Amazon has changed the shape of the Echo every time it releases a new generation. With regard to this type of 2020 corresponding to the fourth generation, it deviates from the straight we have seen in previous years models.
The Echo 4, along with a distinct Dot and Dot with a clock, is now circular and transmits light to the base where its position makes the most sense as it seems to show the best of any position you place it.
We also see many other updates, such as internal speakers, processor, and even new sensors and wireless gears. But like a new book, the smart harp (that of Plus) is now installed. Amazon has combined the two models and keeps the price of the Echo 3.
Features and design
To be honest, the look of the ball is fun and leaves almost no design for the predecessor’s design, the Echo 3, which was an extra round. The four buttons are still mounted and perform the same functions: Volume, microphone mute, select button and reset wifi.
The fabric does not completely cover this device, as there is a dividing line from the front to the bottom, up to about a third of the back. Although it is circular, it is a very direct device with forward-looking tweeters.
The light ring, as we have said, is at the base. It’s bright when you interact with the Alexa assistant, but we’re not sure if it works well unless you’re in a slightly brighter area.
It is visible from other angles and distances, but is designed to display rather than view it directly. In an area where the volume is used to display as a white circle, half lit up at 50% of the volume, it is now divided into two parts by a light (slightly more accurate) increase.
It’s a small complaint, especially considering how easy it is to say ‘Alexa, turn up the volume’ or ‘Alexa, set the volume up to 60%’. It works great.
Already in the background, there is a break where the power connector and 3.5mm jack jack jack are available that can be adjusted to the Alexa system for audio or output input.
Below the Echo 4 we see that there is a rope similar to that of the three mountains. Although Amazon has not released any mount speaker or similar accessory, it is something Echos has approved for generations, to fix it in brackets or on the wall.
About Alexa Assistant, we’ve already talked about length, as in this article where we show you how to connect Amazon Echo to your mobile wifi. The highlight here is a new processing process called AZ1 Neural Edge.
In addition to using less than 20% more power than the previous model chip, it also requires less than 85% memory usage and processes speech up to 2x faster than chips of the previous generation chips.
Simply put, it means that the Echo can respond very quickly if you ask Alexa a question because the chip can process speech locally rather than send a request to Amazon servers for processing and return results.
Amazon does not say that the new Echo will work offline – it does not work, but certain requests will be provided with a faster and faster response. Also, Echo (and Echo Show 10) has enough memory to handle Amazon’s new chat models that make Alexa sound more natural.
Also provided is a new feature for Natural Turn Taking that allows you to have a human-like conversation with Alexa without having to say a wake-up call every time you apply.
In fact, we do not know when many of these services will be available during the launch of consumer products. We know that initially they will only reach the United States.
In our Echo 4 trial, Alexa appeared to behave much faster than using previous models, especially when playing certain sequences over time, such as listening to a news or a particular podcast.
Amazon has revived its fourth generation power supply and now there is only a white version, which means the power cord is common to all models.
Sensors and smart harps
The best teen on the Echo 4 is the built-in thermometer, which means you can ask “Alexa, what is the temperature at home” and she’ll tell you.
It also works with Zigbee and Bluetooth Low Energy to connect Philips Hue bulbs and other compatible devices without the need for a separate hub. This is only useful if you have compatible Zigbee devices, but it is a big step.
US colleague Michael points out that it would be better if the Echo also had Z-Wave support, but this is not the case in Europe, where most smart home devices use Wi-Fi to communicate with them. route.
Another thing different for US consumers is to keep up with it Amazon Road. This is another wireless connection that Amazon has included in the new Echo (and that’s already on the Ring cameras).
It allows you to go farther than a Wi-Fi connection and helps control the smart lights you can have outside, garage openings, and other devices that may come together around your home or basement.
It also helps with devices like Tile trackers (and others) as they may have a connecting signal to find them even if they are outside the normal range. The 900 MHz signal reaches less than a mile according to Amazon.
Amazon does not simply renew the Echo 3 speaker setup, or the specs on paper look very similar. There is a 3-inch (8cm) vertical woofer not one, but two 0.8-inch (20mm) tweeters aligned.
With the exception of the circular structure, there is no 360 ° sound. The forward-facing tweeters, which means you get a much better sound when you sit in front of them, than on each side.
That doesn’t mean the quality is drastically reduced if you don’t sit with your ears at the level of the front speakers. Depending on how you like your music, you may find that there is a lot more going on.
There is a good amount of bass, much more than the Echo 3, but mids are not as strong as bass or highs. You can change the EQ by using the Alexa app to increase mids, and totally the Echo 4 sounds better than the Echo 3.
Like the Studio, the four-gen Echo automatically makes sound based on room type, but since you can’t disable this feature, it’s impossible to check how different it is from previous versions.
In short, music of almost any kind sounds good (but not bad) and the words, whether from Alexa, on the radio, or on podcasts, sound loud and clear.
Price and availability
Surprisingly, Amazon has kept the price the same as before, even if you now have the Echo Plus speaker model in your hands. This means that in it costs a recommended price of $119.
At the time of publishing this article, Amazon keeps an introductory offer where it is possible to purchase Echo 4 white, and a Philips Hue LED E27 lamp, for a discounted price of just $99.
It is the same price as that Google Nest Audio, our competitor very quickly, in our absence to see a new response Apple’s HomePod mini which also comes at the same price of $99.
See our summary of the best speakers you can buy this year.
The Echo 4 has been redesigned and we can only say it has now been successful. Thanks to the installation of a smart hub, and a temperature sensor, you get a lot for the same price, as well as better sound quality.
Don’t forget any new AZ1 processor: this makes Alexa more responsive and more profitable as Amazon uses Alexa’s natural voice more. Until we evaluate your closest competitors, it’s hard to make a final decision.
- Dimensions 144 x 144 x 133mm
- 3-inch woofer and 2 0.8-inch tweeters
- 3.5mm internal / external noise
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi connection
- Hub intellectual Zigbee + Bluetooth
- Remote field beam microphone