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Amazon Echo Dot with Clock review

Amazon Echo Dot gets a clock upgrade, impressive audio and a super low price

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock
(Image: © Amazon)

Our Verdict

Amazon's Echo Dot has had a clock upgrade as well as bigger sound and a more attractive design, making this the best compact smart speaker yet from the company.

For

  • LED display
  • Enhanced sound quality
  • Tap to snooze alarm clock

Against

  • Still small-scale sound

The Amazon Echo Dot with Clock does what the name suggests, it has a clock display on Amazon compact smart speaker. This generation has an enhanced look, better audio and a new tap to snooze alarm - all making this an ideal bedside companion. 

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock: What you need to know

  • $60 price
  • Alarm clock functionality
  • Display with time and more

The third generation Echo Dot was a jump up, adding bigger sound and a more attractive design. This has now been enhanced further with the addition of a display for showing the time and more. Couple that with the tap to snooze functionality and this is a great bedroom, or any room, buddy. It gives you the Alexa smart assistant for cheap while still offering a speaker.

Granted, this isn't the best speaker - it'll do, sure, but when you hear a larger unit you'll notice what was lacking. So if you were going to get a new alarm clock or compact smart speaker anyway, why not combine the two?

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Amazon Echo Dot with Clock

(Image credit: Amazon)
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Amazon Echo Dot with Clock

(Image credit: Amazon)
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Amazon Echo Dot with Clock

(Image credit: Future)
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Amazon Echo Dot with Clock

(Image credit: Future)
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Amazon Echo Dot with Clock

(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock: Design and build

  • LED display
  • 3.5mm output
  • No color options

The stand out feature on the Amazon Echo Dot with Clock is that LED display which attractively shines through the outer knit material. This appears in white to fit in with the all white design. And this really is all white, there is no longer a black option available like with previous generations.

On the back is the usual 3.5mm output audio port meaning you can hook this up to a more powerful speaker if you want, giving that smart Alexa voice control. This also has Bluetooth so you could play to it directly via a smartphone that's not on the Wi-Fi network.

On the top are button controls for volume, mute and Alexa. But also there's the tap to snooze control, but more on that below. Surrounding the buttons is Alexa's now famous LED light ring which displays blue when listening or answering but red when muted. 

The whole Echo Dot with Clock is just 3.9-inches in diameter and 1.7-inches tall, meaning it'll fit almost anywhere you need it in your home.

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock: Features

  • Clock display with snooze alarm
  • Temperature display
  • Smart home voice controls

While the Echo Dot with Clock can act as a speaker for music, you're more likely getting this for its smart functionality. Thanks to Alexa onboard you can use your voice to control the smarthome from wherever this sits. Since this is designed to also be an alarm clock, and it'll likely be in your bedroom, that makes it very useful. 

Before even getting out of bed you can set the thermostat, turn on the lights and even get your hot drink brewing ready for you to roll out of bed. Combine actions using Alexa Routines to make all that happen with one command like "Alexa, good morning".

Then perhaps have Alexa read out the news and weather. That clock will also handily display the temperature when you ask for the weather. When used as an alarm you'll have the time displayed for when that alarm is due to go off, as you set it. When it sounds, you simply need to tap the top of the unit to snooze the alarm or use your voice to turn it off totally. 

The display brightness can be controlled from the Alexa app although there is an adaptive brightness setting. This does a good job meaning even at night it should be darkened enough to let you sleep comfortably while still being clear enough to see at a glance if you want. If not, just say "Alexa, turn off display" and you'll be plunged into darkness.

Alexa Communication is also useful, allowing you to make and receive calls from your Dot in the US, UK, Canada and Mexico. Also, if you have more than one Echo device in your home, you can use them as a two-way intercom to talk between rooms. 

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock: Performance

  • Respectable voice recognition
  • Clear display
  • Decent sound for the size

While the third gen Echo Dot has shown an improvement in sound quality, it's still a compact speaker system so it has its limits, most notably in bass. The sound is definitely lighter though with a better treble response. This combined with enhance timing and dynamics makes for an overall improvement and a decent sound quality for the size. 

Alexa is controlled via voice well, most of the time, but turn up the volume and you'll struggle to get heard to turn it down again unless you shout. Although you likely won't want to go too loud as distortion gets pretty strong when this little speaker is pushed to anything above a comfortable listening volume. 

Should I buy the Amazon Echo Dot with Clock?

To get an affordable smart speaker to control the home and perhaps listen to a track or the radio at a reasonable volume this is ideal. Add in the clock display and alarm functionality and this makes it perfect for anyone looking to get a new alarm clock in the bedroom. If you've got a lot of smart home devices it's a great place to shutdown and start up the home, right from the comfort of bed. 

If you want this primarily as a speaker and enjoy music loud then you're better off spending a bit more on the Amazon Echo 3rd Generation, a Google Home or perhaps, for bigger budgets, a Sonos or Apple HomePod.

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock: Verdict

The Amazon Echo Dot with Clock is one of the best compact smart speakers, if not the best. It combines an LED display for time, temperature and alarms with smart voice controls via the Alexa assistant. This makes it perfect as a bedside alarm clock that also allows you to control the wider smart home.  

The price is super low and although sound quality is improved and decent for the size, this isn't a stand alone speaker system for most. Spending a bit more will get you the latest Echo for enhanced sound but you lose the display. The direct competitor, Google's Nest Home Mini, has similar sound quality and smart controls via Google Assistant only you lose the clock option.

So if you want a compact smart speaker that displays time and controls smart devices, this could be the best option out there right now for you.