Amazon Echo and fourth generation Echo Dot review: Alexa changes shape
Amazon recently updated its line of smart speakers with the new fourth generation Echoes: Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Dot with clock. The first thing you notice, comparing them to previous generations, is a distortion of the design. But the new Amazon Echo also improve under the body: let’s find out all the news in our review.
Amazon Echo and Echo Dot review: a completely renewed design
The new Echos are spherical in shape, abandoning the cylindrical shape we were used to. On the top of each Amazon Echo we find four physical buttons: two dedicated to the volume, a button to deactivate the microphone and one to call up Alexa or enter the configuration mode.
On the lower part of the speakers there is thelight ring which changes color according to various actions: turns red when the microphone is deactivated, orange when we have notifications to read, blue when we call Alexa and white when we change the volume. In previous generations the LED was placed in the lower part and we appreciated the change that allows the light of the devices to be reflected on the surface on which they are placed.
The new generation is also much greener. In fact, it is made with 100% recycled fabric and aluminum and 50% recycled plastic.
The new Amazon Echo Dot are available in Ice White and Cerulean colors, the one without a watch is also available in Anthracite color. The Echo, on the other hand, can also be purchased in the variant PRODUCT (RED) which – as with iPhones and other red devices – allows you to donate part of the proceeds to fight against AIDS, HIV and COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa.
On the back of all new fourth generation Echos is a audio output port with 3.5mm jack. In the Echo model it also works as audio input: you can then connect a source and listen to the audio directly from the Amazon speaker. There is also the proprietary port for powersame as in previous generations, although we would have appreciated a much more widespread and more comfortable Type-C port more.
The only difference between the two Echo Dots – with and without a watch – is the presence of a LED display in the first model, which allows you to view the time, check timers and alarms (a dot will appear next to the time if an alarm is active). It also displays degrees when you ask Alexa for the weather forecast. The display automatically adjusts the brightness so as not to annoy you during the night.
What changes under the body
Audio quality is slightly improved for the new Echo Dots, which feature a 1.6 ” speaker front diffusion: the quality is not bad, even if the bass is not very present and we do not recommend the Dots in case you are looking for speakers to listen to high quality music.
In fact, if your purpose is to take advantage of Amazon’s smart speakers to listen to good music, there is Echo. The superior model is in fact equipped with a 3 ” woofer and two 0.8 ” tweetersit is also equipped with the technology Dolby Audio. All this allows you to enjoy excellent quality listening.
The big news is that the Echo now integrates a Zigbee hub – as for the previous generation Echo Plus, Studio and Show – which allows you to connect compatible smart accessories, such as light bulbs and sockets, directly to the device without the need for a physical hub or gateway. Always within Echo we also find a temperature sensorwhich allows you to view the degrees of the room in which it is located in the Alexa application.
We have no technical information about the microphones included in the new generation of Amazon Echo, but during our use we noticed a improved detection of the magic word “Alexa”, even when playing music at high volume.
The Alexa application
Setting up the new Amazon Echo is really simple. Just download the application, press the “+” which allows you to add a new device and follow the instructions. From here it will also be possible to add compatible smart bulbs and sockets in the case of the new Echo, as well as manage all the settings. You can also download and install the Skill, which allow you to enable new features such as the ability to search for new recipes, listen to certain radio stations and much more. From here, moreover, it is possible create groups to play music simultaneously on multiple Amazon Echos.
Amazon Echo and Echo Dot review: buy them or not?
The new fourth generation Amazon Echos have been completely redesigned with a spherical shape that we loved. But, as we have seen, the news does not stop at aesthetics. Let’s find one better audio quality in both models, a improved microphonesplus Echo earns hub Zigbee and the temperature sensor than the previous generation. We therefore recommend the purchase of these smart speakers, both in case you want to make a qualitative leap compared to previous models, and as your first purchase.
Amazon Echo is sold at a list price of € 99.99while Echo Dot is sold to € 59.99 in the normal version and € 69.99 with the LED display.
Amazon Echo – Echo Dot
- Revamped design
- Improved audio and microphone
- Hub Zigbee on Echo
- AUX input and output on Echo
- No charging with Type-C