I’ve had several queries from various friends and colleagues asking me if the Echo Dot can work as a “standalone” and independently of the Echo.
The answer is Yes. You don’t need an Echo to use your Dot. I am traveling right now and I have my Dot with me, and my Echo is nowhere near me — and I even went ahead and de-registered my Echo from my Amazon account just to make sure, and my Dot is working splendidly.
The confusion is understandable, since, as far as I can see, you can order the Dot only via the Amazon Echo. (If there is a way to buy some other way, I have not figured it out yet.) Also, calling it the “Echo Dot” enhances the impression that Dot is an Echo surrogate.
I am sure there are various rational business reasons why ordering the Dot is being restricted to the Echo channel, but the restriction is causing non-trivial product confusion with customers. The Dot is a great way for people to dip their toe into the Alexa waters, hence its lower price of $90. Constraining its purchase to only those who have an Echo makes it sound like it is just an accessory to the Echo, when in fact it is a device in its own right and a great entry point to the wonderful world of Alexa.
Also: as soon as I got my Dot, my very first point of irritation was over the fact that this little plucky puck demanded the same stationary respect as the more stately Echo needed. That was not going to do — and hence, I have effectively rendered my Dot mobile so that I can carry it with me around the house. I have done so thusly:
So grab yourself a couple of these lipstick shaped portable chargers for like $10 from Amazon.com or pick them up at your favorite local Costco, and enjoy your Echo on the Go.
PS: Those who may be tempted to reply that the Tap is what I should be using, my answer is: I need my far field and I don’t like grabbing things with a full hand to ask for the weather or a request a tune.