Amazon unveiled a radically redesigned $49.99 fourth-generation Echo Dot smart speaker today that doesn’t look like a dot at all — instead, the new Dot is shaped like a ball, or maybe an orb. The new design is a notable departure from the look of previous Echo Dots, which were short, puck-like cylinders that could be said to resemble, well, dots.
If you just can’t get on board with having a ball-shaped smart speaker but are in the market for a new Dot, I have good news for you: Amazon is still selling that dot-shaped third-generation Echo Dot. Amazon confirmed that it’s keeping the older Dot in its lineup in part to provide an option for those who want to mount their Dot to a wall. An Echo Flex, a small Echo speaker that plugs right into a wall outlet, is another option.
And as of this writing, the third-gen Dot is also the cheaper Dot, though it’s one of those Amazon listings with a price displayed as $49.99 $39.99, so I’m not totally sure if that cheaper price is going to stick around.
We haven’t gotten to try the orb-shaped Dot yet, so we don’t know if the new model will be a better buy than the dot-shaped Dot. But in his review of the third-gen Echo Dot, my colleague Dan Seifert found that it had surprisingly loud and rich sound for its compact size, so if you’re in the market for a small smart speaker right now, it could still be a good choice for you.
I forgot to mention one distinct advantage the older dot-shaped Dot has over its ball-like successor: it fits inside a base shaped like Baby Yoda’s head. Given that, I don’t know why Amazon decided to change the old Dot’s clearly perfect design.