All-new Echo Dot 4 Review: Alexa speaker design, price, and features
According to Amazon, the Echo Dot is the most popular and best-selling smart speaker from the Echo series. The newly designed fourth generation (2020 release) should now be even better than all of its predecessors. We took a look at what the compact Alexa speaker can do and assessed in the Echo Dot 4 test whether the purchase of the spherical Alexa speaker is worthwhile.
All-new Echo Dot 4 design and features differ significantly from its predecessor
Over the generations, the Echo Dot loudspeakers have become more and more rounded, so that Echo Dot 4 with its spherical shape is a worthy continuation of this trend. The major change in appearance is also clearly evident in the dimensions. Echo Dot 3, for example, is 3.9” x 3.9” x 1.7” (99 mm x 99 mm x 43 mm) rather flat and puck-shaped, while Echo Dot 4 is 3.9” x 3.9” x 3.5” (100 x 100 x 89 mm) and forms almost a complete sphere.
The compact Echo Dot 4 Alexa speaker masters these functions
Thanks to the integrated Alexa voice control, Echo Dot 4 can be used to control songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, or Deezer on demand. On request – thanks to multiroom mode – also in combination with other Echo devices. We paired an Echo Dot 4 and an Echo Dot 4 with a watch in the test and were surprised by the good sound.
The drop-in function can also be used to call family members via their Echo’s, for example, to inform them that dinner is ready.
But even those who “only” have an All-new Echo Dot can use it to access many practical features and, for example, have Alexa tell jokes, set a timer, answer questions or play the news, check the weather. Thousands of Alexa Skills that can be activated free of charge provide even more individuality, some of which also offer the option of storing personal information. This allows Alexa to remind its users, for example, when it is the mother-in-law’s birthday or when the garbage can be emptied in a district.
The skills also offer great entertainment and learning potential for children, who can use them to call up hands-on stories, puzzles, or vocabulary trainers.
Amazon has recognized that many people fear data spying and have therefore expanded the protective functions of its new Echo devices. For this reason, in addition to the standard activation word technology and the microphone off button built into every Echo, All-new Echo Dot 4 also offers the control over your recordings and the option of deleting voice recordings at any time with just one command.
Reviews and testimonials: what do experts say about the All-new Echo Dot 4?
In our Echo Dot 4 short test, we compared the sound of the small Alexa speaker with its predecessor and were positively surprised. The acoustic understanding between humans and the Echo Dot 4 also succeeded effortlessly in the test from different distances.
In terms of sound, however, due to its small size, it cannot quite keep up with the more expensive, much larger Alexa speakers, although we did not expect that. Overall, the Echo Dot 4 offers a very good price-performance ratio and impresses with its unusual design.
Test Conclusion: Echo Dot 4 sets new standards, despite small drawbacks
For all of its new Echo devices, Amazon says it uses 100 percent recycled textiles, 100 percent recycled aluminum die-cast material, and 50 percent plastic from recycled consumer waste. Also, the wood fibers for the packaging come from environmentally friendly resources. Besides, the All-new Echo Dot 4 automatically goes into an energy-saving mode when inactive, Amazon promises. Unfortunately, this only works in stand-alone mode, i.e. when neither Spotify nor Bluetooth, WLAN, or ZigBee devices is connected. For smart homeowners, this often advertised energy-saving option is less relevant.
Nevertheless, the Echo Dot 4 is worth a clear purchase recommendation: After all, it has a powerful loudspeaker on the front, which already provided good sound in the previous model and was also able to convince us in practice. In the test, the sound of the Echo Dot 4 could not quite keep up with the Echo 4, but it surpassed the sound of the Echo Dot 3.
Also, Echo Dot 4 offers numerous other entertainment options such as music or audiobook playback, very stylish housing, and easy handling.