Echo Dot (4th Gen) the fourth generation Echo Dot is now on sale. The unique spherical design sets it apart from smaller and more flat predecessors. Although the Echo Dot’s new design is striking, it remains the same speaker as the previous third-generation Echo Dot. The Echo Dot features Alexa onboard, great smart home capabilities, and Alexa Guard which allows you to monitor your home. The new Dot’s sound quality is excellent, but the front-firing driver is less impressive than the older Dot. Although technically, the fourth-generation Echo Dot is not the most advanced Dot.
The fourth-gen Echo Dot is available in three colors: charcoal, glacier white and twilight.
The new Echo Dot’s hockey-puck design is different from the older Echo Dots. It is taller and more spherical. It is identical to the Echo Dot with a clock. The Echo Dot’s width of 3.9 inches is the same as that of the previous Echo. The fourth-generation Echo Dot, measuring 3.5 inches, is nearly 2 inches taller that the predecessor. It is almost twice as big as its predecessor and roughly the same size a softball. The Echo Dot’s new design is meant to be displayed, not hidden away.
The exterior fabric used in the new Dot is the same as the one from the old model. The speaker’s fabric covers approximately two-thirds of the surface, with the wedge at its rear left unadorned.
Fourth-generation Echo Dot moves Alexa’s light ring down from the top to the base of its speaker, creating subtle glows on the surface where it sits.
Interfaces and buttons
Echo Dots have volume up/down and microphone mute. They are also more tightly packed than previous Echo Dots.
When you tap the volume buttons, a white ring appears. It can shrink or grow in length depending upon how much volume you adjust. When you press the mic mutes, the Alexa ring glows red. This indicates that Alexa hasn’t been listening to your conversations. Alexa will be woken by pressing the “action” button. Holding the button down for longer than 25 seconds will wake Alexa. You don’t need the action button because Alexa can be woken by your voice or you can ask for her to set an alarm. I, like most Dot users, don’t bother using the action button.
The new Dot features a tap to snooze, a gesture that lets you snooze alarms. This gesture was first introduced on the original Echo Dot. To snooze an alarm for nine minutes, tap the speaker’s top with more than one finger. This gesture is great for getting more sleep, without the need to get up to chat with Alexa.
For connecting to a wired speaker, the fourth-gen Dot comes with a 3.5mm audio connector. This feature is absent from Google’s Nest Mini smart speaker. The Dot’s 5 foot power cord is connected to the power port in a barrel-shaped shape. It also connects to an outlet-blocking 15 watt power supply.
Amazon.com pre-paired the Echo Dot review device. It was very easy to set it up. After plugging in the Dot, the Alexa mobile application opened and I was immediately greeted with a popup that said, “Echo Dot ready for setup.”
If you’re new to Echo speakers and Alexa, the setup process is slightly easier. After you have installed the Alexa App and powered on the Dot, log in to Amazon to add it. Once the Alexa app has found the speaker, it will help you add it to your Wi Fi network. It will then assist you in adding the Dot (such as to a master bedroom, kitchen or office). It is important to verify the address where it will be used. This information is needed for purposes such as driving directions and local weather information.
Alexa voice commands for smart home control and smart home automation
Alexa is the Echo Dot’s most important feature. Echo Dot users who are familiar with Echo speakers will know what to expect. Alexa is friendly, intelligent, and chatty. Alexa can answer many questions including setting alarms and weather reports, adding to your calendar, telling jokes, and ticking off tasks. The Echo Dot was responsive to my questions almost immediately, although the Echo Dot could respond in the same way.
Alexa is an excellent assistant for controlling smart homes devices. Alexa can be used with over 100,000 smart devices. Multi-step “routines” can be created, which include smart lighting, security cameras, smart locks, and many other features. For example, my routine turns off my TV and dims my downstairs lights. To turn on the bedroom’s lights and play a soothing music, I can say “Alexa goodnight”
Even though Alexa won’t be able to help you turn on the lights if there isn’t an Echo speaker nearby, the Echo Dot’s low price tag makes it a great choice. The Echo Dot costs $50 and will be available at steep discounts for Black Friday.
Alexa Guard is another smart feature that the Dot supports. This will notify your phone if Alexa detects broken glass or smoke alarms while you’re away. Alexa Guard Plus can be purchased for $5 per month. This upgrade adds footsteps to Alexa’s repertoire of sounds. You can also say “Alexa, call for help”, and Alexa will connect to an emergency-response individual.
Alexa can “drop in” on multiple Echo speakers for you to be able to hear the conversation. Anyone near the Echo speakers will be notified by Alexa when there is a drop-in call. Tap Announce in Alexa App to trigger all Echo speakers simultaneously. Type or say a message (“Time for dinner!”). “
Echo Dot lets you make calls to Echo speakers as well as landlines with the Echo Dot. Free calls to Mexico, Canada and the U.S. are possible. Amazon announced that AT&T subscribers can now assign their cell phone numbers to Alexa. This means Alexa will be able to answer all incoming calls.
Audio and music
The Amazon Echo Dot’s audio quality has improved over time, and the new Dot is no exception.
The Echo Dot fourth-gen mono driver is identical in size to its predecessor, measuring 1.6 inches. The new Dot’s cone fires forward, not upwards. Amazon didn’t provide any details about the Echo Dot’s speaker amplifier. The current Echo Dot, as well as its predecessor, came with 15-watt power supplies. It is therefore doubtful that the amplifier was given much boost.
The Echo Dot’s latest version sounds clearer and fuller than the predecessor. It was both less crisp and too loud for my taste. The Echo Dot played the title track of Bruce Springsteen’s The Ghost of Tom Joad. The Echo Dot did an amazing job of recording The Boss’s vocals and harmonica. No matter how loud the volume was turned up, I didn’t feel any distortion. Even though the Echo Dot fourth-gen is more expensive than any $50 smart speaker I’ve ever used, its audio quality is superior to that of the $200 Amazon Echo Studio or $100 Google Nest Audio.
The Echo Dot can be used with another Echo Dot to form a stereo pair, or by being paired to an Echo Sub. The Echo Dot can be used as either a Bluetooth or wired speaker. You can also choose a preferred speaker, such as an Echo Dot or supported Wi-Fi speaker.
Alexa can also be connected to a variety of music services, including Amazon Music and iHeartRadio. The Echo Dot can also be connected to Spotify Connect. It is not surprising that YouTube Music, Apple Music, and Apple Music aren’t on the list.
Echo Dot vs. Google Nest Mini
The Echo Dot is comparable to the Nest Mini, Google’s budget smart speaker. They are both small, but the Nest Mini is more compact and in line with older Dot’s hockey puck design. Both cost $49 but the Nest Mini will be on Amazon from December 6th for $29
The main difference between the Echo Dot Mini Mini and the Google Nest Mini Mini will be the voice assistant that you choose to pledge loyalty. If you prefer the Alexa approach to voice recognition, the Echo and Alexa ecosystems are the best options. If you prefer Google Assistant, stick with Google Assistant-powered smart speakers or displays. Mixing and matching voice assistants in your home can lead to confusion and frustrating compatibility issues.
Although the new Echo Dot is clearly superior to the third-gen Dot in many ways, is it better? Hmm. Hmm. Although the latest Echo Dot’s design is strikingly different from its predecessor, beauty is subjective. Many Alexa users will prefer the simpler, elegant design of the older Dot.The price of the third-generation Echo Dot is $40. This price is important. The newer Echo Dot $50 will see discounts, but the price of the older model at $40 is still attractive if your goal is to fill your home full of Dots.
Bottom line: You don’t need to trade in your Echo Dots for the new model. The third-gen Dot will not cost you more than the original, unless it is being traded in for hockey pucks.