products go on sale today but won’t be shipped till March 31st.