If you are a homebody like me, every evolution in smart gadgets has always been a bonus. Amazon gets a lot of attention, every time their new smart speaker hits the market. Everything has become so much simpler with Amazon speakers; all you have to say is "Alexa......" for anything, be it to know the time, for playing music, to tell jokes, to know about weather forecast, reading news, and more.

In the year 2020, Amazon has added the most recent version of the Echo Dot (4th Generation) to the list. The previous model by Amazon (Echo Dot 3rd Gen) was introduced in 2018, and it made a significant leap, showing that every little device has a big surprise. At 4,499 INR, the new model is one of the greatest smart speakers currently available. It is now available in India at a special price of Rs. 3,299. This new ball features a range of promising specifications, as well as a few downsides to being aware of.

Let’s go through a detailed review on the latest ECHO DOT 4th GEN!

Summary

Design and Build

Set-Up

Sound Quality

Specifications

The Final Word

Design and Build

Now that the 4th Gen has arrived, the shape of the whole new echo dot is the most obvious change to notice. It has now transformed from the ice hockey shape of the previous generation to a spherical shape. Although, it is similar to the Apple HomePad Mini. This speaker is about the size of a tennis ball and fits well in my palm. I pretty much like a flat rubbery surface, it is smooth and avoids the dot ball to roll down. The upper section is covered with a mesh muted fabric, just like the past ones. On the other hand, the bottom portion is made of plastic. There are three colors available for this model: black, white, and blue. Personally, I like the blue color, it's new compared to the existing black and white options. Yet, I wish there were more color options available.

Speaking of which, light rings at the bottom are the most attractive of all. The light ring flashes in three colors: red when the microphone is turned off, blue when Alexa is listening to your requests, and yellow when the speaker is into power-saving mode. In the 3rd gen echo, it is the same way. It is amazing to see how the light gets jazzed up in the dark.

On the top of the sphere, there are four physical buttons. A button to wake Alexa, a button to turn on and off the microscope, and the other key to adjust the volume. On the backside of the speaker, there are two ports. The first is a power port, followed by a 3.5 mm audio output connector. Depending on how you want to use it, you may connect it to an external speaker or add a headphone.

On the whole, it is quite handy and does not cover much space. A bit of advice: always handle a gadget with clean hands. Since it is not waterproof, it is difficult to remove dirt, oil stains, or unclean marks.

Set-Up

Many consumers find that setting up a gadget is a difficult task. However, it is made simple for all new and current users. If this is your first time using an Alexa device, you will need to download the Alexa app from the play store or the app store. Finish the sign-up process, add the device, and connect to the Wi-Fi/hotspot. Explore the app for more insights.

Existing users will find it much easier. To add additional devices, go to the device section. It will scan around for similar devices and will automatically get added to your home.

Once you have added the device, connect your accounts and other streaming services, and you're done. Give commands or ask questions to put them to the test. It easily gets connected to multiple devices, can set alarms and reminders, etc. When it comes to alarms, the echo dot with clock features a "tap to snooze" functionality that makes life easier when dealing with alarms and reminders. All you have to do is tap with more than one finger for 9 minutes of snooze time. You will no longer have to undergo a morning talk with Alexa to get a good amount of sleep.

Sound Quality

Coming back to Echo dot, there are many expectations from the Echo Dot 4th gen. With each upgrade, the sound quality of echo speakers has improved. But is the sound system best for your buy? Honestly, the audio of this speaker is comparatively louder and better than the previous-gen speakers, thanks to their designs. 

I asked Alexa to play the most famous Bollywood song “I am a disco dancer” and afterward shifted to several other tunes on various platforms in different languages. The response was great; Alexa was able to understand and respond to my requests quickly. However, I ran across a few troubles when it came to setting up the music streaming apps. 

The audio is much clearer and louder, with enough volume to fill the entire room. Still, clearer and louder doesn’t mean best. Bass heads might be a disappointment. It may be the best smart speaker, but it is not the ideal party speaker.

Specifications

Alexa's speaker is capable of much more than just asking queries and laughing at jokes. If you've used echo devices before, you may already know exactly what to expect. But for the new users, this device is a box of surprises. There are various things to look at before I sleep and after I wake up and other regular routines. For instance, switching on the tv, turning on lights or AC, lock system, security cameras, and more. You can add routines to your list and use them all together. Say, I have added a routine which includes switching off smart lights, smart fans, turns off my TV and other power connectors and named as “Alexa, Good night”. It will automatically follow my commands once I ask to do so.

Besides commanding you can also make phone calls from one Alexa device to another. If you have multiple Alexa devices, you can use them all at once to do things like play the same song or notifying messages (e.g., Dinner is Ready). This device surely has better capabilities to turn your home into a smart one.

The Final Word

Most of you are probably wondering if the Alexa Dot 4th Gen is worth your money. Yes, absolutely! The new design is attractive and economical. In comparison to other devices, Wi-Fi connection and response time are much better. When compared to the mini nest, the audio quality of the Echo dot 4th Generation is louder and clearer. If cost isn't an issue, I would recommend the Echo (4th Gen), which has a better audio system and Dolby audio.

It is worth upgrading when you're using 1st or 2nd Gen Echo Dot or are a first-time buyer of Alexa device. If you are looking for a way to save money, skip on jumping to Echo Dot 4th Gen from 3rd Gen. There are quite a few features upgraded to the latest version. One difference to note is the speakers; both devices have 1.6 speakers, but the 4th generation model has front-firing speakers for improved sound quality. Another change to the notice is, the 3rd Gen model is built with IC chips, whereas the microprocessor is used in the 4th Gen Dot. Yes, if you're overwhelmed by the design and money isn't a concern, the Echo Dot (4th Gen) is the best option.

If you're confused between the Google Nest Mini and the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen), I'd recommend the Echo Dot. At the same price, you can obtain better features. Better audio system, new design, and upgraded features.

All in All, it offers great functions at a decent price.​​