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The Amazon Echo Dot is back (and even better than before)

After being sold out for months, Amazon's mini smart speaker is back in a new and improved design that's more affordable than ever.

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Ryan_Crist2.jpg

Ry Crist

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The pint-sized Amazon Echo Dot is back in a second-generation device that costs less than any other Alexa-enabled smart speaker to date. Click through to see what's new with version two.

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A mini smart speaker

The Amazon Echo Dot is a smart speaker with "Alexa," Amazon's voice-activated virtual assistant, built-right in. You can ask her to stream music and podcasts, look up facts, read the headlines, control your smart home gadgets, and a whole lot more.

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New look

The Echo Dot is available in both black and white now, with a slightly slimmer profile than generation one.

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Same Alexa smarts

The second-gen Echo Dot features all of the same Alexa smarts as the first generation. It's also still the only Echo speaker that you can connect with an existing audio setup.

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Volume buttons

The new Echo Dot features two new buttons on the top of the device for turning the volume up and down.

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More than before

That's a slight design tweak. The old Echo Dot didn't use volume buttons, and instead let you adjust things by rotating the ring around the head of the device.

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Shorter profile

The new Echo Dot is a bit shorter than before, because that volume ring is gone.

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Still a mute button

You can still tap an action button to wake Alexa up without saying the wake word, and you can still tap the microphone button to put the system on mute.

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Jacks in the back

There are two ports on the Amazon Echo Dot. One is for the power supply, the other is a line-out jack that you can use to connect the device to an existing audio setup.

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No cable (no problem?)

The Echo Dot doesn't come with its own line-in cable, but if you don't have one (or you don't want to buy one), you can also connect to external speakers using Bluetooth.

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Speakers below

Turn the Echo Dot over and you'll find its speakers.

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A closer look

They're obviously not as loud as the full-sized Amazon Echo.

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Price

The new Echo Dot costs $50 a piece (or £50 in the UK, where Alexa just launched last month. Amazon hasn't released Alexa products in Australia yet, but the price comes out to about AU$65). That's almost twice as affordable as the first generation -- check out our full review!

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