Amazon has overhauled its diminutive Echo Dot good speaker for 2022. Properly, we are saying overhauled, but it surely’s extra of a minor therapeutic massage – except you’re paying shut consideration to spec sheets, you won’t discover something has modified.
Fortunately for you, digesting tech specs is one thing we’re fairly good at. In order that’s precisely what we’ve achieved. Right here’s how the brand new Dot compares with the outdated Dot, at the very least on paper, whereas we watch for one to land in our testing inbox.
Worth and availability: pay for the privilege
The 4th Gen Echo Dot is one thing of a steal proper now: you may bag one for £20 within the UK, a hefty low cost from the £50 RRP. That worth might solely stick round whereas Amazon has inventory, although. With Prime supply it’ll be in your doorstep in a day or two.
If you would like the brand new Echo Dot in your desk (or counter high, or wherever else you intend on plonking one), you’ll should splash more money. Amazon is asking £55 for the usual mannequin, and £65 for each the Echo Dot with Clock and Echo Dot Youngsters. It’s up for pre-order at present, with delivery not anticipated to start out till subsequent month.
Design: clock watcher
Visually the brand new Dot is all however equivalent to the outdated one: each are tiny spheres lined in cloth, with just a few buttons up high for adjusting quantity and muting Alexa’s AI ears. An exercise LED ring on the backside lets you recognize when she’s listening in, or once you’ve acquired an unread notification. The brand new model can now be had in deep sea blue colors, whereas the outdated one is caught with Glacier White and Charcoal choices.
The largest modifications are beneath, and reserved for the Echo Dot with Clock. It will get an up to date LED show, which might do much more than simply inform the time. It’s brighter, for a begin, so shall be simpler to see in direct daylight. The upper decision lets it show scrolling textual content for issues like climate updates, calendar notifications and now enjoying information. It additionally will get a brand new color possibility: cloud blue, along with the unique Glacier White.
For a extra child-friendly design, it’s best to head to the Echo Dot Youngsters. It’s been up to date with two new animal patterns: an owl and a dragon, becoming a member of the prevailing Panda and Tiger. Every will get its personal cutesy contextual greetings and bespoke joke ebook.
Sound: larger means higher?
The 4th Gen Echo Dot was a step up from the earlier version. By switching from a hockey puck form to a sphere, it discovered sufficient additional area inside to reorient the 1.6in speaker driver to face forwards, moderately than upwards. Its audio talents are fairly good for a sub-£50 good speaker, with good vocal readability and a punchy mid-range, however a merely alright degree of bass.
For the up to date mannequin, Amazon has utterly reengineered the speaker driver, with out having to make the bodily machine any bigger. The cone has the next tour now, so ought to ship twice the quantity of bass. Whereas we’ve but to listen to it in individual, that guarantees to have fairly the sonic punch.
Options: Wi-Fi marvel
The 4th-gen Echo Dot is hardly brief on smarts, with nearly the identical Alexa talents because the bigger, pricier Echo. It helps lossless HD audio streaming from Amazon’s Music HD service, can management your good residence along with your voice, and allows you to make hands-free voice calls. There’s a 3.5mm audio output on the again for hooking it as much as a wider sound system. The one issues lacking are a Zigbee good residence hub and Dolby Atmos – you’ll must step as much as the full-fat Echo and Echo Studio respectively for these.
For the 2022 replace, Amazon has saved the entire above, whereas additionally including Amazon’s personal AZ2 neural edge processor, which lets every Dot do extra issues domestically moderately than beam your knowledge to the cloud and watch for a response. A brand new temperature sensor and a few faucet gesture controls additionally make the minimize.
An enormous improve for Eero router homeowners is the flexibility for brand spanking new Dots to double as mesh Wi-Fi extenders. It is a trick the outdated ones can pull off, too – or at the very least they’ll do, as soon as a brand new software program replace lands later this yr.