Changing entire look to round spherical, e-commerce giant Amazon has launched the 4th generation of its Alexa smart speakers – Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Dot with clock. Thanks to this spherical shape these new smart speakers deliver a loud, crisp sound with powerful bass. Besides, these smart speakers now support on-device processing along with offering better Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity.
Before we get into the detailed specifications of the 4th Gen Echo service, let’s have a look at the pricing. Starting with 4th Gen Echo Dot, its priced at Rs 4,499 in India, whereas the 4th Gen Echo Dot with clock is priced at Rs 5,499. Then we have the full-fledged 4th Gen Echo which is priced at Rs 9,999 in India. All these smart speakers are already up for pre-order with shipping starting last week on October 2020.
What changed in 4th Gen Echo smart speakers?
As we said earlier, the 4th Gen Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Dot with clock get a design overhaul. It now more like a sphere giving it more area to pump out audio in all direction. It comes with a fabric finish which is made from 100 per cent recycled fabric. Other parts are built with 100% recycled die-cast aluminium, and post-consumer recycled plastic.
For colour choices, you have the same chalk (white), steel blue (blue) and charcoal (black). The Echo Dot with clock has the same design as the other two, but with an LED clock on the front. Also for colour choices, you have only the blue and white at your disposal.
Coming to the internals, the 4th Gen Echo Dot and Echo Dot with clock packs a 1.6-inch built-in speaker. Whereas, the bigger, 4th Gen Echo boasts one primary 3.0-inch (76.2 mm) neodymium woofer and two 0.8-inch (20 mm) tweets. Thus all these Echo smart speakers can fill the room with good deep bass, as well as can do crystal clear mids and dynamic highs. The Echo smart speaker support Dolby processing that delivers stereo sound with clear highs, dynamic-mids, and deep bass.
This time around, Amazon has included a MediaTek-built AZ1 Neural Edge processor which brings on-device processing and eventually faster response time. These smart speakers will also support the all-neural speech model. Thus Speech processing is faster (twice faster than the previous generation), memory usage dropped by 85-percent and cuts power consumption by 20-times. These smart speakers also come with Low Power Mode to intelligently conserve energy during periods of inactivity.
Connectivity options include dual-band WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 and 5 GHz) networks and Bluetooth connectivity. It has Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) which support audio streaming from your smartphone to Echo device to your Bluetooth speaker. It also has Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) for voice control of connected mobile devices.
The three Echo Alexa smart speakers pack 4 microphones which allows it to hear you across the room. Thus you won’t be required to shout to the speaker to change the song.
As always, 4th Gen Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Dot with clock work with AI-powered personal assistant Alexa. It can do lots of tasks (or skills) like answering questions, provide information, news, cricket or football scores, plays music and more. Moreover, you can use it to control smart home products like smart lights, AC and plugs.
Of course, it can stream millions of songs from Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, JioSaavn, Gaana, Apple Music and Hungama Music. Adding more to that, you have access to songs in Hindi, English, Telugu, Tamil, Punjabi, Marathi, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Kannada, Malayalam and more.
There is a kill switch for microphone (off button) that can electronically disconnect the microphones. It sort of privacy enhancements, as there were reports about smart speakers listening and recording personal conversations.
Finally, the 4th Gen Echo smart speakers can speak to you in both English and Hindi. To get started, you just need to ask her “Alexa, speak in Hindi”.