Amazon Echo Dot Evaluate: Nice Good Speaker, quite a bit for Black Friday

Amazon Echo Dot benefits from the same spherical design (Image: AMAZON • GETTY)

Just like the larger Echo, Amazon has redesigned its smaller, cheaper Echo Dot. It has the same spherical design and new color options.

Unfortunately, the redesign didn’t bring any new features to the Echo Dot, unlike the more expensive Amazon Echo, which has a built-in ZigBee smart hub that makes pairing dozens of smart gadgets – from light bulbs to plugs – much easier becomes .

Amazon also used the additional space within the round design to impress more components and improve the sound quality. Although the fourth-generation Echo Dot takes up a bit more space than its predecessor thanks to its spherical shape, Amazon didn’t list any specific improvements to the audio components this time around.

With all this … is it worth upgrading to the new Echo Dot? Express.co.uk has spent the past few weeks with the fourth generation Amazon Echo Dot. Here are our in-depth thoughts on the latest generation of smart speakers …

Amazon Echo Dot review: price and availability

The latest Amazon Echo Dot is available now. In fact, Amazon cut the price on its Black Friday deals so there has never been a better time to buy it.

As always when buying from Amazon, Prime members can pick up the new smart speaker the next day at no additional cost. Amazon sells the fourth generation Echo in Charcoal, Glacier White and Twilight Blue.

It’s worth noting that “Charcoal” is quite similar to the color of the same name from the previous generation of Amazon Echo. So if you want to combine your new Amazon Echo with existing Alexa devices in your collection, this is the one to choose. Unfortunately, most of the other colors that were used in the Echo range with the last update, including red, heather gray, oak, sandstone, silver, and more, don’t reappear this time.

At £ 49.99, the new Echo Dot is slightly more expensive than the third generation model, which is still available on Amazon for £ 39.99 if you don’t like the round form factor or want to save a little money. On Black Friday sales, Amazon has cut the price of the fourth generation Echo Dot to £ 28.99 for a limited time.

Hence, sooner rather than later, you may want to add one of these to your cart if you want it to be guaranteed under the tree.

Amazon Echo Dot Review UK

Note that the new Echo Dot may not fit in the same place as its predecessor (Image: AMAZON)

Amazon Echo Dot review: design

After a few years of subtle refinement, Amazon has completely redesigned its diddy Echo Dot for the fourth generation. Gone is the beef burger-like design that was used for the previous three generations of Echo and has been replaced with a new spherical shape.

As we mentioned in our review of the full-size Amazon Echo, there’s something very charming about the new rounded shape. But while it looks good on the Echo, the smaller Echo Dot carries the new design even better for our money. There’s something about the smaller frame that makes the tiny ball shape look incredibly cute. It also helps the Echo Dot-Rock bypass one of our problems with the full-size Echo. Due to its spherical shape, the new Echo takes up a little more space than its tube-like predecessor Pringles. This is still the case with the Echo Dot, but since both are pretty dumb, it’s not that pronounced.

If you’ve already got an Echo Dot on a bookcase or squeezed between cooking appliances in your kitchen, the new spherical Echo Dot will likely fit in the same spot. Unfortunately, the same does not apply to the new Echo.

Amazon Echo Dot Review UK

Despite its slightly bulkier size, the Echo Dot looks great in any room (Image: AMAZON)

Despite the new shape, Amazon didn’t add any other components to improve the audio – something it did with the full-size Echo. Even so, the sound quality of the Echo Dot is pretty solid. That was definitely not the case when Amazon launched the Echo Dot range.

During the initial launch, Echo Dot was sold to bring chatty AI assistant Alexa to your home. Or you can connect the Smart Assistant to an existing sound system via the 3.5 mm port on the back of the Echo Dot or via Bluetooth. That’s all still possible, of course (unlike the latest redesign of the Google Nest Mini, Amazon kept the 3.5mm port on the back of the Echo Dot), but you won’t really feel that either.

Listening to playlists on Apple Music, live radio, podcasts, and audiobooks sounds great on the little Echo Dot. Sure, you won’t want to hang up your next house party with the pocket-sized smart speaker … but that’s perfectly fine for everyday listening.

If you’re looking for a little more punch, the new and improved Amazon Echo offers significantly more bass. And if you want to throw a house party soon (depending on the pandemic, Of course) we’d recommend something like the Sonos One, which has smarts from Alexa and a lot more powerful sound.

Amazon Echo Dot Review UK

It would have been nice if Amazon had thrown in a few more colors (Image: AMAZON)

Amazon Echo Dot Review: Features

While it looks significantly different from the outside, the Echo Dot is still an Echo inside. That means it’s still great to be able to use all the smart speakers we need for these smart home devices – from reading the latest news and weather reports to prompts and answers to general knowledge questions that come to mind , orders our food stalls on Saturday nights, controls playback on Fire TV streaming dongles throughout the house, and adjusts smart lightbulbs and surveillance cameras.

If you’ve never owned a smart speaker – trust us, it’s great.

Playing favorite albums, finding out when a new movie is playing in your local movie theater, setting timers while cooking, turning on the lights, and checking the closing time of your local supermarket work phenomenally well with Alexa. In addition, you save yourself having to reach into your pocket to pull out your smartphone.

There are thousands of additional apps that Amazon refers to as “chatty voice assistant skills”, but they are often less useful. Some are weird niches, like one that allows Alexa to play cat sounds, while others require you to fit your needs into a pre-set formula. For example, the Roomba Robot Vacuum Skill requires you to say, “Alexa, ask Roomba to start vacuuming” or “Alexa, ask Roomba to stop vacuuming,” instead of “Alexa, start my Roomba,” which is a more natural phrase would be the phrase.

While a ZigBee hub for setting up smart home devices is integrated in the fourth generation Echo, the Echo Dot does not contain these components. For those looking to use their Echo purchase as a starting point to add to a truckload of smart home devices like Philips Hue lights, smart thermostats, and voice-operated plugs, it might make sense to save a little longer and get full power. Size echo.

If you’re not making too much of a fuss and just want the convenience of a voice assistant in the kitchen to handle timers, recipes, and the radio, the Echo Dot is more than smart enough for that.

Amazon Echo Dot Review UK

At the top are four physical buttons that you can use to control the volume and cut Alexa off (Image: AMAZON)

Amazon Echo Dot Review: Final Verdict

Unlike the fourth-generation Amazon Echo, which does a bunch of tricks from expensive Alexa devices to the smart speaker most people should buy, the new Echo Dot only benefits from a fresh coat of paint. While there’s not much new under the hood, the Echo Dot is still an incredibly compelling smart home device.

The new spherical design looks amazing on the Echo Dot. The tiny speaker carries the tennis ball, which looks a lot better than its more expensive sibling. This stands for our money with the Apple HomePod Mini in terms of design from head to toe and wipes the floor with the Google Nest Mini.

With the latest design, Amazon has significantly improved the environmental performance of the best-selling smart speaker. Half of the plastic used in the new Echo Dot is recycled, while 100 percent of the fabric and aluminum used in the product is recycled. In addition, Amazon has developed a new low-power mode, as well as new wind and solar farms, to produce clean energy equal to the amount of electricity this device will use throughout its life.

If you like the new design and need yet another reason to upgrade from an early version of the Echo Dot, the green credentials on the new gadget are a compelling bonus on the latest hardware.

With luck, Amazon will bring back some of the more eye-catching colors found in previous listings, but that’s a little sucker. Alexa remains one of the most personable AI assistants on the market. While it may not always match the Google Assistant’s infallible knowledge, it does come close. And it has all of the charm and personality of Apple’s Siri. Amazon is constantly adding new features, from cutting edge jokes to really new tricks like the burglar alarm system recently launched in the US. So the Amazon Echo will surely only get better over time.

If you don’t need the full-sized, full-throated audio of the Echo, the smaller Echo Dot is a great little smart home device that looks great in any room.

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