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Amazon Echo Dot 2020 price, release date, clock version and more

New Amazon Echo Dot 2020
(Image credit: Amazon)

Goodbye, hockey puck.

Amazon announced a fourth-generation Amazon Echo Dot with an all-new design that looks nothing like we've come to expect. The new Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot (and, of course, Echo Dot with Clock) take on an orb-like design that looks a lot like the Echo Glow, a kid-friendly smart lamp Amazon launched last year.

Amazon Echo Dot quick specs

Size: 3.9 x 3.9 x 3.5 inches
Weight: 12 ounces
Speaker: 1.6-inch front-firing driver
Audio outputs: 3.5mm audio line out
Microphones: 4

These new Echo Dots are smaller than their predecessor, the Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen). We'll have to test out the audio and controls to see if they're still some of the best smart speakers, and best Alexa speakers, around. 

Here's everything we know about the new Echo Dot lineup for now.

Amazon Echo Dot price and availability

The standard Amazon Echo Dot, which comes in Charcoal, Glacier White or Twilight Blue, is available for pre-order and costs $49.99. 

The Amazon Echo Dot with Clock cost $59.99. This is the same price as the previous Echo Dot with Clock, but it mow comes in the Twilight Blue finish, as well as the classic Glacier White.

Both the Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock will release on October 22.

Amazon Echo Dot design

As familiar as the Echo Dot's puck-like form has become, leave it to Amazon to keep us on our toes. The Echo Dot has adopted an all-new design, and yes, its round.

It's obvious Amazon doesn't want you to hide your Echo speakers anymore. These orb-shaped options could actually complement your home decor. The rounded form lends a softer look, fabric-swathed exterior and all.

Now, Alexa's iconic LED ring sits at the base of the speaker. While this might not seem like a big change, it lets the status light reflect on the surface where the Echo Dot sits. This seems like it would let you see when Alexa is activated more clearly, even from across the room. 

New Amazon Echo Dot 2020

(Image credit: Amazon)

The Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock both feature touch-sensitive areas, too. These work as a tap-to-snooze button, which could be helpful if you use your Echo Dot as a bedside alarm clock. They also have physical buttons for volume and turning off the microphones, but are somewhat hidden when looking at the device from the front.

The dot  AZ1 processor as found in the new Echo, but lack the neural speech module, which Amazon says will speed up Alexa's responses. The Dot also lacks the built-in thermometer, Zigbee, and Amazon Sidewalk bridge found in the new Echo.

Amazon Echo Dot speakers and microphones

Although the Echo Dot received a totally refreshed design, inside its speaker is the same. It has a 1.6-inch front-firing driver, which should satisfy a smaller space but by no means is a whole-home audio solution. 

The Echo Dot also maintains the four microphones as in the previous model. We found this is plenty to pick up on Alexa's wake word in the previous Echo Dot model. Of course, the microphones can be manually muted for privacy, too. 

Around the back of the Echo is a 3.5mm aux line out you can use to deliver audio to your system, although the speaker is Bluetooth and Airplay-compatible as well. 

Amazon Echo Dot outlook

Kudos to Amazon for making a drastic design change. The smart speaker market isn't the most alluring, but these new $50 and $60 options are ones you might actually feel excited to show off. 

The clever Echo Dot with Clock is one of the best smart home devices we've tested in the last year, so we're particularly interested in seeing whether it maintained its edge this time around. The standard Echo Dot, meanwhile, is in position to make Alexa even more ubiquitous.