Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen) review: The new Dot delivers a revamped look and (slightly) better sound

The remodeled, fourth-generation Echo Dot has arrived, and it comes with a round design that units it smartly except for its smaller, flatter predecessors. However whilst it boasts an all-new glance, the most recent Echo Dot is largely the similar speaker because the (now steeply discounted) third-gen Dot, entire with onboard Alexa, stellar good house functions, spectacular conversation options, and the power to stay an ear on your house by way of Alexa Guard. And whilst we’re happy with how the brand new Dot sounds, its front-firing motive force doesn’t ship a quantum jump over the older Dot’s audio high quality. So sure, the fourth-gen Echo Dot is technically the most efficient Dot but, however best by way of a slender margin.

Design

To be had in charcoal, glacier white, and twilight blue flavors, the fourth-gen Echo Dot marks a significant departure in relation to the speaker’s feel and appear.

As a substitute of the hockey-puck design of the 3 earlier Echo Dots, the brand new Dot has a taller, round shell, similar as with the brand new EchoTake away non-product hyperlink and the Dot’s sibling, the refreshed Echo Dot with clockTake away non-product hyperlink. Whilst it has the similar three.Nine-inch width of the former Echo, the fourth-gen, three.Five-inch Echo Dot is just about two inches taller, making it significantly larger than its predecessor and kind of the dimensions of a softball. Certainly, the brand new Dot seems love it was once designed to be proven off reasonably than tucked away.

amazon echo dot fourth gen versus third gen Ben Patterson/IDG

With its round design, the brand new Echo Dot is significantly better than its compact predecessor.

The remodeled Dot does proportion the older fashion’s cloth external, with the material at the new Dot overlaying about two thirds of the speaker, leaving a naked wedge within the rear.

But even so its new shell, the fourth-gen Echo Dot strikes Alexa’s gentle rings from the highest of the speaker all the way down to its base, casting a nifty-looking glow at the floor upon which it’s sitting.

Buttons and interfaces

As with earlier Echo Dots, the brand new Dot is equipped with quantity up/down, mic mute, and motion buttons that peek out from the material on the height of the speaker, despite the fact that the buttons at the moment are extra tightly grouped in combination than they have been on earlier Dots.

While you faucet the quantity buttons, a white ring seems, and it both grows or shrinks in period relying on whether or not you’re adjusting the quantity up or down. Urgent the mic mute button makes the Alexa ring glow pink, indicating that Alexa isn’t taking note of your dialog. Urgent the “motion” button wakes Alexa, or it may silence an alarm or reset the speaker should you press and cling it for 25 seconds. However since you’ll wake Alexa along with your voice or ask her to snooze an alarm, maximum Dot customers (myself incorporated) by no means hassle with the motion button.

amazon echo dot fourth gen tap to snooze Ben Patterson/IDG

Borrowing a function from the first-gen Echo Dot with clock, you’ll faucet the highest of the fourth-gen Echo Dot to snooze alarms.

Talking of slumbering alarms, the brand new Dot comes with a brand new “faucet to snooze” gesture, which in fact first gave the impression at the first-gen Echo Dot with clock. The gesture does precisely because it says: simply faucet the highest of the speaker with a couple of finger (you don’t need to press a selected button) to snooze an alarm for 9 mins, at hand for purchasing extra shut-eye with out rousing your self for an Alexa chat.

At the again of the fourth-gen Dot, you’ll discover a three.5mm audio jack for connecting a stressed speaker, a function that’s conspicuously lacking from Google’s identical Nest Mini good speaker. There’s additionally a barrel-shaped energy port for connecting the Dot’s five-foot energy twine, which (similar because the older Dot) terminates in a corpulent, outlet-blocking 15-watt energy provide.

amazon echo dot fourth gen rear Ben Patterson/IDG

Within the rear of the brand new Echo Dot is a three.5mm audio jack for connecting a stressed speaker or headphone, at the side of a barrel-shaped port for the AC adapter.

Setup

My Echo Dot evaluate unit got here pre-paired with my Amazon account (an possibility that you’ll request whilst ordering the speaker on Amazon.com), which made the setup procedure ridiculously simple. After plugging within the Dot, I fired up the Alexa cell app and was once instantly greeting up a pop-up that learn, “Echo Dot may also be arrange.” I pressed Proceed, decided on my Wi-Fi community (I didn’t want to input my password, since I’d completed than for earlier Echo installations), and a couple of seconds later, increase—the Dot was once hooked up and in a position to move.

Should you’re new to Echo audio system and Alexa usually, the setup procedure is best quite extra concerned. After you’ve powered up the Dot, put in the Alexa app and signed in along with your Amazon account, you simply faucet Extra > Upload a Software > Amazon Echo. As soon as the Alexa app has found out the speaker, it’ll step you during the means of including it to your house Wi-Fi community, after which it’ll will let you upload the Dot to a room (comparable to Grasp Bed room, Kitchen, Place of business, and so forth.) and check the road deal with the place you’ll be the use of it (for such functions as supplying you with native climate prerequisites and riding instructions).

Alexa voice instructions and good house keep an eye on

The Echo Dot’s killer function is Alexa, and people who are already accustomed to Echo audio system know what to anticipate. Chatty, intuitive, and ever pleasant, Alexa can box a dizzying selection of questions and requests, from supplying you with climate reviews and settings timers and alarms to ticking off your time table or even telling jokes. In my exams at the Echo Dot, Alexa answered to my queries nearly immediately, despite the fact that the similar may well be stated of the former Dot.

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