We could be looking at a new Echo Dot. According to reports from French publications Numerama and FrAndroid, Amazon is planning to release a third-generation Amazon Echo Dot, the most diminutive (and popular) of its Alexa-enabled devices. It has been two years since we have seen any variation in that design, but leaked photos would suggest that the newest Dot may look a bit more like the current generation Echo than anything else.
Code-named “Donut,” the new Dot is continuing in the tradition of Amazon speakers in more ways than one. Previous generation Dots were also code-named with food items — Pancake was the first-generation speaker, and Biscuit was the second generation. Like the current version of the smart speaker, there are volume, mute, and action buttons on its top. Leaked images also seem to suggest that there are four microphone openings, and if there is still another microphone in the center (which past models have), there are a total of just five microphones in the newest model. Previous generations had seven microphones.
But that doesn’t mean that sound quality or ability to hear your queries has decreased in any way — rather, because microphone beamforming technologies have improved significantly in recent years, it’s likely that fewer and fewer microphones will be necessary for subsequent speakers.
Rumors suggest that the Donut is currently in testing mode among Amazon employees, and reportedly has better sound quality than the present Echo Dot (which is, of course, the most important aspect). As for looks, the sides are apparently going to be made of a fabric material, which makes for an overall softer appearance, with a rounded top and none of the sharp metal edges we see currently. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a pretty similar aesthetic to that of the Google Home Mini. It also seems as though the new Dot will be a bit larger than the current version.
Amazon generally announces it Echo hardware updates in September, so we will likely have to wait a while longer to find out exactly what the company has up its sleeve. We will be sure to keep you posted as more information about the new Echo Dot emerges.