Amazon’s Black Friday sales are well underway and there’s a stonking deal on the current-generation Echo. You can save £35 at present, a reduction of 39 percent that brings the price down from £89.99 to £54.99.
The 4th generation device was launched in late 2020 and features Alexa (of course) plus full smart home features including a Zigbee hub. Like the sibling Echo Dot it has a ball-shaped design so is a bit more subtle in terms of appearance than previous generations, especially the ‘Pringle can’-shaped original Echo and Echo Plus. However, it doesn’t provide 360 degree audio quite, there’s definitely a ‘front’ to the device which houses two tweeters and one woofer behind the fabric-covered exterior. As well as Wi-Fi, it also supports Bluetooth like other Echo devices.
This generation of Echo betters its predecessors in terms of Alexa smarts partly thanks to a new Amazon and MediaTek-designed neural processor that enables Alexa to do more on the device itself without having to rely on its connection to the cloud. It also sounds better than the previous versions of this device, too – and is certainly the best sounding smart speaker under the £100 mark – though if it’s sound quality you want above everything else, consider the Echo Studio, too.
In our review of the latest Echo, we said: “The fourth-gen Echo easily outperforms its price tag and ensures that Alexa remains our go-to robo-assistant”, concluding that the 2020 version is “an all-round upgrade that makes the Echo sound smarter than ever”.
Our reviews of the latest Amazon devices
- Excellent value
- Works as well as any Echo in the smarts department
- Certain 3D tracks sound incredible
- Amazon Music HD’s better-than-3D-quality music trumps Apple and Spotify
- You might not need a soundbar