Amazon lowered the barrier to entry for folks looking to use its Alexa-powered wireless speakers when the company introduced the new $50 Amazon Echo Dot. The tiny speaker can listen for questions and voice commands, allowing you to get news updates, play music, or find out who’s playing in the World Series all without using your hands.
But unlike the $130 Amazon Tap, the Echo is designed to be a stationary device: it doesn’t have a battery.
You can connect it to a portable battery pack though, since the Echo Dot has a micro USB port for power. And if you want one that looks like it was made for the Echo Dot (because it was), the Evo battery base looks like an interesting option.
Launching at the end of December, the Evo is up for pre-order in black or white for $35… which is $15 off the list price.
In other words, a full-priced battery costs just as much as an Echo Dot speaker.
That said, it does allow you to use the Echo Dot in ways that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. It plugs right into the bottom of the speaker, making the combined contraption look like a single device rather than a speaker with a jumble of wires connecting it to a battery.
Early reviews suggest that the battery base should provide around 6 hours of run time, has LED lights to indicate the charge level, and takes literally seconds to set up.
And while Amazon already offers a portable, battery-powered Alexa device (the aforementioned Amazon Tap), that device doesn’t support truly hands-free operation, since you have to tap a button before you can use Alexa. On the other hand, it’s a much better speaker than the Echo Dot, which is meant to be either a relatively cheap standalone speaker or a device that you can plug into a higher-quality stereo system or speaker, allowing you to provide your own sound system.
via Android Police