Top positive review
The Pros, Cons and Oks for Echo Dot 4th Gen (HR).
Reviewed in the United States on November 5, 2020
• The globe design with the fabric speaker layout is a decent upgrade from all the previous flat Echos. With the glowing ring now at the bottom of the device, you get a mini space ship.
• The “tap to snooze” is a feature that will be helpful if anyone wants this Echo near their bed. When the alarm rings you just need to tap the speaker (the device) with two or more fingers and it will go to snooze for a short time. No button pressing, just anywhere on the speaker and it’ll let you sleep a little more (but just a little more).
• A 3.5mm audio jack for connecting a wired speaker. This is something that Google’s nest mini no longer has. I appreciated that Amazon put this in.
• If you never used amazon products before, the setup process on any of their machines are ridiculously easy. This is no exception. Just a phone, an app and that’s it.
• I’ve had their previous model and setting this up was even easier because all the info I had on my account (Wi-Fi password, smart-plugins, etc.) just merge in flawlessly with this Echo.
• Alexa itself is fast. From weather to set times, to stories, and even jokes. If I want directions she responds almost instantly and overall performs excellent, like the previous model.
• One of the perks of Amazon Echos is the vast inventory of smart devices that you can connect with. You can buy smart plugins, smart lights, and 1000s more to make your place a “smart” place. In this day in age, the restrictions on what a smart device can be are minimal, and overall it’s a big reason why you want to buy an Echo instead of Apple’s Homepod.
• You’re able to listen in on another room if you’re not in the area and the Echo is. A pretty neat tool to have if you’re in an “uncertain” relationship.
• The Echo does an excellent job of understanding your routines. For example, my hallway, and bedroom lights are always on at the same time before bed. If I’m in bed I can say “Alexa, good night” and Alexa will shut both of them off. This can also be used to say “Alexa, good morning” and Alexa can turn on any smart devices at the same time in the morning. TV, stereo, coffee maker, all you need is a smart device connector.
• Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Deezer, Spotify. You have all the choices in the world in choosing your music channel (except of course google and apple music)
• This Echo can connect with any of the other models of Echos, regardless of generation. This means that you just need to tap the Announce tab on Alexa and you can say/type a message of your choosing. All Echos in you have will be able to repeat what you said. I found this pretty niffy if you have kids throughout the house and you want them to come to you.
• The light-up time and temperature are bright and never overbearing.
• Echo can also call landlines, and any calls placed to numbers in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico for free. Note: Your Wi-Fi strength will be your indicator if the call quality will be good for you.
• The volume on these devices doesn’t bring in any distortion or cranked tones when turning this device up high.
• Overall the volume balances heavily towards the highs and mid-tones. A decent performance for the size that it is.
Cons and Oks:__________
• There is little to no volume bass in this device. The result makes an overall boomy experience. It’s still decent sound but it wasn’t something I was amazed by.
• This isn’t a 360 design as the fabric covering the speaker covers only around 2/3rds of the Echo. This leaves a bare wedge in the rear.
• As much as the voice assistant is helpful, you still need to speak to Alexa with a “specific” dialogue to get what you need. One of the benefits of Google in my eyes is the software in their mini. You’re able to be more open in the conversational dialogue. Alexa isn’t there yet.
• For the size, I have to say that you’re getting a pretty large power brick.
• Alexa Guard is a cool feature where it can inform you in the app if Alexa hears a smoke alarm or breaking glass when you’re out. I put this in the Con section because I kept getting false alarms from Alexa. I don’t know if this was a glitch but I assume that a software update will fix this problem. When it does, then it’s indeed a great tool to have, but don’t expect it to be beneficial if you have an indoor dog/cat.
• Amazon does have a $5/month service where the save guard will listen to footsteps and opening doors. Don’t know why you have to pay for this if the software is already on the device.
• I wish that you can buy the kids the designs for the Echo without the need to buy a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+.
This is either an alarm clock next to your bed or a nice radio when you’re cooking. It’s small, light, and you have the same Alexa power that Amazon’s more expensive Echos have. With the price that it is, this Echo is a great way to see if you want to start making your house a “smart” house, or even for someone who isn’t tech-savvy. I do recommend that you fork over the extra $10 and buy this Echo with the backlit clock.
Now for those who have any of the previous models, this isn’t worth the buy. There aren’t many significant changes. The main function of this Echo is the same performance as any other model (this is coming from someone who has the previous gen). Amazon still hasn’t fixed the bass issue, then again you’re paying not much for this.
In the end, Amazon does a great job with the software of these devices. They’re very simple to use and don’t take that much power in using them. As I mentioned, one of Amazon’s best perks is the vast variety of third-party dealers that the Echo can connect with. This is something that both the google mini and Apple's Homepod don’t even come close to.
Overall: An updated design built well for your bedroom or kitchen, but no need to upgrade from its predecessor.
Hope I was a help to you.