Amazon’s Echo Dot Gen 3 is the best cheap digital assistant

The Amazon Echo Dot sitting on a table.
Credit: Amazon

Last year, I decided to purchase a Google Home and Google Chromecast pack ($30). The Google Home helped to familiarize me with what it was like to talk to a machine. I asked the Google Home things like what the weather was going to be like during the day or to play specific songs. Eventually, the speaker wore out and it stopped responding to me. So, I decided to use Amazon’s Echo Dot (3rd Generation) that was given to me as a gift.

With my experience using this inexpensive “assistant,” I found that a more expensive version was much better. The Dot had a superior speaker which was louder and had greater sound quality. It was also cleaner and had a sleeker look to it. Unlike the Google Home app, the Alexa app was easy to set up and calibrate. I was able to control songs through my phone and even change the apps the Dot was using through the Alexa app. 

The Dot had one problem. It would respond with a whole book whenever I asked it a simple question. For example, when asking Google Home to play ocean sounds it starts playing them no problem. Yet, I can ask the Dot to play ocean sounds and it rambles out so many playlists of ocean sounds that I end up telling Alexa to “stop talking and just play any kind of Indie playlist” instead of enjoying how nice the speaker is. Eventually, I realized I needed to be more specific in my requests to avoid the wordiness. This shifted my opinion on the Dot and I found myself enjoying the assistant. 

If you are looking for a very thorough assistant then the Dot is a great purchase. It reacts immediately to your voice and doesn’t feel cheap. It responds in the best way possible 90 percent of the time. The app functions very simply and easily The Dot is a nice addition to my bedroom making it easy to listen to music, set alarms, and hear the weather for the day.

I would recommend the Echo Dot to someone who is looking for a speaker for a smaller room like an office or bedroom. The Dot’s voice activation never fails, with a great speaker system. The only thing to keep in mind is how wordy the Dot can get, so keep the requests as specific as possible. Overall, it feels like a top of the line assistant and I wouldn’t want any other brand.