Amazon’s Echo Dot is an affordable, high-quality smart speaker that has the full range of Alexa skills, Alexa being the company’s digital voice assistant.
This means the Dot can stream music, help control other smart devices, read you the news and even play games. If you’re considering buying one, then you won’t want to do so and then see that a newer version is released a week later.
Here’s everything we know about when Amazon plans to update the Echo Dot to its fourth version and what the new features could be added.
Hasn’t there already been an Echo Dot 4?
It’s true that in November 2019 Amazon updated its Echo Dot 3 to include a clock, but we don’t see that as a new generation, but rather an alternative version as all of the innards remain the same. If you want to know more, read our Amazon Echo Dot with Clock review.
When will the new Amazon Echo Dot be released?
Echo Dot 4 release date (unconfirmed): October 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has had huge a huge effect on manufacturing around the globe and it’s unknown how long this disruption will continue. With this in mind, we can only give a rough outline of when the new devices could arrive in stores.
Amazon traditionally releases it Echo Dots in the latter part of the year, the only exception of which was with the first-generation Dot that arrived in March 2016. Following on from that the second-gen model was released in September 2017 and the third-gen Dot arrived in September 2018.
The aforementioned Echo Dot with Clock came a year later in October 2019, so we’d say it’s a safe bet to expect the new Echo Dot (4th Gen) to make its debut around the same time in 2020.
Last year, as in previous years, Amazon has held a special hardware event at its HQ in Seattle in September. And while coronavirus might delay proceedings, it’s still possible this will go ahead.
To see what the current version has to offer, read our Amazon Echo Dot 3 review. It’s often on sale and was only £29.99 / $29.99 at the time of writing.
How much will the Echo Dot 4 cost?
Pricing has been another area where Amazon has been consistent with its Echo range. All of the previous versions of the Echo Dot have cost £49.99/$49.99, with only the Amazon Echo with Clock upping the ticket price to £59.99/$59.99.
Unless the new iteration comes with serious hardware upgrades, which doesn’t really make any sense, then it’s likely that you’ll be able to pick one up for £49.99/$49.99.
What new features will Amazon add to the Echo Dot 4?
At the time of writing, due to the tech world and many other industries coping with the pandemic and still months until the Echo Dot 4 is expected to release, there’s very little in terms of rumours on what to expect from the new device. Here’s what we know so far, along with things we’d like to see in the new model.
When Amazon upgraded the 2nd Gen to the 3rd Gen it added improved speakers, with the newer model boasting a 70 percent increase in volume. As with any smart speaker, we’d expect a similar attention to this area with the Echo Dot 4. So we expect it to sound better.
Another useful feature we’d like to see is the inclusion of a rechargeable battery or a carry case with one inside so that the Echo Dot can be taken into the garden, car or even to the beach.
To keep the smart aspect of the speaker, all you’d need to do then is connect to a mobile hotspot on your phone and Alexa would have all she needs to stream music and answer your questions on the go.
The Echo Dot Kids Edition
For the past couple of years, customers in the US have been able to buy special Kids Editions of the Echo Dot. These come in two new colours – blue and rainbow – and are bundled with Echo Glow smart lamps. Aside from the livery, the speakers also feature a year’s subscription to FreeTime, which provides hundreds of audiobooks from Audible, thousands of songs, plus age appropriate games.
Hopefully, Amazon will make this version of its speaker available in the UK and the rest of Europe this year, as it would make a great addition to the range. To see what all the fuss is about, read Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition: Will it launch outside the UK?
New colour choices
Amazon already offers several colours for the Echo Dot, with the current model featuring white or black chassis with the speaker fabric available in charcoal, heather grey, plum or sandstone. But there’s room for more colour (especially those found on the Kids’ edition mentioned above).
The earlier versions of the full-size Echo had removeable cases that allowed users to alter the appearance of the devices to match their décor. It’s harder with the current Echo Dot design, as the speaker fabric isn’t removable as it is on some other Echo models.
If replaceable covers are introduced for the Dot 4 then this would really open up the aesthetic possibilities.
To see more about Amazon’s Alexa powered devices, read Best Amazon Echo 2020.