Amazon Echo Dot is the second device in the Amazon Echo family, and it's easily the most popular. That's due in no small part to its price. This little connected speaker — about a fifth of the size of the original Echo — retails for $50 and often can be found for even less. And that bit of money will get you a connected speaker that ties into just about everything Amazon's "Alexa" smart assistant can do.

Echo Dot can answer questions. It can control the various smart devices around your home. It can place calls and leave voice messages to phones and other Echo devices through Alexa messaging.

It is, simply, the easiest way to get going with Amazon Alexa.

We're on the second iteration of the Echo Dot. The latest sports four buttons on top instead of just two — you've got volume buttons instead of a twistable top, a button to turn off the mic, and a button to activate Alexa should you want to do so manually. It also sports updated microphones and a slightly better speaker, which still can be improved even further if you output its audio via a 3.5mm cable, or with Bluetooth.

See Echo Dot at Amazon

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