Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? (2024)

Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? (1)

Echo Dot

Bottom Line

The Echo Dot is the quintessential budget smart home assistant, allowing you to summon Alexa at the sound of your voice and control other smart gadgets in your home.

$24.99 Amazon

VS

Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? (2)

Echo Pop

Bottom Line

The Echo Pop does almost everything the Dot does, but it lacks motion detection and temperature sensing capabilities. It’s a little cheaper, and it comes in fresher colors, too.

$17.99 Amazon

Table of Contents

Amazon has cornered the market on inexpensive and easy-to-use smart home devices with its Echo lineup. Two of its tiniest (yet still feature-packed) offerings are the Echo Dot (now on its 5th generation) and the Echo Pop, which debuted in 2023. Both have a price point under $50 and regularly go on sale for $20 to $30 — especially during Prime Day.

And while the two devices are remarkably similar, there are some key differences you should know before you buy. Here’s how the Echo Dot (5th gen) and the Echo Pop compare, based on my first-hand insights as someone who’s used both.

Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Specs

Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? (3)

Credit: Chart: SaVanna Shoemaker / Mashable

Design: We like color options

The Echo Dot and the Echo Pop are nearly the same size, but while the Echo Dot is round the Echo Pop has a flat face. It basically looks like a cross-section of the Dot.

Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? (4)

The Echo Dot (left) and Echo Pop (right) — as you can see, the Echo Dot has been graced with toddler spaghetti fingers.Credit: SaVanna Shoemaker / Mashable

The Echo Dot also comes in three fairly muted colors (gray, white, and blue), but the Echo Pop is available in some, well, poppier colors (lavender and teal in addition to gray and white).

Overall, I like the appearance of the Echo Pop a little better. The brighter colors can add a cute splash of color to a corner shelf, or the Pop can serve as a more discreet Alexa assistant than the Echo Dot (which is fairly universally recognized as a smart home device).

Both have a modern, sleek appearance that can easily complement or blend into any style of decor.

Winner: Echo Pop

Setup and ease of use

Amazon has made setting up these devices extremely easy. You’ll need the Alexa app on your phone, and it walks you through setup step-by-step. The app is also where you’ll connect other apps like Spotify or Audible to stream them on your Echo devices using Alexa voice commands.

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Echo vs. Echo Dot: Which Amazon device should you buy?

The devices themselves are also very straightforward. The physical buttons on them allow you to mute and unmute the microphone and adjust the volume. Everything else is done through voice commands or through the Alexa app. I had no problems setting up either device and both were highly responsive to my “Hey, Alexa’s.”

Winner: Tie

Sound quality is almost identical

Amazon describes the Echo Pop’s sound as a “full sound” that’s a good fit for bedrooms and small spaces and the Echo Dot’s sound as a “bigger vibrant sound” for any room.

In my side-by-side comparisons of the Echo Dot and the Echo Pop, I couldn’t detect a difference in sound quality between the two devices. Both devices were excellent for playing background music in my office or listening to podcasts while doing housework, providing fuller, clearer sound and increased volume compared to my smartphone.

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The Echo Pop does have an ever-so-slightly larger speaker. However, the Dot’s round shape can help it to fill a space with sound no matter where it’s placed.

Winner: Echo Dot

Alexa integration and smart home connectivity

Both the Echo Dot and the Echo Pop integrate with Alexa through the Amazon Alexa app. You can use Alexa to ask questions, check the weather, set timers and alarms, and open connected apps (like music or streaming apps including Spotify, Pandora, Audible, and Amazon Music).

Personally, I have always found Alexa devices most handy in the office and in the kitchen. They provide a hands-free, screen-free way to set timers (for productivity or pizza) or to stream audio. A centrally-located Echo device is also a great way to free up space in your brain. I’ve used Alexa to remind me to water my plants, put birthday cards in the mail, and check the water level in the pool at regular intervals when filling it up for the season.

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However, the Echo Dot edges out the Echo Pop here in two key ways: temperature sensing and motion detection. So your Echo Dot can execute Alexa Routines that involve temperature or motion, while the Echo Pop can’t. Some examples:

  • The Echo Dot can adjust your smart thermostat settings when it reaches a certain temperature

  • The Echo Dot can turn on smart lightbulbs when it senses motion in a room

Winner: Echo Dot

Considering additional features

The Echo Dot and the Echo Pop can both serve as WiFi extenders if you have an existing Amazon Eero network, adding up to 1,000 square feet of additional WiFi coverage.

However, once again the Echo Dot edges out the Echo Pop in terms of extra features. As mentioned above, the Dot comes equipped with motion and temperature detection capabilities.

Also, the Echo Dot with Clock ($59.99) comes with all the features of the 5th gen Echo Dot and a simple LED display that can show the time, temperature, and timer countdowns. The Echo Dot With Clock served me well for a time as my alarm clock, but it wouldn’t have earned that spot on my nightstand without the LED display so I could glance at the time.

Winner: Echo Dot

Our winner: Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop

Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? (5)

Echo Dot

The Echo Dot and the Echo Pop are much more similar than they are different. The Echo Pop is about $10 less expensive and a little bit cuter (and available in more fun colors). However, it lacks the motion detection and temperature sensing that would allow it to execute some of the most helpful and practical Alexa commands and Routines.

If you’re just looking for an easy-to-use speaker to play music or set alarms in a room in your home, the Echo Pop is a fine choice. However, for a more functional smart home assistant, it’s best to pay the extra $10 and purchase the Echo Dot.

Get It

$24.99 Amazon

TopicsAmazonAmazon AlexaAmazon Echo

How we tested

I tested the Echo Pop for a few weeks shortly after it debuted in 2023 and wrote about it here. I went through the entire setup process, tested a variety of Alexa commands, and even did some sound quality tests comparing it to the Echo Dot With Clock during that review process.

However, the Echo Dot With Clock was a personal purchase for me — it lived in my office as a hands-free assistant briefly before I moved it to my nightstand and became my alarm clock. In the roughly two years I was actively using it, I tried many different Alexa features but found it most helpful for streaming audio and setting timers and alarms.

Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? (2024)
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