It’s hard to believe that we are now up to the 5th generation of Echo Dot from Amazon, but here we are. The Echo Dot has come a long way since its inception and now it includes all types of fancy functionality – and a digital clock as well.

For those new to this segment of the technology marketplace, the Echo Dot is Amazon’s entry-level smart speaker – for all your Alexa needs. We were sent the 5th Gen Echo Dot with Clock to review and given we have a fourth-generation version on hand to compare it to had some of our own thoughts on it.

What’s new with the 5th Gen Echo Dot with Clock?

Amazon tell us that the new Echo Dot with clock has an improved speaker capability with not just louder music but also clearer sounds and deeper bass. In reality that was true although the difference was not massive between this and the previous generation.

The clock is still present but it’s now bigger and displays more. Now the LED display displays not just the time but also temperature and other weather details, song playing information and relevant search information (after you ask Alexa to search for something).

It doesn’t show the entire information at once as you’d expect from such a relatively small LED display but instead scrolls the information across it. It is a nice addition to the Echo Dot with Clock but I’m not sure how much I would actually use it – maybe when listening to new music to quickly see what the song playing was?

The new Echo Dot with Clock also includes a temperature sensor which can be incorporated into Routines in your Alexa app which I found extremely handy. It is now also possible to be used as a mesh point as part of an Amazon Eero mesh Wi-Fi network – something that is not supported in Australia just yet but we are looking to test it out as soon as it is.

Functionality and uses

Speaker

As a speaker there is definitely an improvement in the sound quality with the new Echo Dot with Clock. The sound is much fuller with a nice breadth across the entire spectrum. Although we shouldn’t expect super punchy bass from such a small speaker the bass is decent enough for a speaker designed to not be your main speaker but one you can turn to as part of an overall bigger system – that’s what the bigger Echo speakers are for.

Digital Assistant and Smart home uses

I have both Google Home devices and Alexa devices in my house and I prefer the Alexa ones because the smart home products respond much faster to the commands from Alexa than from the Google Assistant. Google seems to take that second or two longer which is frustrating.

The Alexa app itself has some great smart home features such as easy to make and use Routines. The problem I had with the review of this product is that it seems that Amazon updates the Android Alexa app via backend updates – not directly through the app on the Play Store. For the first couple of hours the Alexa app crashed on the six different Android devices I tested it on, not allowing me to view anything at all within the app.

Eventually one of them started working and within 24 hours the rest had too. I wasn’t the first to experience this according to Play Store reviews so if this happens to you while setting up your Echo smart speaker within the Alexa app I recommend patience – something I had very little of when I was testing it. Eventually it will work.

One of the best things about the new Echo Dot with Clock is the built-in temperature sensor that can be incorporated into Routines. I have set it up so that if the Echo Dot with Clock senses the room temperature gets above a certain temperature it will put down all of the west-facing blockout blinds in the house. Of course, you can have it do other things as well but this is my favourite use for it.

As your bedside alarm clock

The small footprint of the Echo Dot with Clock allows you to easily fit it on your bedside table so that you have not just an alarm clock that will show the time all night but don’t worry it has an ambient light sensor in it so it will adjust the LED clock brightness based on the brightness of your room.

Should you buy it?

Amazon’s Echo Dot with Clock fifth generation is a decent enough upgrade on the previous generation to consider upgrading. If you want better quality sound from your Echo Dot, want/could use a built-in temperature sensor, want a bigger LED display that shows more information then you should definitely look at upgrading to the fifth generation.

Once Amazon rolls out the compatible Eero mesh Wi-Fi in Australia and you use this then you should really look at upgrading with the fifth generation Echo Dot with Clock doubling as a mesh point in the newer Eero Wi-Fi network. Once it does roll out here we are hoping to give it a try and see just how well it performs — stay tuned for that.

Now is a great time to upgrade your Echo Dot with Clock speaker too with Black Friday sales having already started over at Amazon. You can pick up one of the newer Echo Dot with Clock smart speakers for just $69, down 30% from its usual $99 price. Grab one now in Cloud Blue or Glacier White before the price rises.