There’s a lot of new smart speaker-digital assistant products on the market these days. The latest to arrive is the 5th generation of the popular Amazon Echo Dot with Clock. This compact smart home helper features all the power of Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant with the added functionality of a bedside alarm clock. I had a chance to wake up with the new 2022 version of the Echo Dot with Clock for a week and in this review I’ll talk about what’s new, what it’s designed to be best for, how it works and if I can recommend it for you.
5th Gen Echo Dot with Clock
There’s a few key changes in the 5th Generation version of Amazon’s popular pint-sized echo device, and while they may not have you rushing to click ‘Buy Now’ they are handy and helpful and may make upgrading from an older device worthwhile. Plus with speaker improvements, there’s no sacrificing sound quality if you need a smaller size.
- Speaker improvements are noticeable
- Great bass, well-balanced speaker
- Excellent smart home hub
- Alexa is a helpful digital assistant
- New Temperature sensor
- Can work as Wi-Fi extender with eero
- LED display now more versatile
- There’s really nothing not to like!
What is Echo Dot with Clock 5th Gen?
The key feature of the Echo Dot with clock, as you might guess, is the addition of a LED digital display to the front of the spherical Dot. The display can show things like the time, temperature or the status of a timer if you set one. While the LED lights don’t really change much about this device and its true core purpose as a smart home hub, it does make it easier to use beside your bed or even in a bathroom, which is where I placed mine.
A built-in light sensor automatically adjusts the display’s brightness, day or night, and when I did move it to the bedroom for a few days, I didn’t find it too bright for sleeping.
What makes 5th Gen Echo Dot with Clock different?
There are a few key additions and improvements in this device that makes it a bit of a better choice over previous versions. The last time I reviewed Echo Dot with Clock was the third generation, so some of these upgrades will be even more useful to those of us with an older version.
For starters Amazon says the speaker sounds better with, “an improved audio experience for clearer vocals, deeper bass, and vibrant sound.” The LED display now does more and apart from time and temperature it can now also display more weather details, song titles and more relevant info to your inquiry.
5th Gen Echo Dot with Clock also has a temperature sensor built in so you can use it to create routines based on the temperature in the room.
The final addition and improvement is that there’s a Wi-Fi booster built in if yo use the Amazon Eero network. With the Wi-Fi capabilities in here you can add up to 1,000 sq ft of Wi-Fi coverage to a compatible eero network.
That’s actually quite a bit of improvement in the new version, particularly when compared to my 3rd gen version.
Setting up Amazon Echo Dot with Clock
Setting up this device, like all Echo devices, is easy and straightforward. You’ll plug it in then follow the instructions you’ll get verbally or via the Alexa app. That basically involves getting connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network and signing in to, or creating, an Amazon account.
Once that’s wrapped, you can manage the Dot with Clock’s setting inside the Alexa app.
Alexa as your Alarm Clock
This Dot is made for your night stand and its small footprint means it doesn’t take up a lot of space.
You can ask Alexa to set an alarm each day, or ask her to see an alarm for every weekday so you don’t need to worry about remembering every night. I liked that feature a lot.
You can customize the sound Alexa will make as your alarm inside the Alexa app. There’s an expanded choice of different sounds since I last explored the device, and there’s options from light wakeful tones to songs and celebrity voice clips too.
When it rings, you can tap the top of the device to snooze it, or just ask Alexa to shut it off.
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock as a Speaker
With the smaller speaker, the Echo Dot with Clock is definitely less powerful than some of the other Echo devices, but Amazon has continued to make improvements in the audio quality so it doesn’t sound small and tinny. Even so, this small unit is meant to be a supplementary or satellite to your overall system.
Echo Dot with Clock has always sounded just fine to my ears, given its place int the Echo ecosystem. The 5th Gen Dot with Clock sounds quite good for its small size, and the improvements are noticeable. It gets good and loud but the audio is also clear and crisp; in the 5th gen there is a lot more detail in the music and more resonance in the bass than before.
Particularly on the high end of the music spectrum, the previous versions of the Dot with Clock could lean into tinny, but Amazon seems to have balanced the speaker much better so it has more of a natural sound. The bass is actually pretty good on this speaker, and it can get quite loud while still keeping the overall sound big and clear. In short it sounds great and you’ll have a hard time cracking on this speaker’s quality, given its size and price.
Use Bluetooth for music or podcast play
You can also stream music from your phone or device to the Dot with Clock and use it as a Bluetooth speaker.
To pair your mobile device with Echo Dot:
- Open the Alexa app.
- Open the left navigation panel, and then select Settings
- Select your Echo Dot, and then select Bluetooth, pair New Device and your Dot enters pairing mode.
- Open the Bluetooth settings menu on your mobile device, and select your Echo Dot. It may take a few seconds for your Echo Dot to appear in the list. Alexa then tells you if the connection is successful.
- To disconnect your mobile device from Echo Dot, say, “Disconnect.”
The next time you want to connect your mobile device to your Echo Dot, turn on Bluetooth on your mobile device, and then say, “Alexa, Connect.” If you have multiple Bluetooth devices paired with your Echo Dot, Echo Dot connects to the most recent device.
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock as a Personal Digital Assistant
The real power of the dot with Clock is as an Alexa digital butler and smart speaker. Like other Alexa smart speakers, this one has voice control, meaning you can ask for smart home commands, like lights to be turned on or off., or your smart thermostat’s temperature to be adjusted. Listen to music or news briefings, or audio books on Audible, check the weather, set timers and alarms, or just ask any question that’s on your mind.
Audio calls with Drop In: instant intercom
If you have two Amazon Echo devices, you can make audio calls using what’s called Drop In. By saying, ‘Alexa, drop in Echo Dot’, or Bedroom, or Kitchen, or whatever you’ve named a particular Echo device, your Dot with Clock will attempt a device-to-device call, which must be answered by someone on the other end in order to connect. Put another way; no eavesdropping!
If you want to phone a friend, you can do that too. Just use the Communicate button on the bottom bar of the Alexa app to make a call over Wi-Fi using your Dot as a speakerphone.
Overall review of 5th gen Amazon Echo Dot with Clock
Overall this is a great upgrade to an already very capable device.
The speaker improvements are noticeable and actually go a long way to rounding out Echo Dot with Clock into a nice sounding compact speaker.
The addition of a temperature sensor is nice and I plan to create a routine where if it gets too cold in the bedroom I can trigger the space heater plugged into my Amazon smart plug to come on for a bit. The additional LED light display options are helpful if subtle and the light sensor that keeps the clock from being too bright is handy too.
When it comes to Alexa as a personal digital assistant, she’s infinitely capable and responsive and I love having her in my life. It’s easy to set timers and alarms, to get news and listen to books to fall asleep, and Echo devices work really well at managing my smart home.
If you’re looking for a compact yet ultra smart personal assistant speaker that doubles as a capable alarm clock, the Echo Dot with Clock is a great choice.
Sells for $80CAD $59USD, and that’s the same price its been since at least Gen 3 so kudos to Amazon for nixing increases while adding features.
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