“Amazon Echo Dot” review (4th generation) Finally, a round point
What we like
- An attractive new look
- Improved design
- Environmentally friendly materials
- Still has a 3.5mm jack
What we don’t like
- Few internal improvements compared to its predecessor
- No keyhole support
The new Echo Dot (4th generation) looks great, especially the “clocked” version, but it’s not that much better under the hood than its predecessor.
The Amazon Echo Dot has become a must-have option for those looking for a smart, compact and affordable speaker. The brand has just launched a fourth generation of its Echo Dot, and the new version has a totally different look from its predecessors. What are the other new features and differences of the Echo Dot (4th generation)? How does the new Dot perform? I tested the Echo Dot (4th generation) to find out.
The design: A whole new look
Over time, Amazon released newer versions of its Echo Dot speaker, and the company ditched sharp edges and hard plastic shells in favor of softer designs. You may remember that the second-gen model was more puck-shaped, with a hard plastic shell and more defined edges. The early Dots looked more like networking equipment than home appliances. However, that changed with the third generation Dot model, which had a more airy feel, slightly rounded edges, and a fabric surround. So the Dot looked more like a speaker designed for the home and less like a desktop product.
The new Dot (4th gen) is even softer and rounder, with a spherical shape and fabric covering most of the speaker, including the top. The 4th generation Dot is available in three colors: charcoal, glacier white and twilight blue. I tested the color twilight blue.
The new point measures 3.94 inches in diameter and 3.54 inches in height. The light ring is on the bottom and the four main control buttons are on the top of the speaker. The raised buttons make the Point Echo look like a small bowling ball from some angles, but it’s nice to have the microphone mute button just above the device for easy access.
The 4th generation Dot still has a 3.5mm output jack, which made me very happy. The Google Nest Mini (2nd gen) doesn’t have a 3.5mm jack. However, unlike Google’s all-new smart mini speaker, the Echo Dot does not have a keyhole bracket for wall mounting. The speaker is designed to be placed on a flat surface, as evidenced by the rubberized bottom which prevents slipping and helps the Echo Dot stay in place.
Overall, I really like the design of the new Dot. Modern and stylish, it fits in my living room, kitchen or bedroom, because it doesn’t have a cold feeling that takes away space. The fourth generation Dot is made from environmentally friendly materials, such as post-consumer recycled plastics and fabrics, earning it the “Climate Pledge Friendly” label on Amazon.
Setup Process: Easier Than Ever
Setting up EchoDot is easy, especially if you’ve already downloaded the Alexa app. In the Alexa app, all you need to do is go to the devices menu, select the “+” to add a device, and follow the instructions to add the 4th generation Echo Dot speaker. The process only takes a moment.
Sound quality: One speaker at the front
The new Echo Dot has good sound, but it’s not that much better than the Echo Dot (3rd gen). When I test speakers I frequently use the song Titanium David Guetta with Sia because she has a range of bass, middle and treble sounds. To test the bass I often use the song Chains by Nick Jonas. The Echo Dot (4th Gen) sounds pretty clear at all volume levels. There is a very slight hissing sound at the highest volume, but it is barely noticeable, and it doesn’t detract much from the listening experience.
With a 1.6-inch front speaker, the Echo Dot (4th gen) is powerful enough to stream music in a large space. I can hear music all over the first floor of my house. The Dot doesn’t sound as rich as the regular Echo, but it still sounds good, especially considering its small size (and low price). If you want, you can also connect an external speaker using the 3.5mm jack or using a Bluetooth connection.
With a 1.6-inch front speaker, the Echo Dot (4th gen) is powerful enough to stream music in a large space.
Speech recognition is very important for smart speakers because they need to be able to hear your voice commands even in the presence of background noise. Like its predecessor, the Echo Dot (4th generation) is equipped with four far-field microphones for voice detection. It detects commands from around the room very well, even in the presence of household noises such as the operation of the dishwasher or a light conversation. However, if you have a room full of loud talking people, you may need to raise your voice slightly for the mics to hear your commands.
Features: The same Alexa
The Echo Dot (4th generation) is powered by Alexa. Alexa’s voice assistant on the new Echo Dot is the same Alexa you have on the Echo Dot (3rd gen). You will be able to control your smart devices, listen to music, listen to the news, set routines, run errands, manage your schedule, and do all the things you could do before. But Alexa is always learning new skills. Amazon has announced new Alexa features (coming soon) like Care Hub, a free feature that lets you check if you have loved ones.
Echo Dot (4th gen) with clock: A designer game changer
The Echo Dot (4th generation) comes in two other forms: The Echo Dot (4th generation) with clock and the Echo Dot (4th generation) Kids Edition. I tested the “with clock” iteration as part of this review, but I did not test the children’s model.
I was blown away by the Echo Dot (4th generation) with clock. It’s the same device (internally) as the Echo Dot (4th gen), but it has an LED display on the front of the speaker. It doesn’t sound like much, does it?
In fact, it makes a huge difference in how the Dot speaker looks. Adding the clock dramatically improves the aesthetics, making the Dot look less like a speaker and more like a really cool smart clock. Because the Dot is round, it ends up having a large space on the front side – almost like a face; it is a perfect place for the clock display.
The “with clock” version displays the time, and you can turn the screen on or off, as well as adjust the brightness. The clock can also display temperature or function as a stopwatch. In the previous generation, the clock was considered an afterthought. The clock on the new 4th generation model looks so intentional that it really improves its design and makes the “with clock” version a much more desirable model in the Echo lineup.
I like the Echo Dot (4th gen) with Clock better than the normal Echo Dot (4th gen) because the normal version looks like something is missing.
Price: 69.99 € with clock, 59 € without
The Echo Dot (4th generation) retails for € 59, and for € 10 more you can pick up the “with clock” version. The clock is definitely worth it, simply because the device looks a lot nicer with it (aside from the obvious added features), and for first-time buyers, the default model is definitely worth $ 59. It looks great, sounds great, and offers an affordable way to access Alexa and control your smart home.
Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen) vs. Apple HomePod Mini
Apple has announced the release of its HomePod Mini speaker, which will go on sale in November. The Siri-powered HomePod Mini is 3.3 inches tall and has a spherical shape somewhat similar to that of the Echo Dot. The HomePod Mini has a three mic array, compared to the Dot’s four mic array. However, the HomePod Mini is equipped with Apple’s S5 chip, and is in a higher price category, at $ 99.
Mainly a design upgrade.
The new Echo Dot is a great speaker at a great price, but it’s not worth upgrading if you already have the 3rd generation Dot, unless you go for the clock version. . For first-time buyers, this is obvious.
- Product name Echo Dot (4th generation)
- Amazon product brand
- Price: 59 €
- Weight: 338 g.
- Product dimensions 100 x 100 x 89 mm.
- Color Charcoal, Glacier White, Twilight Blue
- 90 day limited warranty
- Alexa app compatibility (iOS 11.0+, Android 6.0+, or Fire OS 5.3.3+)
- 3.5mm audio output ports
- Alexa voice assistant
- Connectivity Dual-band Wi-Fi supports 802.11a / b / g / n / ac (2.4 and 5 GHz), Bluetooth
- Microphones 4
- What’s Included Echo Dot, Power Adapter (15W), and Quick Start Guide