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 to The Verge 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.