Echo Dot 3rd Gen vs Echo Dot 4th Gen

You want to know what the difference is between the 3rd and 4th Generation Echo Dot? Me too! The New Echo Dot 4th Generation Dot just came out, and I’m itching to find out what all the hype is about. Will you still get value out of your 3rd Generation Echo Dot? What about the price comparisons? Let’s take a look.

Automate Your Life Tutorials is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and other Amazon websites.

Size and Shape

The Echo Dot 3rd Generation is essentially a hockey puck; a flat cylindrical smart speaker 99mm x 99mmx 43mm, that weighs about 300 grams (10.6 oz.) The top of the device is plastic with the usual volume up, down, microphone, and action button. The outside of the Echo Dot 3rd generation is cloth. The Echo Dot with Clock (3rd Generation) has an LED display along the side of the cylinder. The Alexa light ring sits at the bottom of the cylinder.

The Echo Dot 4th Generation is now a sphere. It’s about 100mm x 100mm x 89 mm, so it’s wider than the Echo Dot 3rd Generation and doubles the height, which makes it looks more compact and neat if you compare it to the Echo Dot 3rd Generation. The whole sphere is covered in recycled fabric. The Echo Dot with Clock (4th Generation) also has the same buttons as the Echo Dot 3rd Generation: volume up, volume down, action, and microphone mute. The Echo Dot with Clock has the LED display halfway up the side of the sphere. The Alexa light ring sits at the base of the Echo Dot 4th Generation sphere.

There is no mounting option for the 4th Gen Echo Dot.

Connectivity

The Echo Dot 3rd Generation and Echo Dot 4th Generation both have the usual WiFi (802.11a/b/n/ac) on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Both Echo Dot’s support Bluetooth Connectivity. The Echo Dot 4th Generation supports Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Mesh – which means it’s ready to be a Bluetooth Bridge for other devices. I think this is in preparation for Amazon Sidewalk and possibly the new Connected Home over IP wireless standard.

Sound

The Echo Dot 4th Generation comes with the same 1.6″ speaker as the Echo Dot 3rd Generation. I think we were hoping that the speaker was going to get an upgrade since the Echo Dot sphere (4th Gen) is larger than the 3rd Generation. Oh, well. Amazon states the Echo Dot 4th Gen speaker is ‘front-firing’. Maybe that helps improve the sound.

Alexa Enabled Processor

The Echo Dot 4th Generation comes with an upgrade to the Echo Dot 3rd Generation with regards to a new onboard processor, the AZ1 Neural Edge Chip. It should improve Alexa’s responses, however, the Echo Dot 3rd Generation software will be updated to give better responses as well – maybe not as fast as the Echo Dot 4th Generation.

Price

The Echo Dot 3rd Generation (with or without clock) is $39.99. The Echo Dot 4th Generation is $49.99, and $59.99 for the Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen). Right now if you use the DOT2PACK code, you can save %20 off the original price, which gets you back to the same price as the Echo Dot 3rd Generation.

Difference between Echo Dot 3rd Gen and Echo Dot 4th Gen:

  • The first obvious difference is the Shape: 3rd Gen is a hockey puck; the 4th Generation is a new cloth sphere. The 4th Gen is taller than the 3rd Gen Echo Dot, is only wider around the circumference of the sphere, which makes it look smaller and compact compared to the 3rd Gen.
  • Another interesting difference about the design: there is no mounting hole option for the 4th Gen. It’s meant to sit on its base on a counter, shelf, or desk. UPDATE: We found the mounting option:
  • The 4th Generation is built-in with the AZ1 Neural processor, which should help with response time and managing your smart home faster than the 3rd Generation.
  • Connectivity: The Echo Dot 4th Generation has Bluetooth (BLE) Mesh, which means the Echo Dot 4th Generation will act as a bridge or hub for other Bluetooth enabled devices that need longer range, Amazon Sidewalk, and possibly the new Connected Home over IP coming out in late 2020.

Images: Amazon

UPDATED September 26, 2020: Found the mounting hardware for the Echo Dot 4th Generation!