We always find it interesting to look inside commercial products to see what they are made of.
Upcoming electronic gadgets, since you always learn something new in terms of the manufacturing method and some tricks used by the industry at large.
On this occasion, I liked watching this video inside the third generation Amazon Echo Dot, because it includes a small watch, it is very well made.
By the way, the fourth generation Amazon Echo Dot also looks good in the shape of a ball and I would love to see its interior too!
What’s inside Amazon Echo Dot- Part’s List
What’s inside Amazon Echo Dot BOX
- The Echo Dot
- 240V UK power supply
- Things to try leaflet
- Setup instructions
** Sound and connectivity **
The truth is that I was surprised by the volume and sound quality of the speaker, remember that it is the smallest model, of course it will not convince audiophiles but it does not have the tin sound that I expected.
It has a quite warm and round sound and it is very comfortable to listen to the news or music on it, I find it ideal for a small gathering of friends and having background music. It is heard clearly in much of the house without having to turn the volume up to maximum.
Regarding its connectivity, it also works as a bluetooth speaker ( bluetooth can be controlled with the voice) and has an auxiliary output, so if you have a fairly decent sound system at home, this is your device if you want to put Alexa (jack cable is not included).
Of course, keep in mind that no matter how good sound equipment you have, you still depend on the quality of the streaming sound. I have had no problems connecting it via bluetooth to the computer and the phone. Maybe a jack input would have been cool too, but hey.
** Smart functions and Alexa **
Here comes the interesting thing, because if you had not bought a normal bluetooth speaker.
The grace of the Alexa ecosystem is the skills and you depend on them to do a lot of things. For example, there is no Amazon news feed, you have the news because you download a skill from, for example, RTVE. It does have, for example, its own weather service.
The device accepts streaming music from Amazon Music, Spotify (premium only), Deezer and TuneIn. There is an iVoox skill that is a shame it is not natively integrated into Alexa. The voice controls are very good, the quality of the streaming music … well, it is what it is, it could be better, but this is not something from the Echo, it is a matter of streaming services.
Well the skill store is a bit green and full of garbage. For example, there are like twenty different ambient sound apps when there might well be one that would tie them all together, but that seems more like an option for those developers to create many to saturate the store at first. The store will improve. There are news apps, a couple of recipes, another for movies, weather apps, curiosities, games and many smart home apps (keep in mind that each manufacturer uses their own skill for their devices).
Smart home using Amazon Echo Dot
As a note, say that to use the Philips ecosystem you need a Philips Hub unless you have the Echo Plus that has it integrated. For the rest of the devices you have to download its associated app. Alexa works well managing the home, solo devices, or group partners. You can operate the lights in percentages of their brightness or choose their colors. One thing for example that it does NOT do is “Alexa, turn off the lights in five minutes”, which I don’t understand because it knows perfectly well turn on the lights and set five-minute reminders … But hey, it will get better. It is not yet compatible with FireTVs. The devices can also be managed from the Alexa app, if you need it and you are not at home.
I’m going to start with the weak point and that is that it is a bit silly. Things that I solve with a simple internet search like “When is the next SpaceX launch?” Alexa just doesn’t know how to do it. You can ask her very specific things, we could say something from an encyclopedia, but not that and it makes me angry because we could tell her “Alexa, let me know one day before such a play is released” and it would be much more useful, the grace of an assistant is organize your future, not just solve curiosities. Another thing that fails is natural language, I need to express the specific order. For example, if I tell you “20 minus 10” you have no idea what I’m saying, I have to tell you “HOW MUCH is 20 minus 10”, it will get better.
Special Features of Echo Dot
Otherwise very well, it synchronizes with your Google, Apple or Microsoft calendar, you can consult and add events to your calendars, set alarms, timers, reminders. You can also create lists and add items to them (and then they are available to consult also in the Alexa app), send messages or call directly to other contacts of yours who also have Alexa (“Alexa, tell my father that on Friday I spend after work”).
Another interesting thing is the routines, a kind of IFTTT that given an event (a phrase that you say to Alexa, a time of day or an event from a compatible device) performs an action. For example, in my case, if I say “sexy time” it lowers the lights, turns them red and puts Barry White (I had to try it haha). The routines have to improve, to be able to put event triggers, for example that the skills can interact with this system.
** Other things**
You can read some books on your Kindle, the compatible ones, with a perfect robot voice. The light ring glows brighter in the area where your voice is coming from. The smaller model has only four microphones instead of seven of its bigger brothers. When you don’t hear the ring is red.
** Conclusions **
It’s a good-sounding device and I imagine the others in the Echo family will be too. If you want to take the opportunity to put a speaker at home, go for a more expensive model. If you are not going to be playing music all day, the smallest is more than enough with its sound quality.
It is useful for managing the smart home, many manufacturers are compatible with the Alexa ecosystem and there are more and more devices that can be connected. It is a platform with a lot of potential.
As a personal assistant well when it comes to managing your calendar, putting music, reminders, notifying another friend with Alexa, and others mentioned above. The only thing is that she is a bit stupid to search for things on the Internet and that she needs to polish her natural language, but this will improve with the months. Very happy, very curious the invention, now little by little Alexa and the home will be making smarter.
Metal Chassis with Speaker
Processor PCB and speaker
What’s inside Amazon Echo Dot teardown video
Don’t forget to have a look at this !