Amazon Echo Dot offers one of the easiest routes into the Alexa ecosystem, with its low price and small size while still packing in all the functionality. With the fourth generation, this trend continues with an orb-flavoured redesign to up the style of the mini Echo.
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What we love – Best design yet, easy to access controls and improved speaker
Amazon Echo Dot started off as a fairly ugly hockey puck-like device then it got jazzed up a little with fabric and more rounded edges but, for the fourth generation, Amazon has taken it to the next level.
The new spherical Amazon Echo Dot is easily the best looking take on the mini smart speaker, keeping the soft touch fabric finish but fitting far better into the modern home with its new design.
The new design accommodates more comfortable use of the buttons too. The controls sit slightly behind the centre of the device, meaning their position is perfect for finger presses when you place your hand onto the top of the device – an ingenious bit of improved convenience.
Echo Dot has long been far from the ideal music speaker but the fourth generation certainly makes some improvements. The new model offers a forward-facing speaker that undoubtedly improves the sound quality across the board while Alexa is better than ever, with crisp and clear responses.
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What we don’t like – Middling music chops and restrictive low power mode
As I’ve mentioned, the Echo Dot isn’t the best music speaker and, despite improvements, it still won’t be good enough for many looking for a quality audio experience. If you want a speaker that can handle clear and loud audio then look to devices like the Apple HomePod and Google Nest Audio.
The new fourth generation Echo Dot has added a Low Power mode to help you save some energy. However, the mode won’t remain active if you have a Spotify account linked to your speaker, you’ve got the Echo Dot hooked up via the audio jacks or have an active notification. We suspect many will be using one of those fairly often, making the mode a tad redundant in many cases.
Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) takes the tried and true small smart speaker and gives it a pleasant refresh. You’ve won’t find tons of innovation here but improved audio, added style and handy controls keep the range as the ideal smart speaker entry point.
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