Echo Dot 2019 vs Echo Dot 2020: which mini Alexa smart speaker is for you?

Amazon Echo Dot
(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon loves to discount its Echo devices during big sales events, so it’s a safe bet that you’ll see Prime Day Deals on the 2019 Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker this Amazon Prime Day. But this year there isn’t just one Echo Dot to consider. There are two: the 3rd Generation, which is the 2019 model that’s on sale right now, and the 4th Generation Echo Dot, which is available for pre-order and ships in a couple of weeks. So which one should you buy? Let’s compare the two models.

Best Echo Dot 2019 and Echo Dot 2020 deals this Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day 2020 is upon us, so if you want a great discount on an Amazon Echo Dot 2019 or Echo Dot 2020 then you better act fast - as we're expecting the best Echo Dot deals to fly off the shelves pretty quickly. 

Luckily for you, we've gathered the best prices right now for both products below:

What’s the difference between an Echo Dot and an Echo?

The Dot is the smaller, slightly less powerful, slightly cheaper version of the Echo. It doesn’t have the same speakers as its bigger sibling – where the 2020 Echo has three speakers including a woofer, the 2020 Echo Dot has just one – and it doesn’t have any home hub features. It can still control smart home devices over Wi-Fi, though.

Can I finance the Echo Dot?

You can in the UK. You can pay over five months at £6 per month for the 3rd generation Echo Dot and £12 for the 4th generation model.

Amazon Echo Dot

Image Credit: Amazon (Image credit: Amazon)

When does the 4th Generation Echo Dot go on sale?

You can pre-order the 2020 Echo Dot now. It ships on 22 October in the US and Australia and on 5 November in the UK. 

Are there bundle deals for the Echo Dot?

There are. In Australia you get 20 per cent off selected smart home devices with some Echo purchases; in the US there are Fire TV/Echo Dot bundles. There may be some additional bundle deals on Prime Day, which falls on 13 October this year.

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation): key specs and features

The 3rd generation Echo Dot comes in two versions, one with a built-in LED clock display and one without. Other than the clock, they’re identical. The 2019 Echo Dot looks like a hockey puck and has a 1.6” speaker, which is fine for speech such as traffic reports, news bulletins or speech radio but a bit weedy for music: unlike the larger Echo there’s no woofer for low-frequency sounds. If music matters to you, its 3.5mm line out enables you to connect it to louder speakers. 

The 3rd generation Echo Dot is 43 x 99 x 99mm and weighs 300g. It has 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth A2DP.

Amazon Echo Dot (4th Generation): key specs and features

The 4th Generation Echo Dot is almost spherical and considerably taller, and this time it comes in three versions: one with a clock, one without and one for kids. The new design enables the 1.6” speaker to be front-firing for clearer audio, but it’s still a fairly small speaker and for music you’d be wise to use the 3.5mm audio out to connect to something punchier. 

The 4th generation Echo Dot is 100 x 100 x 89mm and weighs 328g. It has the same Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support as its predecessor and also supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

In addition to the standard and clock model, there is also a Echo Dot Kids Edition with cartoon animal designs so you can have a panda or a friendly tiger.

Amazon Echo: 3rd generation vs 4th generation

Both devices are very similar but there are some key differences. The latest model supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which the 3rd generation doesn’t, and while its speaker is still small its new positioning will mean clearer audio. Visually it’s much nicer too: we were never big fans of the third generation design, which looks rather like someone took a full-sized Echo and hit it repeatedly with a mallet.

Amazon Echo Dot

Image Credit: Amazon (Image credit: Amazon)


The Echo Dot is the entry level Alexa device, and it’s useful for adding voice control to devices that don’t have it such as speakers, smart bulbs and so on. It’s never going to be brilliant for music but it’s good for speech, whether that’s the weather forecast or your favourite podcast. The main differences between the third and fourth generation are the design, which enables the small speaker to sound better, and the support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Which one should you buy? The fourth generation model effectively takes the place of its predecessor in terms of positioning and price while the 2019 model gets a serious price cut. That means if you don’t need the sound improvements, the improved looks or the 802.11ac Wi-Fi, the older model is now a brilliant bargain. 

Price and availability

The Echo Dot (3rd Gen) is currently $39.99 / £29.99 / AU$79.00.

The Echo Dot (4th Gen) is available for pre-order for $49.99 / £49.99 / AU$99.00. The clock models are $10/£10 more expensive. The standard Dot ships in the US and Australia on 22 October and in the UK on 5 November. The clock models all ship on 5 November.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.