Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) evaluate: Having a ball

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Echo Dots

Echo Dots Pictured: New Echo Dots with previous-generation Dot for measurement comparability.Supply: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

Everybody who is aware of me or has learn my work right here on Android Central is aware of that I am a giant fan of Amazon’s Echo sensible audio system and its Alexa voice assistant, so it ought to come as no shock that I jumped on the likelihood to evaluate the brand new Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen) and Echo Dot (4th Gen). That being mentioned, other than the brand new spherical form launched first with the bigger Amazon Echo (4th Gen), I did not suppose there could be all that a lot to get enthusiastic about. Properly, after spending a number of days with the 2 latest Echo Dots, I can admit that I used to be improper; these items are implausible!

We’re now on the fourth technology of Echo Dot units, and every has improved fairly dramatically over the earlier model (although the bounce from Gen 1 to Gen 2 wasn’t enormous). I ought to know; I’ve not less than considered one of every technology of Echo Dot in my house proper now, they usually all nonetheless work completely properly. However every technology does look higher than the final, and wow, has the sound improved as properly. My expertise with the Echo Dot lineup is mirrored in Amazon’s gross sales figures. The corporate claims that the Echo Dot (lineup) is the best-selling speaker ever, and that the Echo Dot with Clock is already the best-selling clock on the positioning. Like, out of all clocks. Wow.

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We determined to mix our evaluate of the 2 new Echo Dots as a result of they’re basically the identical system, with one key distinction — the Echo Dot with Clock has, properly, a clock on it. That added performance is neat, and I will get into it a bit extra under, however other than that differentiator, the 2 Echo Dots look, sound, and carry out precisely the identical. So with all of that preamble out of the best way, let’s dive into our evaluate of the fourth-generation Amazon Echo Dots.



Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen)

Backside line: The Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen) is an enchancment over the earlier technology system in practically each means. It has a extra refined, rounded look, it is available in extra coloration choices, and it sounds a lot better too. Together with the entire new Echos, it’s a part of Amazon’s Local weather Pledge Pleasant program, so it consumes much less energy and is made out of recycled parts like plastics and aluminum.

The Good

  • Improved design
  • Improved sound
  • Is available in a couple of coloration
  • Local weather Pledge Licensed

The Dangerous

  • Most costly Echo Dot
  • Not accessible in Charcoal coloration
  • LED performance and capabilities unchanged from third Gen


Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)

Backside line: The “common” Echo Dot 4th Gen is each bit nearly as good as its sibling with the clock, minus the clock. If you’re going to place this system out of your sightline, or in case you do not want or care concerning the LED exhibiting you time, temperature, and timers, then you definitely would possibly as properly save a couple of dollars and decide up considered one of these. It is accessible in that lovely Twilight Blue, and it makes second speaker to pair with an Echo Dot with Clock.

The Good

  • Improved design
  • Improved sound
  • Extra coloration choices than Echo Dot with clock
  • Local weather Pledge Licensed

The Dangerous

  • No show
  • New place of sunshine ring
  • Takes up more room than earlier Dots

Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) and Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen) Worth & launch date

Echo Dot And Dot Clock Prices

Supply: Amazon

Amazon introduced the Echo Dot (4th Gen) and Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen) at its fall 2020 {hardware} occasion, alongside a bigger Echo (4th Gen), Echo Present 10 (third Gen), and merchandise by Ring and Eero. On the authentic publication date of this evaluate, the brand new Echos can be found for pre-order. The Echo Dot (4th Gen) will begin delivery to clients on October 22, whereas the Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen) will start delivery in a while November 5, 2020.

The Echo Dot (4th Gen) will retail for $50, and the Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen) will retail for $60. Though these are new units, I would not be stunned to see one or each supplied at a reduction throughout Amazon’s upcoming Black Friday 2020 gross sales occasion.

Dynamite design, superior sound, getting greener

Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) and Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen): What I like

Echo Dots 3

Supply: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

Since we’re combining these two units into one evaluate and since they’re so related, a lot of the professionals and cons apply equally to every. Once they do not or when one thing is particular to one of many units, I will guarantee that it’s clear.

Fashion is subjective, however I’ve determined to roll with the spherical form of the brand new Echo Dots.

The very first thing we now have to deal with is the design of those new Echo Dot audio system. I perceive that design is totally subjective, however I feel this new path for the Echo audio system is an effective one. The spherical form of the Echo and Echo Dots provides the audio system a softer, extra natural feel and appear than the earlier canister or puck designs. I am additionally a fan of the extra muted tones of Glacier White, Charcoal, and Twilight Blue specifically.

As a result of the system has a special form, a number of of its bodily parts have been moved round or redesigned to accommodate the brand new type issue. The buttons now mix into the material, although they’re raised and textured so that they are simpler to search out and press than of their earlier flat plastic iterations. The sunshine ring has been moved to the underside of the speaker (extra on this later), which undoubtedly provides it a definite look. When you have a Charcoal-colored speaker and press the mute button to make the LED pink, it takes on a Demise Star meets RoboCop look.

Echo Dot With Clock 4th Gen 1

Supply: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

The LED on the Echo Dot with Clock has not modified from the earlier model and nonetheless reveals you the time, however you too can ask to see the temperature and set timers and alarms. It does retain its adaptive brightness functionality, so you will not be blinded by the clock when making an attempt to sleep in a darkish room. That is a pleasant contact.

Now let’s transfer on to the setup course of. If you have already got the Alexa app put in in your telephone, and significantly in case you have every other Echo or Hearth units related to the app and have saved your Wi-Fi password securely with Amazon, you may be up and working in a matter of minutes. One good new-to-me contact that I significantly loved was Alexa saying “hiya” in English, Spanish, and French to start the method. A lot like to my multilingual assistant!

When you get your Echo Dot arrange and begin listening to it’s if you actually recognize how far this little system has superior over the generations. One thing concerning the new form and particular sauce that Amazon baked in equates to a lot louder output and a richer, extra well-rounded sound than is even current on the Echo Dot (third Gen). What’s significantly exceptional is how Amazon achieved this with basically the identical measurement speaker discovered within the earlier technology. Nevertheless, Amazon does specify that the speaker on the newer Echos is front-firing. I additionally love that Amazon retains together with the three.5mm audio jack on these units. This implies you possibly can plug in headphones if you’d like, or you possibly can bodily join your Echo Dot to a bigger, extra highly effective legacy speaker and get Alexa voice management over your fancy Hello-Fi gear.

I assumed the Echo Dot (4th Gen) sounded nice by itself, however once I paired it with the opposite Echo Dot with Clock, I used to be blown away.

As with different Echo audio system, you possibly can pair two of the Echo Dot (4th Gen) audio system collectively for stereo sound, or pair one or two with a Hearth TV to boost your audio expertise whereas watching TV. This works whether or not you will have two common Echo Dots or an Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock. As with different Echos, the pairing function solely works if the units are from the identical technology; i.e., you can not pair an Echo Dot (4th Gen) with an Echo Dot (third Gen). I paired the evaluate units that I obtained and positioned one on either side of my iMac. Once I requested Alexa to start out enjoying music, I felt just like the man in that outdated Maxell “Blown Away” advert from the 80s. It was that spectacular.

As a lot as I take pleasure in having my Echo Present 5 parked simply to the facet of my iMac, its coloration display that’s at all times altering generally is a little bit of a distraction. I’ve come to understand simply having the clock there to take a look at (after which ignore) as I labored scripting this evaluate.

Echo Dots Stereo Pair

Pictured: Echo Dots (4th Gen) in stereo pair on both facet of iMac.Supply: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

Lastly, I need to say a couple of phrases about sustainability. Amazon made this subject a centerpiece of its fall 2020 {hardware} occasion, and it appears to be placing its cash the place its mouth is — actually. In line with its Local weather Pledge Pleasant program, these new Echos might be made largely out of 100% recycled supplies, together with the plastic fibers comprising the mesh cowl and the aluminum parts inside. Amazon additionally has built-in software program optimizations to allow the Echos to function rather more effectively and draw a lot much less energy when not in use. It’ll quickly roll out an power dashboard within the Alexa app in order that clients can higher perceive, and handle, their power utilization. Amazon additionally pledges to offset its buyer’s use of energy via its units shifting ahead and to be a net-zero carbon firm properly earlier than its self-imposed 2040 deadline.

I’ve each a first-generation Echo (2014) and first-generation Echo Dot (2015), they usually look and work nearly as good as ever. The sound is not nearly as good because the newer fashions, however they’ll do every little thing else {that a} new Echo speaker can. That sturdiness additionally speaks to the standard craftsmanship and is one other means that Echo units may be seen as sustainable; in any case, essentially the most sustainable speaker is the one you have already got.

Little bois getting large, decrease mild rings, no new performance

Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) and Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen): What I do not like

Echo Dot 4th Gen 1

Supply: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

Simply as I discussed in my evaluate of the unique Echo Dot with Clock, there is not a complete lot to criticize right here with these fourth-generation Echo Dots.

Whereas I listed it as a professional for me, the brand new design will not be to everybody’s liking. Regardless that I personally love the spherical styling of the brand new Echos, it does conjure up pictures of cannonballs, bowling balls, or shotputs (particularly in case you get the Charcoal-colored ones). In fact, it was typically mentioned that the older Echo Dots regarded rather a lot like hockey pucks, so I assume you may must resolve if the sports activities metaphor improve is value it for you.

The huge design change signifies that the Echo Dot is not the svelte little speaker it as soon as was. It may be harder for these to fade into the background.

The brand new design additionally signifies that these Echo Dots are significantly bigger than earlier variations. In case you take a look at among the comparability photographs above, you possibly can see that the brand new Dot is almost thrice as tall because the older ones. The newer Dots are additionally a lot denser than the older ones. Which means that the Echo Dots (4th Gen) will not tuck away fairly as properly as earlier variations, and any form of brackets or mounts for them might be significantly greater as properly. So if you’d like an unobtrusive Echo, you are most likely caught with the Echo Dot (third Gen) or an out-of-the-way Echo Flex.

I do like that Amazon saved the enduring mild ring on the fourth-generation Echo audio system, however its new placement on the backside of the system might show to be problematic. I fear that the sunshine ring will not be as seen for many individuals, and thus it may very well be much less useful as a visible cue as to when Alexa is listening or what the system is making an attempt to speak via its completely different coloration notifications.

Lastly, we get to the LED clock function. I recognize its performance and don’t have any reservations recommending it for buy, however I do want that Amazon had made some upgrades to it over the earlier technology. It is nonetheless just one coloration, and it may solely convey the identical primary info as earlier than. Maybe now that the foremost design refresh has been accomplished, a fifth-generation Echo Dot with Clock would possibly see some upgrades to the LED function.

The competitors

Nest Mini Echo Dot Clock Hero

Pictured: Nest Mini and previous-generation Echo Dot with Clock.Supply: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

As with bigger voice assistant powered sensible audio system, Amazon additionally pioneered the smaller class of those units again in 2015. Since then, we have seen a number of challengers on this house (together with some which have been Alexa-enabled), however the two most notable opponents are Google Assistant-powered audio system from Google/Nest and Lenovo.

Pound-for-pound, the obvious and direct competitor to the Echo Dot line has been the Google/Nest Mini audio system. These have been roughly the identical measurement, form, and design, and for essentially the most half, had very related capabilities and sound. Now that there was a major refresh to the Echo lineup, and now that the brand new Nest Audio is obtainable, it stays to be seen how a Nest Mini (third Gen) would possibly match up towards these Echo Dots (4th Gen).

The Lenovo Sensible Clock is healthier matched up towards one other Echo (the Echo Present 5), however its newer black and white Sensible Clock Important system is priced nearer to the 2 new Echo Dots. The Sensible Clock Important has a monochrome LED show that’s bigger and extra useful than that constructed into the Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen), and its 1.5-inch speaker is roughly on par, although it’s back-firing.

The final system that you simply would possibly need to contemplate instead of one of many new Echo Dots is without doubt one of the older ones. The Echo Dot third Gen continues to be an awesome little system that sounds on par with the Nest Mini, and proper now you will get it for beneath $30.

Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) and Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen): Do you have to purchase?

Echo Dot 2

Supply: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

You should purchase this if …

You’ve gotten a primary or second-generation Dot

Sure, these new Dots are an enchancment over the earlier technology, however they’re means higher than the Echo Dot Gen 1 or Gen 2.

You need a sexy sensible alarm

The Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen) appears to be like virtually like an artwork piece, particularly in Twilight Blue. It makes for an ideal bedside companion.

You need good sound at an reasonably priced worth

Whereas early Echo Dots and Nest Minis supplied small sound to match their small measurement, these new Echo Dots sound actually good for his or her measurement and worth, and in case you pair two of them, I promise you may be impressed.

You shouldn’t purchase this if …

You need room-filling sound

Pretty much as good as these sound over earlier variations, and even paired collectively, they don’t seem to be going to out-perform a Sonos One or Amazon Echo Studio.

You need or want extra show performance

The LED on the Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen) is sweet for exhibiting you the time, temperature, or timers, and that is it. In case you want or need extra, get a wise display show like an Echo Present 5, Nest Hub, or Lenovo Sensible Clock.

You like Google Assistant or Siri

The Echo Dots (4th Gen) are nice sensible audio system in case you like working with Alexa. If not, you may need to go on these.

The Echo Dot (4th Gen) and Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen) are each nice additions to any Alexa-powered family. They signify an enchancment on earlier generations in practically each measurable means. Whereas I do not advocate throwing out an Echo Dot (third Gen) in favor of considered one of these newer units, I am unable to advocate them extremely sufficient in case you’re new to the Echo and Alexa life, or in case you have actually outdated sensible audio system that want changing. Backside line — in case you want a clock, get the Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen). If that is not necessary to you, simply stick to the common Echo Dot (4th Gen). Both means, you must benefit from the updates that Amazon has made to every.



Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen)

Backside line: The Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen) is an enchancment over the earlier technology system in practically each means. It has a extra refined, rounded look, it is available in extra coloration choices, and it sounds a lot better too. Together with the entire new Echos, it’s a part of Amazon’s Local weather Pledge Pleasant program, so it consumes much less energy and is made out of recycled parts like plastics and aluminum.



Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)

Backside line: The “common” Echo Dot 4th Gen is each bit nearly as good as its sibling with the clock, minus the clock. If you’re going to place this system out of your sightline, or in case you do not want or care concerning the LED exhibiting you time, temperature, and timers, then you definitely would possibly as properly save a couple of dollars and decide up considered one of these. It is accessible in that lovely Twilight Blue, and it makes second speaker to pair with an Echo Dot with Clock.

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