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Amazon unveils all-new Echo Dots for 2022

Now with improved audio, plus a built-in temperature sensor and Eero Wi-Fi capability

Amazon has introduced three new Echo Dots this year, including the basic Echo Dot, a version with a built-in LED clock and one targeted specifically at kids with more colourful designs and child-friendly features.

It’s the first two that get the main upgrades, with an all-new speaker driver packed into the same diminutive spherical shell. Amazon promises up to twice the bass and reduced distortion, so it should sound significantly better than the previous generation.

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These models also have a couple of new sensors to give them new features. Both the new Echo Dots come with a built-in temperature sensor so you can get a quick assessment of your ambient temperature and this can be combined with Alexa skills, so a connected fan can automatically kick in when your room hits a certain temperature, for example.

Amazon has also added an accelerometer. This may seem odd for a device that’s intended to be static but here it’s intended to detect your hand for tap controls. Tapping the top of your Echo Dot will pause/resume music, dismiss timers or end calls. 

The Dot with Clock gets the same upgrades along with a denser, brighter array of LEDs, allowing it to show an expanded array of content, and to be more easily read in direct sunlight. While it would previously show only the weather and time, it will now be able to display things like the artist and song title of music you’re playing. 

Finally, there’s the Echo Dot Kids, which doesn’t appear to have any of the upgrades seen in the other two products, and just comes with some cute new designs, should you want your smart speaker to look like an owl or a dragon.  
It’s not just the design that makes it kid-friendly, of course, with parental controls that allow daily time limits and the filtering of inappropriate songs. It also comes with a year’s worth of Amazon KidsPlus, which gives access to “thousands” of ad-free games, books, videos, Audible titles and songs.

Intriguingly, Amazon’s mesh networking system — Eero — has also been built into the new Dots, meaning they can work as Wi-Fi extenders. This will also be coming as a software update to other fourth-generation devices, however, so it isn’t a reason to upgrade in and of itself.

Price-wise, there’s a small price increase across the board. The Echo Dot will set you back £55, while the Dot with Clock and Kids version will cost an extra £10 at £65. Pre-orders open today, and all three will begin shipping next month.

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