This new 4th Gen Echo Dot brings a new spherical shape to the Echo Dot lineup. It is about the same width as the previous Echo 3rd Gen, but since it is a ball now it is obviously a little taller. The blue light is now on the bottom. Here are my thought so far:
- Bottom ring light. The new blue light on the bottom actually illuminates the surface that the Dot is sitting on. This actually makes the light considerably more noticeable, especially if sitting on a semi-reflective surface. - Slightly better sound. The actual speaker hardware is the same as the 3rd Gen Dot, but this one sounds slightly better to my ear. This could be because the speaker is pointed toward the front, instead of pointing straight up like it was in the previous model.
- Aesthetics. This is personal opinion of course, but I think I prefer the smaller, less noticeable "hockey puck" shape of the previous models. This one is closer to a softball, and stands out much more. Sure it might be better for creating sound, but I don't use Dots for music listening anyway. If I wanted to do that I would use a regular Echo or Echo Studio, which of course sound much better than this Dot. The whole point of the Dot for me was to use it in locations where I wanted a small device that doesn't take up much space. - Price. The old Gen 3 Dot is now $10 cheaper than this version, and it is really hard for me to justify choosing this Gen 4. It really seems like you are just paying for the new shape and very slightly better sound, but that doesn't currently seem worth it to me. There just aren't enough improvements from what I've seen so far.
All in all, this new Gen 4 Dot might be worth it for you if you really dig the ball shape and bottom ring light, but otherwise I'd have to recommend sticking with the Gen 3 for $10 less.