Amazon’s Echo and Alexa are perhaps two of the best things that ever happened to the top e-commerce site. We have been hearing raves about the two products, especially the Alexa voice service because they are pretty useful, convenient, and easy-to-use. Alexa is integrated with a number of other services and devices already and we know more will be added soon.

As for the Echo, this one will soon have a sibling in the form of the Echo Dot. It’s a smaller gadget for the smart home that offers Alexa’s skills, letting you set commands like check the weather, get news and sports updates, turn on lights, set timers, play music, or answer questions. Priced at only $49.99, the Echo Dot works the same way as the original Echo introduced way back in 2014.

Just like the Echo, we’re expecting the Echo to be compatible with Wink products, SmartThings, Yelp, Spotify Premium, and Google Calendar. It’s perhaps the more portable version Amazon has been working on since January.

Even without the Echo or Echo Dot, you can still take advantage Alexa but having a standalone device that you can “talk” to is more fun and convenient. The new version is more compact and sleek and looks simpler in either white or black. Features include a built-in speaker, seven microphones, faster speech processor, LED lights, and Bluetooth connectivity. This product is WiFi-enabled so that means the Echo Dot needs to be connected to a network all the time to work.

Echo Dot does everything the first-gen Echo can do. It allows you to control your music at home from streaming sites, change the temperature of your heating or cooling system, start the sprinkler, turn on the lights, or maybe just obtain answers for your child’s endless questions. Echo Dot with Alexa is like having Siri and Google Now. This one from Amazon, offers more flexibility, speed, and accuracy. It can even adopt to your skills and look into how you use the device so Alexa becomes smarter than ever.

With the Echo Dot and Alexa, you really can do a lot of things. Feel free to read audiobooks with Audible, get recipes on the web, order food, find cheap airfares, or even request for an Uber ride.

SOURCE: Amazon (1),(2)