The Echo Dot has now made its way to your kids’ room. Well, it may have already been there, but now Amazon is marketing it with colorful new bumpers and software updates.
Echo Dot: Premium Edition?
On the surface, aside from the colorful case, it would appear that there’s “not much to see here.” However, Amazon was able to find some items to help justify the new premium.
From a hardware perspective, there’s not really a lot different here. The Echo Dot Kids Edition is essentially a standard Echo Dot, with a color bumper to help it withstand your standard kid jostling and the same “two-year worry-free guarantee” the company introduced on its kids’ Fire Tablets. That means it’s covered for accidental and intentional breakage, should the little one take the thing apart out of curiosity.
At $80, it’s a $30 premium over the standard Dot. That price jump is largely due to the software included herein, making the device a bundle of sorts. It covers two years of FreeTime Unlimited— which includes a new premium version of the company’s smart assistant built for kids. That includes a bunch of child-friendly content, including 300 Audible books, an ad-free version of iHeartRadio Family and skills and content from the likes of Disney and National Geographic. Amazon’s also partnered with Disney and Nickelodeon on alarms, so kids can get woken up by the likes of Coco each morning.
Like the free version of FreeTime, it also includes a number of parental controls that can be adjusted directly from the Alexa app, similar to what the company has already rolled out on the tablet side of things. Parents can adjust time limits, filter out explicit content and review their kids’ Alexa activity from the new parental dashboard. The Dot also features the new intercom functionality rolled out from Alexa, but disables the ability to call Echos outside of the home network.
However, there aren’t any new privacy features that are built into the hardware. There is still the mute button and parents can also prevent the device from answering questions.
For those who are interested, the Echo Dot Kids Edition is available for pre-order today and will start shipping on May 9.